Looking for some advice on the wartime colours of the Boeing Clipper flying boats.
I picked up the old Airfix kit cheap at Cosford airshow yesterday and although the kit is all intact the decals have seen better days.
They weren’t the best of quality to begin (fuzzy and devoid of the fine details) and they’re dried and cracked. These are likely to disintegrate.
A Google search last night revealed no aftermarket sheets, so an alternative scheme might be in order. Something I can make up from decal spares and generic serials. I found references to the US Navy and Army pressing them into service as transports in the Pacific, but not much in the way of photos. I can tell they carried a large 48 star flag on the nose, but can’t make out any other markings.
I’m guessing a two tone blue over white?
So if I am seeing this right they were designated as PB2Y 5R Coronado. This is the only picture I could locate in my very very modest Library. Only a 2 tone. This example is at NAS Pensacola at the Naval Air Museum. I don’t have any pictures of it personally but this shot is from the museums book circa 1997.
Apart from the pictures of kits, a single painting and a short mention in a book about planes of the presidents, I have seen no photographic evidence that they were painted in camo livery by the US navy.
It’s getting all the necessary decals to replicate it. The kits are unusable. The Pan-Am logo is a featureless blob! There’s just nothing out there for the logos or fonts. I did consider the wartime BOAC, but can’t find a sheet of the serials.
I’ll keep searching, it’s not on my list of priority builds at the moment.
Being civvy aircraft under a military contract, it would make sense that they would carry the flag in those positions. I would imagine this was more of a visual aid to friendly pilots rather than Japanese. It is very similar in appearance to the big Japanese Emily flying boat. The Dixie Clipper build posted above is very useful as a marking guide.
So, a likely late war scheme seems to be white undersides and fuselage under the wings, intermediate blue on the sides of the nose, rear fuselage, tails and engine nacelles and dark sea blue uppers. Black serials on tail fins and port wing underside, white serial on upper starboard wing. 48 star US flag on sides of nose, centre tail fin and upper port wing. I think this is more than do-able.
A real shame the decals were in such a sorry state as I would like to have done the pre-war Pan-Am colours. My dad built this one back in the 80’s and it was hung from my bedroom ceiling. Always liked this scheme. That model should still be packed away safely at my parents house.
I thought I was on to something, visually I was comparing windows and canopy shape. Not far off though but I think the paint scheme would be viable. Plus I got to try the camera out on my new iPad so there’s that!