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Luftwaffe Oxygen Blue


AlanG
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15 minutes ago, dodgem37 said:

RLM 24.

 

Sincerely,

Mark

 

I've seen variations of that blue, but perhaps it's the lighting in the various photos, or the age of the parts?

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3 hours ago, dodgem37 said:

RLM 24.

 

Indeed it was RLM 24, but just like all other wartime paints, there was a certain variance to the color depending on the paint manufacturer/supplier.

 

Here's a photo of original parts from various Luftwaffe O2 systems, as you can see they varied in hue, sheen and finish (rust and 80 years of weathering notwithstanding, of course).

2D02055.jpg

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Are you sure it's always RLM 24? RLM 24 is a dark blue, and while some equipment indeed seems to display this color, quite often (like some of the the examples in the image) a much lighter, brighter blue seems to be used, which is well outside the tolerance for RLM 24.

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Specs call for RLM 24.  Eventually, due to raw material shortages and different manufacturers, in different regions, like Germany and Czechoslovakia, and because the allies were bombing the brains out of the Germans, ingredients weren’t available in the proportions and quantities required to make the same color as earlier in the war.

 

Sincerely,

Mark

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Well, I know 24 was mandated for oxygen equipment (oxygen bottles, lines, etc.), and this was followed rather strictly until the end, but I'm not convinced the other light blue color seen on regulators/economizers specifically is simply the result of end of war shortages and mayhem. When you look at earlier regulators/oxygen economizers like the Fl.30402, they are generally just painted in 02, or possibly even just an industrial grey coating, not necessarily a specific RLM color. In the case of the ubiquitous Fl.30403, which came in use from 1941 onwards and is the type depicted in the images above, there are basically four main types of coloration I'm aware off:

 

- Completely in RLM 24, as the example shown by MikeMaben

- Main cover in 24, but with the central push button in the unidentified bright blue color (note that in MikeMaben's example, under the 24 paint on the push button, the bright blue appears to be present)

- Main cover in 66, possibly with a quadrant in 24 with in white the words "Sauerstoff-Dusche", and a bright blue push button

- Entirely bright blue

 

While the differences in finish are indeed no doubt due to various manufacturers having different practices and using different subcontractors/suppliers, the bright blue color seems to be rather consistent across all examples. This, combined with the fact that it appears well before the final stages of the war, and occurs in conjunction with 24 on the same device would seem to rule out this being the result of shortages, poor paint quality control and general disorganization. Rather, it seems to me the bright blue, while not an official RLM color, was nevertheless a standardized color which was used deliberately on regulators by at least some manufacturers

 

At the same time, it strikes me that we're discussing the color of a relatively small cockpit device than in many cases is hardly visible even in the real aircraft... Too much time on our hands maybe? ^_^

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2 hours ago, pvanroy said:

- Main cover in 24, but with the central push button in the unidentified bright blue color (note that in MikeMaben's example, under the 24 paint on the push button, the bright blue appears to be present)

I posit the bright blue central push button is anodized aluminum, in this case blue. I have no proof or documentation to back up my theory, other than my own empirical observations. I guess it just "looks" anodized to me, is what I'm saying. I'm sure I'll be proven wrong at some point by die experten, though. Won't be the first (or last) time...

2 hours ago, pvanroy said:

At the same time, it strikes me that we're discussing the color of a relatively small cockpit device than in many cases is hardly visible even in the real aircraft... Too much time on our hands maybe? ^_^

That's affirmative, sir! :piliot:

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2 hours ago, pvanroy said:

At the same time, it strikes me that we're discussing the color of a relatively small cockpit device than in many cases is hardly visible even in the real aircraft... Too much time on our hands maybe? ^_^

 

My question was in some part two fold. I really do want to know what the RLM colour for oxygen equipment was and also, because i want to i want to build a Ju88 C6 F1+XM from 4./ KG76 (the one with the 'painted' windows on the front) and it requires a light blue colour like i've seen some oxygen equipment painted. 

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30 minutes ago, TAG said:

I posit the bright blue central push button is anodized aluminum, in this case blue.

 

That's definitely a possibility; some of the bezels associated with the oxygen instruments certainly look as if they were anodized with a blue dye, and the connections to the regulator, dirt trap etc. were often just left in a gold anodized finish. On the other hand, in some images is looks as if the blue on the button has chipped, more like paint would do and not quite what you'd expect from an anodized layer. Also, the economizers that are entirely bright blue do seem to have been painted, not anodized. I think actually both are possible - an anodized finish, and (over)painted in some blue (24 or bright blue).

 

26 minutes ago, AlanG said:

 

My question was in some part two fold. I really do want to know what the RLM colour for oxygen equipment was and also, because i want to i want to build a Ju88 C6 F1+XM from 4./ KG76 (the one with the 'painted' windows on the front) and it requires a light blue colour like i've seen some oxygen equipment painted. 

 

Well, the mandatory color for oxygen bottles, lines, etc was RLM 24. However, regulators/economizers had several finishes, as discussed above. I suppose the color of the fake windows may indeed have been the same as the bright blue on some regulators - but that does not seem to have been an official RLM color; possibly it matches a RAL paint?

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23 hours ago, AlanG said:

My question was in some part two fold. I really do want to know what the RLM colour for oxygen equipment was and also, because i want to i want to build a Ju88 C6 F1+XM from 4./ KG76 (the one with the 'painted' windows on the front) and it requires a light blue colour like i've seen some oxygen equipment painted. 

 

I don't have any reason to believe that the nose (fake) windows were painted in oxygen blue. The only time I've ever seen any reference to them at all, is on box art and color profiles, and I can't really say that any of those are near accurate either.

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On 9/18/2021 at 6:29 PM, LSP_K2 said:

 

I don't have any reason to believe that the nose (fake) windows were painted in oxygen blue. The only time I've ever seen any reference to them at all, is on box art and color profiles, and I can't really say that any of those are near accurate either.

 

Indeed. I've been looking for pictures of Ju 88s with false windows, and it seems all of them are black and white - meaning that it's impossible to know what color the windows were actually painted. As LSP_K2 said, the only reason we picture them as bright blue is because that's how the artists who figured these aircraft imagined them. Looking at the photographs, the windows seem to have been a fairly dark color, so it might well have been RLM 24. The Luftwaffe also used RAL 5009 - 840 R on ground equipment, so IF the fake windows were painted blue, that could be another possibility.

 

However, there's not even any reason to be sure they were some kind of blue - we can't know the color from B/W images. So, come to think of it, wouldn't it be more logical for them to have been painted in some grey? When you look into into the cockpit of an aircraft, even on a bright sunny day, it doesn't look blue; rather, it gives a dark impression due to the color used for the cockpit and shadows. In an analogy, false cockpits painted on modern fighter jets are generally executed in shades of grey, or even black - even on types that do not have heavily tinted canopies. Therefore, it wouldn't seem unreasonable to me to assume the false windows of F1+XM might have been painted in some grey - RLM 75 or possibly 77 would seem good candidates. 

 

In the end, the bottom line indeed is, as Jennings said: don't sweat it. As long as you choose some plausible color, it will be impossible for anyone to prove you right or wrong, since only B/W images of the aircraft exist.

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