The Russian Aviation Colours 1909-1922: Camouflage and Markings, Vol. 1 Early Years

Published: March 27th, 2015     
Product Image
Book cover
Author: Marat Khairulin, Boris Stepanov
Reviewed by: Frank Landrus - IPMS# 35035
ISBN #: 978-8363678487
Other Publication Information: Hard Bound, A4 [8.6” x 12”], 176 pages – 360 B&W and colour photos, colour profiles
Price: $59.50
Product / Stock #: CCI Monographs 4
Product provided by: Mushroom Model Publications

On the heels of Finnish Fighter Colours 1939-1945, Romanian Fighter Colours 1941-1945, Hungarian Fighter Colours 1930-1945, and Swedish Fighter Colours 1925-1954, comes MMP's latest tome. This book, focused on the 'Early Years' is planned to be followed by at least four additional volumes on the 'Great War' (Volume 2), 'Red Stars' (Volume 3), and 'Against Soviets' (Volume 4). The authors leaned heavily on Russian private archives, as well as archives, libraries, and museums.

The book is a nice hardbound volume, with a nice glossy cover, and 176 pages on high-quality stock with a matt finish. Mainly black and white period photos are supplemented with modern day color photos, color period posters and postcards, colour side and top views, and colour unit emblems and personal markings. The text is in English and quite readable.

The colourful introduction 'Dream of Wings' presents a nice summary of the history of flight in Russia up to the beginnings of the Russian Aero Clubs in 1909. The next section on the Aero Clubs provides 18 pages of photos and colour illustrations depicting foreign aircraft along with Russian designed aircraft.

Chapter 2 'On the Eve of the Great War' details the organization of the early Russian military aviation and provides precise descriptions, illustrations, and photos of each unit on 45 pages.

Part II 'In the Fire of the First World War' describes the evolution of Russian national and unit markings through the experience of battle for the next 96 pages. The evolution of Russian aviation markings is well documented through military orders as well as pilot notes. In one case, the authors use the memoirs of Vyacheslav Marveyevich Tkachev, the commander of the 20th Corps' Aviation Otryad to illustrate just how significant the problems of markings were. Many of the Russian pilots had more to fear from their own countrymen than the enemy!


  • Acknowledgements
  • Dream of Wings
  • Part 1 - In a Peaceful Sky
    • 1st Chapter - Under the Wing of Aero Clubs
      • Emblems of Russian Aeronautics of the Initial Development Period (1909 - 1914)
      • Emblems and Flags of Russian Aero Clubs
      • Emblems of the Department of the Air Force (OVF)
      • Nicknames and Names
    • 2nd Chapter - On the Eve of the Great War
      • The First Organization of Military Aviation and Its Markings, 1911 - 1914
      • Markings of Aviation Rotas and Otryads, 1913 - 1915
      • 1st Aviation Rota
      • Aviation Otryad a the Guards Corps'
      • 1st Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 1st Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 18th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 22nd Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 2nd Aviation Rota
      • 14th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 15th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 19th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 3rd Aviation Rota
      • 11th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 12th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 4th Aviation Rota
      • 2nd Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 6th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 10th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 20th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 21st Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 4th Siberian Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 5th Aviation Rota
      • Grenadier Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 13th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 6th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 7th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • 25th Corps' Aviation Otryad
      • Sebastopol Fortress Aviation Otryad
  • Part II - In the Fire of the First World War
    • 3rd Chapter - Crosses and Roundels, the Birth of the New Emblems
      • National Markings of the Russian Empire's Fleet

I was extremely impressed with the coverage and quality of this title. The authors were able to incorporate a tremendous amount of information and still manage to provide a compelling and readable storyline. I cannot wait until the succeeding Volumes are published! To see a video of the book's contents, check out:

My thanks to Mushroom Model Publications and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!

  • Back cover
    Back cover
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages
  • Sample pages
    Sample pages

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <blockquote> <br> <cite> <code> <dd> <div> <dl> <dt> <em> <li> <ol> <p> <span> <strong> <ul>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Non-latin text (e.g., å, ö, 漢) will be converted to US-ASCII equivalents (a, o, ?).

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.