A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

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A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

Postby Epap » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:13 pm

One of the interesting aspects about WW2 aircraft concerns the way these planes are pictured by artists and/or kit-makers based on often faulty interpretations of poor quality black and white film footage or photos. A case in point is an often seen artist's rendition of a German BOB HE-111, which sports a neat new night bomber scheme supposedly used by the Luftwaffe when it switched to nighttime operations after its clobbering in daylight raids over Britain. The artist's work shows a HE-111 based at Chartres, France, in an upper surface dark gray over- paint, covered by many black speckles, and a black undersurface with the black carried up along the sides of the fuselage and the swastika painted over. Here's a picture of this attractive ---to me, at least---scheme:Image
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Re: A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

Postby Epap » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:18 pm

Various kit-makers and decal sheets show essentially the same scheme and both Franklin Mint and Corgi have put out this HE-111 in diecast form. Here is a picture of the latter's 1:72nd scale version. As can be seen, the letter "E" is larger than shown by the artist, as is the unit emblem, which the Corgi factory has also misplaced. And the lovely black "blotches" that cover the model so neatly look, to me, like large shoal of small fish engulfing the bomber's upper surface:Image
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Re: A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

Postby Epap » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:26 pm

One wonders why the hard pressed Luftwaffe ground crews would go to the trouble of repainting the entire upper surface of the bomber in a dark gray--- taking the time to mask the canopy windows so they could spray the frames in the new color---before applying their black splotching. Is that a realistic possibility? To answer the question, here's a set of pictures of the actual plane which are light enough so you can see some of the details. The first shot features a close-up of our HE-111 in the foreground. As is fairly obvious, the upper surface was not painted gray. Rather, it has the underlying two-green splinter pattern, which has been covered rather crudely by all sorts of lines, crosses, blotches, speckles, etc. probably applied using a brush or brooms, sponges, etc.:Image
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Re: A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

Postby Epap » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:30 pm

Here's the same bomber seen from a distance, with the swastika crudely obliterated and many hastily-applied Xs on its horizontal stabilizers:Image
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Re: A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

Postby Epap » Wed Aug 15, 2012 12:45 pm

I guess I can see how an artist or other party might interpret the "actual plane" pictures as having some kind of newly applied overpaint, depending on how dark or light the picture references they used happened to be. And the mistakes seen in the Corgi diecast model regarding marking size and location as well as the overly neat blotches----or whatever they are---- are clearly the result of sloppy work at the factories and their chronic inability to replicate irregular blotch or mottling patterns when cutting paint spray masks for the production process. OK! But what about the logic of it? It just doesn't make sense that the Germans would do what the artist and the diecast manufacturers have depicted, does it? In any event, I redid my HE-111, giving it a new green splinter pattern, overlaid with the kind of crude blotches, speckles, swipes and Xs that are seen in the pictures, above. I also applied new markings on the sides and upper wings----putting them in their proper places----and added engine exhaust stains. Here's the result:Image
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Re: A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

Postby MichaelB » Fri Aug 17, 2012 2:54 am

Nice work! It's always better when it's not factory! ...the joy of modeling.
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Re: A HE-111 Night Bomber Redux

Postby Epap » Fri Aug 17, 2012 12:31 pm

Thanks, Mike. I didn't mention it in my original post but this particular model was purchased years ago and arrived in very bad shape with a broken prop, a cracked horizontal stabilizer and other damage. It's always more fun when you can restore a wreck like this was and then give it a more realistic look.
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