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Soviet Air Force Fighter Colours 1941-1945 Book Review

By Kelly Jamison

Date of Review February 2005 Title Soviet Air Force Fighter Colours 1941-1945
Author Eric Pilawski Publisher Classic Publications
Published 2003 ISBN 1-903223-30-X
Format 224 pages, hardbound MSRP (USD) $56.95


Printed as a hard cover book that measures in at 9 ¼ by 12 ¼ and is 224 pages filled with rare photographs and color profiles of all the main Soviet fighters used during this time period. Chris Banyai-Riepl expertly completes the profile and ling drawings while Eric himself did the schematics in the book. This is really three books in one. An expertly researched book on the histories of each of these aircraft, a perfect line drawing reference book, and a beautifully rendered profile paintings of the major players during this four year period of time.

Printed on very nice paper stick the photographs are reproduced very well. Take into mind that many of these photographs are very old and the negatives have long since been lost to time. There photos of museum aircraft pointing out errors or accuracies of the plane in question.

I really liked the color profiles. They are very well done and shows Chris Banyai-Riepl’s work off as the master that he is. Eric Pilawskii did a wonderful job of breaking down a daunting amount of information and giving it to us in digestible portions to make it easier to understand. Grouped into aircraft type and chronological order for ease of information make sense to me.

The coverage of this informative title is presented as follows:.

  • A Treatise on VVS Colour Systems
  • An Introduction to Soviet Aircraft of the Great Patriotic War
  • Lavochkin LaGG-3
  • Lavochkin La-5, La-5FN, La-7
  • Mikoyan & Gurevich I-200, MiG-1, MiG-3
  • Polikarpov I-15, I-152, I-153
  • Polikarpov I-16
  • Yakovlev Yak-1
  • Yakovlev Yak-7, UTI-26
  • Yakovlev Yak-9
  • Yakovlev Yak-3
  • Appendix I - Notable Prototypes and Developmental Aircraft
  • Appendix II - NKAP Painting Template
  • Appendix III - VVS National Markings
  • Appendix IV - Pilots
  • Appendix V - Performance Tables (Imperial)

I would say that this book is the new holy grail of VVS aircraft colors and schemes. I would have like to see a color chit system like the famous Monogram Color Guide of Luftwaffe Aircraft or a FS color equivalent chart but that is my wish only. I highly recommend this book to all interested in this subject and for those whom build the occasional Soviet aircraft, this book would still be one of the main source books on your shelf.