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Massimo Tessitori

Colors of Republican Air Force during the Spanish Civil War.

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Hi all, 

a friend is making researches about the colors of paints utilized by Republican planes, SB in particular, during the Civil War, and on colors utilized by Nationalists to repaint the captured planes after the war.  He is starting to work on profiles of SB.

There was some interesting discussion there, some years ago: http://massimotessitori.altervista.org/sovietwarplanes/board/index.php?topic=1019.0

I have some photos of the museum of Madrid too, but they were repainted after the war and the authenticity is not guaranteed.

In general, we have seen samples two shades of green (dark and light olive) utilized on SB over a light grey background.  Besides it is generally accepted that sand and brown were utilized as camo colors, and that often undersurfaces were light blue (something as Humbrol 65).

I would like to know if there is any further information available before starting the work on profiles.

Regards

Massimo

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I can only tell that recently I am using as light blue Humbrol 65, Humbrol 117 as Republican green and  Humbrol 26 as brown plus 60 as red. 

But I am not sure if I am right, or two waht extend it is correct

Regards

J-W

 

 

 

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It looks likely enough. But I hope to find further sources as pieces of wrecks, reports of veterans etc, other than the very few things that I have already found. For example, many SB are drawn on profiles as sand with green dots. I wonder if this is right, or the background could be the original Soviet light grey. A piece of SB shows two greens and a light grey undersurface. 

Regards

Massimo

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IMHO, trying to look for colour equivalences would be a loss of time, when we talk about spanish civil war aircraft. Most of them were locally repainted with whatever they found....tried to replicate the original colours, but AFAIK, local stocks of paint were used with mixed results. Post war, the recovered (never liked the term captured, but that's another story) planes were given an overspray to mimic the already in use italian or german examples, trying to look for an adequate paint equivalence is quite hard. During and after the war, we had inmense stocks of italian origin paint, so wouldn't be wrong using those hues. 

Apart from that, the enamel paints were thinned with petrol, so depending on the maintenance unit doing the paint work, the result could be so different from one unit to another. 

Talking about the republican planes, and just about those of soviet origin, general consensus here in Spain give Humbrol 114 and 115 as the most accurate colours. Some planes were repainted with a local shade of green quite similar to Humbrol 179, specially the Polikarpov I-16 UTI4 (spanish built).  For the camouflage colours, Humbrol 63 and  Humbrol 70/170. We talk about "similar", not exatc matching colours...

For postwar repainted planes, go for italian shades...Even the german origin paints such as the RLM02, 63, etc..were "imitated" with local paints, with relative success. In fact, we used a nice term to define the grey colour used on almost every plane then in service.....it was "Gris Barracón" or "Gris Ratón" (Barrack or mouse grey)....

Best regards..

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