MiG-3s with partial or disruptive winter camouflage

Updated on June 25, 2023

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The MiG-3 was still a common plane in winter 1941-1942; later it became increasingly rare due to the stop of its production at the end of december 1941. During the winter many of them were painted with all white upper and side surfaces made with MK-7 washable distemper or, more rarely, with permanent AII glossy white; other MG-3s preserved the temperate livery even in winter. Few photos are known where white was utilized as a disruptive color, intentionally leaving wide parts of the upper sufaces with the temperate black-green camouflage visible. Observng other types as LaGG-3 and Il-2, we can say that the disruptive winter camo was more common in winter 1942/43 than in 1941/42, but few MiG-3s were still in first line service during this second winter of war.

Here we show some photos of MiG-3s with this rare livery.


148 IAP



late MiG-3, attributed to 148 IAP in winter 1941-42, with a partial white finish on the underlying green-black temperate camo. This attribution creates some doubts because planes of 148 IAP photographed during the battle of Kharkov, some months later, appear completely different in painting.

This plane could be 'white 5'. From a wartime footage we can see many planes of the unit, but only numbers 5 and 40 are seen on the rudders, while we can suppose that all planes had their own number.

The white paint was the washable distemper MK-7, brushed on the rear of the fuselage, on the tail, on the outer part of the wings; this pattern was common to other types as LaGG-3s and Il-2s, and was probably due to the need to leave the engine cowling and the cockpit accessible when the white paint was drying.

Note the rockets under the wings, suggesting that the shot was taken in winter 1941/42; the rocket rails of MiG-3s were removed in the spring of 1941 due to their excessive drag.
The sliding hood frame looks cutten in its corner.



a detail of a MiG-3, possibly the same of the image above.
Note the cutten corner of the sliding hood; perhaps this was made to open it more easily.
Note the dark finish, probably black, of many details inside the cockpit.


this interesting image show "white 40", presumably of 148 IAP, with its pilot and ground crew. 

A cover (white on one side, dark on the other one) covered the nose and was being removed.

On this plane, the extension of white strokes is lesser than on the plane of the first photo, probably including the wing tips.



Technicians working under the engine of a MiG-3, possibly on the oil pump.


Many planes of this unit, presumably 148 IAP, were without any painted code. So far, planes with No.40 and 5 on the rudder have been identified in this unit.

The first plane of the photo seems without the rocket rails, while the other ones seem to have these weapons. Note that the extension of the white areas change from plane to plane; the third and fourth ones seem to have some white on their fin but not on the fuselage sides.



this plane had underwing rockets. Note the strange painting of its engine cowling, possibly an improvised black-green camouflage on a repainted panel.


this plane features a white blotch on its nose too. An unreadable number can be vaguely seen on the top of its rudder

No rockets are visible; it could have been the same of the first plane of the line above.



439 IAP



Pilot Kozlov Nikolai Aleksandrovich of 439 IAP PVO in winter 1942/43.

The plane looks very similar to those attributed to 148 IAP. An interesting difference is that the white finish ends sharply at the junction between the central body and the rear fuselage and wing consoles; so the plane could have been made with parts from different planes.

The plane seems to have a starter dog on the spinner.





60 of 154 IAP


left: two photos of a most interesting late MiG-3 of 154 IAP on the Leningrad front..

Plane White 60 seems camouflaged with white disruptive bands accurately executed with spray brush and masks. The bands left visible both the green and the black bands of the temperate camouflage, but seems that they covered predominantly black areas. They were extended on part of the rear faces of the prop blades and on the front cone of the spinner.

Images from Scalemodels.ru





519 IAP



MiG-3 of 122 IAP (according to other sources, 519 IAP), early 1942.

The plane, whose number is unknown, appears with what could seem a partial winter camouflage, but could be only the result of wearing and stains on a plane that was originally intended with a solid white livery. The amount of wearing is so high, when compared to other planes that retained their white livery more intact, that one could wonder if there was an intentional remotion of white paint from areas.

It is likely that the plane was equipped with underwing rocket rails, as the most part of MiG-3s on this timeframe.


Image from Mikoyan's piston engined fighters of Gordon and Dexter





This work collects also a lot of photos and drawings from many sources, not always identified and mentioned.
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Massimo Tessitori