Modeling the Soviet VVS   1917-1950

~ Monthly Profile ~

July 2006

I-16 Type 10, unknown details
Unit, Location and Pilot unknown.

The profile for July is the subject of a new 1:48 scale release by Eduard Models, one of several schemes provided on the kit decal sheet. The kit scheme is based on the colour profile and photograph caption provided in the Squadron In-Action series book for the I-16 by HH Stapfer.

Alas, as with much of the material in this volume, one wonders aloud at the conceivable train of thought which might have resulted in the printed interpretation. So far as the attributation is concerned, one would agree that this must be a machine in a training school, or
some similar unit. Certainly it does not appear to be in front line use. The date is given as "1944", but based upon what we do not know. The national markings you might guess 1943-ish suggest a time frame of 1943 onwards, but that is a mere suggestion and nothing of substantial identification.

The photograph is not particularly good, and in many ways leaves us guessing. However, based on what one can see, the nature of the published profile becomes immediately suspect. With regard to colouration, it seems virtualy certain to me that the colours in view are AII Green and Dark Green. There is no Soviet film of which I am aware, or combinations of coloured lenses or such, that can cause black to appear darker than red in such an image [noting that this is not orthochromatic film]. Furthermore, areas which should be quite dark do appear so, such as the pilot's leather helmet and the lower cowl piece (see below). The patternation of the camouflage seems to be one of the best features of this photo, but the In Action profile shows us a bewildering scheme of varied mixed lines of various colours and densities. What on earth drew this kind of interpretation?

The band and star border are obviously white; they are also a bit dirty and worn. Similarly, the outline to the star exists only on the right 'arm'; it is an act of auto-suggestion to think it appears around the entire marking, and this feature in the photograph is patently clear. The star is a bit crooked in terms of its application. Since this star extends over the Dark Green area, and that the pattern seen is not known to be a factory applied scheme, it seems the most reasonable assumption that it was applied after the addition of this field applique camouflage.

There seems to be a section of the lower port cowling that looks to be a replacement part. It seems to me to be finished in a black colour. If this is a replacement part from another Type 10, then one might guess that it could be AEh-11, noting that some early examples of  the Type 10 had cowlings painted in this way. It could of course be AII Black, or any similar colour. Lastly, one might note that the aircraft is very considerably worn (i.e. physically), but also it has been cleaned (surface) as per the usual VVS practice.

Some further comments about my own profile: