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WW2 German Vehicle Painting/Colour Schemes

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I wanted to ask if anyone knew of someone who specialises in painting WW2 German vehicle and the associated colour schemes please?


Many thanks,




No real experience but here is what I have learned.


At the start of the war all vehicles were painted Panzergrau with a white cross for recognition. When experience revealed that the white cross made a good aiming point, the centre of the white cross was painted out in black, creating the Balkenkreuz we regularly associate.


When the war moved to the desert, the base colour became sand. When it became clear that the white of the Balkenkreuz did not stand out on sand (either on tanks or aircraft) it became common to outline it in black.


It was intended that heavy vehicles (ie Tiger and Panther) would generally be painted Panzergrau (Hitler had no intention of wasting resources on a piddling little desert side-war, no matter how hard Rommel demanded reinforcements). Obviously, when Tigers went to Tunisia, as we know from Bovvy's Tiger 131, they did get painted sand. (Panthers never went to the Western Desert.) At some point (cannot remember when) the formal "heavies are to be painted Panzergrau" rule was dropped. From mid-war tanks might roll off the production line base-painted either sand or Panzergrau depending on circumstances.


About then it became clear that camouflage paint over the top of the base would be a good move. Each new tank was shipped with pots or green and red-brown camouflage paint for the crews to use to suit local conditions. Plus a tin of sand for a tank based Panzergrau and vice versa.


Schemes ranged from simple single-colour tiger-stripes (I remember copying a photo from my reference book of red-brown stripes over sand onto a King Tiger model) to schemes not unlike various countries' Cold War colour schemes in two or three colours (one or two colours over the either sand or Panzergrau base). Another popular scheme saw large basically squares over the top of the base reminiscent of giraffes, which gave the impression that base-colour stripes had been applied over the top of cam paint.


Then somebody parked a three-colour camouflaged Panther under a tree and saw the dappled effect of the sunlight through the leaves. He had the bright idea of adding these dapples over the top, green and brown on sand and grey, sand over green, brown and Panzergrau and so on. This meant that the tank looked like it was hidden under a tree even when it wasn't.


To be honest, if you install World of Tanks and look at the camouflage schemes you can adopt, they are quite authentic. (I don't know: maybe if you investigate their website you might not even have to download the game (it's huge and will suck the life out of your computer for a few hours.)

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I was wondering if the original post was asking for someone who specialised in doing the spray painting, rather that the colours to use!:D


Probably. My intention was to get across the message that a professional job might be out of character with the effect the OP seeks: camouflage paint tended just to be slapped on.

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Hi AlienFTM, many thanks for the sharing your experiences.



Hi LarryH57, I am looking for someone who specialises in spray painting, as well as someone who knows (in detail) about the colours and colour schemes used by the Wehrmacht in Normandy and the Ardennes.



Hi 06Pzkpfw-e, many thanks for the A&S lead.

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