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Author Topic: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev  (Read 5046 times)

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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #36 on: February 12, 2016, 02:21:52 PM »

Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't been able to answer your questions as quickly as I would've wanted. Personal life is getting in my way and sadly I'm feeling the pinch. Thanks
for your kind comments. I'm so pleased there are people who share a genuine interest in VVS aircraft. "Overlooked" is quite correct when the focus of WWII
aviation shifts from western powers to the eastern. A phenomenon that is perhaps reflecting from the political attitudes past and present by the world powers in
real world. I'm pleased to see that after so many years of "quiet", IL-2 skins have fired up a heated (in a positive manner IMO) discussion of the looks and
historical facts of WWII aircraft. The only thing I'm surprised is that I published somewhat 45 + skins for the Yak. Only one of them seem to have raised a
lengthy discussion about colors etc.. Hmm... what about the rest of the 44+ skins? Nothing? Oh well, don't matter, just my quick observation.

In the following I try to answer to you as best as I can the questions I see in the recent postings in this thread. I try, to the best of my abilities, to clarify my
reasons and views of why sometimes these odd colored aircraft exists in my selections and why I chose to go against my "better judgment". I also want to clarify
my view of "historical accuracy" that we all so keenly lean towards when trying to replicate an object that existed more than 70 years ago, and from which very
little, mostly inaccurate or even poor information is available today.

Artistic intuition

This colorprofile is the "source" for my inspiration to the Yak-1 Moskit - the prototype, or one of the prototypes of the Yak-3.

The original image to be found here
Yes, I could have ignored the color variation of this image and kept the standard Black vs Green, better known as AMT-4/-6/-7 combo. There were two reasons why
I chose the odd combination instead of the standard. First, my own artistic intuition. After painting more than 25-30 Yak fighters with the standard pre summer
1943 AMT colors I chose the odd Green vs Green colors to make a small difference in the line.  So, there you have it: Artistic intuition. Not historically
accurate, maybe. Plus it looks way more cool than it would with the usual camo regalia IMO.
   Secondly. Fact finding and research. The photographs I used as reference leave much room for interpretation and even suspicion. On some pictures the contrast
between the two topside colors is fairly strong, which suggests indeed a possible Black Green combination. On others the contrast is less strong which leads to
the possibility that the colors were indeed a more unusual combination. Why not? Remind you this is about a prototype version, not a production model with
factory preset colors. So it may well have received an alternative color scheme if for no other reason than to distinguish itself from other test/production
aircraft. This is a phenomenon not unheard of.

Historical Accuracy

However, I could have chosen to believe that the colors that I see from several B/W photos of this particular A/C, or the other prototypes, were indeed standard
AMT 4/6/7. It's a matter of which approach you choose: official information or your own research. And usually the bottom line to all those who face this decision
is this phrase: Historical accuracy. How do we define historical accuracy? By research. If you begin a research of historical facts, you need resources. What
are these resources? In this case they are, photographs, existing color samples, technical documentation, various color profile art, written information. Of
these five sources I personally believe the most beneficial and solid information to be found in existing color samples, photos and technical documentation. And
all these should be looked as one, to compare their data in order to find the closest match.
   Color profile art and written info in which I refer to various memoirs and, lets call them "old war stories" for the lack of better words, are less reliable
because: one, color profiles mostly are interpretations of the artist, and artists like all humans interpret visual information according to their own personal
perceiving; and they vary, sometimes greatly. And therein lies the minefield. Two, written information, memoirs and war stories, are even more hazardous because
they are based on human memory. Human memory is inaccurate, frail and susceptible to errors. I personally use this sort of information only as a jumping point
for research, but tend not to take too seriously the information itself which is provided only by human memory.
   So what is left? The "Rock solid" information. Photographs, existing color samples and technical documentation. These are the areas I usually end up after
taking the "jumping point". But it's not that simple. Why? Because even these data platforms are inaccurate. The results gained by using these platforms are not
perfect because the information from these platforms is not perfect and still leave much room for interpretation.

1. Photographs.

Most people that I have observed over the years claiming their work to be historically accurate, do so by leaning on photographic evidence they claim to be
accurate. Now what does that mean? On what basis do you decide which photographs are color wise qualified to be elevated as historically accurate, and which are
not? The information on photographs depends on several factors: the time period (the general state of development of photography), the ageing of the photograph,
the quality of the camera, the quality of the film used on the occasion, the skill of the person taking the picture. The lighting: whether the picture is
influenced by indoor lighting or outdoor lighting (sun light). The time of day: Morning, midday, afternoon, evening (the position of the sun in the sky).
Weather situation: Clear skies, cloudy, overcast. The seasons, summer, autumn, winter, spring. And finally the coup de grace: the aircraft itself. Fresh coating
or worn out paint, and anything in between in that particular occasion. The hue of the colors used. The uncertainty for the lack of information whether the paint
is actually the paint it claims to be. And the positioning of the aircraft in relation to sun light. All these factors are not evidence of historical accuracy.
They are all facts of uncertainty. When the shutter clicks the camera captures all these factors of that specific moment into the unity we call the photograph.
After that this moment is gone forever and you can take another picture and it will be filled with different information. And these flick moments captured on
film are the only evidence we have of the moment now gone forever: Evidence = a bundle of inaccurate information curtailed by uncertainty factors we can only
interpret to our best abilities when trying to recreate the colors from the information of that bundle. 
   when someone chooses to use a photographic evidence as the basis for color information, he or she chooses also to become under the influence of the
uncertainty factors. And once beginning to realize the true nature of the problem that I'm trying to describe here, he or she will ultimately have to admit the
following: At best the reproduced colors created on the basis of that photograph, are only an accurate depiction from the information of the source photograph, 
and not historically accurate. 

2. Existing color samples

Still today there are plenty of aircraft or parts of aircraft from WWII era still wearing the original coating. Some people claim their colors check as they
have used original color as reference. What is that suppose to mean? Did it mean the person somehow obtained an original 75 year old paint can and used that?
No. We live in digital age. Almost any information available to us today goes through digitalisation (analog information is converted to digital form in order
for computers to be able to use the information). This means that all colorcharts etc. will also go through the same process, so that we can see the document on
our screens and use it. Once through digitization the original information from the book is no longer since it is now in digital form. This is an uncertainty factor.
   Digitalised images consists of pixels. It means that any shape or object in the image that has complex shading or a variety of colors, is created with
numerous different color pixels from which the desired uniform color consists of. Using a color picker you can select only one pixel from that unity at a time,
in order to select a color, and it rarely, if ever, is a match since it is only a small part of the whole and itself does not pin point you the actual
historical color. Using a colorchart which supposedly has been created with the aid of photographs of authentic colors from a WWII era falls under the same
uncertainty factors which I described in part 1. Photographs. A person who claims he used original color charts as guides has to fall under uncertainty of
digitalisation PLUS the uncertainty factors of photography.
   With modern digital age we have the option of purchasing various monitors from which we receive information in pixel form. The varying quality of the
monitors creates another uncertainty factor. If I paint a land scene according to the information from my personal monitor setup, it may look spot on to me, but
someone else may see the result completely differently due to his setup. And the final nail to the coffin is the uncertainty factor of how people perceive
colors. People do see and interpret colors differently. 

3. Technical documentation.

By this term I refer to any industrial standard documentation, instructional guides and rules and plans needed to succesfully complete a manufacturing process
of any desired product - in this case an aircraft paint process - and any hobbyists books containing information founded on research. This sort of accurate
information is often theoretic. Documentations like these only tell us how things should be, or the general direction. They are not confirmations that goals set
by instructions, rules and guides were actually met 100% (remind war time conditions). A person who claims his colors are correct because he uses authentic
documentation falls under this uncertainty factor.

And we are back to the big question: How do you define historical accuracy? In my view historical accuracy is everything you see, hear and feel right now, right
here at the very moment. Anything else has either past and has thus become a fading memory (uncertainty factor), or the opposite, it has not happened yet and
does not exist and therefore is completely irrelevant as far as history is concerned.
   These are the reasons I don't claim my work to be historically correct, even if it somehow looks to be a match to your eyes. In the end
it can only be a match of all the uncertainty factors described above. 100% historical accuracy does not exist and is virtually impossible to achieve. All we
can do is interpret the information from the uncertainty factors and find the happy medium and make do as best as we can with it.

As closure I also want to remind you that all this is still about a video game, fun and games. Don't take fun too seriously ;) Thank you for your interest in this "lecture".
I hope I made sense to you with it. My apologies if there are grammatical errors, English is not my first language.

P.S. Nice color profiles DeSAD. Morozov eh? Good catch will look into this. Kibkalov... meeh maybe later ;)

Happy Flying (and Skinning),
"Be excellent to each other" Bill and Ted


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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #37 on: February 12, 2016, 03:31:43 PM »

Many THX for explaining to us the details and doubts that most of us ignore when we download a skin, and that a serious skinner has to take in account, eMeL ... ;)

You could also have added that not everybody sees colors the same way, to the point that some even are colorblind ...

"Color blindness, or color vision deficiency, is the inability or decreased ability to see color, or perceive color differences, under normal lighting conditions. Color blindness affects a significant percentage of the population. There is no actual blindness but there is a deficiency of color vision."


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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2016, 12:37:44 AM »

Thanks for the very detailed answer Emel.

Back in the day when Oleg released the official Yak default skins I made, lot of people complained about them. I posted my book source and I only asked for something elso or better, but nobody had one. I mean when I did the Yak skins the panel lines and camo schemes all came directly from this books author (x4btr was his il-2 forum handle).
Until someone writes a better book about the subject I'm gonna using this.

What I would also suggest to anyone whos doing serious research of vvs camo is to look into the industrial paint manufacturing methods during ww2 and after. Maybe even look at the lend&lease supplied materials. Pilawskiis approach of looking at the records of aircraft manufacturing plants is really good. I think the colors he's using are a bit oversaturated, I tried to correct that in my lastest skins. Iirc those paint chips were later somewhat revised.

I've found this interesting article in my archives:



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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2016, 04:20:14 AM »

... As closure I also want to remind you that all this is still about a video game, fun and games. Don't take fun too seriously ;) Thank you for your interest in this "lecture".
Amen ;D

... Nice color profiles DeSAD. Morozov eh? Good catch will look into this.
What about these? ;) For example, here this ...

The handsome man after all! 8)

... Kibkalov... meeh maybe later ;)
Later? But why? :-[ It is necessary in fact only change the board number :-|

Happy Flying (and Skinning),
Thx for your labors, mate ;D

And yet, about the Reshetov YAK's. First of all, the Yak-1, number 10, must have the inscription "Death to fascism!", instead of "Death to the fascists!"

And Yak-1B is likely to be in camouflage colors of AMT-11-12-7, as it is the year 1944 and the black and green camouflage is no longer used generally ... IMHO :-|



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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #40 on: February 13, 2016, 04:46:04 AM »

this is still about a video game, fun and games. Don't take fun too seriously
Very true words, thanks for the explanation.



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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #41 on: February 15, 2016, 10:28:13 AM »

@ Vpmedia

Aaah Pilawskii. My favourite too, grabbed it as soon as I saw it - some years ago. One of the very few books with numerous VVS camouflage patterns explained visually. Good read, recommend to all interested.
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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #42 on: February 15, 2016, 11:50:19 AM »

I've found this interesting article in my archives:


Great link and research !
Thank you VPmedia.

Everything I like is either illegal, immoral or fattening ! Welcome to SAS1946


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Re: New skins from the Hangar: Yakovlev
« Reply #43 on: April 24, 2017, 08:45:24 AM »

Great skins as usual! :)
Because old link is broken, could you please reupload them somewhere again?

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