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Author Topic: AML Decals - Silver Markings?  (Read 12451 times)
Massimo Tessitori
Hero Member
Posts: 5777

« Reply #15 on: April 24, 2008, 12:00:56 PM »

Hi Smiley

Looking closely with my old eyes it seems that the borders of the painted camo over the alu band are not very straight.
So if planes were repainted with colors how about saving some time and leaving a thin band around the stars?
Maybe faster than repainting all over and and having to redo the stars.

I see that it is not fully straight. I suppose that it was painted by brush without masking. One can contour the original star without having to repaint it.

As for the silver borders from the P-39 of the Tikkakoski museum.
Let see what Kari Lumppio wrote in RUSSIAN WW2 SILVER & OTHER COLOURS website:
" Silver borders for VVS stars is a stonehard fact. You can even access the  evidence in Internet. Photos of two very different cases of P-39 Russian  Airacobras with such stars can be found at the following two sites "

Being the plane exposed in a Finnish museum, I suppose that he based his deductions on the real plane, not on photos.

Really beautiful links! Thank you for sharing! I think that I'll download all those beautiful photos.


Posts: 3

« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2009, 07:20:01 PM »

And what might you mean with 'Finnish Silver Conspiracy', Dark Green Man, if I may ask? I have understood that the use of metallic (aluminium) paint is rather generally accepted as a fact among the Russian experts and enthusiasts, as well. So no "Finns only"-issue there.

I don't know where you are living, but it seems to me that you have access to rather limited number of remains of the original Soviet aircraft with original colour still there, if you keep insisting that aluminium paint was not used by Soviet AF during WWII. As you may be aware of, the Soviet Union and Finland were twice in war with each other during the WWII period. Due to that there are many original samples of VVS paint and finishing hanging around in museums and private collections.

Here is a photo of the Tikkakoski P-39 nose with number 26 definitively (clumsily hand-) painted in aluminium paint. The photo is by me and I have seen the plane from a _very_ close distance and can confirm the colour beyond any doubt.

What about the bordering of the stars? There you might as well be right. The colour used is hard to describe, but calling it a" pale grayish" gets you close. Actually it seems, that there have been several touch-ups done in at least one more tone or colour.

Here's the fuselage star:

As you can see, the colour is by no means uniform. It seems that originally there has been some kind of overpainting in this elusive grayish colour. Which, by the way _may_? as well have been poorly mixed alu paint. But I'm definitively not insisting on it here.

Almost the same applies to the lower wing stars with probably some original American insignia white visible here and there and more than one colour on top of it. I doubt any of these were aluminium.

The spinner and the fin and rudder look like they have been recently painted, so that may be restoration, for all I know. What was under it, I can't comment.

I seem to remember that Kari Lumppio has written somewhere in the internet (perhaps in Altavista VVS Modellling forum?) about Soviet practices on finishing the wooden aircraft surfaces (besed on the original published technical specs or manuals), and there was aluminium paint involved. Here is an example of that:

As you can see the inside structure has been painted in aluminium paint. Note also the yellow putty paint visible through scratches in the green camouflage colour, also mentionned by Kari in his text about finishing practices.

And as Massimo already said, Soviet manufacturers had ample supplies of aluminium paint available in time scale late thirties to early fourties to paint thousands of planes. Practice also recorded by Maslov in his monograph on SB bomber. (Shouldn't we really start calling this a Finnish-Russian Conspiracy? Or maybe the work done in the Russian archives by Maslov is not to be considered as expert's work or reliable enough?) Here's a fragment of a bomber aircraft wing to illustrate the point:

Pay attention to? the pale yellow primer visible in scratches in the area of insiginia _under_? aluminium paint coat. The text in the piece of paper on the fragment says it is a part of a wing of bomber shot down by Helsinki AAA.

Now, with this kind of evidence it is my honest opinion, that it takes certain kinds of not very flattering mental qualities not to accept the use (internal, external and in tactical markings) of the aluminium paint by the WWII era Soviet VVS. If the "experts" pigheadedly refuse to come and see for themselves in case they can't take it from those who have seen the evidence with their own eyes, they make themselves guilty of at least intellectual dishonesty, in my arrogant opinion.

Oh yes, all of these images were shot last autumn in the Anti-Aircraft Artillery Museum in Hyryl?, some 30-40 km north of Helsinki, where the Tikkakoski P-39 is temporarily exhibited.

To summarise: There are existing original exhibits to prove that aluminium paint was used. Soviet Aircraft Industry Finishing Manuals stipulate the use of aluminium paint in the production of wooden aircraft. Kari Lumppio posted the Aluminum chip of AE- range of paints from the Albom nakrasok (or Album of Colours, same book that quotes only white, red and aluminium as colours to be used in markings) by the Glavkraska MKhP SSSR, 1948 edition (Not by NKVD as I have seen somwhere stated! And granted, published after the war, but clearly codifying war time or even pre-war material.) in Hobbyvista VVS Modeling forum a year or few ago, you should easily find it there. Not only Finnish experts like Geust but also Russian experts like Maslov keep telling the Aluminium paint was used.

What makes it so difficult to accept the possibility of use of aluminium paint? Because Erik Pilawski said so? I realise that he has done a major research but his insistence against vast evidence really confuses me. I'd be mightily interested if anybobody has got any _other_ arguments or evidence against the use of aluminium paint?

By the way, I find it somewhat irritating, if not outright insulting to use this derisive "Finnish silver conspiracy" term. As if people here in Finland were colour blind simpletons unable to recognise metallic paint from grey! That kind of attitude is also very counterproductive as most of the Finnish experts and enthusiasts have been frustrated away from international forums leaving only the rear bench guys like yours truly behind. And I emphasise once again, that we do have original material in our hands here! Certainly this situation doesn't serve anybody's interests least of all those modellers' or aviation historians' from countries with no original Soviet aircraft material what so ever.

« Last Edit: January 22, 2009, 10:09:08 AM by vihonen » Logged
Full Member
Posts: 123

« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2009, 05:02:45 AM »

Hi guys,

just found these posts in the ARC forums:

I suggest you go to post#24. It's Mr Lummpio's comments on his famous webpages.

He is not changing is mind but the tone is different to say the least.
Also read the posts from rec.models.scale.
Very interesting.

All the best.

Full Member
Posts: 237

« Reply #18 on: April 26, 2009, 04:47:17 PM »

Looking at the close ups of the stars shown two posts up it seems that original white border was repainted with silver paint with brush. Badly i might add which means a plethora of problems for modellers Tongue. (how the hell can i replicate this in small scale)
This seems similar to american practice of repainting of white parts of their national markings with light grey on bombers (B-24 most notably). Why use silver for it? I'm no expert on soviet colours (chemical composition etc) but my experiance with "bronce" (kind of silver dope) colour lead me to belive that most silver colours left as matt and not polished and varnished did oxidise quite quickly their general description being light grey with silver hue (like the star borders and nose marking on the pic's above). Which of course brings us to the decals. In this case IMHO they should be greyish-silver not pure silver.
Use of silver colour in such case makes a hell of a lot more sense than using yellow that colour being brighter and way more conspicious.

Regarding the decal&conversion set itself (AML 48015) for La-5F which i bought.
I just have to ask this: Why the hell did they had to include escadrilya Valeriy Chkalov marking couldn't they find an ace machine in green-black (my favorite VVS fighter camo) without this inscription?? Huh Of the relatively few machines with the inscription nowdays in the west it almost seems that almost all La's had it.

BTW among other things "the great silver conspiracy" is the reason for this forum forming at all so i don't have a problem with this term. I belive adjective Finnish" was droped after a lot of non finnish members were dropped from VVS forum for it. Grin
« Last Edit: April 26, 2009, 05:07:22 PM by TISO » Logged
John Thompson
Global Moderator
Hero Member
Posts: 1498

« Reply #19 on: April 26, 2009, 06:27:37 PM »

Hi Tiso! Yes, everything you say makes sense, especially about the possibility of the aluminum paint oxidizing rapidly to a greyish shade (see my reply 12 on the first page of this thread). Maybe this also explains references to "silver-grey" as an overall colour for some pre-war aircraft?

I also think the green/black scheme of the early war is very attractive, although on the other hand, I have a great affection for the Valeriy Chkalov markings! Wink

Massimo Tessitori
Hero Member
Posts: 5777

« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2009, 08:21:03 PM »

Hi, Smiley
I love VCh inscriptions, but if one doesn't want them, he can look if it's possible to obtain other desired numbers by anagramming those of the decals sheets. White numbers in La-5s were of standardized shape and size, and it would be nice if some decals producer makes a sheet full of these codes.
About silver outlines: I have seen that those painted on the real Airacobra are so rough that one could paint them by hand on decals, overposed to white outlines. The result could be not too beautiful, but realistic enough.
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