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Author Topic: About spanish and soviet green in the SCW' I-15  (Read 3163 times)
xan
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« on: March 09, 2014, 03:11:29 AM »

Hello,
Is as said in another topic, I began a new project a I-15 in northern front of the SCW in 1937...
I would like to share with you my impressions about the never ending discution about the type of green on republican's plane during the Spanish civil war.

It's often said that we have to differentiate the I-15 made in CCCP and those who were made in Spain.
According to this theory, the russian one's would be painted with soviet colours (AII green/ blue) and spanish in spanish colour, a darker green show in the Maximo website...

I don't agree with that theory , because when the first I-15 were sold to the republican government, AII color just don' exist...
If I'm not wrong, Maximo, you tell in your general table of color, that the AII colors  Specification issued in mid 1937, and
In use in1938-1941.
The I-15 I will do arrive in Spain in november of 1936 in the port of Bilbao. So it's arlier...

My friend Pascal, who will do the Falco's last I-15, talk with him. Falco (republican pilot who still live in Toulouse, the Pascal Town) tolds him, plane were repeinted when they arrived, and the original color was "purpurina" (metalic)...

So all became quite logic: the plane were sold in 1936 soviet way of painting, wich is AII aluminium for fabrics, and AE-9 for metalic parts...

Last problem, was I didn't know any soviet I-15 in this paints, except perhaps this one:


the others were green....

The solution at that question is that VVS don't use I-15 planes; the few they had (as the red three for exemple) can have be photographed later even during the GPW...

So all in all my conclusion is that in 1937 no I-15 could be painted in AII green and they arrived in AII aluminium / AE-9

Pease tell me if you agree with this opinion or not ?

Xan



   
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FPSOlkor
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2014, 03:18:48 AM »

Is there any chance to make an interview with SCW pilot?
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2014, 05:05:13 AM »

Hi Ssan,
if Falco says that his plane arrived painted purpurina and then was repainted in Spanish colors, then it's very likely that it was so, for this plane.
For what is known, Spanish painted many planes, other than Soviet-built, in olive and light blue, so it's likely that they had their own colors. It is not known if they were standardized.
I think that Soviet-built planes could either be repainted, or bear Soviet colors that were similar enough.
The few wrecks available show (for Rata) two greens overposed, of which at least one has to be the original Soviet one, and at least two blues (I would say three, but I haven't examined the original samples) of which at least one should be the original Soviet color.
Two different green colors are overposed to the light grey of a wreck of SB, and it's likely that both them are Spanish because Soviet SB were light grey or silver overall before 1940.
AE-9 was not in use before 1938, eventually there was another grey that was similar in shade but had very bad adhesion on metal surfaces, as visible on photos of early SB and DB-3.
Soviet planes with AE-9 grey paint on metal surfaces and silver on fabric surfaces should be of 1938-40.
The I-15 of the profile has its metal surfaces unpainted and polished, as visible on a close photo of the Polygon monograph. 
It's likely that silver-looking surfaces visible on photos of planes of the '30s as R-5s and I-5s were unpainted.
The use of zinc chromate yellowish primer that increased the adherence of paint over metal surfaces was started around 1938.
I think that the Soviet I-15s painted in green were photographed in Soviet service during the '30s, but they were later sold to Spain, to be replaced in VVS service with the newer I-15bis .
A similar thing was done with SB: nearly all SB in Spanish service had two blades propellers, while nearly all Soviet ones in Winter War and GPW had 3 blades propellers.
So I think that Soviets utilized the Spanish market to sell the earlier versions of their planes and replace them in home service with newer models.

Regards
MaSSimo

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xan
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2014, 12:35:44 PM »

Thanks massimo!
So, if i understood, you think that the russian I-15 were painted with the old 1927 green?
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KL
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2014, 10:08:41 PM »

So I think that Soviets utilized the Spanish market to sell the earlier versions of their planes and replace them in home service with newer models.

Not so simple...  SCW was a chaotic mix of warfare, ideology, politics, economics and few other things - Xan is a historian he knows that....

If we consider, the first, 1936 Soviet arms shipment, Soviets delivered both the latest and somewhat outdated planes.
SB bomber was an ultra-modern design, in Sept/Oct 1936 it hasn't fully entered VVS service so that planes of 1st and 2nd production series had to be shiped directly from the factory.  I-16s were also brand new, the latest and the most modern fighter type in VVS service.

I-15 and SSS could be considered as outdated, but that is what Spaniards were looking for:  replacement for their NiD-52s and Bre-19s. Although both I-15 and SSS were in production in 1935-36, machines shipped to Spain were used (sent from VVS regiments, not from factories).

Some Stalin's decisions were inexplicable:  ShKAS machine gun was considered secret, so SB bombers were delivered without them.  At the same time ShKAS mgs were left on SSS shturmoviks.

Later during the SCW Soviets continued to deliver the most modern planes that they had.  RZ instead of SSS, I-16 Type 10 as soon as it appeared etc...
Regards,
KL
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 12:47:19 AM by KL » Logged
Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2014, 01:20:18 AM »

Hi xan,
Quote
So, if i understood, you think that the russian I-15 were painted with the old 1927 green?
Looks likely, even if I am not sure that only one green was utilized before. Many photos seem to suggest that some earlier types, including R-3 and early R-5, were painted with a very dark gloss color on fabric/wood parts only, soon replaced by a lighter color on all the uppersurfaces; both are visible on this photo

I suppose that they are all shades of olive or yellowish green, and the second one could be the 'khaki' sold by Akan.
Later (1936-38) it seem to have been used a dark green color comparable to 3B, and then the AII green.
I hope to have resumed correctly the general, uncertain and fragmentary beliefs on the subject.

Hi Konstantin,
probably many of the planes were brand new, but many were recent types only. It's the easiest way to explain the extinction of some types (as I-15s and two-blade SBs) from the Soviet inventory and their abundance in Spanish AF. 
I can't believe that the VVS stopped to receive new biplane fighters when the I-15 was in production, sending them all to Spain and waiting for the newer I-15bis that can still be found in Barbarossa photos of 1941.
In photos of 1941, we can find some I-5s still utilized as trainers, but practically no I-15s. Probably because Spanish wanted I-15s, even already used, but not I-5s.

Regards
Massimo
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KL
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2014, 11:49:52 AM »

probably many of the planes were brand new, but many were recent types only. It's the easiest way to explain the extinction of some types (as I-15s and two-blade SBs) from the Soviet inventory and their abundance in Spanish AF.  
I can't believe that the VVS stopped to receive new biplane fighters when the I-15 was in production, sending them all to Spain and waiting for the newer I-15bis that can still be found in Barbarossa photos of 1941.
In photos of 1941, we can find some I-5s still utilized as trainers, but practically no I-15s. Probably because Spanish wanted I-15s, even already used, but not I-5s.

Hi Massimo,
No need for conclusions based on abundance of photographic evidence.  Information about the number of I-15s produced by year and the number of I-15s shipped to Spain has been published.  I would recommend books by M. Maslov and "Arms for Spain" by G. Howson.

Around 250 I-15s remained in Soviet Union - the fact that there are no I-15 photos made by "Wehrmacht tourists" is irrelevant to Spanish Civil War history.

3-blade propellers were introduced on SB bombers with 96 Series in fall of 1938 - too late for Spain.  Again, German photographic evidence is misleading...

Regards,
KL  
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2014, 01:35:36 PM »

Hi Konstantin,
I've found:
Quote
A total of 671 I-15s were built, 284 in the Soviet Union and a further 287 under license by CASA in Spain, of which only 80 became operative.[5]
 Gordon and Dexter 1999, p. 120.
Later, in 2002, Gordon states that 385 planes were built 1n 1934-35, while the production was zero in 1936. About 155 planes were sent to Spain (of course used planes).
The difference is about 230-250 planes.  The type was hated by Soviet commanders. Some were probably sold to Mongolia. And other ones? I wonder where they have disappeared.
Regards
Massimo
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KL
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2014, 03:09:28 PM »

Russian sources agree that 384 series I-15 were produced.  Abrosov has 131 I-15 shipped to Spain.

It isn't clear what have happened with remaining 250.  In a 1936 letter Polikarpov mentions that I-15 remained in VVS service thanks to Stalin's intervention.  In 1937 tests were performed with operational I-15 armed with RS projectiles.

Some I-15s may have been sold to China in 1937:  In his I-15 book, Maslov mentions 215 planes, maybe more.  In his later I-15bis book, this number was reduced to 62 (some chinese sources mention 62 "old" I-15s).  Even this number is questionable, since I-15 and I-15bis haven't been distinguished in Soviet deliveries to China.

HTH,
KL
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Massimo Tessitori
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« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2014, 12:05:15 AM »

I suppose that there are not reports of use of I-15s (of old type) flown by Soviet pilots against Japanese, I've read only of I-15 bis and 153. I wonder where the remaining planes were gone. Not all lost in accidents, I hope.
Regards
Massimo
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KL
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« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2014, 10:58:36 AM »

I wonder where the remaining planes were gone. Not all lost in accidents, I hope.

They remained in VVS service.  Why is that so hard to accept?

Xan,
Starting from late 1920es all Soviet military planes were painted in "Protective" colour on their upper surfaces and light blue on their undersides.  This was a standard - All series planes made for VVS had to have "Protective" green upper surfaces and light blue undersides (for example all TB-3s or I-3s or I-5s). There were few exceptions:  some planes flown by squadron commanders or high ranking officers were painted in silver and those planes were used during airshows as aerobatic planes (example is the plane flown by I. Pavlov, profile of which you have posted).  Few planes were red, again for aerobatic displays.

It's quite unlikely that any I-15s supplied to Spain were silver, they should have been "Protective" green + light blue (colours they had while in VVS service).  But, there is a small room to accommodate Falko's statement...

Important for understanding the colour of Soviet planes shipped to Spain is the fact that the shade of  "Protective" green has been changed in 1938.  Before 1938, "Protective" green was dark, moss green (some Spanish modellers say it was similar to RLM 83).  After 1938, "Protective" green became more yellowish olive green.


Left is after 1938, right before 1938

Spaniards had their own olive green and they used it througout the SCW.  There is a fragment of Potez 540 in Madrid's museum painted in yellowish olive green.  The same olive green was found on SB fragments. If I-15s were repainted in 1936, they should be yellowish olive green!



Regards,
KL

 
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 12:00:26 PM by KL » Logged
xan
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2014, 02:03:18 AM »

All right for the protective colors before 1938...
It's evident that Falco didn't see all the russian I-15 comming to Spain, but his memori was when my friend went to see him very clear and precise

this potez green could be french paint isn't it?

There are o lot of discutions in france around the green of the french planes before 1939. It was a protctive paint too
A friend of mine spoke with a mecanic who saw those paint and tel him:
it's easy do split pea soup and you will have the shade of that green:



I always find it very yellowish, but I have to admit that it's quite close to the potez piece isn't it ?

Xan
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KL
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2014, 12:53:54 PM »

All right for the protective colors before 1938...

Black olives are for illustration purposes only  Wink Pre-1938 "Protective" was also olive green but darker, less yellowish.

It's evident that Falco didn't see all the russian I-15 comming to Spain, but his memori was when my friend went to see him very clear and precise

In theory he may have received regiment commander’s plane.  All other I-15s were definitively dark olive green.  Falko may have also mixed up I-15s with silver Spanish Hispano-Nieuports which were camouflaged by the Republicans.

this potez green could be french paint isn't it?

From the information I gathered, Potez 540 bombers in service with Armee de l’Air were “tableau vert”



Fragment displayed at Quatro Vientos museum was definitively repainted.  Paint under olive green is very close to “tableau vert”.  Check it out next time when you visit Madrid and this museum.  Smiley



Regards,
KL
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xan
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2014, 03:14:58 PM »

I told you, the subject is quite complicated, there 'is more than one green.
often salled "vert emaillite", "vert tableaux" is another denominaiton of this period green or greens...
It was not really a paint but a protective varnish teinted.
We don't know a lot about this period and there is no piece of fabric...
Xan
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KL
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2014, 07:56:58 PM »

For your 1936 I-15 situation isn't that complicated:  it was most likely dark olive green, ie in original Soviet colour.  Optionally it was yellowish olive green if repainted with Spanish paint.

I would be gratefull if you find out what was the mening of the word "emallite" in 1930es French.  Same word was used in Soviet Union too...
KL
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