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Author Topic: Bort number color for MiG-21MT  (Read 8279 times)
Seawinder
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« on: August 04, 2015, 05:23:01 PM »

I'm building the Eduard 1/48 MiG-21SMT kit as one of the MTs on display at Dolgoye Ledovo, Russia: Serial 96.40.14, bort number 14 (option A in the ProfiPack). Eduard does the bort numbers simply as white outlines with no inside color. This is as shown in photos of the actual plane, which is extremely faded overall. In photos, the red stars on the tail have faded to the point that there is no red remaining (or perhaps the red has been painted out), so I'm beginning to wonder if the bort numbers were originally also red with white outlines.

My question: are other examples to be found of (unfaded) bort numbers with white outlines only, or is it more likely that the numbers on this plane should have an inside color, presumably red?

Thanks,
Pip

p.s. there are a bunch of walkaround photos of this plane here:

http://www.walkarounds.airforce.ru/avia/rus/mig/mig-21smt/index.htm?sa=X&ved=0CBoQ9QEwAmoVChMIxsmK_6j-xgIVR4YNCh0LvA_M
« Last Edit: August 04, 2015, 05:32:03 PM by Seawinder » Logged
bbrought
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2015, 11:42:24 AM »

That is a difficult question to answer, since it seems they often had the inside filled with blue, yellow or red, but it was also common to have them just outlined in white. Unless you can find a photo of that particular aircraft earlier in its life, I don't think you will be able to say for sure.

That being said, white outlines only were not uncommon at all:








This one appears to be only an outline:


On the other hand, these ones are coloured in:


Personally, I think Eduard is correct and this one has only an outline.
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BA Broughton
bbrought
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« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2015, 02:35:06 PM »

Pip, I'm curious whether these examples helped and what you decided to do? The reason I ask is that I have the same kit and I was also thinking of doing Bort number 14. I am just waiting for a shipment of AKAN paints...

Regards,
Bennie
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BA Broughton
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #3 on: August 14, 2015, 07:21:33 AM »

Hi,
the camouflages are particularly interesting. Seems that the most common one of the period involved two greens and two browns, but it seems that there is a great variability of the lighter brown that sometimes appears as sand, sometimes as tan. The last photo of the file shows planes with 'light' and with 'dark' camouflage side by side. The color of the undersurfaces is variable too, including light blue as well as medium bluish grey. I wonder if there is some serious description somewhere.
Regards
Massimo
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bbrought
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« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2015, 07:50:08 AM »

You are correct, Massimo. I have more pictures of MiG-21SMT and MT's that I collected over the years from various sources, and not two of them are the same. I don't just mean variation of the pattern either, but the actual colours used. Furthermore, these paints seem to fade a lot when the aircraft are left outside and allowed to deteriorate, which is of course partly to blame for Pip's question in the first place, as it also affected the markings. The result is that even though these aircraft are still standing around and walkarounds are available of them, the level of fading is so much that it is very difficult to determine for sure which colours were used originally. AKAN makes three paint sets that are appropriate for MiG-21s, so I have picked my own colours from within those sets that seemed appropriate to this aircraft. However, I think it is very difficult to say for sure. My choice is already different from what Eduard suggests in the instructions. I am curious to see what Pip decides to do with his.
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BA Broughton
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2015, 10:40:36 AM »

Hi,
maybe it would be good to use Akan as a base for a page on camouflages, collecting and commenting images of planes from the web. But it would be an huge work.
My impression is that this 4-shades camo was more or less the same on many miG-21, many miG-23, recce miG-25, early miG-29 and the most of Su-22, while Su-24, Su-25 and MiG-27 received their own colors.
I personally saw a well preserved Su-22 in Italy in early '90s, and I was surprised for the dark and greyish look of its undersurfaces, not a light blue at all.
Regards
Massimo
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bbrought
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« Reply #6 on: August 14, 2015, 12:53:59 PM »

Hi Massimo

Yes, I believe on the underside there were two options: A light blue that was used on most MiG-21s, and a blue-grey that was used in later years and during the Afghanistan war period. AKAN provides both colours in their range:

Original light blue used on the lower surfaces of most MiG-21s: 63008 (or in faded form, 63016)
Blue-grey used on later MiG-21SMT, MiG-21bis, MiG-23MLD, etc: 63023

It is possible that the grey that you saw on the Su-22 was this blue-grey colour.

As for the upper surfaces, you can look through the various colours that AKAN offers in their three MiG-21 sets: 46314, 46315 and 46316.
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BA Broughton
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: August 15, 2015, 09:07:24 AM »

Hi,
where have you found an easy and complete list of colors for Russian planes?  I went on the site of Akan, but I find it very difficult to navigate. The best page I found is this http://akan.ru/tematicheskie-nabory-iz-6-akrilovykh-vodorazbavlyaemykh-krasok/themed-sets-of-6-acrylic-water-based-paints-ussr-rossia/themed-sets-of-6-acrylic-water-based-paints-ussr-rossia-aviation.html
but it's very partial, giving the most of the space to prototypes and demonstrative planes.
Regards
Massimo
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bbrought
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« Reply #8 on: August 15, 2015, 01:55:43 PM »

Hi Massimo

The link you gave go to the sets, and then you have to click on each set to see what colours are included in it. I agree, it is not ideal, but it gives you some idea of which colours are available for a certain theme. If you want to go through the individual colours, you can follow the following links (yes, it would take time to go through all of them). Top page of individual acrylic lacquer paints for different countries:
http://akan.ru/akrilovye-kraski-na-originalnom-razbavitele.html

Top page of individual acrylic lacquer paints for Russia/USSR:
http://akan.ru/akrilovye-kraski-na-originalnom-razbavitele/acrylic-paints-original-thinner-ussr-rossia.html

Then you can work through the different pages. On the bottom of each paint colour is an explanation of what it is used for. I can read Russian, but if you go to the drop-down box on the top right of the site, every page should be translated into English for you and I find the translations pretty good.

For example, the 63008 that I mentioned in the previous post, gives this English description:
"Purpose: Aviation of the USSR - Russia.
Application: from the 1960s to the present day - painting on the lower surfaces of camouflaged aircraft MiG 21; 23; 25p; 25RB; 27; Su: 15; 17; 25; 27"

Blue (faded) (Reference: 63016)
"Purpose: Aviation of the USSR - Russia.
Application: from the 1960s to the present day - painting on the lower surfaces of camouflaged aircraft MiG 21; 23; 25p; 25RB; 27; Su: 15; 17; 25; 27"

Blue-gray (Reference: 63023)
"Purpose: Aviation of the USSR.
Application: the 1980s in Afghanistan - painting on the lower surfaces of camouflaged aircraft: SU: 25; 17 M4 (22); MIG: 21SMT / BIS; 23 MLD / M / BN; 25 RB; RBV; 27"

You can do the same with each of the colours included in the sets, or you can just scan through the individual colours and look for anything with "MiG-21" in the description. I believe AKAN does sell a catalogue with colour chips, but I am too much of a cheapskate to buy one and I do find the colour research interesting in itself.
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BA Broughton
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #9 on: August 15, 2015, 10:18:25 PM »

Interesting, thank you for the link.
A problem is that the shades as shown on the screen often doesn't seem convincing. Probably the paints are right, anyway, but one should see them.
Anyway one could make a file with these colors and indications, just to start with.
Aren't there good pages on colors of postwar planes?
Regards
Massimo
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Seawinder
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« Reply #10 on: August 16, 2015, 07:03:59 PM »

Pip, I'm curious whether these examples helped and what you decided to do? The reason I ask is that I have the same kit and I was also thinking of doing Bort number 14. I am just waiting for a shipment of AKAN paints...

Regards,
Bennie

Hi Bennie et al. Sorry to be slow responding -- I hadn't checked the forum for a while.

There's a terrific set of walkaround photos of Bort 14 here:
http://www.walkarounds.airforce.ru/avia/rus/mig/mig-21smt/index.htm?sa=X&ved=0CBoQ9QEwAmoVChMIxsmK_6j-xgIVR4YNCh0LvA_M

The photos of the bort number show the white outlines with stencil breaks, so I concluded that the interiors of the numbers were not painted with anything beyond the camouflage colors.

Regarding the colors themselves, I used some from AKAN and some following Eduard's Mr. Color recommendations.

Under surface color: AKAN 83023 Blue-Grey (I happened to have the enamel version, but I think it's also available in the other lines).

Upper surface colors:
AKAN Sand 63080
AKAN Dark Brown 63026
Mr. Color 303 Green FS. 34102 BUT if I were doing it again I might use AKAN 63055 Green, which is similar but somewhat lighter, and is labeled as an early color for MiG-23 and -27 fighter bombers.
Mr. Color 304 Olive Drab FS. 34087. I couldn't find an AKAN paint that was close to this color, but the photos referenced above, while extremely faded, do seem to show a distinctly olive drab color.

With regard to Massimo's point about the different browns found on various aircraft, AKAN does 63096 Beige and 63098 Brown (rather like British Dark Earth), both of which are labeled as being used on the MT/SMT. AKAN also does 63025 Golden Brown, which is labeled as a top surface color for MiG-21s and others. I think MiG-21MT Bort Blue 15 (option B in the SMT Profipack) uses both Beige and Sand along with two shades of green.

Another AKAN color that might well appear on third generation MiG-21s is 63024 "Protective," a dark olive green
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bbrought
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« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2015, 09:46:11 AM »

Hi Pip

Thanks for the response. I have ordered AKAN set 46314, which includes faded colours of those used in Afghanistan on the MiG-23MLD and some MiG-21SMT's, but I wasn't convinced all of it was appropriate, so I also ordered some additional individual colours from which I will pick once I see them "in the flesh". I'll let you know later which ones I eventually decide to go with.

Set 46314 includes the two browns that you mentioned: 63096 Beige and 63098 Brown. It also includes 63097 Sand - another brown colour. One of the extra colours that I bought was 63024, which is also a Dark Green / Olive colour used on some MiG-21s. If I look at your colour choices, such as the dark brown, it seems that you are going for a relatively fresh, less faded look of the aircraft.

If I find the colours that I have in my collection are not ideal for white 14, I may end up doing one of the other camouflaged options in the Eduard instructions. I have reference/walkaround pictures for most of them, but all the pictures I have are of the aircraft in very faded states, so you do have to do some interpretation to figure out what the colours looked like originally.

Oh yes, I also found the walkaround of white 14 some time ago - downloaded all of it...

Regards,
Bennie
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BA Broughton
bbrought
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« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 09:52:05 AM »

I forgot to add: If you look at the first picture that I posted, of white 61, I figured that is probably more or less what white 14 would have looked like while operational. If my guess is correct, it is quite clear from the walkaround of white 14 that the individual colours faded differently and at different rates... I was aiming to more or less match the colours that I see in the picture of white 61.
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BA Broughton
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 10:16:45 AM »

Hi,
quite surprisingly, the undersurface of plane 61 doesn't seem of the same colors (blue or medium grey-blue) that we said before, but a very light grey, close to white.
Regards
Massimo
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bbrought
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« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 11:58:49 AM »

Interesting observation, Massimo. The pylon on the left wing (right on the picture) looks more like a light blue again. So, the question is - is this very light grey/white colour real, or an artifact of a white balance adjustment or overexposure to make the upper surface colours looks correct? If you look further down the list at white 12: I am almost convinced white 12 used the same colours as white 61, but they look very different on the photograph, including the lower surface colour. If you look at the last photograph of red 52 - that aeroplane also seems to have a white lower surface on the photograph. However, since I have not heard of a very light grey / white being used on the lower surfaces of these aircraft, I am inclined to believe that the white that we see on the lower surfaces of white 61 and red 52 is due to an issue with lighting or processing. Looking through the walkaround that Pip linked, you will see the lower surface of white 14 in the walkaround looks white in some photographs, light blue in others and blue-grey in others. It certainly is deceptive.

I also have photographs of yellow 9 (another option in Eduard's instructions) - these were taken inside a hangar in Sweden and the lower surfaces in that lighting look much darker - clearly the blue-grey colour use on lower surfaces in later years.

Although I said I would use white 61 as a guide for which colours to use, I think a comparison between the photographs of white 12 and white 61 give you some idea of the pitfalls of relying on a photograph for colour.
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BA Broughton
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