Old 06-15-2006, 09:32 AM
Harry Steen's Avatar
Harry Steen Harry Steen is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bavaria
Posts: 61
Hi guys,

I think the flow of information has stopped ...in any case I would like to post some related information and summarize what I think is the result:

1. Kind of primers available:

- Light red "Bleimennige V40"
- Red-brown "Bleimennige V40" (40% Ironoxid Red)
- Red-brown "Bleimennige V75" (75% ironoxid Red)

So you have a wide variety to go from a reddish brown towards an almost orange colour.

2. History of paint orders – Zimmerit is nor included!:

· 18th Feb. 1943 HM 1943 No. 181: New Base color yellow ("Dunkelgelb nach Muster/Dunkelgelb II" which will be given the name "Dunkelgelb RAL 7028" in April 1943) that covers the primer completely. This did not only apply to newly produced vehicles and artillery pieces but it was supposed as well to repaint all equipment as long as it had not been delivered to the front yet.
At the front the equipment should be “improved” by the use of green and brown color pastes.

· 7th August 1944: A German counterattack in Normandy is stopped by Allied airplanes and “costs” about 90 tanks and 200 vehicles in a few minutes. This could have been the final drop that caused the Higher Command to rethink their camouflage possibilities.

· 19th August 1944 – OKH orders that the vehicles have to be camouflaged (yellow base, green & brown patches) during assembly. The front tried to get them as soon as possible so maybe something was delivered short term but common scheme was available at that time.

· Probably the Waffenamt started to work on 3 different “Tarnbilder” (Camo schemes) and the according orders for application.

The 3 schemes are:

a. one for autumn (in English literature referred to as Ambush) with yellow base and green and brown patches and dots,

b. the second for winter in complete white and maybe with patches

c. and finally the summer scheme with green base and yellow stripes and brown patches

· September to October 1944: The drawings of the Tarnbilder and the orders are handed over to the assembly plants but due to logistical problems not everybody gets everything at the same time. It seemed to have happened that some plants had the drawings but not the order of how to apply the scheme and which scheme to use at this time of the year. Maybe some had the order but no drawings.
Some obviously have used Scheme 3 (example: Tiger II at Henschel).
The order also asked to apply the colors with sharp borderlines but not every plant seemed to have stopped the application by airbrush as it was much quicker.

· Mid September 1944: For no, to me known, reason MNH (and only MNH is mentioned) should use no more complete yellow coating of the Panther but apply the 3 colors (yellow, green, brown) in patches on the surface. In the English source of this information (Jentz) it is stated that lots of primer is left without cover. An official source is not given but there is a statement existing it is due to a mess-up in translation – the German source seem to mean that the whole surface has to be covered with patches.

· 31st October 1944: Again only at MNH! A local Waffenamt official orders that the inside of Panthers is no longer painted and stays in primer and that the 3 colors are applied sparingly on the primed surface – obviously the whole surface. If yellow is not available then dark grey can be used.
It is clearly said that this process happens in the assembly plant. So individual deliveries may show up in different states. The Bosch headlight would be delivered in satin yellow, some parts may show up in primer others with a phosphate coating.

· November/December 1944: Some supply plants started to use a green base color RAL6003 as a coating on top of the primed parts to have a more safe delivery to the assembly plant. This should make the transport more safe.
Documents say that MNH started with this on 20th of Dec. 1944 (maybe even with camouflaged parts – according to scheme 3 ?!?) and there is also some (not verified?!?) information that the Tiger II chassis was delivered in green (End of Nov. 1944).

· January 1945, HV45B (Army Order): Trucks and cars get a one color code in green (RAL 6003), tanks should be colored according to scheme 3 and if this is not available then in green overall as well.

· 15th Feb. 1945 MNH should use ivory on the inside of the turret.

3. Evidence of red primer vehicles:

Finally when talking about assembled vehicles (not of parts or reassembled vehicles at allied trainings areas) there seems to be nothing available to prove it. Only if the translation in the Panther book and the sources are correct then there was the chance of having some multicoloured (4 colours) Panthers between Mid Sept. and end of Oct. 1944. All the colour photos that I have seen are repaints or coloured or whatever ….

@ Dojo:
Which leads us to the Tiger II hull in the area beneath the sideskirts: I have not seen a Tiger II so far that had obviously primer beneath the side skirts. The hull was delivered from the Dortmund-Hoerder Hüttenverein in Dortmund, from Krupp in Essen or from the Skoda plant in Pilsen to the Henschelwerke in Kassel for final assembly. Before November the parts were delivered with no coating or primer on and after that with green coating.
Some pictures show a dark stripe when the side skirts are taken off but this maybe due to dust on the uncovered surface or that the colour beneath the skirts is a dark green.

4. Is it green or primer?

The Green in use (before summer 1940) contained Chrome oxide and Chrome was needed to harden steel. So finally the Chrome Oxide was replaced by the organic Pigment Green. By adding some Oxide Yellow to the green colour the ability to cover the surface was improved. (Finally also the production of Oxide Yellow was reduced end of 1943 – therefore the change in clothing and equipment colour from grey-green to yellow-brown)
The Pigment Green is a Tar Colour Pigment and is easily “bleached” in the sunlight. The curious thing is that it gets darker because of its origin (dark pigments contained!).
Because a lot of people judge by b&w photos, which is in principle almost impossible, it could easily happen to mix bleached green with some kind of primer.

That’s all so far …



The information was collected from threads and friends and ….

1. Several Ground power issues
2. The Spielberger books on StuG and Tiger
3. Jentz’s publications on the Panther and some Panzer tracts books
4. Johannes Denecke’s book on Camo (very good)
5. Taschenbuch für Lackierbetriebe 1944 - Handbook for the Paintshops 1944", printed only in German)
6. Tomas Chory – Camouflage Colors (many mistakes!)
7. W. Schneider, Tiger in Combat I & II
8. Dr. Maus, Tiger II
Its not enough to know - you must apply,
Its not enough to think - you must do!
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Old 06-16-2006, 12:39 AM
Harry Steen's Avatar
Harry Steen Harry Steen is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bavaria
Posts: 61
Sorry guys I made a mistake .... I mean maybe I made a lot but there is one I found :lol:

Here is the correction:

19th August 1944 – OKH orders ............ short term but NOOOOO !! common scheme was available at that time.

Its not enough to know - you must apply,
Its not enough to think - you must do!
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Old 06-28-2006, 06:31 AM
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brokeneagle brokeneagle is offline
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Location: Melbourne, Victoria, Aust.
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Originally posted by sbuss@Jun 1 2006, 09:18 PM

Anyway, the pictures would have been taken from "Panzerwaffe vol2", ISBN 8372191999, pages 44 and 45, and are from Ausbesserungswerk Schihau, which is next to Elbing in East Prussia. They show a row of five 251s standing in the same shop as a pair of reworked 233s and the lower part of the vehicles front is extremely dark.

Here are the photo's of the 251's in East Prussia [now Poland]. Hope they help.

Also I would like to add to Willy's comments on the unpainted Luftwaffe planes as this argument is trying to show the lack of completing the painting process as per the standing orders in '45. The reply to this was concerningthe lack of paint and the fact that they did not use primer as with the tanks, however, by March /April of '45 the Me 109 k4's issued to JG 27 were delivered in full late war cammo with the lower halfs and bottom of the fuselage left in bare primer coat [ a kind of dull custard yellow] but the wings in the usual RLM 76. PROCESS NOT COMPLETED ACCORDING TO STANDING WORKORDERS.
Also, there has been comments over the last 6or7 years [and from Jentz as well] that German Grey could not possibly have been used as a late war cammo color yet I have heard it mentioned here quite a few times as well as being mentioned and shown in the art work in Tigers in Combat for Berlin area Tiger 2's. Could Grey be another myth to be delt with at the same time as the Primer?
Thank God for the mystery in German armour, it's what makes this so interesting :lol:
Thanks for the great post topic Harry.
plastic Nymphomaniac
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Old 07-02-2006, 06:56 AM
Harry Steen's Avatar
Harry Steen Harry Steen is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Bavaria
Posts: 61
Thank you for the pics!
Now that I see the pictures it is clear for me that they do not show vehicles in primer - even the stowage cases are painted on the inside.

Concerning the grey color on vehicles:
I know only one source and its the same paragraph from the Jentz Panther book that includes the primer regulation for MNH given by a LOCAL Waffenamt inspector:

"If Dunkelgelb wasn't available Dunkelgrau RAL 7021 could be used in an extreme emergency, otherwise Dunkelgrau was to be conserved."

So this would then make 2 options for 4 colored camos:

Primer, yellow, brown and green or primer, grey, brown and green! :lol: :lol:
This makes no sense to me and honestly I do not believe this was done.
I do not understand either why grey should be conserved ?!?

Its not enough to know - you must apply,
Its not enough to think - you must do!
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Old 07-03-2006, 05:26 AM
sbuss sbuss is offline
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Germany
Posts: 121
yes, these were the pictures i was referring to (apart from the one showing the snow-covered front parts outside the plant), thanks for posting them.

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