Digital Colour Chips, VVS, 1935-47
|The following table is a digital representation of the various aviation lacquers of the 1930-50 period. We would like to respond to the very many requests for such a table on the site. However, allow us to express an ENORMOUS caveat when examining this chart-- it is intended for representative purposes ONLY. It is not currently possible to guarantee the exact colour or shade of anything drawn on a computer monitor. These samples are to be regarded only as a general familiarization, particularly for those new to the subject, and should not be accepted 'as such' with the value shown on your screen.|
Here is an updated page showing the latest in VVS colour chip research*. The known lacquers are now shown by family, and include some newly discovered paints.
A-x Family Primers for internal use
These primers were intended for use in the cockpit and engine bay.
Both pipes/ducting/tubes and the corresponding flight instruments or gauges were
colour coded as noted below. The 'F' designation indicated a
formulation of the lacquer which could solve in alcohol. The finish
upon application was matte.
|A-6, A-6F 'yellow'
(fuel lines & system)
|A-7, A-7F 'green'
|A-13, A-13F 'red'
|A-8, A-8F 'brown'
|A-14, A-14F 'steel'
|A-9, A-9F 'dark blue'
|A-10, A-10F 'blue'
ALG Family Primers for internal or external use
These paints were durable multi-purpose surface primers which could be sanded when dry. The finish upon application was matte.
||ALG-2 (described as 'yellow')|
AEh-x Family Lacquers for external use
These were cellulose acetate finishes with a high potassium content to reduce flammability. They were most suitable for fabric surfaces, either as a dope or surface covering. The finish upon application was semi-gloss.
||AEh-10 'dark grey'
||AEh-7 (unknown, possibly green)||AEh-11 'black'
||AEh-14 'light blue'
||AEh-15 'dark green' (1)
AII (A2) Family Lacquers for external use
These were cellulose acetate butyrate lacquers with a rather complex chemistry (possibly including zinc chloride, which is mentioned periodically). These finishes were renown for their superior durability and reduced flammability. They were most suitable for wooden or fabric surfaces, either as a dope or surface covering, and could be used over metal surfaces (in which case priming with ALG was recommended). The finish upon application was satin.
|AII Light Blue (1)
|AII Green (or Yellow-Green) (7)
||AII Red (5)
|?||AII Light Brown (or Sand Brown) (2)
||AII White (5)
|AII Dark Green (3)
|AII Aluminium (4)
||AII Light Grey (6)
AMT-x Family Lacquers for external use
AMT were organic (linseed based) alkyd finishes with an iron-calcium
catalyst. They were suitable for use over any material, and even
without the employment of a surface primer. The finish upon application
was satin, although with exposure to the elements that became
semi-matte fairly quickly. Upon very close inspection, this family of paint
appears to be irregular and slightly "bumpy", contributing to its matte
||AMT-12 'dark grey'
||AMT-1 'brown' (1)
||AMT-1 'brown' (alternate version)
Ax-m Family Lacquers for external use
These paints were alkyd enamel finishes specifically intended for use on metal surfaces, with or without priming. Despite having been ordered in 1941 along with AMT paints, there is no physical evidence of the use of Ax-m lacquers until the autumn of 1943, following the issue of the NKAP's new painting recommendations.The finish upon application was satin.
|A-21m 'light brown' (1)
||A-32m 'dark grey'
||A-26m 'black' (3)
|A-28m 'blue' (2)
Other Various Finishes With Aviation Use
A few other paints in use on VVS aircraft from the 1930s.
|MK-6, MK-6F 'noch' (1)
|MK-7, MK-7F 'winter' (2)
|AE-8 'gloss white'
||Common Industrial Primer (nomenclature unknown) (3)
|Lacquer # 1||Sand Brown
|Lacquer # 2||Grey
|Lacquer # 3||Yellow-Green
|Lacquer # 4
|Lacquer # 5||Dark Green
|Lacquer # 6||Black
|Lacquer # 7||White
|* For Russians there are two distinct blue colours, not just the one as in Western culture. Sinii is the darker shade of blue, and goluboi the lighter. Herein, I have translated goluboi as blue, and sinii as dark blue.
Some fascinating material can be found in published literature as to
where, exactly, the average Russian believes the border between the two