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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
German - Long barrel Camo
165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 07:54 AM UTC
Currently building the Dragon (Kit #6189) King Tiger with Porsche Turret and AM Zimmerit. I was wondering what would be the correct Axis practice on camouflaging that L-O-N-G gun barrel?

I plan on doing a three color camo and of course I could just break up that monster gun using the three different colors but I was wondering if I might have other options as well???

I recently saw a period photo of a German tank using what appeared to be long straw colored reeds tied around the barrel. That idea appeals to me as one possibility! Also I have seen Tiger I's with the forward portion of the barrel painted what looked like a dark graphite color. I even saw a model of a KT with the white scallops on the forward underside of the barrel like the British did with their Fireflies - but that doesn't seem like it would be correct????

I have a feeling on this website I might just get a landslide of suggestions - if so then bring 'em on!

And thanks for any help.

165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 08:18 AM UTC
SpeedyJ posted this Panther photo elsewhere on the website:



In combat the straw camo would be pushed back further. It was moved forward in this photo because; #1 - to access the travel lock for the barrel. #2 - I think the straw has either vibrated or been blown even more forward during the rail move.
chefchris
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 08:59 AM UTC
The dark grey is laquer paint. Sometimes a gun would be changed out and if unpainted it would be in laquer. I thought no this is way overdone in modelling, much like red oxide primer on everything. The picture of the Panthers with covered barrels was an attempt to mask the panther D's new long barrel 75mm gun from the Russians. I don't think it was a widespread tactic.
165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 11:43 AM UTC
So not as much variety in King Tigers as I had hoped.

And the trick with the Panthers had the same motive as the Fireflies; disguising the end portion of their tubes to keep every enemy gunner from focusing fire on the tank with the long gun.

Looks like I am back to using the camo colors to break up the long gun. I do still have the options of draping it with camo netting or foliage.
165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 11:47 AM UTC
Here's the current status on my WIP.

Still have half the off-side track to finish, more detailing to do and the other two colors of camo to paint plus decals.

panzerbob01
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 01:06 PM UTC
A fairly wide survey of web pics of Tiger II / KT / Tigers shows that the vast majority of guns / barrels were painted more or less to match the tank scheme. There are some notable different schemes on barrels, including stripes and cloud-portions, "counter-shading" with scalloped under-sides, and occasionally a solid base-coat barrel on an otherwise camo'd tank. A very few had nets or foliage or other stuff tied on - even when the hull and turret were so camo'd.

There were exceedingly few apparent "replacement barrels (left in the satin black lacquer of manufacture - something sometimes seen on StuG III / IV but very seldom on any gun tank - specially so Panthers and Tigers) in or among Tiger pics. Probably very few Tiger II / KI ever got salvaged and refurbished, unlike "tired" Pz. IV, Panthers, and Tiger I, all of which had a much longer type-service-life (and which were much more abundant).

The possible exception to what appears otherwise to be a "painted barrel - that's it" Tiger II world may lie in when Tigers were moved into an area and hidden under trees awaiting use. Such parked tanks could well be camo'd with foliage, debris, sheets, etc. while parked. The Germans were, by late 1944 and in 1945, seldom in position to do much to hide tanks in movement, and the Tiger was huge and hard to disguise when it was out from under cover from passing air...

But you do have options as to how to paint that barrel. Just avoid the "probably NEVER" "rot-oxide" scheme - barrels were satin-black from the gun plant.

Cheers! Bob
165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 02:47 PM UTC
Thanks Bob

No worries on picking the red-oxide. That was NOT on my wish list!
165thspc
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Posted: Tuesday, January 01, 2019 - 02:54 PM UTC
Here is how I finished off my Tiger I many moons ago. However based on Chris' comments above it looks like I will need to paint one more barrel section in the dk gray/graphite/black lacquer paint to "get it right!"- Which I will do!





The exhaust heat shields are finished in a red tone because I once read a story of how the shields would get so hot at night they would glow red and could give away their position.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2019 - 04:12 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Here is how I finished off my Tiger I many moons ago. However based on Chris' comments above it looks like I will need to paint one more barrel section in the dk gray/graphite/black lacquer paint to "get it right!"- Which I will do!





The exhaust heat shields are finished in a red tone because I once read a story of how the shields would get so hot at night they would glow red and could give away their position.



Maybe more a story than much else... Engines could indeed run very hot, and the heat-shields could indeed likely get hot enough to burn off most of the paint (which resulted in often-rusty heat-shields.... so reddish, blackening and ashing are likely good for parts of these!) during heavy movement, but they weren't likely to glow so brightly as to realistically signal any passing fly-boy during a night drive - and thermal imaging didn't yet exist!! And these things were NOISY, so any ground-pounder close enough to see a glowing heat shield likely already heard the kitty from further away.

There IS a related consideration, however... Pz. IV, Panthers, and Tigers all ran HOT, and there was a tendency for the exhaust to be a flame / torch under full engine load... hence the later-model exhaust "flame-dampers" seen on Pz. IV and Panthers towards end-of-war. The exhaust torch was likely much more visible from distance then any gently glowing heat-shield!

If you check Tiger photos, you'll probably see that the heat-shields were mostly pretty much same color as the tank - more likely bashed and dented then burned appears to be the case.

Your kitty looks good - and yes, IF you are hoping to depict a "replacement barrel" - all of it should be satin black. Do keep in mind that there is very little photo evidence for Tigers getting such gun replacements, but rare does NOT mean NEVER!

Cheers! Bob
165thspc
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Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2019 - 04:36 AM UTC
Thanks Bob for taking the time to reply - The proper portions of the gun barrel are now painted the dark gray (at least as I understand it.)

As to the "glowing red" heat shields I think I am about ready to give up on that idea. Fortunately the red "glow" was achieved using pastel chalks so I can/will most likely wash it off and make the change back to an idea of just simple rust and chipped paint in the very near future.
165thspc
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2019 - 09:19 AM UTC
Repainted Tiger I barrel:

varanusk
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ARMORAMA
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2019 - 09:27 PM UTC
Shouldn't it be dark grey, as said above?




Ringleheim
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Posted: Saturday, January 05, 2019 - 09:42 PM UTC
That dark gray paint you see on barrels is a special heat resistant paint applied at the factory. The idea is that a tank would need a replacement barrel and it would either be left in the factory gray primer, or it might appear that way for a while prior to receiving camouflage colors by the unit in the field.

Like many aspects of armor modeling, this tends to be way overdone by modelers, largely because it adds a lot of visual interest!

The whole barrel would be grey if you're going to go in that direction, though. At least that seems right to me.

165thspc
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 01:50 AM UTC
I believe on the Tiger I that first tube section is part of the mantlet. It does not move but rather the barrel recoils through that like a sliding sleeve. Therefore if the gun were replaced that section is part of the tank and would be the same color as the turret.

I could easily be mistaken on that.
RLlockie
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 07:54 AM UTC
You are correct. Only the actual barrel would be replaced due to wear. The components which are part of the mantlet would remain in the colours they were before. In the colour photo, notice how the Topfblende on both the Jagdtiger and Jpz 38 are vehicle colour but the barrel is not. There is a colour photo of a late Pz IV around which exhibits the same mixture of painted tank and grey barrel but the mantlet is still vehicle colour.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 12:27 PM UTC
The standard "satin black" enamel applied at the gun factory would generally, as in the various presented pictures, appear as a very dark gray - not a deep dead black, nor a glossy deep black. And like all black-painted things, soon this would collect just a bit of dust and dirt and become visually more a dark gray.

The pics with Herr Hitler and various members of his sycophant club (Goering, Himmler, Martin Bormann, Goebels, et alia) were taken at either a training depot or at some assembly depot very late in the war (perhaps early 1945) - no crew or unit-applied camo is evident, and the gun barrels haven't yet been painted over their factory black enamel. Which would denote recently - armed vehicles perhaps being paraded as they are turned over to the user unit(s). And of course this event occurred well behind the lines. No "Bonze" up where the bullets were flying!

Of particular (to me, anyways! ) interest, the "Hetzer" has been fitted with its new gun - but no "Saukopfblende" has been fitted on, as of yet! And for all of us modelers... take a good look at the road wheels on that "Hetzer"... they look a lot like the dunkelgelb base-coat was pretty sloppily applied to them, and covered a bit of rubber! Definitely a very fresh coat of paint in prep for the Bonze - no hub-dripping nor even dirtied grooves and lines and bolt-heads to be seen here, and EVERYTHING (save that barrel) is solidly-painted DG! As a model build, this would be (unless dio'd with those figures...) pretty boring! Just assemble the entire build, and liberally douse it all over with DG and call it DONE!

Sorta makes me think of that old US Army "saw" about "If it moves, salute it. If it stands still, paint it OG!".

Bob
165thspc
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Posted: Sunday, January 06, 2019 - 07:19 PM UTC
Sorry that barrel repaint IS dark gray. The lightness shown there is a problem of the photograph!

Very impressive color photos on your part!