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Author Topic: new page on colors of Soviet planes pre-1937  (Read 28400 times)
Massimo Tessitori
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« on: February 21, 2011, 01:43:39 PM »

Hi all,
I'm working to make pages on painting of Soviet planes, developing the table of colors, splitting it into different periods and adding photos, schemes and many of the documents that have emerged from the discussions on the forums.
The first two pages will be on planes of the '30s. I'm not an expert on this field, and need some help.
One: where can I find a good photos of a Po-2 taken before 1937, and one taken between 1937 and 1940?
Second: observing photos of fighters of early '30s, it's clear that at least two different finishes did exist. The first one, typical of I-3 and early I-5s, is very dark gloss (green?) fuselage wooden/fabric parts (including undersurface), bare metal nose panels, and an unidentified gloss color for wing and tail undersurfaces (gloss silver?). The second one could be overall uppersurfaces greenish khaki, and blue-grey undersurfaces.
Now, two types of green are mentioned by Akanihin for this period: the darkest, 3B, and the greenish khaki.
Is there any information to know if it's possible that the early black green was 3B? When did the use of 3B start? Was it gloss when new?
Regards
Massimo
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2011, 11:16:18 AM »

Hi all,
a provisional version of the page is linked here, but not yet from the main page.
http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/before1937/before1937.html

Besides, a provisional version of the page on painting in 1937/1940 period is here:
http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/1937-40/1937-1940.html

Please, have a look to those pages, and let me know any criticism and suggestion before they will be openly online.
Now I'm continuing to work on the 1940-41 pages.
Best regards
Massimo
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learstang
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« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2011, 07:48:52 PM »

Massimo, I believe the R-1 was based on the Airco DH-4, not the Be-2.

Regards,

Jason
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2011, 10:00:56 PM »

Thank you Jason.
Massimo
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learstang
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« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2011, 04:30:55 AM »

You're welcome, Massimo.  It's nice to see you working on these pages as I for one don't know that much about pre-GPW VVS colours and schemes, especially pre-1940.

Regards,

Jason
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learstang
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« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2011, 04:46:53 AM »

Well Massimo, I need to check things out before I tell people to change something.  I should have noticed that the pilot was situated just in front of the gunner; it appears that most of the R-1's were based on the Airco DH.9A, not the DH.4 (although they did build a few copied from the DH.4 and the DH.9).  Sorry for the confusion, but the 1920's Red Air Force (or whatever it was called then) is not exactly my area of expertise.

Regards,

Jason
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KL
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« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2011, 08:07:25 AM »

Hi Massimo,
According to the Russian authors there was only one camouflage scheme for military planes made (in series) between mid-twenties to mid-thirties:
?Protective Colour? on upper surfaces and light blue on undersides.



Most of the planes on your new page are painted according to this scheme.  Different shades of green or gray/silver undersides are guesswork ? better avoid it!!!

The reason why engine cowlings were sometimes left unpainted is very simple.  Oil paints used to paint metal parts were sensitive to gasoline and engine oil ? those would dissolve/ruin paint if left longer on painted surface.  Polished aluminum was an alternative for those parts.

Prototypes, air show planes and personal planes were special cases ? not representative.

Comment No 1.
I would not use "KHAKI" for early ?Protective Colour?.  Khaki has somewhat different meaning in English.  Just google images for ?khaki color? and you will get an idea:  it?s light brown, sand colour:

http://www.google.ca/images?hl=en&biw=797&bih=432&gbv=2&tbs=isch%3A1&sa=1&q=khaki+color&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=

Word ?khaki? isn?t used in Russian literature, especially period literature and not for ?Protective Colour?

2.
Kotelnikov describes early ?Protective Colour? as green with yellow hue.  If described that way it could be confused with later olive green 4BO and we know that the early ?Protective Colour? was darker.  I would suggest ?Dark green with yellow hue? for that early ?Protective?

3.
Lower R-5 photo is actually SSS

4.
I would not include 3B among VVS paints.  3B was an Army version of ?Protective Colour?.  It may have been used on metal airplanes sporadically, but no solid proofs for that.

5.
AI N clear dope is not a primer.  It is transparent nitro-cellulose varnish applied to stretch fabric and increase its strength.

6.
TB-3 fragment is from private collection in Finland, not from Monino.  Colour interpretation by A. Akanihin.

7.
Helmet is SSh-36, again from private collection.  Found in a theater in St. Petersburg beautifully preserved and in its original colours (from internet).

Hope this will help,
KL
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2011, 08:18:28 AM »

Hi Jason and Konstantin,
thank you for your suggestions.
I'll update the page soon.
About the existence of two painting schemes, we'll have to make some further research on photos, but from those that I have already seen I'm convinced that there was an early scheme, at least on Polikarpovs. If their earlier paint doesn't adhere to metal, and their later paint adheres, this could mean that a new paint was introduced.
I've read the notes on Red Star n.3 of Geust, and suppose that the equivalent Russian booklet iof Aviakollectia wites the same things, but I suspect that there is still more to be discovered.
Who knows if anything preserved in Monino could make some light on this? Could you ask the Russian forum, please?
Regards
Massimo
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KL
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« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2011, 09:24:04 AM »

1937-1940 Period:
Most important changes:  Silver and light gray became widespread and light blue completely disappeared

Comment 1.
1937-40 colours were determined by several directives (check V&O 1996), not so much by appearance of new paints.  Beginning of use of those new paints varied:  AE-9 was in use before 1937, AE-8 was used from late 1938, AII Z from early 1938.

2.
second photo: Last 3 I-16 in a line are Type 17.  Photo taken in 1939.

3.
I-16 undersurfaces were painted in AII Gray and AE-9.  This is confirmed (recently available I-16 manual)!

4.
Photos 4 & 5:  Late Type 5 (sec half of 1937), not Type 10.

5.
I-15bis were made in 1938-1939, not in 1937.  Upper surfaces AII Z, lower AII Al.  lower metal surfaces AE-9 (since silver AE-8 appeared in late 1938).

6.
Only relatively small number of SB bombers made in late 1938 and early 1939 were painted in silver AE-8.  All the rest were gray AE-9.  Discussion at:
http://scalemodels.ru/modules/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4728&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=220
http://scalemodels.ru/modules/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4728&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=240
7.
Please remove AII Light Blue from 1937-1940 table.  It didn?t exist!!!  It appeared in mid 1940.

Cheers,
KL
« Last Edit: February 24, 2011, 09:27:05 AM by KL » Logged
marluc
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« Reply #9 on: February 24, 2011, 04:35:05 PM »

I-16 undersurfaces were painted in AII Gray and AE-9.  This is confirmed (recently available I-16 manual)!

Please remove AII Light Blue from 1937-1940 table.  It didn?t exist!!!  It appeared in mid 1940.

So,for I-16?s,AII Gray and AE-9 before mid 1940 and AII Light Blue after mid 1940?
Thanks in advance,greetings.

Martin
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John Thompson
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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2011, 05:32:38 PM »

Lots of excellent information here - thanks, Massimo and Konstantin!

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2011, 09:00:07 PM »

Hi Konstantin,
thank you for your suggestions.
About SB, I've done a small statistics on the photos of Barbarossa victims, dividing them for version and painting scheme.
SB2M-100: no photos.
SB2M-100A: 2 silver, 2 grey, 2 green
SB2M-103 early (with flat cowling): 1 silver, 2 grey, 1 green;
SB2M-103 late (with pointed cowling): 0 silver, 13 grey, 6 green.
So it seems that silver is as likely as grey for eaerlier tupes, while has disappeared for the later type.
AII grey for I-16... this is new. However, some Finnish sources write about I-16 with silver undersurfaces, so I think that this is possible too.
What about manuals of I-153? Is it known if overall grey planes did exist? I won't exclude this.

Hi John, thank you for your encouragement.
This statistic could be continued on other sources, maybe on that Russian site of photos of wrecks... what was its address?

Regards
Massimo

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John Thompson
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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2011, 10:27:01 PM »

Hi Massimo; is this the one you mean?:
http://www.avia-n-aero.ru/photo.php

John
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2011, 11:51:56 PM »

Thank you John
Massimo
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KL
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« Reply #14 on: February 25, 2011, 12:43:59 AM »

hi Massimo,  Smiley
your statistics are interesting, but they would make sense if there was no more reliable information.  But, there is more reliable/relevant info:  have you checked two links from my previous post?

Only a relatively small number of SB bombers made in late 1938 and early 1939 were painted in silver AE-8.  All the rest were gray AE-9.  Discussion at:
http://scalemodels.ru/modules/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4728&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=220
http://scalemodels.ru/modules/forum/viewtopic.php?t=4728&postdays=0&postorder=asc&&start=240

We are talking about 1937-1940 period and photos you are analyzing are made in 1941-42.  Gray planes made in 1937 may have been overhauled and repainted in early 1939 in silver.  All pre 1940 planes that you count as green are repainted!

I think you already have enough information to create the best guide for pre-1937 and 1937-1940 VVS colours.  Cheesy
Just try to avoid guesswork and photo interpretation

Cheers,
KL
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