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AnonymousDFB1

Mig 21 Single Type Group Build

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The single anomaly I mentioned above was a photo of a Syrian Mig-21 which defected to Jordan. It clearly has a fuselage roundel but it also has Egyptian-style orange hi-vis panels. Is this possibly an ex-Egyptian aircraft in Syrian service which has simply not been repainted?

Nope. That's an Egyptian MiG-21MF (recently overhauled in Ukraine), declared 'Syrian' because our glorious mainstream media needed an illustration for reports about that defection.

That plane has never seen Syria (at least not from less than 400-500 kilometres away).

Contrary to situation with MiG-17s and Il-28s, no MiG-21s were ever 'exchanged' between Egypt and Syria. And even in the case of MIG-17s and Il-28s, it was actually as follows: in 1958, Egypt and Syria united into the 'United Arab Republic'. This union existed for less than three years, but during that time the Egyptians have taken away nearly all of Syrian MiG-17s and Il-28s, plus the entire Air Force Academy (including all of its ground-equipment). That is how Egypt has got its MiG-17PFs, for example: these were originally acquired by Syria, but then 'incorporated' into the No. 31 Squadron 'UARAF' and re-deployed to Egypt. In return, only two UARAF MiG-17-squadrons were based in the 'Eastern Province' (as Syria was renamed during the times of the UAR). Sometimes there were also temporary detachments of Il-28Rs from No. 8 and No.9 Sqns UARAF: these involved in several nocturnal recce ops over Israel (they would launch from Egypt, fly over Israel, land in Syria to refuel and then return - via the same route - few nights back). By pure accident, four UARAF Il-28Rs were in Syria when the counter-Egypt coup of 1961 took place. The Syrians 'captured' them on the ground and they were subsequently incorporated into the new SyAAF.... One squadron of Egyptian MiG-17s was deployed to Syria again in 1972, but it lost nearly all of its aircraft during the October 1973 War.

Whatever, the bottom line is: there are no and there were never any ex-Egyptian MiG-21s in Syria.

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Thanks for all the invaluable input Tom, if I get time I might copy all your info from this thread in to the reference thread once the GB starts, as this one will get locked and drift off into the cyber abyss!

While you're giving us your insight do you have any thoughts on this series of books:

http://www.rvresin.com/MiG-21_Fishbed_complete.html

I have their decal sheet, and it looks great, no idea how accurate it is.

http://www.rvresin.com/decals1.html

Thanks

Phil

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Nope. That's an Egyptian MiG-21MF (recently overhauled in Ukraine), declared 'Syrian' because our glorious mainstream media needed an illustration for reports about that defection.

Thanks Tom.

I'm astonished at the situation with regard to the fuselage roundel on Syrian Migs. I have the Osprey Arab Mig-21 Units In Combat book. Every single profile of a Syrian Mig-21 shows it with a fuselage roundel. However, not one single photo of a Syrian Mig-21 actually has a fuselage roundel.

I think this is a case of profile painters seeing what they think should be there, rather than what is actually there.

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Hey, i would like to join this one (though most likely not from beginning as i have some kits to be finished yet) with Eduard 1/48. I got the Bunny fighter club kit but i didnt decided yet about camo, so this might help me - do you accept what-if camo in this GB? (aka the Bunny fighter camouflage)
If not, i ll make some real plane :) (it would be else czech 1113 with pin up noseart or some of the new MFN in low-vis)

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While you're giving us your insight do you have any thoughts on this series of books:

http://www.rvresin.com/MiG-21_Fishbed_complete.html

I'm not Tom and I'm not quite sure he knows about the RV books as they are drawings books which are more intended for modellers than historians.

You might be interested by this review of the 1/72 edition: http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index.php?showtopic=192974

Edited by Laurent

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I'm not Tom and I'm not quite sure he knows about the RV books as they are drawings books which are more intended for modellers than historians.

You might be interested by this review of the 1/72 edition: http://www.arcforums.com/for

ums/air/index.php?showtopic=192974

Your input is just as welcome, thanks for the link I'll have a look!

Having looked at the link, I don't think I'll consider them much further!!

I hope the decals are more accurate.... Thanks again

Phil

Edited by SaintsPhil

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Eduardo,

at the 'second look', I'd say that BS381C/388 beige with a solid touch of orange (i.e. add 10% red colour), and a very dark BS381C/283 (add 10% black to this one) on upper surfaces, plus BS381C/697 light admiralty grey for bottom surfaces - are a good guess. As explained so often, Soviets used British Standard colours for painting their planes already since the 1950s, so there was not that much variation there (at least not for planes they were exporting in period 1950s-1970s).

Re. Arab MiGs: thanks, I'm happy if you're happy and, yes, Holger's contribution is going to appear in Arab MiGs Volume 5, due out in September this year.

Because they're so 'authoritative' and 'insisting on their unmatched first-hand sources' (stipulating use of documentation from official archives), here another silly one, showing a Syrian MiG-21F-13 in markings as were certainly, 100% sure, never worn by any Syrian MiG-21s at all (because such national markings were worn only before 1958, while first MiG-21s did not reach Syria before 1963-1964, and because no Syrian MiG-21s have got roundels on their fuselage ever):

http://img.wp.scn.ru/camms/ar/14/pics/80_2_b2.jpg

Given that's Hikoki, one would expect that 'ten years later', the authors of 'unmatched' information would have done their homework...

And if you want an example for lifting: a photo of Egyptian pilot taking place in the cockpit of MiG-21F-13 '5279'. Dr David Nicolle purchased that photo for 50 quids from original source in Egypt, and published it in 'Arab MiG-19 & MiG-21 Units in Combat', 12 years ago. But the knights of recycling have scanned it from there and are declaring it 'Russian Aviation Research Trust' or whatever else...

As said before, it's tragic, but it's the same way in text too: masses of - apparently - 'minor' mistakes, which in summary make the entire book (and not only this one) a futile exercise.

Hi Tom!

Wow! Thank you for your answer! Now I have no excuses left not to start the Amodel Mi-6... I'll be making my own decals ;)

Hikoki did a few very well researched books (ex. "Shadows" on the Biafra war)... So they cannot be relied on for serious, high grade researched books anymore... That's sad. Thank you for the warning ;)

Thank you for the Syrian "no-roundels-on-fuselage" rule! I was going to go with the 'Arab MiG-19 & MiG-21 Units in Combat'... seeing as it was one of yours :) That means that the Tally-Ho decal sheet I was going to use on a Syrian MiG bis is wrong... BTW - the camo "sand/grey/green" - is it real or just another error? I've noted that in the "...Units in Combat" book the grey is replaced by brown.What gives? :)

YG - I had noticed that his MiG-21 books repeat the content of his earlier books and that the info on export aircraft in general was sketchy (if there at all!) I have almost all of his Aerofax and Red Star books and find them useful. I stopped buying his books sight unseen after buying the Warbird Tech and the "Bible" on the MiG-21. :banghead: Self-plagiarism is as disappointing for the reader as general plagiarism is for the investigator.

About drawings: I have several sets... :nuke: How about the AiV 095/96 scale drawings. How are they rated? The Aerofax MiG-21 book has an interesting collection of drawings too... :worms:

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Thanks for all the invaluable input Tom, if I get time I might copy all your info from this thread in to the reference thread once the GB starts, as this one will get locked and drift off into the cyber abyss!

While you're giving us your insight do you have any thoughts on this series of books:

http://www.rvresin.com/MiG-21_Fishbed_complete.html

I have their decal sheet, and it looks great, no idea how accurate it is.

http://www.rvresin.com/decals1.html

Thanks

Phil

I haven't bought any of these books (yet), but AFAIK, the linedrawings you can find there are some of the best I've ever seen, hands down, although not 100% accurate.

Sadly, their colour artworks (i.e. instructions for application of camouflage patterns) not so much. At least not in the case of following aircraft:

- 'Iraqi MiG-21MF 21202': in 1988, Iraqi air force introduced a serialling system similar to that used in former Yugoslavia: this obviously consisted of five digits, the first two of which denoted the aircraft type ('21' for MiG-21), the third the variant (with '0' for two-seaters, '1' for early variants, from F-13 to MF, '2' for MiG-21bis, and '3' for MiG-21Rs), and the last two digits denoted the individual number of the aircraft in question. Correspondingly, 21202 could not have been a MiG-21MF. On the contrary, photos are clearly showing it as 21202. However, the camo shown on that sheet is that that of MiG-21R 21302, found by US troos at Ali Ibn Abu Talib AB (better known as 'Tallil' in the West), and then destroyed. Plus, the camo pattern on top wing surfaces is wrong.

- Iraqi MiG-21MF '712': before 1988, Iraqi air force used a serialling system that followed the order in which aircraft were delivered. That means: the first five planes ever delivered to the Iraqi Air Force (then still 'Royal') - five deHavilland that arrived in 1931 - wore serial numbers 1, 2, 3, etc. Plane number 712 was a MiG-21FL from a batch ordered in 1966, delivered in early 1967. Correspondingly, in the case of that artwork, it's the variant that's wrong (plus, I never saw such camo pattern applied on any of Iraqi MiG-21s, no matter what series).

- Ethiopian MiG-21MF 1082 and 1087: Ethiopia has got only about a dozen of MiG-21MFs donated by the Soviets in November 1978. Ethiopians did not want that variant: they insisted on deliveries of MiG-21bis. Although delivered, these planes never really entered service with the EtAF: they've got EtAF markings and were flown by a group of Cuban pilots during closing stages of Ogaden War (1977-1978), but were stored only a few months later (for more details, see: Wings over Ogaden, due out in June this year). As far as is known, they've got serials in range about 105x-1060x. Photos of 1082 and 1087 are existing and clearly showing them as MiG-21bis (that aside, calling any air base in Ethiopia 'Bishoftu' is nearly an offense for Ethiopians).

- Angolan MiG-21MF 'C41': this MF was one of some 14 delivered by Cuba to Angola in January 1976. Camo is generally OK, and the 'fin-flash' too. The problem is: aircraft marked that way - including MiG-21bis - were always flown by Cubans: but, they never wore any kind of roundels. Only aircraft without such fin flash have got roundels applied too, but they were flown by Angolans.

- Nigerian MiG-21MF 'NAF671': camo pattern on top surfaces of wings is wrong.

- 'Algerian' MiG-21MF 8205: camo pattern and markings 'OK' (right-hand view is fantasy, then only left-hand views of that aircraft are available), but that plane belonged to the Egyptian Air Force. Similarly, 8410 (same sheet, below), was actually a MiG-21M (no MF).

- Sudanese MiG-21Ms (344 and 345): painting and markings are - generally - OK (I would check references for exact position of serials applied on the rear fuselage, though; there are enough photos; also, follow the painting guide for Bangladeshi MiG-21Ms in case of the Sudanese, it's 'more precise'). But, these planes were some very early MiG-21Ms and thus have never got 'deflector plates' on fuselage sides (above gun installation and below the cockpit, in front of the wing root).

Edited by Tom Cooper

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Thanks Tom.

I'm astonished at the situation with regard to the fuselage roundel on Syrian Migs. I have the Osprey Arab Mig-21 Units In Combat book. Every single profile of a Syrian Mig-21 shows it with a fuselage roundel. However, not one single photo of a Syrian Mig-21 actually has a fuselage roundel.

I think this is a case of profile painters seeing what they think should be there, rather than what is actually there.

Yes, sadly: as explained already here, that book came into being during 'pre-historic' times of our research on topic of Arab MiGs (not to talk about the times when I couldn't care less about 'photos and artworks'; my opinion back then was that text/info is far more important), and thus it is containing a number of mistakes.

Mea culpa.

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Hikoki did a few very well researched books (ex. "Shadows" on the Biafra war)... So they cannot be relied on for serious, high grade researched books anymore... That's sad. Thank you for the warning

I can't say 'all recent Hikoki books' are bad: I haven't seen any other recently published volumes by them, except those 'written' by Y G. However, being of the sort that's 'calling spade a spade', I cannot but conclude that those 'collected' by him are 'flashy, but very poor', and that the publisher apparently couldn't care less about their 'quality' or the dubious fashion in which they are prepared (otherwise the publisher wouldn't do what all other publishers ceased doing).

Thank you for the Syrian "no-roundels-on-fuselage" rule! I was going to go with the 'Arab MiG-19 & MiG-21 Units in Combat'... seeing as it was one of yours :) That means that the Tally-Ho decal sheet I was going to use on a Syrian MiG bis is wrong... BTW - the camo "sand/grey/green" - is it real or just another error? I've noted that in the "...Units in Combat" book the grey is replaced by brown.What gives?
As described here that artwork was based on an artwork from Hans Heiri-Stapfer's 'MiG-21' published by Squadron/Signal Publications back in the early 1990. It turned out the artwork from the latter book was actually based on a grainy photo of a South Yemeni MiG-21bis '202', which was actually painted in beige, light green and blue-green (like so many MiG-21bis delivered to various countries in Africa, see African MiGs Vols 1 and 2 for numerous examples).
About drawings: I have several sets... :nuke: How about the AiV 095/96 scale drawings. How are they rated? The Aerofax MiG-21 book has an interesting collection of drawings too...
AFAIK, linedrawings used in 'Y G's' books are usually 'reproductions' of those from AiV (no wonder even that mag stopped working with him), so also in the case of Aerofax book.

As said before, it's actually pity, bordering on tragic. Perhaps it's better for me to shut up here... :shutup:

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I haven't bought any of these books (yet), but AFAIK, the linedrawings you can find there are some of the best I've ever seen, hands down, although not 100% accurate.

The inaccuracies (representation of canopy in profile and top view, bottom fuseage that curves up too much when going towards the front in profile view... link1 and link2) of the RV drawings suggest that the RV drawings are reverse-engineered 4+ drawings.

AFAIK, linedrawings used in 'Y G's' books are usually 'reproductions' of those from AiV (no wonder even that mag stopped working with him), so also in the case of Aerofax book.

The drawings of the Aerofax have been drawn by late Vladimir Klimov. They have been updated by Andrei Yurgenson in the Famous Russian Aircraft book. AFAIK Klimov drawings have been initially published in Krilya Rodiny n°1 MiG-21 monography published in 1994 whos author is... Y.G.

titelkryljarodiny.jpg

(source: http://mig-21.de/deutsch/literaturueberblick.htm)

Edited by Laurent

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gosh after all this will anyone be brave/silly enough to build a Mig-21???? :hypnotised:

If the coulours don't look right you can always blame the camera/monitor for the difference! :whistle:

I still haven't decided whether to use the masks or decals for the "splinter" camo :hmmm: ....decals are easier, but masks&paint will looks so much better though the risk factor is higher! Least there are plenty of good photos of the wee beasty so referances won't be too much of an issue!

I won't be home in time for the start which is a good thing, the pressures in this STGB to get it right :doh: ................well I'll be havin some fun anyway!!!

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Yes, sadly: as explained already here, that book came into being during 'pre-historic' times of our research on topic of Arab MiGs (not to talk about the times when I couldn't care less about 'photos and artworks'; my opinion back then was that text/info is far more important), and thus it is containing a number of mistakes.

Mea culpa.

I didn't realise that you were involved in that one - despite your name being emblazoned across the cover in large friendly letters. :doh::lol:

That's an interesting comment about the evolution of understanding. It happens everywhere. I have a number of books about dinosaurs which claim that sauropods had long necks because they lived in lakes and the long neck acted as a snorkel...

I enjoyed reading the book and looking at the photos. As with any profile, I tend to do a bit more research rather than taking them as gospel.

Thank you for the Syrian "no-roundels-on-fuselage" rule! I was going to go with the 'Arab MiG-19 & MiG-21 Units in Combat'... seeing as it was one of yours :) That means that the Tally-Ho decal sheet I was going to use on a Syrian MiG bis is wrong... BTW - the camo "sand/grey/green" - is it real or just another error? I've noted that in the "...Units in Combat" book the grey is replaced by brown.What gives? :)

I was going to ask the same question. I would like to build a Syrian Mig-21MF coded 1487 (looks a bit like IE^V in Arabic script) as shown on the Print Scale decal sheet 72009. I was just going to omit the fuselage roundels. However, I'd be interested in your comments about the sand/grey/green camo.

Edited by Enzo Matrix

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gosh after all this will anyone be brave/silly enough to build a Mig-21???? :hypnotised:

To be honest, I'm quite inspired by all the detailed information that we are getting. This is gonna be a good one! :bounce:

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gosh after all this will anyone be brave/silly enough to build a Mig-21???? :hypnotised:

On the contrary, the presence of some true experts here means that most questions will be answered. It will be up to the modeller then to decide if he/she wants to follow the various suggestions and build a very accurate scheme or simply relax and follow the kit instructions, in the end both modellers will have fun

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I didn't realise that you were involved in that one - despite your name being emblazoned across the cover in large friendly letters. :doh::lol:

That's an interesting comment about the evolution of understanding. It happens everywhere. I have a number of books about dinosaurs which claim that sauropods had long necks because they lived in lakes and the long neck acted as a snorkel...

I enjoyed reading the book and looking at the photos. As with any profile, I tend to do a bit more research rather than taking them as gospel.

Thanks for your understanding.

Unless one limits himself to copy-pasting older publications, authentic research about 'Arab' air forces is extremely problematic. Firstly, getting original documentation is next to impossible: this is locked and as closely guarded secret as Fort Knox or British and/or US ABC weapons... Contacting official authorities is useless: they simply do not care to answer (or if, and amazingly enough: such authorities like Saudis are 'convinced' the Israelis have 'already published everything, so why research about Arabs?'). So, all that's left are 'private channels' and finding these... sigh.... Sufficient to say: it's slightly better now in Egypt and Iraq (only), but even searching for participants/eyewitnesses in specific Arab countries is nearly always bringing one straight on collision course with one of local Mukhbarats (secret services) - because in Arab countries since the June 1967 War any kind of interest in 'military-related' matters is associated with 'espionage'. Sure, internet is helping a bit, but most of the times not at all. Combined, this means: it takes awfully lots of time just to find relevant people, and even if, more often than not they promise quite a lot and then disappear (usually for lack of interest in answering a small million of questions, in other cases for different reasons). So, finding a participant, and then one ready to share his own photos, documents and answer questions... that's rather resembling a lottery win. Unless one is persistent enough, the likelyhood of extracting useful results are minimal (if existing at all).

While getting relevant foreign documentation might be relatively easy in the UK (Air Ministry archives are simply wonderful; sadly, thanks to that 'clever' decision from 1957, UK practically stopped exporting military aircraft at later times), despite the FOIA law, it's meanwhile next to impossible in the USA. At earlier times (back in the late 1990s and early 2000s) one was getting quite useful answers from US archives (in terms of some wonderful copies of relevant documents, half of which were blotted/blackened out). Meanwhile it is so that whether one asks the CIA, DIA, NSA, or any of military branches, the best one might hope to get is 'no records' reply. Actually, most of the times one gets answers that resemble something like 'go f.... yourself, or sue me if you need to'. And this after - usually - waiting four years for such an answer...That's plain rubbish, then - on the basis of earlier replies to my FOIA inquiries - I know that specific US mil intel agencies have a file on every single Arab air force officer (no matter what country), since the 1950s - and that 'just for the start' (i.e. it's nearly pointeless to add that US mil archives actually have extensive documentation on all possible wars involving Arab air forces).

And, as explained above, instead of doing research in their own archives, the Russians are copy-pasting from Western publications... :rolleyes:

Even if one remains persistent enough and has got the 'useful information' that's necessary for a decent publication, it is simply so that not only is one source insufficient to properly explain the story: more often than not, even 10 sources are not enough. So, there is plenty of 'trial and error' work. One publishes something, the story is good, but incomplete. One almost has to hope there will be somebody 'flipping out' and prompted to write a 'mad letter' to the publisher. A handful of such cases proved very useful in the past (and usually result in opening additional 'doors') - all provided they did not disappear after 1-2 e-mails, as so often.

And then, even once one has got something like a 'story' to write and publish, finding a publisher is at least as problematic. Especially so since 9/11. I've had not only one British publisher explaining me (literaly) he can't imagine anything related to 'Arabs' would sell any more. And in the USA... sigh... there I've had not only one publisher explaining me there is no way he would publish anything containing description of an Arab air force as a professional, coherent and functional military force. A true 'aha' experience.

Summary: it's hard to get the info, it's hard to verify, and at least as hard to publish it. Even with US archives practically 'locked', and Russians not doing what they actually should - there is still so much to publish that several of us actually do not know where to publish all our stuff, and if we get the opportunity, some mistakes are unavoidable. Some for reasons mentioned above, others because it's mentally extremely hard to simultaneously concentrate on all important details relevant to the text AND to those important for illustrations, and because usually there's simply not enough space.

Few examples: to publish something like 'Arab MiGs' books, several of us have had to launch our own publisher. And, as readers of the resulting 'Arab MiGs' series have surely found out, in every new volume we start a new topic, and then find out we can't complete it in the same volume - simply because there is so much to 'put straight', to properly explain (just think about the urban legend on Syrian MiG-19s: one simply can't explain reasons for there being no MiG-19s in Syria 'in few words'). So, the story is next to always completed only in the next volume. Years later some new important piece of info appears, and one then can only put it into Addenda/Errata of the next volume. It's really a 'neverending' process, resulting in anything but 'definite history'.

And 'despite' that series: one simply can't publish everything in it. If you can imagine: the leading historian of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, British widow of a late RJAF Hunter pilot - a wonderful lady with so many fantastic, first-hand experiences - can't find a publisher for her history of military flying in Jordan since something like 15 years (although that story, obviously, contains plenty of British history too).

Bottom line: that's why 'even in our times' there is plenty of entirely wrong information about Arab air forces circling in usual - 'mainstream' - publications.

Colour profiles (aka artworks) are no exception. Call it an 'advertising' and/or a 'commerical' (considering none of involved people is earning anything at all from this effort, I find this rather laughable), but I can't stress this often enough: we have put great emphasis on readying the most authentic artworks possible for that series. Many of artworks that can be found in these books are results of - literal - 'years of research'. Meanwhile, we're getting plenty of help from all possible directions (even from Israel) too. So, unless you get to see an artwork of - say - an Egyptian MiG-21 that's based on the Arab MiGs series of books, be extremely cautious: usually available references about colours, markings and variants of Arab MiG-21s (and most of other Soviet-built types) are 99% wrong.

Edited by Tom Cooper

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Four days to go! This is exciting! :bounce:

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I will be building four models, all from the 1/72 Zvezda bis kit. Even theough they are going to be slightly different, a lot of the stages are going to be identical. Will it be acceptable to show all four builds in the same thread?

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I will be building four models, all from the 1/72 Zvezda bis kit. Even theough they are going to be slightly different, a lot of the stages are going to be identical. Will it be acceptable to show all four builds in the same thread?

I think that's probably the best way to do it!

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Got my Academy kit from the loft at weekend ready. I'd forgotten that I have painted some of the cockpit parts in WEM Russian interior green but done no cutting, sticking or any other painting.

Is this GB going with the usual 25% rule ? Mine's well under but just thought I'd check.

Ta

Chris

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