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Post Info TOPIC: U.S. CAMOUFLAGE did it get to Europe?


Corporal

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U.S. CAMOUFLAGE did it get to Europe?
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I was going through my files and came across a group of photos of the WW1
vehicular camouflage that I saw on the old Marx tin toys. Remember those
schemes, with the bright colors separated by thick black outlines?
I often wondered if any of these paint jobs actually got over to Europe during the war. I have some photos that state they were taken in Europe and these show these paint schemes. But most of the photos I have seen of U.S. WW1 ground equipment in action always showed solid colors.

Futhermore. there are two relatively new books on the market that shows some of these U.S. schemes very clearly. They are published by Iconografix and are called Caterpillar military tractors Vol.1 and Vol.2. These have a few
photos in each issue of WW1 camoflage. The publisher can be accessed at:
http://www.iconografixinc.com/
I have a rare copy of the book commerating the war products made by the
American Car and Foundry Co. (published just after WW1). I just put the
color page from that book and the covers of both Cat books on photobucket.
There is a page from that book showing the colors (at least the colors after
being printed in a book that is 85 years old and copied and filtered through
my compUter and photobucket, etc. etc.)
You can see all three images at:
https://s187.photobucket.com/albums/x115/ssculptorphd/
Questions I have are these:
Assuming that the U.S. equipment that actually got overseas to Europe were still painted in these colorful schemes:
1) Were they overpainted one single dull color on the way to the front or at the front?
2) Or were they merely covered with mud and dirt and simply not washed.Was this done in WW1 in Europe on purpose or was this anatural by product of being driven through the very muddy areas of the war?
Anybody have any thoughts on the matter?


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Field Marshal

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I have also seen these colourful schemes mentioned, and my opinion is that they were NOT repainted, when equipment in this colourful garb was transported to Europe. Why bother - many armies used these types of camo, including both the Brits and the French. But it is a rare scheme to see in actual action.

I think I have one or to photos that MIGHT be painted this way somewhere in my "photo archives". (One of the problems with the Internet, is that you can hoard such numbers of photos that it can be very troublesome to keep some semblance of order...)

When I find I will post it. Eh, if...

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/Peter Kempf


Legend

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Peter your response only seems to be visible under recent posts and not if one goes in under camoflage and markings - is it the forum or just my ISP again?

Like you I have some photos of US trucks 'somewhere in France' in this camo (I think I may even have posted them long long ago) will dig out and post - also a heavy gun painted likewise and definitly ib France.

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aka Robert Robinson Always mistrust captions


Brigadier

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I think this web page gives the answer to the question of US Camouflage in WW1 Era service:

http://www.lovettartillery.com/US_Artillery_Vehicles_Ph.html

I have also attached the photo from this web page.

This is the only photo I have found that clearly shows US Artillery equipment in camouflage that is without a doubt in the European Theater during combat operations--- not post war occupation. This point is made very clear from the dead horse and battle damaged condition---This is not Stateside training. Also, interesting that it is the US M1918 Limber and Caisson not one of the French patterns.

Ralph Lovett
www.lovettartillery.com

-- Edited by Ralph Lovett on Sunday 30th of August 2009 03:52:44 PM

-- Edited by Ralph Lovett on Sunday 30th of August 2009 03:56:05 PM

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Ralph Lovett


Hero

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The 2 books mentioned is there any chance of getting hold of them in the UK? The 5 ton Holt is on my list for W^D Models but till now I haven't been able to get much information.

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Barry John


Commander in Chief

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baldwin, try here:

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=1276588680&searchurl=kn%3DIconografix%2BCaterpillar%2Bmilitary%2Btractors%26sts%3Dt%26x%3D0%26y%3D0

I always use Abebooks to track down books mentioned in this forum; they are 99% of the time cheaper than anywhere else!

There are a lot of copies of these books for sale. I just picked the first supplier that happened to be in the UK.

http://www.abebooks.com/servlet/SearchResults?kn=Iconografix+Caterpillar+military+tractors&sts=t&x=0&y=0

But I have always found their postage rates to be reasonable, wherever they come from. For example, take the first one on that list and with postage to the UK it comes to $14.08. About 7 quid!

-- Edited by philthydirtyanimal on Sunday 30th of August 2009 07:19:20 PM

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Hero

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Phill
Thanks (as usual) I will give it a go.
This should be interesting!!!!!

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Barry John


Legend

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I too have used ABE books on a number of occasions to find some very rare and obscure books, in my experience the service is usually good and postage very resonable...

Cheerssmile

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Corporal

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RE: U.S. CAMOUFLAGE did it get to Europe?
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WW1 GERMAN RR GUN AND TRAIN.JPGI used to use abebooks.com but then I discovered www.bookfinder.com
I prefer the latter as it will include the listings one finds in abebooks as well as many ofher booksellers.
I have been able to find books in German and Swiss sites by looking in bookfinder and they were not available through abebooks.
One problem with bookfinder is somietimes listing the book and the author when conducting a search confuses them and nothing appears. But if I search for the author alone then the books I want appear. I do not understand it but I'm not complaining. Just a bit more work.

Here is aphoto of an interesting camo job on a German RR gun and attendant cars that was obviously applied in the field, or pretty close to it.
I'd like toknow what colors might have been used.
Any ideas?
It is on page 9 of Der Grosse Krieg in Bildern No.42, 1918.
Thanks,
Stephen

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Commander in Chief

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Hi Ralph,

not much I am afraid, the two pictures I found.
The Schneider M1917 155mm picture is from Ian Hogg's Allied Artillery of WW1, second picture is from a Illustrated London News copy of June 1918.
Only a detail there but definitely Europe, general Pershing and war secretary Baker visiting the western front, well that's what the caption says..
Last picture I already posted once but alas no one responded. A US camouflage ww1 suit, but that's all I know. Could be experimental only, though it's from the same source as the Pershing/baker picture.

regards Kieffer


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Commander in Chief

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Hi Stephen,

it has some similarity with the lozenge pattern they applied on planes, but if the same colours were used on army equipment?

regards Kieffer

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Corporal

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Hi Kieffer,
Yes, it does resemble the lozenge patterns used on German aircraft. But those were dies applied to the fabric covering of the airplanes before the canvas was stretched on the wings and fuselage.
From the looks of it I get the impression that they had some soldiers slapping large brushes of paint onto the sides of the railroad cars. Must have been fun for someone. I know I would have enjoyed applying the paint.
Notice also that the rear car has a different arrangement of the colors from the middle car. It looks like the rear car had a lighter overall base coloring than the middle car.
It is possible that at that late datein the war they just applied whatever paint they could find lying around that more or less matched the colors of the airplane fabrics.
Eventually I'll get around to painting the train I am making (G gauge model railroad) and I am tempted to use that pattern. As to the colors, if I cannot find anything definite about themI'll just use those hues one finds on the aircraft lozenges.
It is little finds like this picture that makes life interesting.
Stephen

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Commander in Chief

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Hi Stephen,

yes, the last car, it looks if some men in the field tried to do their best, to copy the lozenge pattern of the other car. Time must have been a factor, as the sharp edged lozenge is more time consuming.
That sounds very interesting, your G gauge train project! G gauge, is that 1/22,5 or 1/24 scale isn't it? Are you building an engine as well?
The colors: the few color pictures, and camouflaged items like helmets, one probably never will know how they looked like when newly painted. Paint colors have a tendency to alter, especially the lower quality. Decorating paint of that era was linseed oil based, the linseed oil had an additive of oxid lead. This was done for drying purposes, but the effects were that in dark spaces colors darkened and in light they bleached. Not to mention the use of lead in white paint, that can even turn into black. Today you'll hardly find that anymore, they use zinc or titanium in oil colors.
And, in war time with shortages and all, they used everything to get some result, as it wasn't meant to be last for ever too. Diluting paint with kerosine was'nt uncommon, even artists did that.
The pleasure of painting: the famous Franz Marc, involved in the camouflage program wrote about it with enthousiasm, as Paul Klee did. It was all very modern those days.
The hues: not much help I am afraid, but anyhow a picture. Of course it's a copy of a copy..not every computer screen is calibrated the same etc. But may be it's coming near. (source: Camouflage, Thames and Hudson, book says that on www.iwm.org.com you can find more as it was based upon an exhibition at the Imperial War Museum)

regards Kieffer

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Corporal

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Hi Kieffer, thank you for the info on the paints used then. Even with todays modern paints the weather and the sun can change the colors over time. I had a friend who was a modeler and he fought in the Vietnam War. We had discussions on colors for models and he remarked that the U.S. trucks woiuld arrive in 'nam all the same color and after a while in those weather conditions the colors would fade and change.He would see a convoy of trucks and it seemed that no two vehicles were alike in color and shade.It all depended on how long the truckshad been"in country."
There is a continuing effort to find the exact colors of the dies used in the German WW1aircraft frabics for the lozenge patterns. It seems to me that every five years a decal manufacturer comes out with slightly different shades and claims that his is the correct version. Its like arguing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.I may just select the available paints whose colors are close to those usedfor the lozenge patterned aircraftcovering material and let it go at that.
The artists at that time who weredoing a lot of the camoflage must have had a wonderful time.WW1came not long after cubism appeared and with all the new movements in art it must have seemed that camoflage was just tailor made for artists of the era.
The funny thing about "G" gauge in the USA is that the same track is used by trains of a rather wide range of scales. We can start with 1/32 scale - Marklin's 1 gauge - and go up to 1/29, 1/24, 1/22.5 and now 1/20.3, whichis gaining popularity. I am presently constructing the outdoor layout itself and I think I'll just run separate trains of likescales. To utilize the 1/35 scale WW2 models I'll mix those with1/32 equipment. Then to utilise the larger LGBEuropean prototypes I'll have separate trains in their 1/22.5 scale. It should be interesting. I'm not inhibited by the thinking of the Fine Scale modelersabout fidelity to scale. In my local G gauge club we have the "3 Foot Rule." "If it looks good from three feet away it is in scale." It is all a hobby andthus is meant for fun an relaxation.
Also, thank you for the lead to the IWM. I just sent them an email asking how I may gain access to some of their material on the subject. We shall see what they say.
Stephen

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Commander in Chief

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Hi Stephen,

the 3 foot rule, I like that! I am a bit of a rivet counter, but the fun part goes first, I agree with that!
Quite some research has been done on the colors used in dazzle painting, but as there are color charts preserved, and many oil paintings, that must have been easier to reconstruct.
For German camouflage colors, you can try the site of the Legermuseum Brussel.
Thats www.legermuseum.be. Click on 'collecties on line', and try for instance Erhardt 7.5cm M1896, or 'Duits geschut'. Sorry for wording this a bit clumsy, you're most probably much better on computers than I am.
But the IWM will certainly have a lot of info available too.

regards, Kieffer


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