It seems that the JG1 ranks have been growing really nicely recently, and I've noticed a fair few new additions to the four Jastas. Great to see! Now, as brand-new Fliegers, you have one of the most exciting parts of being in a German unit awaiting you: Creating a personal skin!
German pilots have the luxury of being able to paint their machines with much more expression than their Entente counterparts! However, one thing I distinctly remember from my J2 days is that coming up with a good-looking personal skin can be tricky. You want your machine to be distinctive and 'stick out', but at the same time it's really easy to go overboard and end up flying something that sticks out, er, well, too much
For that reason, I thought I'd post some of my observations of real JG1 paint schemes and some of the trends that they followed in the hope that it'll give you some ideas on how to create a great-looking skin!
(Apologies if this is in the wrong section. If so, feel free to move it wherever it belongs!) Jagdstaffel 4: Jasta 4's standard marking is a thin black band that spirals around the fuselage from the tail to the nose. On its own, the design is quite 'quiet' (meaning it's not too flashy) by Jasta standards, but the pilots tended to 'spice up' their planes with some more decorative markings.
From looking at J4's designs, it seems that they were very fond of painting the propeller hubs and tailplanes of their machines, leaving the fuselage largely blank in order to keep the squadron marking 'intact'. Here are a few examples:
From these three profiles we can see that the painted tail / prop hub seemed to be something of a trend with Jasta 4, and lent itself very much to their overall aesthetic as a unit. The good news here (if you decide to lean towards a historical-looking scheme) is that there weren't really any 'rules' for what colours / designs the Jasta 4 pilots used for these personal markings - in fact, it appears that they tried to make their personal markings as unique as possible, so long as it kept that all-important Jasta marking intact! So, if you've been assigned to Jasta 4, get creative!
Jagdstaffel 6: Jasta 6's standard markings were a black and white striped tail fin. With later designs, the 'zebra stripe' became more prominent in their aircraft - especially Fokker Dr.Is and D.VIIs. They seemed to be a little more reserved at first than the other 'Circus' Jastas, focusing more on incorporating their own colour schemes into their designs, typically having only a fuselage band or a simple black and/or white shape on their fuselage. However, sometimes they did get a little more flashy, with the best example being Ulrich Neckel's zebra Fokker D.VII. Note, however, that even with their flashiest designs they constricted themselves to the Jasta's signature black and white!
If you decide to go strictly for the 'WW1 Look' rather than a more 'freestyle' design, prepare to use a lot of black and white! Jasta 6's planes had a simple elegance to them, and they tended to be light on the paint. However, this is made up for by the Jasta's markings, those fantastically distinctive Zebra Stripes. My personal favourite Fokker D.VIIs are Jasta 6's, with those awesome-looking zebra noses!
Jagdstaffel 10: Jasta 10's standard marking was a yellow nose. Historically, they seemed to be the 'middle point' between Jasta 4 and Jasta 6. They tended to be a little more reserved in their designs but didn't shy away from spicing up their machines with different colours and some personal embellishments on the fuselage. That being said, Jasta 10 were known to have some pretty distinctive designs! Bands around the fuselage and painted tails were a popular choice between Jasta 10's pilots, with some simple personal markings appearing on their machines. Curiously, their Pfalz D.IIIas seemed to be the most expressive of their aircraft!
As seen in the profiles above, some of Jasta 10's historical aircraft were quite 'muted' in their designs, but some of their pilots certainly weren't shy of painting their planes in some very distinctive markings! Personal markings were usually quite simple, but interesting colour patterns made up the difference. If you've been assigned to Jasta 10, don't be too afraid to come up with a simple yet recognisable colour scheme! Just keep that yellow nose intact so that the Ententes know who's coming Jagdstaffel 11: Ah. The famous Richthofen Squadron. Officially, the marking would be a red nose. However, Jasta 11 didn't just stop there - they were very proud of their infamous 'Richthofen Red', and used it a lot. During 'Bloody April' Jasta 11 had some of the most distinctive designs, and this continued towards the end of the war. Living up to their name of the 'Flying Circus', pilots of Jasta 11 used all kinds of designs, patterns and colours along with that famous Red!
As seen in the profiles above, that bright red colour was a BIG part of Jasta 11's squadron identity, and it features very heavily in most Jasta 11 aircraft. Painting wheels / struts red was a big trend within Jasta 11's pilots. That being said, the pilots also liked expressing themselves with lots of different colours and simple patterns. If you've been assigned to Jasta 11, you almost have free reign of what you put on your machine! But, remember, it's the Red that the Entente pilots fear! Typically at least the entire front-half of their Albatros D.Vas would be painted in red.