Re: Naval Hex Camouflage: Query

Charles Hart (
Fri, 12 Jan 1996 01:21:34 -0700

Joey in Manila wrote:

>In my search through our mail archive I haven't come across andy
>definitive info on German naval hex camo, although 4 & 5 color loz. is
>satisfactorily covered.
This is a subject with less than satisfactory data to work from, in my
opinon. Some initial responses to your query.

>1) How wide was the cloth?
Perhaps 50-53 inches wide. There is only a single piece of this
material which has been reported on in any detail. This is a rather large
piece of Naval fabric belonging to Peter Grosz of Princeton N.J. Dan San
Abbot described this fabric in World War One Aeroplanes issue #134. The
piece in question does not provide evidence for bolt width due to the way
it was cut, even though it is quite large.

>2) How many colors, how were they arranged in the pattern, and what colors?
There are three colors on the fabric, a greyish blue, a greyish mauve
and a greyish brown. If you look at a row of hexagons on the fabric, there
is repetion of all three colors 1-2-3-1-2-3 in the row.

>3) Was there only one hex design used or were there variations.
This is a matter of perhaps some dispute. There is some photographic
evidence suggesting that there may have been two different sets or tones of
colors used on this hexagon fabric. Some of this is seen in a piece of
film that Pete Grosz found in the former East Germany showing deployment of
HB W.12s from a seaplane base, some of the aircraft appear to have darker
fabric than some of the others. Was this due to different fabrics ? Was
this due to fading in the sun, the "lighter" fabric being older than the
fresher "darker" fabric? Is there perhaps another explanation ? From the
list ??
In a post a few months back Steve Hustad maintained some Marine A/C to
have had their hex camouflage painted on. I think it would take critical
study and particularly measurement of these questionable hexes to determine
this. From the surviving fabric piece the hexagon dimensions are well
known, sadly I don't have them in front of me now. Check tomorrow.

>4) I've seen Steve Hustad's model (lohner?) on the "images" page. Hexes
> in browns. What was this all about? Painted on or printed?
>5) I have a book at home on aircraft camo (printed in the U.K., don't
> have the name right now) wich stated that hexes were 18 in.
> across the flats and had 1 pic. of a captured AEG photoed from above.
> This plane definitely has large hexes unlike those on naval a.c. Why?
The similarity between the Marine hex camouflage and the scheme found
on some AEG G-types is simply that they both used hexagons. The camouflage
found on the AEG G-types was painted on the aircraft and employed four
colors. Both of these features are pretty easy to determine from
photographs of these machines.


The above statements were written entirely from my personal
recollections from research on this topic. Any errors contained within are
entirely my own and I don't mind having anyone telling me I goofed.