I have spent more than the last 30 years writing, voluminously, on the
topic of VVS colouration in the 1930-50 period. And I must admit,
nearly every day I wonder why this matter is still being debated? On
what basis? Over my historical career, I have collected many hundreds
of paint samples from these aircraft and their remains, apparently the only person on this planet to ever have systematically done so.
I read that again myself with utter disbelief. Not only that no one
else seems to be bothered to do any real work on a topic which is so hotly
and widely debated, but moreover that anyone has the hubris to
subsequently "disagree" with what I write. How? Again, on what basis?
Obviously not on the merit of their own work on this matter, so why
therefore? Over this time, more than 100 airframes and many
more partial bits of them have been retrieved from various parts of
Russia. Perhaps 50+ (or so) have been acquired by Western collectors
and collections, the rest remain in the country in various hands. Of
all this physical material-- archaeological material-- not one single flake or scrap of paint has ever been found which does not agree with what I have written.
Not one. If there is any other scientific person working in any field
anywhere with this kind of track record, I would very much like to have
that situation brought to my attention.
Think about that again. More than thirty years; more than one hundred
airframes; many hundreds of physical samples. Not one single
discrepancy. I don't feel like I even need to add to this mountain of
evidence many other supporting factors, such as professionally
demonstrated competence and working experience with aviation lacquers,
their associated chemistry, colour and pigment analysis, photographic
analysis, period photographic chemistry and function, archival work and
archaeological work. But, if it helps, there you go. Can anyone point
out, please, any other individual who has done more work over the
entire field of study? And yet, after all of that, I am routinely told
that I "am wrong". Oh really? And by whom? Another globally recognised
expert on the matter? Didn't think so...
Science, Evidence and the Nature of Modern Thinking
Those who suffer through my work will know that I spend lots of time
writing about the quite serious failures of modern society. It is now
beyond debate that most modern education is of a dismally poor
standard, resulting in persons who are completely ignorant of virtually
any scientific process, method or fact. Pupils are no longer taught how
to analyse anything scientifically, let alone are they required to
practice such techniques (which is required, as in all things, to do it
correctly). We are living, ironically, in Churchill's "...New Dark Age
made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of
perverted science..." As a result of this tragedy, and many factors
besides it , the world has collapsed into rank, brainless
popularism. Everything, every idea, is now interpreted from a
vehemently tribalistic outlook, 'what they think' vs 'what we think'
(which of course is the CORRECT version]. I do not recall ever having
seen any debate nor discussion about period VVS colouration on any web
site or forum where the participants demonstrate anything remotely
resembling a rational argument: where evidence is collected, presented,
evaluated and analysed. Every time it is a case of either a) the
colours specified by the Evil Swine (that's me, if you didn't guess)
"are ugly, I don't like them, and they cannot be right", or,
alternately, (b) "..according to this jpg of some paint chips [not the
actual chips, of course, but digital scans allegedly showing them] in
this colour book [not the actual book, of course, which they have never
seen and could not even prove which exists] which have Russian language
notations typed under them [which they cannot read, in the main, so are
at the mercy of hearsay] look like something else, so he (Swine) is
wrong"! For those not familiar with the Albom Nakrasok, here is my own original article dealing with it.
Is there anyone anywhere who is convinced by this line of behaviour? A
dozen little chips in a corroded book published years after the war is
superior evidence to all of the above!? Honestly? And moreover, where
is the critical analysis of these chips? I see no case (besides
myself!) where these chips have been logically analysed. That is to
say, compared to any genuine evidence. They are simply True, correct, there can be no debate which is heresy! This line of thinking is well known, of course-- we call it dogma.
I have lost count of the number of times I have replicated such
anti-dogmatic demonstrations of real evidence, and here again for the
very last time (enough is enough). There is no legitimate explanation
as to why this kind of analysis has not been done by other persons
interested in this topic-- or indeed even by most persons
interested in this topic!-- save for comprehensive ignorance on the
subject, neither knowing that such exists or failing to examine such in
person, or by the fear of being easily found out (as a dogmatist-populist) and exposed as a numpty.
|Il-2 recovered near Krim, Russia
|LaGG-3 fragment in Finnish museum
|Colour chips corresponding to camouflage, left
|Yak-3 in France, 1945, partly re-painted
|Yak-3 in France, 1945, partly re-painted
||Colour chips corresponding to camouflage, left
Is there anyone, anyone at all, prepared to defend the 1948 Albom
Nakrasok's relevance to wartime camouflage here? Please step forward...
I must point out that it was easy for a number of historians to recognise
that these chips were not related to wartime camouflage simply by
employing proper logic and analytical technique. It is true, by all
means, that these chips represent evidence. Certainly. But, evidence of what? As such, they must be considered in relation to all of the other evidence,
not in isolation and absolutist fog like some kind of holy scripture.
Therefore, a proper and logical set of questions about these chips must
contain the following:
1. What is the state of preservation of the artefact?
2. What impact will the state of preservation have upon the colour chips?
3. Why was this book published? What was the purpose of the document?
4. Was the date of publication relevant? Why the year 1948?
5. How do the chips in the book compare to other surviving evidence?
The simple act of asking relevant and rational questions would reveal a
lot about said book. Their condition is poor, all three known copies
having been printed on highly acidic paper and demonstrate severe
corrosion and oxidation. In turn, the acids in the paper will oxidise
the paint chips and darken them. They might very well also change their
respective hues, as evidenced by the fact that the corresponding chips in
the three copies do not agree with each other. Nothing was known at the time as to why the
book was published, nor what the timing might reveal, but it was clear
immediately that the chips inside did not resemble any form of known
evidence, physical nor photographic. On this basis, the evidence under
review was judged to be exceedingly inferior to the mountainous piles
of other data, and therefore the appearance as suggested by them was not-- and
could not be-- relevant to GPW colouration. A very easy and
I have submitted exactly the same for years, but to no avail. I forecast
the exact reason (as will be seen) why this book was published based on
years of work with the subject matter, having thus gained a working understanding
of the period Government and the situation. I proved via preponderance of
evidence that the chips were not relevant to the time in question. I
delivered reasonable warnings about their state of preservation and what
that could entail. And yet, for some-- too many-- this was not enough,
and dogma prevailed. I find it, therefore, to be very irritating and
unfair that several professional researchers were required to waste
their time and effort on tracking down some ridiculous scrap of paper
just to confirm what had already been determined to completely logical satisfaction by proper analytical methods.
There is no reason nor excuse for anyone to have ignored this
analytical work; the entire affair has been an utterly preposterous
Why Is There a 1948 Al'bom Nakrasok?
Following the end of the Great Patriotic War, there were many and
dramatic changes within the Soviet government, bureaucracy and
military-industrial complex structures. A 'revamp', if one wishes. The
vast majority of these changes related in whole or in major part to
realising budgetary economies. Such a thing should come as no surprise,
surely-- the Fascists had devastated the entire western portion of the
country and murdered millions of its inhabitants. The economy was in
ruins. The government insisted that costs must be cut. I have written
voluminously on this site and elsewhere about the impact that these
policies had on the Air Force (VVS) in the post-war era. However, by
way of example it is thereby necessary to consider what effect these
policies had across the entire nation in all sectors, civil, military
and industrial. Surely these changes would have been significant?
Indeed they were.
As with so many government ministries, the newly formed MKhP (Ministry for the Chemical
Industry) replaced the NKKhimProm (People's Commissariat for the Chemical Industry) in 1948 when it was merged also with the People's
Commissariat for the Rubber Industry .
By itself, the merger of
the two organisations does not necessarily suggest the need for the
publication of new documentation, such as a comprehensive chip/usage
manual. However, it was the underlying reasons for this
reorganisation-- and also the way in which this was actually carried
out-- that explains the timing of this book. During the period 1946-48
many thousands of factories and facilities were disbanded and
reformulated, shifted in location physically, and as well assigned and
re-assigned in authority to various government responsibilities as
Ministries were reorganised or replaced altogether. Many, many
learned volumes would be required even to approach an understanding of
these undertakings, but one can say that the clear primary motive in
this activity was the desire to rationalise and economise.
During the war there had many many fears on the part of the Government
regarding potential shortages of various strategic resources. In the
aviation industry the potential shortages of bauxite, chromium and
trimethylpentane (for high-octane fuels) have been well discussed.
Shortages of chromium oxide did actually materialise and disrupt
production, in fact, causing the NKAP to twice (1943, 1944) request
that factories temporarily refrain from using primers ALG-1 and ALG-5.
After the war this experience caused NKKhimProm to
experiment heavily with new primers and other lacquers which made no
use of this ingredient. By the start of 1947 they had developed lacquer
DK-23 Grey (internal) and VK-23 Grey (external) which bore an identical
appearance to ALG-5, and under testing which proved to be very suitable
and competent aviation finishes.
This success was tied to a host of changes within Soviet aviation, and
thereafter to the chemical industry. Starting in May 1947, newly
appointed Chief of the Air Force Gen-Lt. Vershinin issued a series of
orders regarding copious technical changes within the VVS. There were
many, and these instructions covered a wide array of topics, from
procedures to equipment and to training. Relevant for our discussion
here was the matter of aircraft camouflage for which Vershinin tore up
the existing manual entirely. His orders discontinued the use of
three-colour (AMT-11/-12/-7) disruptive schemes on fighter and
fighter-trainer aircraft and replaced these with a single-colour livery
making use of the new finishes AMT/AGT-16 (matte/gloss) Blue-Grey for
any surface, and A-36m/g Grey (matte/gloss) specifically for all-metal
surfaces. All other aircraft were to receive the peacetime livery of
green over blue. As was often the case, the order allowed for existing
aircraft to retain their camouflage, this to be replaced only with
repair or re-finishing. All new production, of course, was to be
finished according to the new instructions. These various changes were
followed up by MAP (Ministry of the Aviation Industry) Order No 549 in August 1947 terminating
the use of lacquers AMT/AGT-1, -6, -7, -11 and -12, and A-23m/g, -26,
-28 and -32, and also primers ALG-1 and -5 within the aviation
industry. The Yakovlev OKB, in particular, was subjected to very strong
pressures to complete their current Yak-9P and Yak-11 machines with the
new finishes at once, and this they did manage to do before the end of the year.
Since the aviation industry was no longer using the majority of the old
AMT/G and Am/g paints, and thus their demand would be greatly
diminished, during September of 1948 the MKhP ordered Glavkraska (Chief Directorate of Lacquers and
Paints) to REFORMULATE these lacquers 
to adhere to the new non-strategic materials policy and production
economies goals. The initial details for this work were contained in MKhP Order No 106s,
but this was expanded upon by several other instruments, and it appears
to have developed into a general review of paints and varnishes across
the entire industry. Be that as it may, Goskhimizdat
(the official publishing house of the MKhP) was subsequently ordered to
produce an instructional manual on paints across the industries, to
include chip samples, technical details and utilisation
instructions. The result, of course, was the 1948 colour chip book
which we are analysing here. These circumstances also explain why the
1948 book did not contain many recently introduced lacquers (in the
aviation industry we know of AMT-16, AGT-16, A-36m, A-36g, A-23, DK-23,
VK-23, VK-23g and AIIN-s just for starters; there must have been
innumerable such paints across the entire USSR), as the purpose of the book was to explain the changes made with respect to the new formulations of the existing finishes.
I believe the translation should be (and I am certain I'll be corrected if wrong!): "...according
(to) the resolution of the VKP(b) to reduce the production costs of the
chemical industry and reduce the need for scarce materials, Glavkraska
of the MKhP USSR will follow the programme of the Ministry of the
Chemical Industry USSR Comrade Perevukhin to reformulate the industrial
Thus we can see the absolute fallacy of accepting-- or indeed
claiming-- that this colour chip book was related in any way to wartime
camouflage. That fallacy is made perfectly clear thus:
What more can anyone say about this topic?
- The reformulated paints did not exist during the war
- By the end of 1948 the use of these colours  had long since been discontinued by the VVS
- There would therefore be no legitimate reason to apply these reformulated paints to any aircraft in the inventory
- Their unique and highly changed appearance makes them easy to recognise and thereby rule out when consulting various evidence
The unquestioning acceptance of these 1948 chips was predictable in today's ultra-populist
society, and is highly regrettable. The failure to understand their
origins and relevance, along with a strictly literal interpretation of
their appearance, has led to an unnecessary state of confusion and
error. Worse still, once enshrined in the popular mind, a clear and
inevitable momentum builds up in which-- for many-- it becomes impossible
not to believe in this fallacy. You can be certain when I say that I
understand well financial difficulties, and for a person who has
invested a fair amount of their hard earned and precious resources into
products based upon this spurious material-- model paints, model kits,
books, guides, social and forum contacts, and so forth-- the sudden
realisation that it is worthless will hurt. A lot. For many such
affected persons, the easier and more desirable option will simply be
to continue to believe it in, as an unquestioned dogma. "Problem
The same will apply to various companies and craft industries whose
livelihood (sales) will be affected. On purely financial grounds they
will resist any such acceptance of the factual evidence. I feel sorry
for them. This unfortunate state of affairs will of course play into
the hands of those persons who support this dogma solely on the basis that it contradicts my work.
Many detractors and 'hate-ists' revel in the condition whereby they
think they can use this material as a stick with which to beat me. I
know that will sound paranoid to some readers; I invite anyone to
search the internet on this topic and read for yourself. There are even
some extremely despicable actors who know
that this material is misleading-- I can think of a specific Russian
language model forum, for example-- yet they deliberately support this
nonsense notwithstanding as it disagrees with my writings. You couldn't
make it up...
I can only conclude by mocking such pathetic, low-life "persons". You've been found out yet again, and have failed yet again (as always); better luck next time.
1. This correspondence made it
perfectly clear that these paints were being used for other purposes
outside of aviation. I am utterly curious to know what other types of
vehicles, objects or machinery used these finishes.
2. It is just
possible that some quantities of reformulated AGT-4 or A-24g were
either manufactured or used in the period 1949-50. I must stress most urgently, however, that
there exists no--NO-- evidence that this ever occurred, but it is at
least technically possible. The huge quantities of existing lacquers
AMT/AGT-4 and A-24 still in the VVS inventory in 1948 would have almost
certainly mitigated this eventuality, however.
3. For example, I have tried to convince ModGen
persons that the loss of their personal privacy is a catastrophic event
and forfeiture of basic Human Rights to be avoided at any cost. They,
on the other hand, cannot fathom what is wrong with Orwellianism,
cannot find anything objectionable in the book 1984
and stare blankly at me with absolute incredulity as I condemn these
things. Their inevitable observation is that "they have nothing to
hide". What can anyone say to this mentality? It's too late, that ship
has sailed, Big Brother has prevailed.
4. For those who are interested, a copy of the ukaz is here.