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Thread: A6M3 prop/spinner color details

  1. #1
    Senior Member mrf17's Avatar
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    A6M3 prop/spinner color details

    Several references/illustrations state the the spinners of some Mitsubishi built A6M3-22's (specifically the 251st Kokutai) were painted brown while others state they were green. I realize a majority of them were unpainted aluminum (or coated with a dull aluminum paint); but others such as Nishizawa's (mid '43)have been portrayed as a weathered/chipped brown. I cannot find a lot of information on this. I am tempted to believe either color could be correct. Also, following logic, would the back of the prop blades portray either color, or is flat black a safe bet, as current relic/preservation researchers have stated.

    I will also post this thread in the Japanese Markings and Camouflage thread. Thanks in advance.



    -Mark

  2. #2
    Senior Member mrf17's Avatar
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    A little more research and I answered my own question. James Lansdale, noted authority on Japanese WW2 aircraft color and markings, has stated that ~mid 1943 Mitsubishi started painting factory propellers brown. Prior to that, Mitsubishi painted the reverse side of the props only, and that color was also brown, not black. Spinners also were beginning to be painted brown in the same time frame. Logic infers that Nishizwa's unit would have attempted to comply with the July 1943 IJN directive on two-tone camoflage and field-applied both the upper green to UI-105 and carried the brown from the rear of the prop blades to the spinner, as was happening with different models of aircraft at the Mitsubishi factory. Thus the famous photo of Nishizawa flying UI-105 in the spring, 1943. Not conclusive, but compelling. Here is Mr. Lansdale's link: A6M Propellor colour

    Good enough for me. Cheers.
    -Mark

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