Modelling-ABC by Wilfried Eck
(in WW II)
Island in the Pacific Solomons chain. The construction of an airfield as staging point for the further advance to Australia by Japanese forces led to an invasion of American troops and in the following to several battles on land, at sea and in the air. In the outcome the Allies held Guadalcanal and step by step moved further north to Bougainville. The Japanese stronghold Rabaul was neutralised thereby, the further recaption of Japanese held islands could continue.
Japan suffered a tremendous loss of men and material, the worst one being a further loss of veteran pilots. Their replacements, taken prematurely out of training were no equal match for the now experienced American flyers, their replacements even less, and so on. These losses were a blow from which the Japanese were never able to recover. Further on the Japanese fought a war they could't win.
Allied aircraft: Due to the constant fighting the outer appearance of aircraft was less important. Combined with the hot and humid tropical climate the paint of Allied aircraft detoriated to some degree, but never did the mechanics neclect vital parts. When modeling fading paint one has to take the colour pigments of the paint into account. As can be seen from photos most US Navy and Marine aircraft were painted in the earlier "Blue Gray" over "Light Gray" scheme with a distinct wavy demarcation line. If fading of the topsides occured the paint got lighter, but not to pure dark oder middle gray and certainly not light gray. There was always a blue tint, so any shade of blue-gray is about right. Photos also show there wasn't any noticeable paint chipping. Another point often overlooked is the colour of the US insignia. It was a very very dark blue, nearly black. So it faded to gray-blue, never to a bright dark blue.
On the Japanese side fighter aircraft successively got a dark green camouflage on the upper sides. Applied in the field over the existing light gray at first it wasn't always perfect, but not to be confused with chipped paint. If paint chipping had actually occured the underlying light gray would have shown. As Japanese photos of this period are very scarce, there can't be said much about weathering, but taking into account the lifetime of a Japanese airplane, it can't have been much. That Japanese paint was inferior is a myth, wrecks found long after the war telling the contrary (see also page J). The Japanese "rising sun" was of blood red colour, not scarlet. And never let chipped paint show on the radio mast of a A6M Zero. It was made of wood.
|US Army page:||http://www.army.mil/cmh-pg/brochures/72-8/72-8.htm|
|US Navy page:||http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/guadlcnl/guadlcnl.htm|
|Text and timetable:||http://www.friesian.com/history/guadal.htm|