Slipping the Bonds
by George Paterson
KG27 was formed in May 1939 as a medium bomber unit using He 111 aircraft, and it was active in the early campaigns of WW II, including the Battle of Britain.
Later in the war, the Luftwaffe became more preoccupied with the defence of the Reich. Offensive operations continued, however, but they were now pursued with cruise missiles (the V1 offensive against London), and later with ballistic missiles (the V2). Sporadic more conventional operations were mounted, because, regardless of the need to focus on home defence, Hitler always wanted to strike back at his enemies.
Towards the end of 1944, KG27 was re-constituted as KG(J)27, which was really a fighter-bomber unit equipped with Bf 109's and Fw 190's. In the final months of hostilities, Fw 190D's started to arrive in the unit. Most of these Doras had the standard fin, but a few used the new broad-chord fin that was intended to be the future standard for all Doras.
In my archive I have a profile of “Black 12” of KG(J)27 by Thomas Tullis, and I recently decided to get an in-flight image of that aircraft. Apart from a single reference in Jerry Crandall's Volume 2, the KG(J) Doras are not covered in either his volumes or in Deboeck, Larger and Poruba.
The Initial Image
I collected this model photo in 2005, and it was the basis of an in-flight image that I presented on MM shortly afterwards. My text at that time said that I didn't recall the kit used for the model, nor the builder's name, though my tag had the prefix “jh”, presumably his initials. I'm none the wiser today.
I searched the internet for models of KG(J) aircraft, and found several builds, mostly of “Yellow 6”, which is of particular interest, because it was from a batch of D-9's produced by Mimetall in March/April that had the broad-chord fin. On balance however, I preferred to resurrect this picture, which I had worked on eleven years ago, upgrade the selection work on it, and re-mark it as “Black 12”
Treatment of the Image
Structually, I needed to revise the leading edge of the fin to get the more familiar Fw 190 profile, since the model has the broad-chord “Einheitsleitwerk”. Incidentally, this model seems to be of a fictitious JG2 aircraft, and I could find no reference to it anywhere.
I did a lot more selection work on the internal details than I had in 2006, so the finished image has a sharper appearance. The panelwork on the fixed fin was detailed as in the standard narrow-chord version.
Regarding the camo finish, I revised the demarcation between the top colours and the soffit RLM76, and I extended the darker green top colour forwards, so the fuselage top colour is uniform right back to the Balkenkreuz. The rear fuselage top colour may be either the light green RLM82 or the brown-violet RLM81, which Crandall favours – I left it as RLM82. The wing soffits were left unpainted apart from a front strip in a darker paint finish – I used the darker top colour RLM83, quite thinly applied.
Wing topsides often had a “high-contrast” finish of RLM83 and the much lighter RLM76, or possibly a light grey, but depending on the subcontractor, a two-tone green finish might be used, as I have shown.
Since these Kampfgeschwader aircraft are not covered in either of the standard reference works, I felt rather diffident about the choices I made. The use of checkered RV bands adds a bit of variety to the appearance of the plane, and I'm quite pleased with the result.
One of the models I found in my search was a Bf 109G-10 carrying red/black checkers on the RV band, and it had a red spinner with white spiral – what an eyeful!
I'm still wondering who “jh” is; does anyone know?