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Experten Decals ED-1 September 2001


Fw 190 D-9 "Schwarze 12", 6./ JG 6

The well known colour image of this aircraft provides rare but critical information on its camouflage colours. Importantly, the associated camouflage scheme and probable identical camouflage colours are consistently seen in photographs of other later production 500000-series Doras (with minor variations), selected examples including:

  • WNr.500613 - 10./III./JG 26 - Schwarze 10 - Found at Celle. (2)
  • WNr.500636 - 1./I./JG 6 - Weisse 16 - Found abandoned at Bayreuth-Bindlach. (3)
  • WNr.500638 - 5./II./JG301 - Weisse 12 - Found at Langensalza. (Ref: J.V. Crow Collection).
  • WNr.500647 - 7./II./JG 26 - Braun 4 - Found abandoned at Hustedt. Wooden Ta 152 tail. 08-05-45 (4).
  • WNr.500666 - 3./I./JG 301 - Gelbe 15 - Found at Straubing. (2, 3)

Study of these aircrafts' photos and comparison with the colour photo of Schwarze 12 indicates that their undersides and fuselage sides were painted the green-blue variation of 76, fuselage spine and engine cowling in 81 Braunviolett and with an 82 Hellgrün overspray on the forward cowling and rear fuselage insert. The fuselage undersides appears to have been left in natural metal, while the rudder was painted with a light coat of standard 76 Lichtblau over a base coat of 75 Mittlegrau. The original interpretation of the upperwing camouflage colours were somewhat speculative, given that no clear images were known of this portion of the aircraft (1). Further uncertainty existed given the fact that major aircraft components such as the fuselage, wings, tails, engine 'power-eggs' and the like were built/assembled/completed in subcontractor factories dispersed throughout Germany. These components were in many cases painted prior to shipping but it also appears that some painting was done to unify the camouflage scheme to varying degrees. The resultant aircraft (Fw 190s, Me 262s, He 162s, Bf 109s) made from these certainly reveal a number of variation in finishes, colours and schemes.

Initially, we interpreted the wing uppersurface colours for Schwarze 12 to have been 75 Mittelgrau and 77 Hellgrau, based on fragmentary views of this wing surface (1, 5). Subsequently, we considered it less likely that RLM 77, a colour used for night fighter unit code markings, was the lighter of the two colours observed. In addition, the use of RLM 75 on Doras at this stage of the war, in particular on very late production aircraft, was considered less likely. The observed increasing use of 81 and 82 on fighter aircraft further impelled us to reconsider the identity of the darker colour on Schwarze 12's upperwing surface.

A remarkable view of a late 500000-series Dora-9's uppersurface camouflage pattern and colours. Weisse 16, WNr.500636, was found at Bayreuth-Bindlach in May 1945 and believed to have served with 1./JG 6. This is suggested through comparison with the Kennzeichen of other Fw 190 A-8 aircraft from this unit which surrendered at Fürth on May 8th. A close inspection of the image reveals that Braunviolett 81 and the green-blue variation of Weissblau 76 were used for the main wing and horizontal stabilizer uppersurface camouflage colours. Note the correct layout of the inboard segment of 81 which varies slightly with that originally interpreted for Schwarze 12, WNr.500570. In addition, the patch of Hellgrün 82 seen in this image on the fuselage insert spine ahead of the tail was likely present on Schwarze 12 as well.

Several years ago, a new photo of a previously unknown Dora surfaced and most importantly, clearly revealed the upperwing camouflage pattern, and, the probable colours (3). Weisse 16, WNr.500636 (believed to have been from 1./I./JG 6 based on its number style) was found abandoned at Bayreuth-Bindlach in May 1945. The camouflage scheme on the wings and fuselage was identical to that interpreted for Schwarze 12 and the other examples listed above. Most importantly, through comparison of the wing colour grey tones with the known fuselage colours of Schwarze 12, the photo lead to the conclusion that they were not 75 and 77 and we originally interpreted, but 81 Braunviolett and the green-blue variation of 76. In hindsight, this made perfect sense, since shortages, unavailability and substitutions affected all manner of manufactured items. In this particular case, the lack of 82 Hellgrün was compensated for by applying the wing undersurface colour on the uppersurface as well, with the green in the variation of 76 being accentuated by the brown in the 81. The 81 was then applied to the wing, with this procedure allowing the saving of both paint, and possibly the primer.

It is therefore considered quite probable that most if not all aircraft at least from within the approximate 500700-500636 Werknummer range had the same upperwing camouflage scheme and colours. Their fuselage schemes were certainly identical given the photographic evidence. With regards to Schwarze 12, careful study of Weisse 16's photo indicates that some slight adjustments to the layout of the 81 Braunviolett is required. In addition, a patch of 82 Hellgrün was also sprayed on the fuselage spine extending from the jacking point to the fuselage-tail joint.


  1. Brown, D.E., and Wadman, D., 1993: History, Camouflage & Markings of JV 4 and JG 6 Focke-Wulf 190D-9s - Experten Decals No.1. Experten Historical Aviation Research, Calgary, 30p.
  2. Hildebrandt, C., 1987: "Broken Eagles 1 - Fw 190D". Fighter Pictorials, Perkiomenville, 20p.
  3. James V. Crow Collection
  4. Urbanke, A., 1998: Green Hearts - First in Combat with the Dora-9. Eagle Editions, Hamilton, 351p.
  5. Sheflin, S.W., 1985: Last of the Luftwaffe - "Roundup In The Sky" - Furth, Germany, 8 May 1945. Airfoil, Vol.1, No.3, pp.4-10, 31-38.

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