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Author Topic: Spanish Republican I-16 in mouse grey?  (Read 446 times)
Massimo Tessitori
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« on: December 28, 2018, 09:40:44 AM »

Hi all

here is a photo of what could be a Spanish I-16 with mouse grey overall,

https://lamemoriaviva.wordpress.com/2011/04/10/la-aviacion-republicana-rompe-su-silencio/

 as described in a thread on Britmodeller by Artie:
Quote
The only known light grey russian planes arriving to Spain, were the first Polikarpov I-16 Type 5, wich arrived unpainted, with just a  protective grey primer, but they were soon overpainted. That overall grey shade led to the nickname "Rata", given by the nationalist pilots when they first met the nimble russian fighters over Madrid. They used to fly at house tops level, and then pull up and fire their guns against the enemy bombers' bellies.
https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235047116-question-on-spanish-sb/

Nice idea for a model or profile.

Regards

Massimo
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 11:45:41 AM by Massimo Tessitori » Logged
righidan
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« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2018, 07:57:11 PM »

Dear Massimo,
   To the best of my knowledge, the photo is a fake, an heavily retouched image of an heavily retouched image that you can find in Typy Broni i Uzbrojenia 048-Samolot myśliwski I-16 representing a Khalkin Gol plane.
 
   At least, the photo in the Polish profile has a red star in a plausible position, while the “Spanish” photo has a dark strip just over the red star.
   Moreover, we have photos of one of the very first I-16 used in Spain, and it is in a standard green – blue (or grey/silver) camouflage.
 
   So, unless we discover new documents, and I am sorry to say that I really doubt it, we will have to do without grey Spanish Rata!
   And as you rightly say, “I am not aware of grey primers”
Regards

« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 08:04:35 PM by righidan » Logged

Daniele
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2018, 08:26:35 PM »

Hi Daniele,
thank you for the warning.  The absence of the aiming device was suspect for a fighter in wartime, but now I see that the photo was employed and elaborated in many suspect ways, Maybe it was a silver I-16 of some aerobatic team  or shown to some international meeting, if so the real photos should be available.
Regards
Massimo
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2018, 10:48:08 PM »

Hi Daniele,
the answer from Arie on Britmodeller:
Quote
According to J. Miranda, the first batch of 31 I-16 wich arrived to Spain in october, 1936, were overall light grey (some sources claim it to be aluminium paint, as already said), wich satin black cowlings. That was the common pattern for Moscow (1) and Gorki (21) workshops. Some contemporary Type 5 deployed in Manchuria had the same colour scheme. That first batch of 31 palnes was given fuselage numbers 1 to 31, having been properly identified 7, 9, CM-010, CM-011, 23 and 30 (no tall of them had the CM code added yet).

It's possible that the dark stripe in the tail wasn't red but black, aimed to conceal the original red stars. That pic was taken at Barajas, and according to some testimonies, they fought during the first battle of Madrid. It's possible that at that time, the gunsight and machine guns were still to be fitted.

The planes began to be overpainted in dark green/light blue from the 31st plane onwards, when the second batch of another 31 planes arrived in Cartagena in decembar, 1936.

Regards
Massimo
« Last Edit: December 30, 2018, 10:58:48 PM by Massimo Tessitori » Logged
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2018, 10:58:31 PM »

Hi Daniele,
I would add that the photo of Typi Broni of silver plane 7 in Manchuria hasn't chances to be genuine: in the '30s Soviet planes had the star on the fuselage and the number on the rudder, not vice versa.
Regards
Massimo
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BLG
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« Reply #5 on: January 01, 2019, 09:29:52 PM »

Quote from: Massimo Tessitori
Quote
According to J. Miranda, the first batch of 31 I-16 wich arrived to Spain in october, 1936, were overall light grey (some sources claim it to be aluminium paint, as already said), wich satin black cowlings.  That first batch of 31 palnes was given fuselage numbers 1 to 31, having been properly identified 7, 9, CM-010, CM-011, 23 and 30

The planes began to be overpainted in dark green/light blue from the 31st plane onwards, when the second batch of another 31 planes arrived in Cartagena in decembar, 1936.
RegardsMassimo
Hi Massimo,
I don't know who is J.Miranda, but he has not read any of  the numerous books on Spanish war were the Gren /black/sky blue 9 of Bocharov (slain after capture) is photographed by Nationalist after its capture on 13 November , 1936





Regards

Bernard
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righidan
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2019, 03:58:29 PM »

Dear friends,
   J.Miranda was an author that, 30 years ago, published a couple of books on airplanes of the Spanish civil war.
   They were richly illustrated with drawings, but not particularly known for historical accuracy, as he depicted some planes that were never present in the conflict.
   So I do agree with Bernard that the history of the first I-16 in Spain being grey, is a fake news.
   I do also agree with Massimo, that the photo of the silver 7 in Manchuria is a fake, as the star is in the wrong position for the period.
   But looking for I-16 I happened by chance to find what could be the original photo of number 7:

  It is taken from the authoritative Jane’s all the world aircraft for 1938, page 236c.
   So we have another possibility, a captured airplane, and in that case the band on the tail could be black.
   I am still not completely convinced that it is not a retouched photo, as it does not show typical nationalist markings, but it makes more sense than the other two options.
   About the Bocharov body, while the gruesome story of a dismembered body parachuted is true, the body was shown to the international press and you can still find in Internet the photos of the case and of the body, the remnants belonged to the Italian pilot Primo Gibelli.
 
   Primo Gibelli aka José Antonio Galarza had an incredible life, and was the first Italian to receive the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
   If you are interested in  this episode of the Spanish Civil War, I suggest to read “El macabro cajón. La verdad sobre el derribo y muerte de Primo Gibelli” by Rafael Permuy López, in Treinta y seis relatos de la guerra del 36, 2006, pages 321-338.
   Not everything is clear, but the dismembered body was the result of an airplane crash, more than of human actions.
   You can find online information at the site : http://www.buscameenelciclodelavida.com/2014/11/primo-gibelli.html
   And about grey I-16 I could find only a couple of profiles, representing an I-16 during the Khasan lake battles, but no photos.

   But Polikarpov I-16 are decidely beautiful!
Regards
Daniele
  


« Last Edit: January 05, 2019, 04:17:26 PM by righidan » Logged

Daniele
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: January 05, 2019, 06:40:18 PM »

Hi Daniele,
thank you for sharing the result of your research about this plane.
So, it looks possible that this plane was fully repainted by Nationalists. But I have to say that these markings are very atypical. Having to repaint it all, why haven't them introduced their standard markings and white rudder with S. Andrew's crosses? Why have they painted a number 7 as if it was an operative plane?  I think that we should look for known prewar photos of Soviet prototypes or aerobatic teams to see if it could be an adaptation of one of them.
The story of Gibelli is very crude, I wonder if Bocharov had the same destiny or there was some confusion between their names.
The silver I-16 n.5 used  on lake Hasan is very interesting, I hope that some photo will emerge on this subject.
Regards
Massimo
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