Camouflage Examples of the Il-2

Il-2 "Red 8"
pilot u/k
174 ShAP
ca. Winter 1941-42
Camouflage Colors: AII Green/Black/Blue

    This early Il-2 was photographed in service with the 174 ShAP in the Leningrad area during the Winter of 1941-42. The pilot of this aircraft is unknown. Several photographs exist of this Il-2, and "White 19" beside it, and versions of these may be found in Red Stars, the AJ Press Il-2 Monograph, and In Action No.155.
    "Red 8" is an early all-metal single-seat machine probably manufactured at Zavod 18. It is wearing yet another permutation of what have come to be known as the rather extravagant early camouflage schemes applied at this Factory on the Il-2 programme. Indeed, it seems as if the Factory staff were experimenting with overly complicated patterns, trying to decide perhaps what benefit might be obtained from them. As with nearly all early Il-2s, this one is finished in AII lacquers Green and Black over Blue. The pattern application is quite intricate, including an unprecedented 'eye-hole' feature on the starboard stabilizer. All of the color demarcations appear to be quite sharp-edged. The star borders and numeral "8" are trimmed in yellow (as is true for "White 19" also, providing definitive contrast in these colors).
    "Red 8" wears thin yellow bordered type national insignia in four positions, as shown. The stars on the wing undersurface cannot be determined, and have been drawn as plain red types. This machine is armed with eight RO 82 rocket rails, and the port view reveals 23mm VYa-23 cannon in the wings.

Il-2 "Red 28"
pilot u/k
ca. August 1944
Camouflage Colors: AII Green/Brown/Blue

    The often published print of Il-2 "Red 28" is in fact a still taken from a roll of 16mm movie film. A version of this print appears in Red Stars. The complete film roll exists within the collection of the Tsentralniy Dom Aviatsia i Kosmonavtika, Moscow, and bits of this have been seen in various Discovery Channel programs, such as the "Battlefield" series and "Wings of the Red Star". The pilot of "28" is recorded in the TsDAK collection, but alas I cannot seem to find this data in my materials at this time.
    This Il-2 wears an example of what could be considered to form a whole category of Shturmovik finishes from 1943-45. Many different specific patterns are known using these AII colors, but the 'style' and flavor of these are rather similar in many respects. Typically one sees simplified patterns on both the upper and fuselage sides, and quite often large areas of the AII Brown color in the vicinity of the crew cabin. The pattern on "28" is very much indicative of this type of scheme.
    "Red 28" is shown in formation with several similarly colored Il-2s, some of which are swept-wing 'arrows', and others straight-winged two-seaters as with this one. Although the stars on the fin/rudder and fuselage sides are beautifully trimmed Kremlin types, there is a conspicuous lack of other personal or unit markings on these machines, as well as any Guards' emblem.
    "Red 28" wears white border Kremlin star national insignia in four positions, and white bordered star national insignia on the wing undersurfaces, as shown. The aircraft is armed with four RO 132 rocket rails.