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WWII Luftwaffe wire color

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Title says it mostly........

 

I'm building my Do-335, and have some questions on German Luftwaffe wire color. I figured out quickly that you will be able to see the back of the IP, so I'm specifically looking for instrument/IP wire color.

 

Would the IP wires have been yellow?

 

TIA

 

 

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Yes, I’m not really sure why it seems to have become one of those modelling myths that all Luftwaffe aircraft had yards of exposed bright yellow wires everywhere.  Those are some of the best photos I’ve seen which disprove that contention.  And they weren’t twisted together either (maintenance nightmare!).

 

There was a thread on LSP a while ago in which Radu provided some good info on the subject too regarding the braided metal coverings.

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Hi Guys,

 

My two pence worth:

 

Most wiring back then wasn’t insulated with plastic like today as there wasn’t any plastic!  The sheathing would have been either cotton or impregnated paper as insulation.  So probably a dirty tan/yellow, certainly nothing bright at all.  Wire looming is always in the straightest possible runs, also the shortest possible distance given airframe and equipment location restrictions, done plenty of it in my time in the RAF.  There’s a reason for it, every time you add any twist, you add length, length equals weight, which you don’t want.  Plus wiring is loomed and fixed every few inches so it doesn’t flap about when maneovering and interfere with other system or otherwise get worn and torn.  All these twisted wires dangling in the wind on a model just make me laugh and I then start to pick everything else apart to see how much actual research the modeller has done.  Some of the magazine articles are laughable! Everyone goes “Ooh!”, “Aah!” and I just think “Ho, ho, ho!”

 

regards,

 

Bruce Crosby

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single electrical lines were quite bright yellow, bundled lines were typically covered in braided dull aluminium and radio lines were dark blue. You had exceptions here and there but these were the majority. Typically the single yellow lines had a tiny pressed number tag near the end to know where to connect it. This codes was repeated on wiring diagrams in manuals

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Thanks gents!  I think in my what-if case, things may be a bit more open to interpretation, but because I have a lot of very tiny and flexible yellow wire used purchased from a model car site, I think that is what I will go with, as I can now see that on the Do-335, you can see almost ALL of the back of the IP, and some wiring forward of it on the bulkhead panel too.

 

For my purposes, I think Ill go with yellow simply based on the fact that there is a possibility it was used on the real thing, and I happen to have enough of it in a smaller size.

 

In my case I also think in modeling sometimes we have to do things that may not exactly be that way on the 1:1. Meaning, sometimes going with slightly brighter or livelier colors than may have been on the real deal, because of scale,  makes things pop much more effectively IMHO. 

 

Thanks for all the help and suggestions! 

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On 1/8/2019 at 12:44 AM, Bruce_Crosby said:

Hi Guys,

My two pence worth:

Most wiring back then wasn’t insulated with plastic like today as there wasn’t any plastic! 

regards,

Bruce Crosby

Actually, plastics of many types did exist back then, and the photos that have been shared here bear that out. Various types of vinyls existed as did polystyrenes, cellophane, Lucite, Plexiglass, etc., as did silicone rubber. As an example I'm restoring a Motor-Dictograph one-way intercom from 1926 that's got all sorts of plastic in it; the microphone switch for example is made with a plastic very similar to polystyrene for the body of it. It reacts to solvent in exactly the same manner. The internal wiring has vinyl & cloth insulation too. Back on topic: many of the instruments didn't have any electrical wiring at the back of them at all; many instruments were pneumatic, or needed an outside atmosphere reference for airspeed; the photo Ringelheim shared shows this, specifically the reddish-colored lines are air lines in all probability, or they could be for oil pressure gauges. Some had Bowden cables going to them, which is what we know commonly as a speedometer cable. Basically a spiral-wound cable inside a housing. These could be for radio or intercom controls, angle or frequency indicators,  etc.

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