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Bassplayer

VVS colours in the Great Patriotic War

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I intend to model a fair number of Soviet WW2 aircraft (or Great Patriotic War as a Russian would have it). And I'm looking for some advice on one aspect in particular.

I'm a brush painter recently returned to the hobby and having his first taste of acrylics (I've been out of the hobby a loooooong time!) however I can't find anything that fits the quite vivid sky blue of the aircraft's undersides in the Tamiya or Revell acrylics range.

Have I simply not been looking hard enough or is there something out there from another paint brand that matches?

Thanks for your help.

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There were two different light blues used by the Soviets, one was indeed quite vivid but the other lighter. From memory, it was the prewar AII Blue that was vivid and the wartime AMT that was paler. The most accurate colours available are from the Russian ALKAN range, but these are not readily available in the UK and I'm not sure if they do an acrylic or not. The best online source is currently http://z15.invisionfree.com/sovietwarplanes/index.php?s=8aebda2769fae0b506631181684968f1&act=idx. Most on-line links go to the work of Erik Pilawski, whose colour descriptions are controversial. There is a wide range of VVS colours in enamel from White Ensign, but some of these are doubtful.

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HI

I HAVE JUST RECIVED A PACKET FROM LINDEN HILL

I HAVE SMALL QUANTATIES OF AKAN PAINT

I WILL BE AT HUDDERSFIELD MODEL SHOW ON FEBUARY 17th

IF YOU WANT MORE INFO PLEASE PM ME

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I intend to model a fair number of Soviet WW2 aircraft (or Great Patriotic War as a Russian would have it). And I'm looking for some advice on one aspect in particular.

I'm a brush painter recently returned to the hobby and having his first taste of acrylics (I've been out of the hobby a loooooong time!) however I can't find anything that fits the quite vivid sky blue of the aircraft's undersides in the Tamiya or Revell acrylics range.

Have I simply not been looking hard enough or is there something out there from another paint brand that matches?

Thanks for your help.

HI

As Graham cautions, there has been quite some confusion caused by the work of Erik Pilawskii, he of the very bright blue and lurid green fame

If this means nothing to you, then a read through this thread would explain the controversy

http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=1071.0

There are Tamiya acrylic mixes, but have you seen this

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/colors.html

this is a series of colour chips

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/color-table.html

this has humbrol mixes for light blue

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/humbrol/light-blues.htm

and greens

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/humbrol/greens.htm

there is a Revell paint that is a good match for AMT-1 "coffee with milk" but I'd have to dig out the details. [You'd need that for your Pe-8..]

If you are planning of doing a few VVS planes I'd recommend joining Soviet Warplanes, there's a LOT of information on the site and members are helpful. There are a few members here as well.

oh, here's a pic [from thread below] of a chuck of a LaGG3 preserved in Finland, in AMT-4 green, AMT-6 black and AMT-7 blue.

lagg3-fus-fin.jpg

HTH

T

ps there is this thread here too, but leads to the same links

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/72892-wwii-vvs-colours/

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HI

As Graham cautions, there has been quite some confusion caused by the work of Erik Pilawskii, he of the very bright blue and lurid green fame

If this means nothing to you, then a read through this thread would explain the controversy

http://sovietwarplanes.com/board/index.php?topic=1071.0

There are Tamiya acrylic mixes, but have you seen this

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/colors.html

this is a series of colour chips

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/color-table.html

this has humbrol mixes for light blue

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/humbrol/light-blues.htm

and greens

http://mig3.sovietwarplanes.com/colors/humbrol/greens.htm

there is a Revell paint that is a good match for AMT-1 "coffee with milk" but I'd have to dig out the details. [You'd need that for your Pe-8..]

If you are planning of doing a few VVS planes I'd recommend joining Soviet Warplanes, there's a LOT of information on the site and members are helpful. There are a few members here as well.

oh, here's a pic [from thread below] of a chuck of a LaGG3 preserved in Finland, in AMT-4 green, AMT-6 black and AMT-7 blue.

lagg3-fus-fin.jpg

HTH

T

ps there is this thread here too, but leads to the same links

http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/72892-wwii-vvs-colours/

Just a gentle note of caution. You would find the colours on that extant section might look somewhat different (especially in terms of brightness and saturation) if the surface dirt was removed and the surface oxidisation cut with a suitable medium. The surface deposits can be seen even in the photo!

Nick

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Troy, I'd appreciate it if you did dig out that Revell match for AMT1, I have a Pe2 struggling with it and an Li2 just downstream.

Hi Graham

Fortunately this one was findable with google!

It's Revell 87, compared to chip in 'Albom Nasarok'

AMT-1_WEM%20et%20Revell%2087.jpg

It was posted by Kari Lumppio, on ARC forum.

Thread is here

http://s362974870.onlinehome.us/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=196449&st=0

hope of use for you.

Nick,

a good point as always, but even cleaned up I doubt it would be the lurid blue as promoted by EP

as shown here.

MiGCover.jpg

cheers

T

Edited by Troy Smith

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It can be surprising. Age, the yellowing binder, surface oxidisation and dirt really does dull the colour appearance. Unless the surface is restored (or at least assessed for deterioration) before visual comparisons or matches are made then they should be treated with caution. I have followed some of the VVS controversy from afar so to speak and whilst the protagonists know their soviet aircraft they appear to have much to learn about paint chemistry and colour science.

The comparison of AMT-1 above clearly shows (to me!) that neither of those paints are a good match to the original colour which appears more olive, but without age deterioration would probably appear slightly lighter and browner. Assuming colour fidelity the WEM is more than 7.0 in difference and the Revell 5.10 where 2.0 or less equals a close match. The chip appears in the photo as a Munsell Y - a yellow - (closest standard is 5 Y 3/1 @ 1.99) and the closest FS value to it (believe it or not) is 34086 @ 3.32 which puts it in the dark olive drab ballpark. I'm not suggesting this is a valid comparison without the actual paints in front of me to measure but hopefully it goes to show how careful one must be judging from online comparison images.

Revell 87 is supposed to match RAL 7006 (beige grey) which compares to the AMT @ 11.4 being significantly lighter although of the same hue. The Revell paint itself is called Erdfarbe (earth colour). Too much information I know but possibly of interest given the "is it brown, grey or beige?" comments at the linked thread. I concur. Without physically examining the AMT chip I would also be hesitant to describe the colour's characteristic.

But the essential point (and made in that thread) is that online photos and subjective visual comparisons made by one person can be very misleading. Even cross-referencing values can be iffy and nothing really beats an actual matched paint sample (e.g. mixed to match the original not taken as "close" from another standard) in order to convey the original colour to a prospective modeller.

Nick

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Thanks Troy - that's rather darker than I'd been mixing, which was closer to the colours in the link. Some people must like their coffee darker than I do.

Edited by Graham Boak

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Just a gentle note of caution. You would find the colours on that extant section might look somewhat different (especially in terms of brightness and saturation) if the surface dirt was removed and the surface oxidisation cut with a suitable medium. The surface deposits can be seen even in the photo!

Nick

Nick, I believe those colours are in good condition. I base that on the red star; notice how bright that is. It certainly doesn't appear inordinately faded or darkened. However, your point is a good one. The best colour analysis of GPW colour samples would consist of chemically analysing paint that were obtained from below any possibly oxidised layer.

Regards,

Jason

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Nick, I believe those colours are in good condition. I base that on the red star; notice how bright that is. It certainly doesn't appear inordinately faded or darkened. However, your point is a good one. The best colour analysis of GPW colour samples would consist of chemically analysing paint that were obtained from below any possibly oxidised layer.

Regards,

Jason

Ok!

1. I can see paint degradation even on the star quite clearly from the photo alone.

2. All colours are not equal. Some paint colours degrade very differently to others due to all sorts of variable factors. Colours with large amounts of white pigment and extenders, e.g. light blues for example, can be expected to chalk more rapidly and significantly than others. In other words paint colours on the same airframe do not all weather or age in the same way and at the same rates.

3. If I had a pound for every time I heard the statement "the paint is in good condition/well preserved" based on the yardstick of a supposed known (like the insignia)...

4. All I'm saying is don't jump to immediate conclusions, especially from digital colour images...

Red as a paint colour is an easier identification to make than camouflage greens, browns and light blues so an assumption about the other colours based on the appearance of the red star alone is not conclusive.

Regards

Nick

Edited by Nick Millman

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Who's jumping to conclusions? It would hardly be immediate anyway, as the first time I saw my first photograph of this fragment was at least four years ago (I've since seen other photographs). All I'm saying is I believe those colours to be in good condition. People who have actually seen this LaGG-3 fragment have said the same. Have you seen it in person? I'll admit I haven't. At any rate, I had already accepted your point.

Regards,

Jason

Edited by Learstang

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I wasn't suggesting you were! My fourth point was just a general observation expanding on my previous comment - not directed at you.

Regards

Nick

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I wasn't suggesting you were! My fourth point was just a general observation expanding on my previous comment - not directed at you.

Regards

Nick

Fair enough, Nick!

Regards,

Jason

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Soooo.... No one makes the correct colours because no one knows what the colours are? Right?

Bugger it, I'm painting them all white :)

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Soooo.... No one makes the correct colours because no one knows what the colours are? Right?

Bugger it, I'm painting them all white :)

Don't give up quite yet, BP! I would think the AKAN paints are the way to go. Besides, I need to see someone tackle that Pe-8; I also have that monster and would love to see someone build one up.

Regards,

Jason

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Besides, I need to see someone tackle that Pe-8; I also have that monster and would love to see someone build one up.

Regards,

Jason

Which one - Amodel or Zvezda??? :whistle:

pe-8_02.jpg

.. or Contrail vacform........

Pe-8_22.jpg

Sorry for butting in......

Ken

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Soooo.... No one makes the correct colours because no one knows what the colours are? Right?

No. As I understand it the Akan paints have been matched directly to the extant Soviet paint standards. The only issue there - and it is probably academic - is how far the colours of the standards might have shifted due to age. Otherwise Akan are doing pretty much what the aircraft/paint manufacturers were doing so any variance from standard in their own paint range ought only to reflect reality.

The related issues are the availability/accessibility of Akan paints and the question of matching the standards to other paint ranges - or to mixes from other paint ranges. Without direct access to the paint standards this could still be done, with a small enough margin of error, by matching Akan paint brush outs to other ranges. However, there doesn't seem to be much evidence of anyone doing that in a systematic way and the controversy seems to be more about competing approximations/perceptions.

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I tracked down and bought a selection of the AKAN enamel paints and regardless of their accuracy they do not airbrush as well as Xtracolor or WEM Colourcoats paints, the best I could do was make up paint chips using them and match up paints from the Xtracolor, Colourcoats, Model Master and Humbrol enamel ranges.

Cheers

Dennis

Edited by spitfire

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I intend to model a fair number of Soviet WW2 aircraft (or Great Patriotic War as a Russian would have it). And I'm looking for some advice on one aspect in particular.

I'm a brush painter recently returned to the hobby and having his first taste of acrylics (I've been out of the hobby a loooooong time!) however I can't find anything that fits the quite vivid sky blue of the aircraft's undersides in the Tamiya or Revell acrylics range.

Have I simply not been looking hard enough or is there something out there from another paint brand that matches?

Thanks for your help.

Hi there,

Model Master (Testors) do have several WWll Soviet shades in their enamel range; however I am not sure of if some or all of those shades have found their way to their acrylic range, but you could try their website, www.testors.com, for more information.

Nicolai

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I tracked down and bought a selection of the AKAN enamel paints and regardless of their accuracy they do not airbrush as well as Xtracolor or WEM Colourcoats paints, the best I could do was make up paint chips using them and match up paints from the Xtracolor, Colourcoats, Model Master and Humbrol enamel ranges.

Cheers

Dennis

Dennis

I'm interested as to any conclusions you have regarding the results of your brush-outs especially as AKAN paints are rather rare in the UK (to me at least).

Given that Humbrol enamels are the most widely available range, are there any decent comparables?

Regards

Trevor

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No. As I understand it the Akan paints have been matched directly to the extant Soviet paint standards. The only issue there - and it is probably academic - is how far the colours of the standards might have shifted due to age. Otherwise Akan are doing pretty much what the aircraft/paint manufacturers were doing so any variance from standard in their own paint range ought only to reflect reality.

The related issues are the availability/accessibility of Akan paints and the question of matching the standards to other paint ranges - or to mixes from other paint ranges. Without direct access to the paint standards this could still be done, with a small enough margin of error, by matching Akan paint brush outs to other ranges. However, there doesn't seem to be much evidence of anyone doing that in a systematic way and the controversy seems to be more about competing approximations/perceptions.

Academic(ish) question, having read through that SovietWarplanes thread and the commentary here, if one were to produce a new range of VVS colours - and use the expertise of those who disagree with Erik Pilawski - how much certainty could be brought to the mix (sic) in terms of nailing the colours?

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I tracked down and bought a selection of the AKAN enamel paints and regardless of their accuracy they do not airbrush as well as Xtracolor or WEM Colourcoats paints, the best I could do was make up paint chips using them and match up paints from the Xtracolor, Colourcoats, Model Master and Humbrol enamel ranges.

Cheers

Dennis

Good approach - please share your findings with Bassplayer!

Regards

Nick

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Good approach - please share your findings with Bassplayer!

Indeed, share them with us all. That sounds like a sensible idea. The Akan paints are well regarded but I have heard before that they are sometimes hard to work with. maybe they work better at -30C (:>)

if one were to produce a new range of VVS colours - and use the expertise of those who disagree with EP

Well. some people would like them and some won't! That sounds facile but so is some of the argument about VVS colour. Nick's comment is spot on - there are some people who are passionate and knowledgeable about VVS planes and colours but forget about chemistry.

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Academic(ish) question, having read through that SovietWarplanes thread and the commentary here, if one were to produce a new range of VVS colours - and use the expertise of those who disagree with Erik Pilawski - how much certainty could be brought to the mix (sic) in terms of nailing the colours?

In terms of identifying the intended colours matching to the original standards is a better approach than matching to extant applied samples from aircraft (unless there is a broad enough range of the latter available to categorise colours by manufacturer, type, etc., beyond single examples). If it can be verified that Akan paints are indeed good matches to the standards then one way to go (short of acquiring the standards) is indeed to match to the Akan paints. There will be a margin of error by two stages but probably not much more so than would have been introduced into the manufacturing processes of the period anyway.

For the purpose of 'nailing' the colours the primary evidence of the colours themselves should always be used (either by direct examination or via properly measured and communicated values) rather than depending on someone else's perception of the colours, however much VVS expertise they might have.

Online digital visual presentations of swatches set against brush outs or FS decks, etc., would not be a reliable method of defining the paint colours accurately although that approach is often perfectly adequate for some modellers needs.

Generally speaking, and I'm not knocking anyone here, whilst the subject of colour is a familiar and integral part of all modelling for all modellers to a greater or lesser extent, very few enthusiasts with expertise in or access to the specific colours demonstrate a very thorough understanding of colour science and paint chemistry or even use established methodologies to define and communicate the colours. A lot of assumptions are made and a lot of very complex and multi-faceted aspects reduced to questionable simplifications. Adopting a more disciplined and scientific approach would probably remove a lot of the heat from arguments based on individual subjective perception. This is an important responsibility for those gurus concerned because most modellers do not have the resources or raw data to pursue this demanding approach themselves. Their informed choices are dependent on the quality of the information output from those who do.

Regards

Nick

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