Wermacht Colours

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Wermacht Colours

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Wermacht Colours

Postby snapdragon » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:47 pm

I'm starting this thread to put up information regarding German vehicle/Armour colours.

This has come about due to a Russian paint company coming to my attention and when looking thought there somewhat expansive paint list a few things caught my attention and so as a restorer of vehicles as well as a builder of models I thought that a thread purely for discussing German military paint colours for WWII and various companies products would be an interesting thing.

At this moment, slowly winging their way from Greece and Czechoslovakia is a selection of paints from the Russian paint manufacturer Arkan. I nearly bought directly from their online shop but they want payment in the form of either cash (rubles) or direct bank transfer. No credit cards, no paypal or anything like that. for the amount I would have been spending the bank transaction fees would probably be much more than the actual amount so forget that.

Instead I was recommended to go to a model firm in Greece who has the full range: Acrylic, Acrylic Enamel and Enamel etc. I Have got some of the paints I need, but a few that I actually wanted was out of stock, but I found a model shop in Czechoslovakia who has the full range and was able to get the ones I wanted from them.

Most of the paints I will be testing and looking at in this particular batch from Akan are Enamel and one colour.

It is the most discussed colour of the German Military from WWII - RAL 7028 Dunkelgelb or Dark Yellow.

The Germans switched to the three colour camouflage in 1943 after a study of captured Russian tanks and the camouflage colours they had on.... yes... not all Russian Vehicles were all over 4BO and the Germans learned much from fighting the Russians and their armour camouflage systems. Rhis led. ion 1943, just before the battle of Kursk to the change from Dark Grey to the three colour system. All the colours were not quite readily available and the dark yellow was applied in disruptive lines over the top of the dark grey as was both the green (RAL 6003) and the Red Brown (8017) making some unique camouflage schemes during the Kursk Offensive. These colours were delivered as paste to front line units for them to apply using either water or petrol.

From 18th Feburary 1943 new vehicles were delivered from factories with an overall RAL 7028 leaving units to put on the Green and Red brown colours usually done either in the refitting areas or by the crews themselves. No vehicle was alike. in colour scheme and many were painted reflecting local conditions.

RAL 7028 is a most disputed colour among modellers as to the shade. Vehicle restorers go from the colours they get of the tank when they start restoration and this authentic Chipset Gem:

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Before I continue... to to make sure that you know that the colours are genuine go to this website

http://www.codecrete.net/CMYK

And put in the CMYK numbers in the CMYK % slots. You will then see that the colours and the numbers match. The above chipset is my base start along with the paint on the original vehicle.

going from Left to Right:-

Dunkelgelb Nach Muster or Dark Yellow according to sample is the first colour seen on vehicles and was used at Kursk etc. up until the very beginning of 1944. the army gave it RAL 7028 before it was officially in the RAL register. the translated text reads Army ordnance RAL 7028 Edition 1943

Chipset 2 is the official registered RAL 7028 and came in at the beginning of 1944.

Chipset 3 is the last change and came in to use about late October early November 1944 and went on to the end of the war.

However, there would be changes to these colours depending on the medium used to apply AND the paint base itself. Remember that the factories etc were being bombed day and night by USAAF and RAF bombers and supply routes being disrupted all the time by intruder raids, railways and bridges being blown up etc. In the end Afrika Corps paint stocks were being used on vehicles and there are colour photographs of tanks on both Eastern and Western Fronts sporting this and indeed the Working Tiger II at Samur sports a very pale, almost white in some lights base colour with a lighter green disruptive camouflage on the top.... or is it the other way around?!!

Take a look at this picture taken of the Tiger II at Samur outside trundling up and down. The "Dunkelgelb" does look suspiciously like one of the Afrika Corps base coat colours ( this another set of colours we will be looking at in a later post).

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Here's the interesting point....

When mixed with water the colour doesn't change. Out in the field and in rear areas water is a precious commodity and you us it for drinking and hygiene NOT for mixing down paints.

When mixed with petrol which was the normal medium used for this (no diesel engines in the Panzers) the paint lightens. the more petrol, the lighter it gets!

So as modellers if we are around the right colour shade wise then it is OK because every batch of the colours was different and also every panzer differed in colour and shade due to the factors above especially towards the end of the war. Let's not forget the base colour RAL 7028 and how it officially altered. It got darker as you can plainly see above!

This is why I have ordered a bottle of every RAL 7028 Arkan have in their catalogue. They may be only 10ml bottles for the Enamel and looking on the website they sure have quite a few shades listed as RAL 7028 and I am really curious!
Call me mad... but it's a learning experience!

I do have some MIG AMMO panzer colours in and when the spoons come then the airbrush is busy and sacrifices will be made!
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
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Re: Wermacht Colours

Postby snapdragon » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:03 pm

The Akan paints have arrived from the Vendor.

I cannot recommend this vendor to the forum as the paints were virtually unusable having obviously been on their shelves since 2003. the bottles were still sealed and the seal had not been broken, however half of the thinners had evaporated and the dilutant of the paint had also evaporated leaving the pigment paste in the bottles.

These paints are from Akan's 8 series which are enamel paints.

Here's the photos of just how they arrived, taken 20 minutes after opening the box.

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These paints came from http://obchod.valka.cz/index.php/[url][/url] They have ignored my email for a refuld and do I have opened a dispute with Paypal. I will let the forum know how this ends.

The Happy thing is that I contacted Akan in Russia including the photos of the bottles etc and they are sending me direct from Moscow genuine replacements Free.

Akan have their own Online shop: http://shop.akan.ru/[url][/url] but at this moment in time the only way of paying is by overseas bank transfer so you have bank charges on top.

Hobby colours in Greece have a good reputation and stock Akan paints http://www.hobbycolours.com/index.php?cPath=305_132[url][/url] but the colours I wanted for this test were out of stock!

However, With some careful thought I managed to sort of recue the paints using Akan's Thinner on two paints and Xtreme Metal's Cleaner on the other two, theorising that as both are enamel thinners then that dilutant should work.

So, once again, sacrificing spoons to the great white Paint God I got to work.

Here's a reminder of the shade card

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Akan Enamel 81081 Dunkelgelb Nach Muster Ral 7028 ( Dark Yellow As Sample)
This is the original colour used before it was accepted into the RAL catalogue

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Now here's a photograph with Vallejo's RAL 7028 Surface Primer

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And Vallejo's Model AIr &1.081 Panzer Ochre 1943

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Akan 81081 RAL 7028 Variant
This is the actual colour that was accepted into the RAL Catalogue and was the base coat from late 1943 until beginning 1944. To me it looks more brown than yellow!

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Akan 81082 RAL 7028 Aus '44
This shade came into use in early 1944 and lasted until very late 1944

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Akan 81083 RAL 7028 Aus '44
This shade replaced the previous one and lasted until the end of the war. it is almost a dark yellowish green

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It is very widely known that paint shades varied from batch to batch and on application due to the dilutant used and materiel shortages etc. Those are the OFFICIAL shades and are very close if not exact to the shade cards. I don't know much about the very pale colours that AK and MIg are putting out because if you look at this photo of a Jagstiger although it is not in colour, there is not a pale colour to be seen on it. All are dark colours. a pale beige colour would stand out a mile!

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Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
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Re: Wermacht Colours

Postby steve131 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:26 pm

Missed this post, don't know how the Cheque guy had the front to send garbage to you. Do you like Arkan paints and how you get on with enamel :?: I find acrylic more user friendly.
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Re: Wermacht Colours

Postby snapdragon » Sun Oct 23, 2016 8:51 pm

Although I didn't have the original dilutant in the jars and effectively had to experiment before spraying them, to date ( gave it two days before photographing) The paint went on very well and because it is enamel is quite tough once dry.

It does dry quite fast but I wanted to make sure that there was no chemical reaction, which there hasn't been.

Out of the 4 colours the only one which looks a little off from the Chipset is the original Dunkelgelb Nach Muster. It is a real problem to reproduce as it was only used for a couple of months and mainly Operation Citadel.

Non of these colours survive and they are not in the current RAL catalogue as that was redone during the de-Nazifying process after the war. Any colour that was used by the forces was removed or altered so the only things we have to go on is surviving chipsets that weren't destroyed and vehicles that have been recovered and after 70 years those would have changed.

I can't comment properly on the paint until the genuine stuff arrives from Moscow, but with it being enamel and not acrylic the airbrush cleanup was more of a stripdown than anything, but even using makeshift dilutants the paint has not changed shade at all.

The makeshift paint went on quite evenly using a 0.4mm nozzle at 18-20 psi but it doesn't have a smooth finish, more of an eggshell to the touch. This though is my makeshift job out of stuff made in 2003.

Akan does have a range of acrylics and I will see if I can get my hands on some RAL 7028 and see how that behaves. At this moment I can find only 10ml jars (15 for acrylic) around the net but on Akan's website you can order 75 and 200 (Ithink) ml bottles.

the water based acrylic and acrylic enamel ranges only seem to have 2 versions of RAL 7028 while the enamel has at my last count, 6 variants. I bought 81080 - 83 as they followed in number and timeline and I shall have to get the 2 new ones and see what they are... isn't curiosity a wallet emptying thing!

THe last colour is one I would really like to use on Trumpeter's 1/16 Jagdtiger as the timeframe for the TD and paint are right although 10ml probably won't be enough for that big beast and I would have to get the same RAL 6003 and 1812/17 to match the textures.

It would be a very interesting project to do with all AKAN enamels inside and out as if the real paint does have the same texture it would give it that totally flat slightly rough rushed look along with the smooth Xtreme Metal paintwork for parts of the breech etc.

Maybe it would be a good idea to order some 75ml bottles from Akan in Russia and suck up the bank charges etc as I think personally that they look to be accurate and good quality paints.
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
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Re: Wermacht Colours

Postby steve131 » Sun Oct 23, 2016 9:45 pm

Be nice if they be at Telford, sounds a nice project to get you through the winter. Good quote about curiosity :lol:
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