Japanese Navy Aircraft Markings Question

Started by NARSES2, February 26, 2009, 02:09:33 AM

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I'm currently building a IJN long range escort fighter for my 1946 Far East scenario.

Now the aircraft will be based in Northern Indo-China/Southern China and what I need to know is - would an IJN aircraft have used the white bands over which the Hinomuars's were placed ? My limited reference only shows IJA aircraft with this feature, and I was wondering if it was a Home Defence thing for that service ?

Decals my @r$e!


The white band Home Defense markings of the IJA were put only on fighter aircraft.

All my references indicate that there was no policy of the IJN for white bands around the Hinomaru like some Home Defense IJA aircraft. I have searched through all my photo references, too, and could not find a single IJN fighter with the white bands applied. I did find a "Judy" dive bomber and a "Betty" bomber with a white square behind the fuselage Hinomaru, but the author indicated that it was a local field application, rather than an adopted policy.

I do realize that the IJA and IJN were VERY independent services, so it does not surprise me that they might be marked differently, though so many other specifications were adhered to by both services. What does surprise me is that the IJN had many "home defense" duties, yet there was no attempt at uniform markings.

Hope this helped.

PS--I had thought of a high-altitude interceptor painted opposite of most fighters. That is, paint the top of the plane light blue-gray, so when in the air looking down on it it would seem to blend in with the hazy scene below, and dark blue undersides so when seen from underneath it would blend in with the dark blue of the upper atmosphere.
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In all the looking I've done, when I was working on my Service Shinden, I came to a realization when it comes to paint schemes in Imperial Japan - the IJA had the flashy schemes, like the markings on metal patterns, or the spackled camo over metal.  The IJN by far comparison had the very sober schemes - dark green over grey is a standard, replace grey with NMF later war, or white with a black cowling or antiglare.  The only real variation in markings can come in the form of the tail bands, or the fuselage bands.  The IJN can be very much a clean cut pattern when it comes to the aircraft.
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Thanks gents, you've confirmed my suspicions. She will be IJN Green over IJN Grey but with a Grey pattern on the top surface, based on a picture Rad sent me.

Decals my @r$e!


>She will be IJN Green over IJN Grey but with a Grey pattern on the top surface, based on a picture Rad sent me.<

Indeed, many IJN aircraft that were originally a simple light grey overall, were "blotched" on top with green. It wasn't the fine "mottle" as seen on many German aircraft, but more of a "sloppy" mottle. I would suggest putting the grey on first, then applying the green over it for your "grey pattern".

I think the IJN took more care to see their planes completely painted because of the likely presence of salt water that sped up corrosion. Especially aboard aircraft carriers, you won't see "natural metal" aircraft.
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


I have seen pics of Zeros with painted wing tips as a recognition device.
Here are pics of IJN a/c in a dump immediatly post war. A Shinden with yellow markings based on a couple of pics and a colour pic of an A6M with white wings and tail.



>A Shinden with yellow markings based on a couple of pics<

It's a Raiden, actually (correctly identified as a J2M in the caption--Shinden is the J7W canard rear-prop job!--photo).

The white-tipped aircraft looks very weird in the photo. The wings look "bent", and where is the tail? Also, there is a red dot with white circle surround in the middle of the underside of the fuselage?? Are you sure it is not an IJA Ki-43??
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


Yep Raiden silly me!
The red dot in the white circle is on the port side of the fuselage.
The fin and rudder are the white bit to the left I believe. The tailplanes can be seen but the starboard one isn't easy to see.
I got the pic from J-aircraft and they seemed convinced it was a Zero. Also the tailplanes are quite different in shape from the Ki-43.



Looking at the white-tipped plane upside down, it definitely looks like a Zero. I wonder if the white areas are the folding wingtips from later model A6Ms used as an easy painting guide.

EDIT: Aft fuselage is definitely too short and thick to be a Ki-43. Also, the tail cone is also painted white in that picture.



>I got the pic from J-aircraft and they seemed convinced it was a Zero. Also the tailplanes are quite different in shape from the Ki-43.<

Actually, the horizontal tailplanes of both aircraft are IDENTICAL in shape, but the Zero's is a little fatter at the fuselage. The vertical stabilizer of the Zero is triangular, whereas the Ki.43 is not. However, in the poor-quality photo shown, I can't see the vertical stabilizer, or even the horizontal stabilizer "nearest" the camera. The "short" distance between the main wings and what appears to be a horizontal stabilizer (or a shadow of the vertical stabilizer) makes it more likely a Zero. The thing that "bothers" me is the main wing angle. I am presuming we are seeing the underside, as it looks as if there is no canopy (also a distinguishing difference between the two aircraft---the Ki.43 has a MUCH smaller canopy relative to the width of the fuselage). At any rate, no matter how I position my model Zero, I cannot get the aspect in the photo to match. That is, the leading edge of the wing in the photo APPEARS to be 90 degrees to the line of flight (as does the Ki.43). The Zero has an equal taper to the leading and trailing edges of the main wing. The Ki.43 has distinguishing "bumps" at the wing roots, which I don't see in the photo.

Then, the red dot with white surround in the fuselage doesn't make sense either. It's so crude, at least in the photo, and appears to be a wide "doughnut" around the Hinomaru, rather than the thin white surround normally seen, OR a big white patch like on the wings.

I really wonder what the original picture looked like. It seems to me that there are conflicting characteristics shown in the photo, and the photo is so poor that truly distinguishing features are too nebulous.

****[EDIT] I turned the photo upside-down--VOILA! Now it looks a LOT more like a Zero, with a white vertical stabilizer and, kinda like you said before, the port side Hinomaru outlined in white. Still too thick an outline, IMHO, but now the aspect give a more Zero look to it.

I will "retract" my assertion that the plane is a Ki-43, but it is still WEIRDLY painted for a Zero!
My mind is like a compost heap: both "fertile" and "rotten"!


Except for the wings, it's not that weird of a paint job. The Hinomaru was frequently touched-up in the field, usually rather crudely, which is what this one looks like. As for the tail, 170 Sentai flew all white tails on all their birds, but they flew Ki-67s, so there is a precedent for that sort of markings on the tail. I couldn't find any matching squadrons in my book on IJA unit markings, but I'll keep looking.


Wow never seen the white markings before thanks for sharing  :thumbsup:
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