On this page I’ve tried to create a comprehensive list of the paintings, camouflages and markings utilized by the VVS, the soviet air force in the period leading up to the second world war to a bit thereafter. It is based mostly around the research of Mikhail Orlov. Even though I’ve tried to create this list carefully, mistakes are possible.

The shown colours are an approximation. The exact colours are often difficult to determine, and could vary from factory to factory and fade over time. The displayed colour can also differ depending on the monitor used. The shown examples should only be regarded as general approximations.


Prior to second world war, or Great Patriotic War as the Soviets called it, a few old systems were still in use on older planes, namely “A”, “AEh” and “AE”. When the war broke out in June 1941 they were already abandoned for the AMT system.

Relevant Government Institutions

VVS: Военно-воздушные силы, Voyenno-Vozdushnye Sily. Lit Military Air Forces. Air force of the Soviet Union from 1918-1991.
NKAP: Narodniy Kommisariat Aviatsionoy Promishlinosti. Lit. People’s Commissariat for the Aviation Industry.
NIIIT: Scientific-Test Institute of Technical Engineering
UVVS Upravlenie Voyenno-Vozdushnikh Sili Directorate of the Air Force


Аэроэмали [Aeroemali, Aircraft enamels] were aviations paints and varnishes on an oil enamel base to be used on metal surfaces.
AЭ [AE] colours were oil enamels for external use, and were resistant to atmospheric influences.

Name Colour equivalents Gunze Tamiya Vallejo Hataka MRP AK Ammo MIG
АЭ-7 [AE-7] “zashchitnyi
gloss. Overall colour early metal planes
АЭ-8 [AE-8] Aluminium                
Overall surface colour of some early bombers
АЭ-9 [AE-9] Light Gray             RC308  
The paint was designed for external duraluminium surfaces on aircraft, however it chalked in after a short period in open air conditions, and was quickly replaced with AE-8 on exterior surfaces. It was still used for internal surfaces. Officially introduced in January 1938, but could be used earlier according to emergency specifications.
АЭ-10 [AE-10] Dark Gray                
Underwater parts of wooden seaplanes
АЭ-11 [AE-11] Black                
backside of metal blades
АЭ-14 [AE-14] Light Blue                
internal surfaces of wooden water planes
Underwater parts of wooden seaplanes

A-* / A-*ф

In 1940 The Э disappears from the designation. An “ф” [f] could be placed behind the code to denote it was an alkyd paint instead and was alcohol soluble.

Code Colour FS equivalent Gunze Tamiya Vallejo Hataka MRP AK Ammo MIG
A-6ф [A-6f]
Yellow FS-13655     71.415 HTK 074      
Fuel systems, Propeller blade tips
A-7ф [A-7f]
Green FS-14187              
Cooling systems
A-8ф [A-8f]
Dark Brown       71.303        
Oil systems
A-9ф [A-9f]
Dark Blue FS-15065     71.319        
Hydraulic systems
A-10ф [A-10f]
Light Blue FS-15187              
oxygen systems
A-12ф [A-12f]
air systems, roundel outlines and other markings
A-13ф [A-13f]
Red   H-013            
fire systems, roundels outlines and other markings
A-14ф [A-14f]
Steel Grey FS-26187       HTK-*032 MRP-021 RC319  
general interior colour
A-18ф [A-18f] Light Blue             RC311  
Alkyd enamel for undersurface camouflage
A-19ф [A-19f] Light Green             RC312  
Alkyd enamel for upper camouflage


The AII or A2 family were a series of nitro cellulose lacquers. They were quite durable and were fire retardant. While they had a shiny finish when new, this quickly became satin to matt under influence of the elements. The lacquer also didn’t adhere very well to untreated surfaces and a coating of primer under the lacquer was recommended.
The name comes from Аэролаки [Aerolaki, Aerolacs or aircraft dopes] and the Roman numeral II, indicating they were for the 2nd coat. As opposed to AIH [AIN], which were transparent lacquers used for the first coating.
an (п) [p] or an (к) [k] was placed behind AII to indicate the paint was optimized for brush or airbrush respectively (AII(п)). The only difference was the viscosity. Example,
Please note that research to these colours is still ongoing. A multiple of different names is also used for this series in different documents, such as ‘tobacco’, orange’ and ‘cream’. Also the shortening of the official nomenclature is all over the place

Official name Alternative names FS equivalent Gunze Tamiya Vallejo Hataka MRP AK Ammo MIG
АII светло-голубой
[AII svetlo-goluboy]
AII св.Гол [AII Sv.gol.]
AII Light blue
FS-25466 to FS-35550     71317 RC310 MRP-024    
undersurface of mixed construction planes
very brilliant colour, however shine fades fast
АII светло-коричневый
[AII svetlo-koričnevyj}
sand brown
southern brown
light brown
FS-10260 to FS-30480       RC308      
upper surface camouflage
А II темно-зеленый AII dark green FS-00401              
upper surface camouflage
А II алюминий
[AII Aluminium]
AII ал [AII Al.]                
Numbers and Other marks
AII белый
[AII belyj]
AII White                
Used for the star insignia and markings
АII красный
[AII krasnyy]
AII кр [AII Kr]
Used for the star insignia
АII светло серый
[AII svetlo seryi]
АII св.сер [AII Sv.serv.]
AII light grey
FS-25466 to FS-35550     71.317        
Overall surface of some pre/early war planes. Introduced 1937.
AII Защитныи
[AII Zashchitnyi]
AII protective
AII Light green
FS-24258 to FS-34151     71410 RC309 MRP-023    
undersurface of mixed construction planes
very brilliant colour, however shine fades fast.
While the colour is very well known trough large amounts of physical evidence, the official name of this colour is still debated. The most commonly used are “green” and “Zashchitnyi”, meaning protective. The NIIIT referred to this colour as “AII Yellow-Green” and the VIAM as “Light green”. Introduced 1940.
It’s sometimes incorrectly called AII 3 (number three) instead of AII З (cyrillic letter /ze/).
АII таб
[AII Tab]
коричневый [korichnevyy]
orchre brown
FS-10111 to FS-30206              
upper surface camouflage. Introduced 1940.
No information about actual production or usage hasn’t been found yet
АII черный
[AII černyj]
AII black
upper surface camouflage

Sv. zel (light green)
Sv. Or (Orange)

AMT-* / AGT-*

End 1941, a series of specifications for a new series of aviation finishings was drawn up known as ‘AMT’, or aerolak Matoviy for use on mixed construction aircraft. They were on a Nitrocellulose base. These were ordered together with the A-**m series for all metal aircraft, however these paints were introduced much later. Due to large shortages and the harsh winter of 1941, the introduction of these new lacquers happened only gradually, and pre-war finishes were used up to 1945, sometimes together with the new lacquers.
The primary reason for these new paints was that they could be applied without a primer and were much more durable.
The delivery of the first three colours, AMT-6 Black, AMT-4 Green and AMT-7 Blue began begin 1942 to LaGG and Yak fighter programs. These were manufactured using the same pigments as their AII counterparts and only later new colours were introduced, which also bore a close resemblance to earlier finishes.
AGT paints were the glossy equivalents of the matte AMT line.

Code Name FS equivalent Gunze Tamiya Vallejo Hataka MRP AK Ammo MIG
Light Brown FS *0372 H-072
  71320   MRP-015 RC313 252
Upper surface camouflage of all aircraft types except fighters together with AMT-4 and AMT-12. Fades to a darker shade.
Green FS-*4151 H-303
  71301 HTK-*073 MRP-016 AK11915
Upper surface camouflage
Black FS-*7038 H-077
XF-69 71251 HTK-*041 MRP-017 AK2243 046
Upper surface camouflage
propeller blades
blue FS-*5190 H-323
85% XF-23
5% XF-4
10% XF-2
71318 HTK-*072 MRP-018 AK11916
Undersurface of planes.
Blue Grey FS-*6375 H-331
  71304 HTK-*071 MRP-019 AK11917
Upper surface camouflage together with AMT-12
Dark Grey FS-*6187 H-337
XF-54 71308 HTK-*070 MRP-020 AK2246
Upper surface camouflage together with AMT-11

A-**m / A-**g

The A**-m/g were a family of alkyd enamel paints. They were ordered in 1941 alongside the AMT paints. Delivery started early 1942 but no evidence exists of their usage until fall 1943.
The paint weighted less then the AMT line, but less robust and didn’t stick very well to wood and was therefore restricted to metal surfaces.
Note that these paints, while they bore the same naming as the earlier A-* colours, are distinct paints.
A-**g paints were the glossy equivalents of the matte A-**m line.

Code Name FS equivalent Gunze Tamiya Vallejo Hataka MRP AK Ammo MIG
Brown FS-36350 H-072
  71415 HTK-*074 MRP-022 RC314 252
Upper surface camouflage of all aircraft types except fighters together with A-24m and A-32m
FS-34098 H-303
  71303 HTK-*073 MRP-016 AK11915
Upper surface camouflage of all aircraft types except fighters together with A-21m and A-32m
black FS-37038              
While ordered, no evidence exists of it’s usage and no samples are known. It is possible that this paint was used for propellers, as described by Album Vozdushnyikh Vintov from 1943
blue FS-25138 H-067
No evidence exists of the usage of A-28m during the second world war, as all airframes painted with A-**m upper surfaces still use AMT-7 for the underside. The usage is confirmed from 1948 onward.
Black-Grey FS-36251 H-331
Upper surface camouflage of all aircraft types except fighters together with A-21m and A-24m
Upper surface camouflage of fighter aircraft together with A-33m
Grey-Blue FS-36251              
Upper surface camouflage of fighter aircraft together with A-32m


These were a series of matte, multi purpose surface primers, which were painted over by regular camouflage schemes.

Code Colour FS equivalent Gunze Tamiya Vallejo Hataka
Oil based primer for aluminium and magnesium alloys. The shade wasn’t standardized and could range from light yellow to chromate green. Unlike other primers, ALG-1 was usually covered by other paints.
mix of 50/50 ALG-1 and A-14. After 1943 this was recommended by the NKAP as the standard cockpit finish. The shade varied based on the colour of the ALG-1 used.
n.138 red brown          
glyptal primer
“IMUP” Blue Grey          
Industrial Metal Use Primer. The official designation of this primer is unknown. Found commonly on steel and duraluminium surfaces. IMUP Is not an aviation lacquer, and was widely used in Soviet manufacturing.


Code Colour FS equivalent Gunze Tamiya Vallejo Hataka
MK-6ф [MK-6f]
black wash for under surface of night bombers, removable. F variant was alcohol soluble
MK-7ф [MK-7f]
MK-7Ш [MK-7Sh]
MK-7 was developed as a cheap paint that could easily be applied and removed on the front lines, was safe to handle by ground crew and was workable under very low temperatures. It consisted of a paste of chalk and 0.1%-0.2% aquamarine and a bonding agent made of casein glue. It was water and kerosene soluble, the latter only recommended for low temperatures. It gave a nice matte white surface. It was also indistinguishable from snow in the ultraviolet colour spectrum.
The wash became available early 1942 and was pushed to field units and factories and was used with great vigour. However this paint was, remarkably for the VVS, never tested, and impacted the flight performance of aircraft significantly due to its drag inducing rough surface. Depending on the size of the chalk, a speed loss of 10-25 km/h was achieved. It was also discovered that the wash didn’t adhere very well to AII-x lacquers, resulting in the wash being almost gone near the end of the winter.
For these reasons a new variant was developed for the winter ’42-’43. MK-7f with an alcohol solvent and MK-7sh, which was said to be similar to plaster. However the usage of MK-7 gave considerable drag on airframes, and no variant managed to remove this, and these new variants were only deployed at select factories.
During the winter the usage of MK-7 greatly reduced. Many fighter pilots refused to use MK-7, preferring performance of stealth. Some choose to apply it to select parts of the plane, making a compromise between performance and camouflage. Bombers kept using the wash more as concealment was more important than performance, however bomber crews also opted for half-white winter schemes often.
By the winter of ’43-’44, nothing was left of the original enthusiasm for MK-7, and only a small group of bombers choose to use the wash.
АБ-1 [AB-1] White          
Alternative for MK-7 based on gypsum. In terms of handling, AB-1 was very similar to MK-7, and even closer to snow in terms of camouflage. While used on Sukhoi Su-2 aircraft from Factory No. 135 in the Ural mountains, it wasn’t really used much elsewhere.
С-1 [S-1] White          
Due to chalk shortages, alternatives for MK-7 were tested, S-1 being on alabaster basis.
С-4 [S-4] White          
Due to chalk shortages, alternatives for MK-7 were tested, S-4 being on lime basis.
В [V] White          
Due to chalk shortages, alternatives for MK-7 were tested, V being on gypsum basis.
MK-8 black          
undersurface of night bombers, permanent
Lit. night.

Other paints:
lacquer No.67 asfaltoviy. Bombs were painted twice, first normally with the markings and then with asfatoviy, a dark grey , slightly sticky lacquer which was easily removed with turpentine, presumably to check the markings.


Plain Red Star

The emblem started as a plain, red star which can be seen from the early 1920’s onward. The exact origin of the red star is unknown, but the star has always been used in one way or another as the roundel of the Soviet air force. The plain star was used commonly to 1942, but began to disappear in 1943 and was rarely seen after that.

Black Bordered Star

This variant came into swing at certain factories in 1941 and was commonly seen on for specific fighter programs such as early yaks. the pattern fell out of use in 1943.

Circle Star

This variant was became popular during the 1920’s and 30’s, and was occasionally seen in the early periods of the war on planes manufactured in 1937-1939.

White/Yellow Bordered Star

Initially the border of the white line was quite thin, comparable to the black bordered star. By 1942 the border became gradually thicker over the years. Some examples of this variant are known from before the war, but it didn’t become popular until 1942.

The yellow bordered star seem to have been used as a decorative substitute for the white bordered star between 1942-1945. It was likely based on the Red Army flag, but never gained much popularity and stayed quite rare.

Victory Star


The term Victory star was coined in the 1950’s. Before that this star was also known as the outline star. It was officially introduced in August 1943. In 1945 this variant had become the de facto standard and replaced all other variants.
A Silver bordered victory star variant was also known to be used as a decorative substitute. 

Transit Star

During the war, the USSR received a lot of US aircraft via the Lend-Lease program. These aircraft had American roundels painted on them during production. When these aircraft were shipped to the Soviet Union, the Soviet star was painted on them, either before or after ferrying.
The blue outer part was most of the time repainted in the same colour as the surrounding camouflage.  But due to availability and different green hues used by the Soviets results varied, often resulting in a very visible, green outline of the old roundel.
However sometimes it was either left blue or it was painted white. The style and size of the interior star could differ per plane.

Kremlin Star

The Kremlin star was a more fancy variant with a 3D style red star. It wasn’t used a whole lot but it might have been used as a substitute roundels for military parades and as a personal field modification. It was mostly encountered on IL-2 planes.


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