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WWII Invasion Stripes - P-51 Mustang

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Folks:

 

I've done some looking around and I can't seem to find definitive measurements for the WWII Invasion stripes for a P-51 Mustang.  Wikipedia says this:

 

The stripes were five alternating black and white stripes. On single-engine aircraft each stripe was to be 18 inches (46 cm) wide, placed 6 inches (15 cm) inboard of the roundels on the wings and 18 inches (46 cm) forward of the leading edge of the tailplane on the fuselage. National markings and serial number were not to be obliterated. 

 

I figure someone here has a quick answer...so what do you think?  I thought the wing stripes were a different width than the fuselage stripes.

 

Thanks in advance!

 

Chris

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Barracuda says they are 18" wide on the wing (9/16 in or 14.3mm), the black band is 15" (15/32 in or 11.9mm) on the elevator.

 

On the Revell decal sheet the fuselage and wing band decals ( the black decals ) are both 14.3mm - so they are the same size.  

 

Is that correct?

Thanks

Chris

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That looks about right to me, though I've lots of variations from plane to plane because of different guys painting them in the field. Some of them look like they were painted by a drunk snake.

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I've seen some of the WWII Pictures of the stripes being applied and oh, yeah, someone was in a hurry!  By my calculations, the full width is 71.5mm for each side of the wing.  I just masked the bottom of the wing for the white area.  Fuselage is next...

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I use 18/32 for 1/32 scale a/c Chris. I am not aware of any difference in the width of either white or black.

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There were 'probably' dimensions called out but not 'necessarily'

strictly complied with. These 2 images show how they didn't match

up with moving surfaces (gear doors , flaps). Note how one has

small black stripes on the outer white stripes. Neither have stripes

across the fuselage bottoms, obviously painted without lifting the

tail.

 

i1hrFHa.jpg

 

5LxlLB0.jpg

 

hth

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Mike - as always, thanks for the pictures and JohnB, that is exactly what I used so we are good to go.  Mike - what I really like about your pictures is two things:  another view of the various streaks on the bottom of the aircraft, and I noted how shiny the drop tanks are compared to the rest of the aircraft.  The bottom aircraft seems to have had white stripes on the outside of the black stripes on the elevators, too.  Interesting!  I also noted on the bottom aircraft that the top of the left side landing gear door is still silver, not black and the bottom of the left landing gear does not appear to have a white stripe at the bottom.

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The black stripes on the tail planes are some of the original markings applied to bare metal P-51s. The

black stripe was also applied to the tail fin and rudder. Applied because the tail looked similar to

109 tails. These markings had nothing to do with the 'Invasion' markings

 

Mike Horina

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Posted (edited)

The bottom aircraft seems to have had white stripes on the outside of the black stripes on the elevators, too.

 

I'm thinking that might be just the contrast between the black stripe, then NM, then darker wingtip that makes the NM band between look white. I think the wingtip maybe was oxidized paint, so it appears darker? The white stripes on the main wings are noticeably brighter than the spot you're referring to on the elevators. I'm no expert, but that's how it looks to me.

 

Edit: the main tips look the same, so I think they were painted a darker color.

 

Tim

Edited by BiggTim

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  Mike - what I really like about your pictures is two things: 

 

Yep, they're very helpful pix.

I took 'em myself !!!

 

      J3j5R6J.jpg

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If you look closely at period photos of invasion stripes, you will see that your perfectly straight and aligned stripes made with masking tape are fairly inaccurate! 

 

At least some of them were pretty sloppy, slap-dash affairs with fields of gray between stripes and what not.

 

And yet I can't bring myself to replicate "accurate" but sloppy stripes!

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Posted (edited)

Ponder this:

 

On June 1st 1944, Allied Command was still doing test with the stripes.

On June 4th, the stripes were on every a/c of the invasion fleet ready for D-Day originally June 5th.

 

That leaves us a few hours notice to apply the stripes. Add to that the misinterpretation of orders, the personal interpretation of every ground crew and the material – or lack of – at hand. So sloppiness was nothing short of obligatory.

 

And as previous poster ringleheim suggested, controlled sloppiness is very hard to reproduce.  :BANGHEAD2:

Edited by quang

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Posted (edited)

If you look closely at period photos of invasion stripes, you will see that your perfectly straight and aligned stripes made with masking tape are fairly inaccurate! 

 

At least some of them were pretty sloppy, slap-dash affairs with fields of gray between stripes and what not.

 

And yet I can't bring myself to replicate "accurate" but sloppy stripes!

 

Depends on which aircraft you are looking at, actually.  Here are a few links to check out.  In the first the P-38 looks pretty sloppy, but the Mustangs and Mauraders look pretty good.    Here, the P-61 stripes look pretty nice.  NOW, up close do we see the brush marks and the overlapping paint?  Yeah probably.  In 1/32 scale what would that look like?  Even if there was 1/2 overlap, in 1/32 scale that is .0156 of an inch.  So VERY hard to replicate.  I think more likely is that the white and the black had some 'see through where the paint didn't completely cover.

 

Ponder this:

 

On June 1st 1944, Allied Command was still doing test with the stripes.

On June 4th, the stripes were on every a/c of the invasion fleet ready for D-Day originally June 5th.

 

That leaves us a few hours notice to apply the stripes. Add to that the misinterpretation of orders, the personal interpretation of every ground crew and the material – or lack of – at hand. So sloppiness was nothing short of obligatory.

 

And as previous poster ringleheim suggested, controlled sloppiness is very hard to reproduce.  :BANGHEAD2:

 

I've often wondered about this - how carefully were the stripes REALLY applied?  I'm sure unit by unit this varied significantly.  So this is where for a specific aircraft I rely heavily on period pictures such as this one:

 

qW5eGZ.jpg

 

Now, easy enough to argue that since these planes were in a photo shoot (and as I pointed out separately, look how utterly clean each aircraft is - not even a hint of exhaust staining - I'm going with the assumption this was a staged photograph) it is entirely possible the stripes were fairly carefully applied to begin with or cleaned up afterwards (esp since this picture was taken long after D-Day).

 

Good discussion!

Chris

Edited by CANicoll

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