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Soviet Aircraft Paints of the 50s, 60s and 70s
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Author Topic: Soviet Aircraft Paints of the 50s, 60s and 70s  (Read 3726 times)
Jr. Member
Posts: 90

« on: November 13, 2013, 08:51:42 PM »

I don't know if anyone here has followed this thread on Britmodeller:

Two interesting participants there are Yury Tepsurkaev who is one of the real "experts" in my eyes on Soviet participation in the Korean War (author of the Osprey book on MiG-15 aces as well as books in Russian on this topic) and Tom Cooper, who has authored several books on African and Arab MiGs.

A little way down in the thread, in post 28:
and post 36:
(I hope those links work)

Tom Cooper makes a rather startling claim. He says that the Soviets either used as their colour reference, or based their colours on, British Standard BS381C. He bases this claim on someone at IAI (Israel Aircraft Industries) who was involved in refurbishing various MiGs and who matched the Soviet colours to the British Standard, and who apparently proclaimed it all a perfect match. Mr. Cooper seems completely convinced.

He further dismisses the idea that it could have been certain customers requesting camouflage using the BS381C colours. Instead, he claims that both domestic and export Soviet colours were based on BS381C. He uses a light blue used on training aircraft as an example, which he says is really just Light Admiralty Grey or BS381C/697. He continues to claim it goes all the way back to the camouflage colours used on MiG-15s in the latter parts of the Korean war.

Does anyone here have further insight? Any possible merit, or is this another case of Tractor Green and AII Brown?

BA Broughton
Hero Member
Posts: 1678

« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2013, 10:08:11 PM »

Never heard of  BS381C...  Huh

IMHO, a typical case of "we were first, everybody else coppied us".  This way of thinking also denies any originality to Soviet engineers/specialists - it's typical Cold War era "Soviets could only copy Western technology".

Reality is different.  Soviet specialists studied colours of various surroundings (backgrounds) and determined optimal colours for their paints.  They made graphs and diagrams for sand reflectivity, for colours of the horizon, for various wavelenghts that make up vegetation green, for typical colours of various seas surrounding former SSSR.
If certain British Navy gray corresponds to Soviet "Sharova" gray it was most likely because both British and Soviet specialists had to solve similar problems and they came to similar solutions.
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