Luftwaffe Interior Colors

        With the variety of Luftwaffe interior colors used, it is difficult to keep track of what goes where and when. In an effort to assist the scale modeler, we will look at these color selections in two sections, the first dealing with cockpits, and the second focusing on wheel wells, engine compartments, etc. While this is not meant to be the definitive guide on the subject, you should find it to be a reasonably accurate and useful guide. 
        As far as paints go, you’ll find several slight variances in shade and tone as you go from manufacture to manufacture. I prefer to use RLM paints from Gunze-Sangyo, Tamiya and Polly Scale. Generally for other interior colors like the reds and yellows I’ll resort to the Testors enamel lines. 
PART 1-- COCKPITS 

       Reichsluftministrium (RLM) regulations state that prior to November 1941, cockpits/crew areas were to be RLM Green-Gray 02, with the exception of instrument panels, which were Gray with black instrument faces. After November 1941, all cockpit/crew areas visible through the glazing (windows) were to be RLM Black-Gray 66. Instrument panels remained as previously stated. Fuel lines were yellow, oil lines were brown, coolant lines were green, oxygen lines were blue and fire extinguisher lines were red. Here is a general guide of specific aircraft by type arraigned alphabetically. Keep in mind that with any military regulation, variations of implementation and interpretation were often seen. 

FIGHTERS 

Bachem 
Ba349 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Dornier 
Do335 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Focke Wulf 
Fw190A *lFlG series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black Gray 66 * (with exception of prototype) 
Fw190D series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black Gray 66 
Ta152 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 
Ta154 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Gotha/Horton 
Go/Ho 229 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Heinkel 
He51 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
He100 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
He112 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
He162 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 
He219 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Junkers 
Ju88C-2/C-3 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Ju88C-4 thru C-7/R/G series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Messerschmitt 
Bf109B thru E-3 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Bf109E-4 thru K series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 
Me163 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 
Me262 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 
Bf110B thru E series: Cockpit areas RLM Green-Gray 02 
Bf110F thru G series: Cockpit areas RLM Black-Gray 66 
Me210/410 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

BOMBERS 
Arado 
Ar234 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Dornier 
Do17E/F/M/P/Z series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Do217C thru E-3 series: Cockpit areas are RI,M Green-Gray 02 
Do217E-4 thru P-0 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Focke Wulf 
Fw200C-0 thru C-3 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Fw200C-4 thru C-8 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Heinkel 
He70 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
He111 Al B1 C1 Dl El Fl G1 J1 Pl H-1 thru H-5 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
He111 H 6 thru H 23/R/Z(zwilling) series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 
He177 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Herschel 
Hs123 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Hs129A-0: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Hs129B/R series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

Junkers 
Ju86 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Ju87A/B/C/R series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Ju87D*/G series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 *D-1 first 84 aircraft are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Ju88A/B series: Cockpit areas are RLM Green-Gray 02 
Ju88D*/H/P/S/T series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 *approximately 660 D series aircraft produced with RLM Green Gray 02 
Ju188/288/388 series: Cockpit areas are RLM Black-Gray 66 

PART 2 -- WHEEL WELLS, ENGINE COMPARTMENTS, ETC... 

       Regulations for these interior areas were standardized, and not a lot of variation existed, except for late war fighter aircraft. This variance in the latter stage of the war was caused by a number of factors. One was due to the allied strategic bombing campaign, which caused production of aircraft to be decentralized, leading to differences depending on the subcontractor of the specific components. Another was the urgent need for fighters, and the haste with which they were produced, which caused some relaxation of compliance with official regulations in order to speed up production. Another consideration was the remanufacturing of aircraft, in which case whole assemblies were pre-painted at the same time. Where variations are documented, they will appear listing the type of aircraft they were seen on. Remember, this is a general guide, and your best verification will be your own reference material. 

Engine Compartments 

       The interior of engine compartments were painted in RLM 02, with the exception of the firewall. This was painted RLM 02 on the cockpit side, but left unpainted on the engine side in most cases. All engine support braces, connecting rods and internal framework was also RLM 02. Pipelines for fuel, oil and coolant remained unpainted outside of the cockpit areas. Engines remained in the color applied by the manufacturer, usually black. 

Exceptions 

       Photos of some Bf-109F/G/K's exist which show the interior of the cowling in natural metal, while most are RLM 02. Photos of some Fw-190D-9's and Ta-152's show the interior of the cowling in natural metal, while most are RLM 02. Photos of some Me-262 and He-162 nacelles indicate that the interior was left in natural metal. These are all late war production aircraft and these variances are most likely a result of production dispersal and supply problems. 

Fuselage 

       Prior to fall 1942, aircraft fuselage areas, with the exception of the cockpit were finished in RI.M 02. After fall 1942, they were left unpainted. The Alcad used for aircraft skinning material, had electroplated finish to prevent corrosion, which gave it a golden sheen, similar to that on the interior of soup cans. Aluminum and other alloy areas were still given a coat of RLM 02 to prevent corrosion. However, galvanized steel was left unpainted. Equipment such as radios, fuel tanks, oxygen bottles, etc. were in the color applied by the manufacturer. Radios were usually black or gray; fuel tanks were usually black or gray. Oxygen bottles were usually overall blue, or painted with blue stripping. 

Exceptions 

       Repaired areas were usually painted with whatever paint stocks were available, or left unpainted. 

Wing 

       As with the fuselage, prior to fall 1942, wing areas were finished in RLM 02. After fall 1942, with the exception of the wheel wells and flap areas, they were left unpainted. . Gun bay areas generally retained their RLM 02 paint. They exhibited the golden color of the Alcad skinning material. Aluminum and other alloy areas were still given a coat of RLM 02 to prevent corrosion. However, galvanized steel was left unpainted. Equipment such as guns, fuel tanks, oxygen bottles, etc. were in the color applied by the manufacturer. Guns were usually black or gray; fuel tanks were usually black or gray. Oxygen bottles were usually overall blue, or painted with blue stripping. 

Exceptions 

       Repaired areas were usually painted with whatever paint stocks were available, or left unpainted. Gun bays on late war aircraft were sometimes seen in natural metal. 

Flap Areas 

       For aircraft without separate flaps, the flap `well' and interior of the flap was painted with RLM 02. This is also true of the radiator flap and cowl flap areas. 

Exceptions 

       Bf-109B/C/D/E's usually had the underwing radiator area painted the same color as the fuselage underside. Some late war Fw-190's exhibited natural metal flap areas. 

Wheel wells 

       Now for the area you've been waiting for. Few regulations specific to the wheel well area exist, company and factories instructions usually deciding the matter. In keeping with standard practices as identified above, wheel wells and components should have been RLM 02. This includes tail wheel and nose wheel areas. Main gear and nose wheel struts were painted RLM 02, with the exception of the polished steel oleo area. Shock absorbers were a very dark gray, again with the exception of the polished steel telescopic sections. Cast and stamped wheel hubs were painted in semi-gloss black. Tail wheel hubs were usually unpainted (dark gray), or painted the underside color. 

Exceptions 

       Some aircraft that used 100-octane fuel had the starboard gear strut (and sometimes the cover as well) painted red to distinguish them from other aircraft. 

Photos of Bf-109B/C/D/E/F's occasionally show wheel wells painted the same color as the underside. 
Photos of Bf-109G/K's indicate the wheel wells and struts were usually RLM 76 (fuselage underside color). 
Photos of some Bf-109's show main gear struts painted RLM 66. 
Photos of some Bf-109's show main gear struts painted underside color. 
Photos of some Fw-190A-4 and later show wheel wells painted underside color. 
Photos of some late war Fw-190's show natural metal wheel wells.

       Me-262's had main gear bay/cockpit tub underside left in natural metal. However, nose wheel bay and strut were painted RLM 02. Some Me-262's had the main wheel well and/or nose wheel bay painted RLM 76. 

Propellers 

       Although not an interior area, propellers are also included in the Reichsluftministrium regulations. Steel prop blades were painted RLM 70 black green, while wood blades were painted RLM 71 dark green, with a semi gloss clear coat protectant. Other late war wooden prop blades were painted in blue-gray, with the same semi gloss clear coat protectant. 
 
Courtesy of Swanny models - original page can be found here