File updated on October 28, 2004
|Here is the image whose inscription was analyzed.
In first place, we see that the characters show interruptions, which
reveal that a mask (stencil) was used.
As a consequence, characters and size should be standardized (not necessary
identical on all aircrafts, but at least reduced to few variants).
Because of the different positions and inclinations of single written
words on different known aircrafts, we understand that each word "Eskadrilya",
"Valeriy", "Chkalov" had its own stencil.
At first glance, the writing could seem as yellow, a color intermediate
between the red of the star and the white of the winter scheme.
|But, examining it more in detail, we see that:
All this is incompatible with a layer of yellow or any other intermediate
color sprayed by a mask.
the central letters on the star "al" are lighter than the shade
of the letters external to the star, on white background;
the part of K on the star and all the lower half of the whole "eskadrilya"
are even lighter, nearly matching the white camo.
the letters are interrupted by the thin black outline of the star.
The whole likely explanation is this:
It's easy, or not? Perhaps some technician regretted to have not used yellow
or black or even pink while doing all these things.
in first place, they decided to paint the inscription red on white background,
and white on the red star background (a thing already seen on other images);
they painted a thin layer of red by stencil; they didn't spray a second
layer to save time, so the color remained lighter than the star for transparency
of the white background;
then they sprayed white only the central letters "al", because spraying
white the letters on the border of the star would have required some careful
masking; this layer of white was light, and looked pink on the red background;
then they hand brush painted the parts of the writing immediately inside
the star border; this coat was more covering than the sprayed one, and
these parts appeared lighter pink, nearly white.
At the end, they restored the black outline.
Probably the colors were decided by different persons than the executors,
persons that didn't know or care the technical difficulties in execution.
We have to say that these observations are relative to a single aircraft
and, even if they can be generalized to some other aircrafts, they can't
be extended to all of them; in fact, uniform color writings are known (white
or perhaps yellow paint), but, for what is known, only on summer camouflaged
|On winter camouflaged aircrafts, the inscription was made with red
over white background, and white on red background.
If the paint layer is transparent, both parts turn to pink.
|On summer camouflaged aircrafts, the inscription could be painted red
over camouflage and white over red star. If the paint layer is transparent,
all the inscription darkens.
|As an alternative on summer camouflaged aircrafts, the inscription
can be white overall.
If the paint layer is transparent, all the writing darkens and, on
bw images, it can resemble a yellow inscription.