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Aircraft Painting Guide Vol. 1

Aircraft Painting Guide Vol. 1 Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2021 Title Aircraft Painting Guide Vol. 1
Author Dana Bell Publisher Classic Warships
Published 2021 ISBN 978-0-99691990-2-0
Format 72 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $24.00


Let’s get right to the bottom line: every USAAF camouflage enthusiast needs this slim, seminal study.

Aircraft Painting Guide Vol. 1 – ninth in Classic Warships’ “Aircraft Pictorial” range – surveys the subject in just 76 lavishly illustrated pages.

Camouflage & markings expert Dana Bell masterfully milks and mines deductions, latest research, and archival revelations for truly amazing insights into American warplane warpaint.

Not that Bell delivers definitives. In the case of, arguably, the most iconic U.S. color, he confirms what attentive aircraft modelers long deduced: “olive drab” was never one specific shade. And Bell methodically and authoritatively explains why.

He also recaps use and permutations of Medium Green camouflage accents. And he offers some stunning examples.

How about those leading-edge Medium Green swaths on ventral C-47 wings? And how about that strikingly splotched Medium Green on B-17F 42-5714 in September 1943?

I know what scheme my next Flying Fortress will wear!

Revelations abound. If you’ve ever wondered what colors really bedecked that wildly unique “Sixth Air Force bomber scheme”, see page 54.


Add ASW liveries, field modifications, temporary colors, and more – all in just 76 pages! I feel like the protagonist in Oliver!: “Please, sir, I want … more.”

Like coverage of 1930s USAAC water-reducible camouflage paints and schemes. Or equally elusive shades called “neutral gray”. Or more Sixth Air Force warpaint. Or … well, you get the picture.

Robustly recommended!

With thanks to Classic Warships.