Couldn't have done it without the WWI mailing list

mark (
Sat, 7 Oct 1995 18:42:18 -0700

Greetings to all - Just wanted to pass on a couple of examples that came to
fruition this week, of how this mailing list has been enormously helpful to
a neophyte such as myself. In my very first post to this list, I inquired if
anyone knew of where/how I could obtain quality pilot figures in 1/48 to use
in some kits I plan to diorama-ize. I got an immediate response from Matt,
who clued me in that Gary Atlee had just put out what I was looking for
(albeit German only), and that Rosemont had them (and he didn't even flame
me for doing 1/48, if you can believe it!). Sure enough, they did..I ordered
a few and they just arrived this week. The figures are done in resin, and
the detailing - from the goggles, to the safety harness, to the silk scarf
- is awesome. The right arm is detached, so you can position it as desired.
Atlee also has an observer figure (standing) available. They are $7.00 each,
$4.00 if you want 1/72 (the scale for the small minded ;-) Sorry, I just
couldn't help that...Anyway, I think this calls for the purchase of the new
Eduard CIII.

Another wierd request that I had in my first post was for information
pertaining to markings, paint schemes, aircraft types, etc. used by Turkey
in WWI - a pretty vague and esoteric subject, for which references are
practically non-existent. However, Bill Shatzer enlightened me to the fact
that Americal/Gryphon had a sheet of Turkish markings, which I ordered, and
they arrived yesterday. Very, very interesting...the info sheet cites no
references, but does acknowledge the contributions of a Dr. Nazmi Otlu, who
may very well be the only person on the planet with any knowledge of the
subject. Some interesting facts from the info. sheet include:

- The most commonly used AC were the Fokker EIII, Albatros CI, CIII, DII and
DIII, and the Halberstadt D series. In addition, the Turks utilized captured
Allied AC (e.g., N.17, DH4, DH9, Morane "L", F2b) whenever possible,
evidently due to the fact that the Germans did not keep them supplied all
that well.

- Contrary to popular belief, the white star and crescent on red background
- despite being the national emblem- was rarely, if even ever, used on AC.
(so much for that scene in Lawrence of Arabia where the Bedouins are getting
bombed and strafed by two-seaters bearing the star and crescent). The one
known exception was a couple of Gotha WD2 and WD13 seaplanes, so the sheet
does include star & crescent markings for them.

- The actual national marking used - black square surrounded by a white
outline- has an interesting history. Evidently, German AC rec'd by the Turks
came with the Eiserne Kreuze painted on. In order to obtain a distinct
emblem with the least amount of effort, they merely continued the outside
edges of the Eiserne Kreuze until a square was formed, then filled it in
with black, leaving a white border of variable width. After 1916, the white
border was standardized at 50mm.

- The sheet also includes some Arabic numerals (not at all like the "Arab"
numerals we are familiar with) and Arabic script (Turkey did not adopt the
Roman alphabet until after Ataturk overthrew the Sultan in 1920) for making
numerical designations; although, considering the lack of references,
accuracy could be anybody's guess.

- The decals are in 1/72, however, the larger ones are large enough, IMO, to
be used on smaller 1/48 scale kits (i.e., single seat fighters).

- The one thing the info. sheet doesn't address is paint schemes. By reading
it, one gets the impression that the Turks just took the AC as they came
from the factory, slapped on the black squares as described above, then took

- Which brings me to my question. As an experiment (i.e., I'm <<not>> going
to enter this in competition, even if it does turn out to look good), I'm
thinking of doing an inexpensive DIII kit up in Turkish markings. So my
question is - what would a DIII, circa mid-1917, look like, fresh from the
factory? Lozenge or no lozenge? Light blue under-surfaces or clear doped?
You get the idea. Any suggestions (other than sniping from you 1/72-er's out
there) will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance to y'all..this is truly the best group on the net. I can't
believe how much I've learned in just three months (even how to spell
"Eiserne Kreuze"). 8-)

Mark Rook