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Author Topic: Why the VVS?  (Read 12195 times)
Ioaea
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« on: October 29, 2005, 01:08:15 PM »

I'm curious.

I do share a great interest with the model representations of Soviet aircraft with everyone here on this forum, but I'm wondering why? What is it about the LaGGs, La-5s, Po-I-3s and Yak UTI-1s that endear themselves to us?

I'm coming back to modelling aircraft after many years of practically living inside other people's PC cases, for pleasure and profit. Time for a change, and what better way to stay frosty than the quiet fume-ridden atmosphere of modeling? First decision was 'what shall I build'? Which scale? was the second.

We've all been there. Remember those P40s, FW190s or 1/48th B-17s (which turned out ok, as it goes, in my case) and probably too many spitfires and bf109s to recall?

The soviet machines up to 1947 ish are relatively new as subjects. In days iof yore I can recall an airfix Il-2 (with an Il-10 on the box), an airfix Pe-2 and Yak 9 and that was about all you got as choices.

Plus, I love a spot of Soviet history in all it's glory(?) and buy a lot of books on this subject (just recently Yakovlev's 'Aim of a Lifetime', brilliant stuff). So a natural choice was the VVS as my own minor insignificant tribute to the brave, ordinary, russian man and woman aviator who fought a war of desperate brutality against a regime of unparalleled evil, not counting its own Government. I've finally decided to use the 1/72nd scale and start with 'requisitioned' Imperial WW1 biplanes (SPAD, Nieuport etc.) in soviet colours and work up to something like the La-9 or An-2 and end there. Not much a of a jet fan, so that's ok by me. The build pile is large enough for a comprehensive collection now. Happy bunny. Interesting aircraft of a period now long ago should keep me busy for a while.

So. What is it that appeals to -you- about this subject matter, either the history or planes/pilots concerned or both. Any replies well appreciated!

Thanks.
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Audrius
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2005, 02:06:02 PM »

hello!

I'm curious <...>. So. What is it that appeals to -you- about this subject matter, either the history or planes/pilots concerned or both. Any replies well appreciated!

That could be a long topic to discuss, but cutting it shortly I would express myslef in the following words.
The interest to VVS of WWII came to me by all means in my life: some history issue, the living location (Lithuania), friends, relatives etc.
But the main of them is the glory and braveness of those people who has faught during WWII. The ability to watch many of them alive when I still was a kid. Listening to them, speaking to them. All of this made me interested to the history of VVS and then the start of modeling in 1/72. The simplicity and in same case the spirit of all those aircrafts by VVS make me interested in them very much. Modeling any a/c and getting more to know about it and especially the pilot who flew it makes me stuck on this subject. I am happy that I do have an interest on the subject.

BR Audrius
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Ioaea
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2005, 03:36:32 AM »

Agree totally.

I suppose we're all paying our tributes in our own small way to those, often, young men (and women) who paid the ultimate price fighting for their homeland in whatever country of your choice.

Thanks for your reply : )
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JP
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2005, 01:05:08 AM »

A difficult question!

For me, it was a number of things, as I suspect is the case for anyone.? History/reference reading, modeling, wargaming, avaition art collecting . . . it's all a way of memorializing a very intense period of history.? For the most of my life, I was similiar to other aviation enthusiast in my unwavering admiration of what the German war industry managed to turn out.? However, about 10 years ago I learned fluent Russian from native speakers, and picked up much history and culture from them.? By this point, I've even lived in St Petersburg a few months.? It's like my second home.? So, you could say my switch to Russian aircraft was something personal.? I know the people, and I understand them for the most part.? (The one I would most like to know is a dancer at the Marstall Club just off Nyevskij Prospekt!? Shocked? But I digress . . .)? Also, knowing the history and seeing what they had to suffer through both internally and externally during WWII led me to have a deep admiration for the sacrifice of the common Russian under such horrible circumstances.? I clearly remember looking up at the I-16 hanging in the Naval Museum in Petersburg, seeing how this thing was put together, and thinking, "my God, it took great balls to climb into this thing and fly into battle!"? But fly they did.?

Another thing is that as far as modeling goes, the very last thing the world needs is another monograph or model on the Bf109.? Don't get me wrong, I love that plane, too.? But it's been done to death.? There just aren't nearly as many people doing Russian subjects, and I prefer not to follow the crowd.? And last, perhaps two years ago by now, I entered into a discussion with one Massimo Tessitori over some different ideas I had about one of his MiG-3 profiles, and well, here we are today!? ?Grin

I agree also with the memorial aspect of the hobby.? You will never see a more surprised look than a Russian who has just discovered some westerner is so very interested in Russian military history from WWII!
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Dark Green Man
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2005, 01:09:29 AM »

I started getting into GPW-era VVS about 2000 when the ICM Yak-9 and Accurate Miniatures Il-2 were still new on the market.
to this day those are still two of my favorite VVS kits.(the Yak-9 is my favorite subject matter)
my interests grew as I learned about the different types and most especially when I learned about all the different colors and patterns applied to them.

now,... to seperate lie from truth.
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"when we lose the right to be different, we lose the priviledge to be free"--Charles Evans Hughes
Ioaea
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2005, 04:09:06 AM »

A difficult question!


Thanks for your answers. Smiley

Incidentally, you may have already visited www.iremember.ru and signed the guestbook. I adore the site, hair-raising accounts (and from my perspective especially the women sniper's recollections) make you think long and hard about Leningrad (900 days siege as you'll be aware) Kursk, and other savagery at other fronts.

Ciao.



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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2005, 07:30:14 PM »

Hi,
it's my time to explain the reason of my interest for the VVS.
I like planes of all nations and ages; many years ago I was particularly fond of Japanese planes; I love all classic warplanes, and I particularly amazed by painting of German, Italian and Japanese army planes. I avoid accurately any ideoogical or political influence on these and following choices.
Well, the reason that makes more interesting for me to write of Russian planes is that they are the less known, despite the huge number that took part to actions.
Except for few subjects, documents on Russian planes are relatively few, dispersed on a wide number of sources, or hardly accessible to many due to geographic and linguistic difficulties.
Any work collecting and connecting such informations is satisfying because it contributes to fill an undeserved void, as a puzzle. Subjects as Messerschmitts and Mustangs are amazing and I have them in my model collection, but they hardly need further description.
Besides, the possibility to update this work written on a web site gives an advantage on paper-written books that are unmodifiable, so one can't know if the authors themselves are still convinced of what they have written.
I would add: my interest is mainly modellistic and pictorial, even if I have sometimes to look for historical informations, just to complete the documentation on a subject.
Massimo Smiley
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Clare
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2005, 02:32:26 AM »

I guess that it is now my turn to try to explain my interest in the VVS.  First, as background, I am a modeler and have been building models since the 1950s,  I love aircraft and seem to have a very broad interest.  I build WW I, WW II and modern aircraft and have been studying various aircraft for many years.  I have my share of Mustangs and 109s but I find myself drawn to some of the lesser known aircraft or at least some lesser known markings of well known aircraft.  I find myself drawn to build aircraft with specific stories.  For instance, I build aircraft of the aces as well as those of specific personnel.  I have a model of Galchenko's LaGG-3 and Mykhlik's Il-2 while one of the I-16s in my collection has Finnish markings.  To me, the interesting part is the research, not necessarily the model itself.  The fairly recent availability of previously unavailable information about the VVS offers a rich source of some very interesting stories and aircraft markings.

I guess that after all, my interest in the VVS is just a small but very interesting part of my aircraft enjoyment.

Clare
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1/72 = Gentlemen's Scale
Marcin Widomski
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2006, 12:25:48 PM »

Some reasons are the same as Audrius wrote. History of Poland in XXth century, interest in Russian/Soviet military history...
But I also remember the begining of it - after reading "Niebo vojny" by A. Pokryshkin some in late 1980's. Before this book like many Polish teenagers I was interested in Spitfires and Hurricanes of Polish Squadrons in RAF.
BTW Jakovlev's "Cel zizni" is a book I dont like - its an autopromotion of a Soviet politician of Stalin's era who did all his best, as a head (komissar) of Soviet aviation industry, to gain factories for his fighters and to promote his designs in favour of the others (i.e. aprovall for I-26 which failed to pass state tests). In some cases, in his book, Jakovlev is clearly missing the truth so one should be carefull reading this (i.e. case of delta wood, Polikarpov - "man who failed to give the Motherland a fighter to defend it").
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2006, 10:52:11 PM »

Hi,
I agree about Yakovlev and Polikarpov, the I-185 was not a failure at all, and ITP too was obstacled by the ministry, for what I read. It would be interesting to know how an hypotheric operative I-180 would be, certainly it killed many test pilots, but it was well developed at the time of its suppression, differently from other types.
Massimo
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Ioaea
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« Reply #10 on: May 07, 2006, 12:17:20 PM »

BTW Jakovlev's "Cel zizni" is a book I dont like - its an autopromotion of a Soviet politician of Stalin's era who did all his best, as a head (komissar) of Soviet aviation industry, to gain factories for his fighters and to promote his designs in favour of the others (i.e. aprovall for I-26 which failed to pass state tests). In some cases, in his book, Jakovlev is clearly missing the truth so one should be carefull reading this (i.e. case of delta wood, Polikarpov - "man who failed to give the Motherland a fighter to defend it").

Absolutely agree.

I've been poring over this book for months. The work itself is remarkable because of the literary and political overtones, and other subtle brush-strokes that are harder to absorb. It's a prosaic jigsaw he gives us, the pieces of which are scattered and don't provide us with the image they were meant to assemble into, methinks.

A S Y seems to be constantly walking a tightrope, one, perhaps of his own crafting. On the one hand, he does refer to Stalinesque excesses in a negative (but ineffectual) light, but always falls short of a downright crticism of Stalin (and this extends to Voroshilov and others). One revealing photo, which you will be aware of, is of Stalin resting his hand upon A S Y's shoulder in comradely fashion during an UT-2 demonstration -kind of sets the scene for that remarkable favouritism shown in later years. A S Y is clearly enraptured.

'...Stalin waved me closer, made room for me to sit near him and put his hand on my shoulder. ...that memorable day of my life'

It's a phenomenal image, put simply.

I also get the impression that some other hand is at work here. State-appointed censors notwithstanding, there are some curious errors and omissions. Sergei Lavochkin? He'd have known better than that, but didn't or wouldn't find a mechanism to correct it.

As for N N Polikarpov, and I quote directly:

'...After all these years as an undisputed authority...outstripped by hitherto obscure beginners who had created...the MiG, the YAK and LAGG...'.

'He (Polikarpov) was keenly aware...that to have nothing to offer the country in its hour of greatest need was more than a personal fiasco...'

He then goes on to dilute his own commentary by adding some personal compliments, a tried and trusted mechanism of the adept politician --however the meaning is clear, is it not?

A very intriguing individual is A S Y. Of that there can be no doubt.

Edited for: grammar.

« Last Edit: May 07, 2006, 12:29:14 PM by Ioaea » Logged
krofire
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« Reply #11 on: May 08, 2006, 11:17:43 AM »

Why the VVS? Because it is more of a challenge. If I see one more Monograph on the Mustang or another aftermarket Resin Detail set for a Spitfire I will go nuts. THIS way I have to really look for stuff. It makes me work harder. It makes me think. It becomes more fun this way.

On a personal note - a few years ago I was working in the former Eastern block and met a lovely lady who became my wife. on subsequent visits I became 'switched on' to Soviet history and particularly the Great Patriotic War. I became to realise that every other theatre of World War 2 was a side-show in comparison. Yet we in the 'West' still no very little about this conflict. We still know little about the people, places and history...

Therefore we should all endeavour to do justice to the Russian-speaking World, culture & history (not excluding Ukrainian, Kazak, etc, etc...). We can enjoy our modelling hobby and forge friendship and understanding - east to west, and back again.
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Mark Brown
High Wycombe,
Buckinghamshire,
United Kingdom
Dark Green Man
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« Reply #12 on: May 08, 2006, 11:20:04 PM »

Why the VVS? Because it is more of a challenge. If I see one more Monograph on the Mustang or another aftermarket Resin Detail set for a Spitfire I will go nuts. THIS way I have to really look for stuff. It makes me work harder. It makes me think. It becomes more fun this way.

Mark ,? Hello and welcome to the group!
Thank You for doing the hard stuff, those Me (or Bf) 109's have got to be snap with all the stuff out there on them.
I like your description of 'doing it the hard way' I , too like the VVS stuff because it is a challenge
that helps keep the brain cells in tip-top working condition.

Quote
On a personal note - a few years ago I was working in the former Eastern block and met a lovely lady who became my wife. on subsequent visits I became 'switched on' to Soviet history and particularly the Great Patriotic War. I became to realize that every other theater of World War 2 was a side-show in comparison. Yet we in the 'West' still no very little about this conflict. We still know little about the people, places and history...

Yes, the west is still largely in the dark about our Soviet allies during that time, mostly due to the Cold War that followed it. the Cold War probably did more damage to our understanding of the The Great Patriotic War than we will ever know. (sigh!)

Quote
Therefore we should all endeavor to do justice to the Russian-speaking World, culture & history (not excluding Ukrainian, Kazak, etc, etc...). We can enjoy our modelling hobby and forge friendship and understanding - east to west, and back again.

Here ! Here ! I'll drink to that ! (we should make your words our 'Mantra')
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"when we lose the right to be different, we lose the priviledge to be free"--Charles Evans Hughes
goatmonkey
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« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2006, 04:42:14 AM »

Hi all,

new to the forum but i've been keeping up with the site for a while.  great info.

as far as why i'm building the soviet planes, my grandfather was fixing them in prussia in 1944.  that and i always go for the less popular and practically no one builds anything but the same old 109's and 190's.  maybe there's something magic about those digits.  Smiley
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TISO
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« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2006, 03:55:56 PM »

I guess it's my turn.
I was always into history & moddeling in 1/72 and I was dead bored to see only 109's, 190's Spits, Mustangs and odd B-17 getting their due in the moddeling circles. So became interested into Yugoslav, French, Polish, Italian planes ( anything but messerschmidt's, focke wulfs, spits, and mustangs) but decent models of Soviet planes were not available (except for few KP models). Then in late 90's I got Il-2 by TOKO, Yak-9 by ICM and translation of the book by Emelyanenko (birthdays are usefull after all Grin).
That got me thinking and digging around for more. Little or almost nothing was known about conditions in which these brave man and women fought. Most of one could find were German accounts. Than a friend loaned me his collection of Czeh PKR, HiPM magazines. Then i got my first books, more models, more books and magazines, still more moddels, couple of CD's with soviet military music and Il-2 forgotten battles and now i'm hooked for life Grin
Now i got a fame in my moddeling club for beiing the odd one who knows more than others on topic of VVS in GPW (and truth be told i'm a begginer in this topic).There a precious few of us "VVS in GPW" buffs in Slovenia.


« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 04:00:06 PM by TISO » Logged
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