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Lend-Lease P-40K schemes
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Author Topic: Lend-Lease P-40K schemes  (Read 13049 times)
JP
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« on: July 28, 2011, 09:17:08 PM »

So, I am going through old images I saved of P-40s as I refresh myself on where I was with this build.  Just moved into a new house, and I'm already back at the bench.

Anyway, something caught my eye that was in front of me the whole time - a series of close-up images of a Soviet P-40K, in the Leningrad area no less!  I don't know how I missed it all this time, and so maybe this is old news to many of you.  The interview featuring these images can be seen here.  http://lend-lease.airforce.ru/english/articles/kulakov/index.htm

The images of interest here are these -





I this one you can see the unmistakeable sweep of the fin fillet to the right.  The K was the only model to feature such a fillet.


Colors are discussed in the interview -
"Do you remember how your planes were painted?

The planes which we received at Ivanovo were of sand color and they had some spots. The bellies were white or blue. We were told that these planes came from Iran."

I'm not so sure about the sand, but it could certainly be the case.  Or it could be faded dark earth, which in some cases is not all that dark.  To a pilot who doesn't get all bent out of shape over colors and probably doesn't care too much either way, it's not hard to imagine such a person referring to faded dark earth as a "sand color".  He doesn't specify what the "spots" were, which could have helped sort it out.  Interestingly - and as I noted before - there is no evidence of overpainting of previous markings.  This would seem to reinforce that aircraft coming via Iran were painted by UK personnel the same way shown in the well-known images of Spitfires being transferred.  In such a case, use of desert colors would be reasonable. This aircraft also seems to have had some third, darker paint added over the engine panels roughly consistent with the shape of the standard P-40 camouflage pattern.  The tactical number was suggested as being 10.  Not sure what the stripe between the star and tactical number is, perhaps a repair?  Not entirely sure if these images are from the same aircraft, but they seem to generally be a series of images taken in front of one aircraft.  Additionally, the exhausts are more appropriate for the K than the round exhausts of the E, so at least the images are all probably of a K around the same general timeframe.

No offense to anyone, but this causes me to doubt aspects of the Denisov profile without seeing the image of white 50 myself.  For now I plan to do that scheme in middlestone, dark earth, and azure with no overpainting of previous markings and middlestone under the rear glass.
« Last Edit: September 05, 2011, 02:32:28 AM by JP » Logged
marluc
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2011, 09:43:55 PM »

Hi John:

This aircraft also seems to have had some third, darker paint added over the engine panels roughly consistent with the shape of the standard P-40 camouflage pattern.

I have the same images and think that the darker paint could be fresh soviet paint like green or even black.

Sometimes the memories of veterans pilots are not very reliable regarding the colours of the machines they used to fly many years ago.I remember one interview with a soviet fighter pilot who recalled that the P-39s in his unit were painted in desert colours,and as far as I know,all the soviet Airacobras were painted in RAF "temperate" schemes or USAAF colours.
In my humble opinion,you?re free to make your own interpretation of a colour scheme and paint your P-40 as you want,it would be great to see red stars over desert colours.Greetings.

Martin
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2011, 11:19:10 AM »

Hi John and Martin,
this plane is particularly interesting.
To tell the truth, I don't think that the base camo was British desert style, because the azure blue of the undersurface should appear darker. But I don't know how US factories interpretated the British camo. Isn't it possible that it was brown, dark green and light grey as other P-40s, with Soviet black overpainting?
Regards
Massimo
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marluc
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2011, 04:09:37 PM »

Isn't it possible that it was brown, dark green and light grey as other P-40s, with Soviet black overpainting?
I think it is Massimo,it really look different from the B/W pictures of RAF Kittihawks in desert colours.
Greetings.

Martin
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Apex1701
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« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2011, 04:57:20 PM »

Hi Massimo,

But I don't know how US factories interpretated the British camo. Isn't it possible that it was brown, dark green and light grey as other P-40s, with Soviet black overpainting?

lots of very good informations on the subject of US planes used by the RAF here:
http://amair4raf.blogspot.com/
and here for the P-40:
http://ratomodeling.com/articles/AVG_cammo/

I did use all that information and Dana Bell's Finescale modeller article "Curtiss camouflage schemes for RAF P-40s" to paint my P-40K I've posted in june:
http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=1090.0

Jean
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #5 on: August 02, 2011, 09:21:59 AM »

Hi Jean,
these references are very valuable, thank you very much for posting. They'll be precious for a page on lend-lease planes.
Regards
Massimo
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Troy Smith
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« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2011, 03:56:47 AM »





I'm not so sure about the sand, but it could certainly be the case.  Or it could be faded dark earth, which in some cases is not all that dark.  
  For now I plan to do that scheme in middlestone, dark earth, and azure with no overpainting of previous markings and middlestone under the rear glass.

HI JP

Note this pic in the link above



P-40 in RAF export colours, with hard edged camo. 
Worth noting in RAF desert schemes replaced the Dark Green with Middlestone, here the dark colours is around the cockpit, as is the P-40 K.  Also the neat hard edge and compare to ther other pics you posted, and of other lend lease P-40's in  in this scheme, check the Red Stars books for more.

I'd suggest US equivalent of british Air ministry colours, being Dark Green /Dark Earth and Sky as in this photo, also note the sky spinner and the same in the pics you posted. I think any apparent difference is due to lighting and film, rather than repainting.
Overall It seems VVS repainting of Lend lease aircraft was the exception to the rule.

Note how what would be the same colours appear here.



By the way the blog is done by Nick Millman, who is as very exacting researcher, and has blogs on other aircraft colours as well.
Nots this on Ex-RAF Cobras in the VVS too.
http://amair4raf.blogspot.com/2010/04/russian-cobras-and-clues.html

HTH, would write more, but it's late...
T
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learstang
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« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2011, 05:25:24 AM »

Nice link on the British-supplied VVS Kobras, Troy.  Thank you!  As a matter of fact I'm doing a Kobra right now, but I'm doing it in the boring old American scheme of OD over Neutral Grey.  It's going to be Aleksandr Pokryshkin's aeroplane (it's the Academy kit, and I'm doing it straight out of the box).

Regards,

Jason
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JP
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« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2011, 07:56:57 AM »

Oooh, a page?  With profiles?   Smiley  Man, that would be sweet.  I just happen to know a guy that scored a whole crate of 1/48 Hasegawa P-40Ks from a guy in China that could build them.   Wink

Some thoughts here as I read back through.  We're discussing a few overlapping issues that I think are starting to merge.  Let's separate them again.  Bear with me if I repeat some information - I'm trying to keep it all straight it my head as I re-learn Russian and continue moving into my new house.  I'm also trying to summarize a little here.

Regarding the images I posted recently - we'll call this aircraft of Kulakov "White 10":
I agree this is a temperate scheme.  And yet the pilot said it was sand colored, hmm.  Where have we seen that before (see below)?  Even looking at the image before I posted it, I thought to myself that it looked more like an earth/green scheme.  I think the images speak for themselves.  It would also be strange to be flying a desert colored aircraft in the Leningrad area.  Troy's input would seem to confirm.   What I see is a temperate painted aircraft with no overpainting of markings, hard-edges between colors.  A neatly hand-painted number, probably 10.  Possibly a replacement engine panel (see how the color appears to stop at the lower/rear panel lines) with overpainting of some kind.  Perhaps there was some kind of western imperialist nose art they wanted to cover?  I think this would be an interesting aircraft to model - and there would be not so much mystery because someone has been kind enough to share the images.

Regarding Denisov's White 50 -

I can only find indirect references to a diary, profiles which seem to be based on other profiles (some even reverse the colors), and no images of this aircraft, aside from potentially this one:

And who the hell knows what this poor image really shows?  Same unit, same nose art, but who can say for sure?  Therefore, without some other image or information to support it, this profile is merely speculative in my view.  I have already stated my opinion against overpainting British markings.  Now it would seem few have faith that the Soviets flew desert colored P-40s.  Is there any such image?  Again, no offense to anyone - these are merely my opinions. I suspect this may be why Jean backed away from doing this plane and sent me the decals for free.  Wink  

What is interesting is how these two aircraft share similar stories.  Both had pilots that said they were sand or desert colored, and yet the one we have an image for was almost certainly not.  Evidently both came from British stocks via Iran, consistent with this, "...(P-40) aircraft were sent eastwards through Iran and then onto the Soviet Union, arriving at 25 ZAP in Adzhi-Kabul, near Baku, in Azerbaijan. This regiment became the centre for the importation of thousands of lend-lease fighters, and it also trained countless pilots how to fly Hurricanes, Spitfires, P-39s and P-40s."  If so, they should have both been processed for transfer by the British in the same way.  If Denisov's aircraft was really as depicted, as the only such example, it would be extremely unique.  If there is some evidence to back this, it would be significant.

Thank you all for your inputs.  It has been a very interesting subject to discuss!  Let us continue it.  As ever, I reserve the right to be wrong, and hope if so that someone points it out convincingly!  Smiley  At some point I will have to paint this model and decide what to put on it...

« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 05:41:29 PM by JP » Logged
Troy Smith
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« Reply #9 on: August 05, 2011, 06:49:53 AM »

Oooh, a page?  With profiles?   Smiley  Man, that would be sweet.  I just happen to know a guy that scored a whole crate of 1/48 Hasegawa P-40Ks from a guy in China that could build them.   Wink

I thought the only 1/48 P-40 K was the AMT one?

Quote

And who the hell knows what this poor image really shows?  Same unit, same nose art, but who can say for sure?  

the caption says P-40K, but no idea if it's right. I can't see a dorsal fin. 

But given the low contrast between upper and lower camo I'd say these are in standard US Olive Drab over Neutral gray finish.

As for sharkmouths? well, they were pretty common on P-40's..... The pic is from a Red Stars book, Vol 3 IIRC.

While it is possible that desert camo planes were supplied, I have not seen a photo. As with all profiles, I like to see the photo they are taken from....

The only lend-lease planes I have seen possibly in a desert scheme were Hurricanes, this was discussed in the post on the cannon armed Mk IIC IIRC.
here http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=23.0

I'll have a hunt through my limited selection of pics.

some downloads that may be of use. Ducimus Camoflage and Markings monographs.
 Published in about 1970, unavailable new for 35 years I'd say so the only people not getting some cash are used booksellers.....

Short but very detailed and great reference. 

The RAF ones are only NW Europe, the USAAF ones all theatres.

Why for VVS? well, as repainting was rare, best to find out the original camo specs i think.

Two relevant RAF ones

Tomahawk P-40B, P-36 Mohawk and Airacobra, compare and contrast Airacobra info with the other link above. PLus the VVS got  ex-RAF P-40B's too.
http://military-machine.blogspot.com/2009/09/camouflage-and-markings-no12-tomahawk.html

Hurricane
http://military-machine.blogspot.com/2009/09/camouflage-and-markings-no3-hawker.html

There are 12 RAF ones and 12 of the USAAF, same format, all were available on the blog spot. US one to look for would be the B-25 and A-20 for VVS use.  I can't find the P-40 one and agin it's late here..
All are well worth getting....
HTH
T

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Apex1701
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« Reply #10 on: August 05, 2011, 01:18:47 PM »

I suspect this may be why Jean backed away from doing this plane and sent me the decals for free.  Wink  

You are absolutely right.
I was not able to find proof for Denisov's white 50 nor any other proof that dark earth, middlestone azure blue planes were used by the VVS.
Thinking about it a year later I could have done with it the regular camo.
Anyway !

I agree with you the discussion is very interesting.

Jean
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2011, 04:43:58 PM »

Hi,
I see that the contrast is very low and the whole plane looks very dark, but take in account that the planes are just hidding the sun at the horizon, as one can see from the shadow under the landing gear.
I think to see dishomogeneities in painting of the tail and nose that suggest a camouflage, not ad OD finish.
Regards
Massimo
« Last Edit: August 05, 2011, 10:16:02 PM by Massimo Tessitori » Logged
JP
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« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2011, 02:39:06 AM »

I'm not sure anything can be determined based on this photo aside from styles of stars and serials.

Oh, and Hasegawa did a 1/48 P-40K (the tail is also in the 1/48 Kittyhawk III kit, which is more useful because you can make a K or an M model from this one kit), but for some reason it was not widely exported.  They are almost impossible to find here in the US, so I had to go looking in the Asian markets.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2011, 10:13:04 PM by JP » Logged
Troy Smith
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« Reply #13 on: August 07, 2011, 04:30:43 AM »

Hi,
I see that the contrast is very low and the whole plane looks very dark, but take in account that the planes are just hidding the sun at the horizon, as one can see from the shadow under the landing gear.
I think to see dishomogeneities in painting of the tail and nose that suggest a camouflage, not ad OD finish.
Regards
Massimo
HI Massimo

Have a look in your Red Stars book, page 57.  The print is better than this scan.

I still think these are Olive Drab over Neutral Gray standard USSAF scheme with VVS white spinners.

Why. here's my reasoning.

From  the pictures I have seen VVS P-40's were either ex-RAF, or diverted from RAF orders, and were in Temperate Land Scheme of Dark green/Dark Earth uppers,  sky underside.

Or in USAAF camo, Olive Drab over Neutral Gray.

The only VVS repainting I have seen is the application of winter camoflage.

I see some low light on the prop blades, and an outline star under the wing of bort 32, but the underside looks dark.   The light in the picture is very diffuse, no hard shadows. Sky would show up much lighter, and note how relatively bright the bort numbers and star outlines are, but the undesides are still quite dark. 
Compare to other photos of RAF style camo (like pics posted by JP above) and the undersides are quite light relative to the upper colours, Then  look at the other P-40's (say those on those pages 56/57 in Red Stars) that are OD/NG, and even on snow  they are still quite dark relative to the top colour.

Bort 96 looks to have replacement cowling panels.   I don't see evidence of camoflage, but the pic is pretty grainy.

Hope this makes sense.

T








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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #14 on: August 07, 2011, 12:30:56 PM »

Hi Troy,
I see, the irregularities on the tail are defects f the photo. I am really unable ta say how this plane was.
However, the book shows other planes of 191 IAP that look OD/grey. Sone have a white tail.
Regards
Massimo
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