Sometimes making a skin is more difficult than you think. This little story about the personnal plane of Major Alksei Mikhailovich Reshetov is a good example of how difficult it is to get valuable information about a plane. All started when I found this profile while searching ideas for my Yak1-B skins :
The commentary about the profile said that the plane was flown by A. M. Reshetov in summer 1942 and that the partriotic tag said : (From) Collective workers of Shatovskovo village Soviet, Ivanovskovo District, Zaporozhskoy Oblasti (to) HSU Guards Major Reshetov. Although the yellow rimed red star seemed a bit strange (as far as I remember VVS didn’t use such markings during WWI), I begun tovmake this skin. When I was done, I started to search somme more information about A. M. Reshetov and this was the begening of my troubles because I found many other profiles all different and giving different dates from 1942 to 1944 :
Fortunately, I’ve also founded some articles (some i, Russian) who were giving coherent informations :
- In 1942 Aleksei M. Reshetov was affected to the 273th IAP (fighter regiment) and was flying a Yak1 with a partiotic tag « Death to the Fachists ! »
- The 273th IAP was transformed into 31st GvIAP (Guard Regiment) on November 21st 1942
- Reshetov was promoted Hero Of the Soviet Union (HSU), May 1st 1943
- The 31st GvIAP received its first Yak1B in 1943 and Reshetrox received its dedicated plane in 1943 or 1944
Knowing these information, it was clear that my first profile was wrong. But which of all these profile was the good one ? A little help came from this picutre (the only one I found) :
The patriotic tag is cleary the good one, and it is clear that the red stard has a large border but not the thin red outline displayed on many of the profiles. From the picture one can also see that the paint is rather uniform and suggest a monochome paint scheme. Nevertheless, it seem that the paint is a bit clearer at the rear of the star but the contrast is very light. If we consider the period (1943-1944) it is likely the the colors are AMT11 (light grey) and AMT12 (dark grey) for a two colors pattern. But certainely not gree and black.
The last question was about the band on the fin of the plane. Most of the profiles are showinf two white lines, but when I was searching informations, I saw a profile of an another 31 GvIPA Yak1B with 2 red stripes. The solution came from a site dédicated to VVS tactical markings (http://wio.ru/simbols/sov-en.htm). The site confirmed that the two oblique red lines were for the 31 GvIAP, and the white lines were those of the 31 IAP which was not a guard regiment).
So at last I decided to make two version of htis plane : one with an overall light grey painting ans the other one with the classical AMT-11 / AMT-12 paint scheme :
Available on this site, of course !