Analyzing the inscription
"Eskadrilya Valeriy Chkalov"
By Massimo Tessitori
File updated on October 28,  2004
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Here is the image whose inscription was analyzed.

In first place, we see that the characters show interruptions, which reveal that a mask (stencil) was used.
As a consequence, characters and size should be standardized (not necessary identical on all aircrafts, but at least reduced to few variants).

Because of the different positions and inclinations of single written words on different known aircrafts, we understand that each word "Eskadrilya", "Valeriy", "Chkalov" had its own stencil.

At first glance, the writing could seem as yellow, a color intermediate between the red of the star and the white of the winter scheme. 


But, examining it more in detail, we see that: 
  • the central letters on the star "al" are lighter than the shade of the letters external to the star, on white background; 
  • the part of K on the star and all the lower half of the whole "eskadrilya" are even lighter, nearly matching the white camo.
  • the letters are interrupted by the thin black outline of the star.
All this is incompatible with a layer of yellow or any other intermediate color sprayed by a mask.

The whole likely explanation is this:

It's easy, or not? Perhaps some technician regretted to have not used yellow or black or even pink while doing all these things.
Probably the colors were decided by different persons than the executors, persons that didn't know or care the technical difficulties in execution.
We have to say that these observations are relative to a single aircraft and, even if they can be generalized to some other aircrafts, they can't be extended to all of them; in fact, uniform color writings are known (white or perhaps yellow paint), but, for what is known, only on summer camouflaged aircrafts.
On winter camouflaged aircrafts, the inscription was made with red over white background, and white on red background.
If the paint layer is transparent, both parts turn to pink.
On summer camouflaged aircrafts, the inscription could be painted red over camouflage and white over red star. If the paint layer is transparent, all the inscription darkens.
As an alternative on summer camouflaged aircrafts, the inscription can be white overall.
If the paint layer is transparent, all the writing darkens and, on bw images, it can resemble a yellow inscription.

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