In this new series of colour profiles we will hope to re-examine
some of the interesting colour schemes to be found on Hawker
Hurricane fighters serving within the VVS. These interpretations are
new, based on recent work which has been undertaken to both draw and
measure these aircraft afresh, and taking into consideration some
additional information which has to come to light since 2003 regarding
the painting practices of field units and organisations within the VVS
It should be stressed that any definitive conclusions about the
appearance of these aircraft is not possible at this time. I have no
expertise in the field of RAF camouflage, and whilst working from
excellent resource material, I have not undertaken physical studies of
these paints nor their properties. The resulting character of the
various British paints, and the Soviet ones used to modify their
appearance, is therefore theoretical in nature, and represents my own
attempt to find the most likely solution which fits the current evidence.
. . . .
This Hurricane Mk.IIb is known from a few photographs, but alas all of
which would appear not be to of the highest quality. Damage to the
prints (or negatives) is evident in every case. However, be that as it
may, some estimation of the appearance of "14" is possible.
The aircraft exhibits obvious and
thorough re-finishing. The basic underlying colouration is certainly
the original RAF camouflage of Dark Earth and Dark Green, and this
would seem to equate best with the 'A' pattern application. Having
examined a large number of re-painted Hurricanes in VVS service, it
appears to be the case that Black was used quite commonly for such
purposes, indeed in preference in many cases to Green colours. One may
suspect that this had to do with the very dark appearance (by VVS
standards) of the RAF's Dark Green colour, and in fact on Soviet types
of film stock the tonal appearance of the two colours is often nearly
(or, entirely) indistinguishable.
Many interpretations of "White 14" heretofore (including my own) have
shown the use of various exotic colouration, including lacquers such as
AII Brown and AE-10. Upon reflection, I am now satisfied that the
appearance can, in fact, best be explained by the use of much more
typical paints. I suspect that the finishes used were of the AMT
variety. We can see from the physical record that most field repair and
re-painting operations favoured very strongly the use of AMT lacquer.
One presumes that this was based upon the adhesive properties of AMT
and was not related in any sense to colouration, as such. In this case,
it would seem that an area of AMT-4 Green was applied around the
cockpit, and onto the wing root. The remainder of the re-painting work
looks very much to consist of AMT-6 Black applications to cover the
required areas, including the rudder, fuselage, and so forth.
The various unpainted 'bands' showing the underlying colouration are
interesting, and they appear in most versions of these photographs,
suggesting that they may be an actual feature and not an artefact of
the damage to the images. The light colour appliqué could
certainly be MK-7 White, but I have drawn it here using AEh-9 Light
Grey (the contrast to me seems incompatible with white). The spinner
has been left in Sky colouration, and the undersurface re-painting is
simply speculative (although slightly suggested in one image). Curiously, wing upper surface stars have been applied to '14'.
"White 14" looks to have retained its original armament of 12 x .303
Browning machine-guns at the time it was photographed. The aircraft is
said to have been in service with the VVS along the North-West Front,
and some authors have claimed that it might have belonged to the 78 IAP
(which is by no means confirmed).
"White 92" is another Mark IIb, although it has been modified with the
preferred Soviet armament scheme of one 12.7 mm UBS and one 20 mm ShVAK
in each wing. Underwing RO rocket rails do not seem to have been
installed at the time.
Once more, the original RAF colouration of Dark Earth and Dark
Green is in evidence, and again seemingly in an 'A' type pattern. The
subsequent re-painting in the field by Soviet sources, however, was
very complex in nature, and suggests an attempt to create a disruptive
camouflage effect. On '92' it seems that a considerable amount of AMT-4
was applied to the upper fuselage and fin. The the latter location
exhibits a rather interesting appearance, with re-paining perhaps
completed in 'phases' over time, and certainly with an intent to
provide a sense of patternation. The use of AMT-4 here seems to have
been haphazard, and not applied with the same opacity as elsewhere on
The refinishing work on this example followed major panel areas in many
cases. Indeed, the starboard panel below the fuselage might have been
removed during re-painting work, judging by the appearance. The use
again of lacquers AMT-4 and AMT-6 is quite logical, noting that at the
time Black/Green colouration was the standard fighter camouflage in use
for the VVS. The spinner would seem to have been left in Sky, and the
undersurface appearance is an estimation.
"White 92" is notable also for the very poor application of the
national red star marking. This insignia was clearly applied by hand,
and is grotesquely misshapen. The tactical number '92' seems to have
received similar treatment, and the result is a quite unprofessional
Images of "White 92" are published in many sources. We suggest to examine Red Stars Vol. 5, page 18.
This Hurricane IIb may be of slightly later manufacture as compared to
the previous examples, and sports the later style 'fish-tail' type
exhaust stacks (although, of course these could be replacement items).
When examining the two photographs (see below) it occurred to me that
the machine in the close-up showing the nose, and the one appearing
partially in view to the right, and aft, may well be the same aircraft.
The following profile is based upon that assumption.
Full VVS style armament has been installed in this Hurricane, including
six RO82 rocket rails. MK-7 White winter finish had been applied
somewhat carefully to the upper surfaces, and minus the effects of wear
it was probably-- in its original guise-- quite solid. A curious
demarcation line for this white colouration is seen on the fuselage,
perhaps 1/3 of the distance upwards. Subsequently, of course, a fair
amount of the MK-7 had worn away by the time of the photograph, which
was quite typical in service.
Not much of the upper surface colouration remains in view. However, the
undersurfaces are clear and certainly agree with the usual appearance
of Sky colouration on Soviet films. Therefore, the upper surface scheme
has been completed with the expected RAF style in Dark Earth and Dark
Green. No tactical number may be seen in either view. The spinner looks
to remain in Sky paint. Very considerable exhaust staining is evident
on the fuselage. The possibility of the wing undersurface having
received a 'blob' of re-painting colour is suggested by light
reflections in the close-up image to starboard, and are here shown
completed with AII Blue lacquer.