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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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MNH Panther diagonal camo - please advise
404NotFound
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Tennessee, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 01:03 PM UTC
The MNH Panther camo that appears to be on an olive green base with brown stripes edged in dark yellow — any ideas as to what the proper brown color would be?

Should it be chocolate brown or red-brown?

I have both a bottle of the Model Masters chocolate brown and an ancient tin of Humbrol German Camouflage Red Brown that is still good.

Any ideas about this?

Thanks in advance.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 03:28 PM UTC
I would go with using something which convinces you that it reasonably emulates the German camo red-brown used from Feb 1943 through to the end in 1945.

I say it like that because likely neither of the two paints you mentioned is a "true" and faithful emulation of that regulation rot-braun - neither likely remotely match the "official" RAL color-standard used for the issued paint-paste. So I won't endorse either of them as being the better or correct color.

There are many versions of supposedly "correct" German camo browns offered by paint-makers. Which one is closest to correct? I have no real idea. Each brand and paint certainly has its champions. Who's actually RIGHT? I don't know.

Perhaps my point here is that the paint scheme that you are asking about most likely DID USE some version of the regulation red-brown authorized for camo-painting armored vehicles. The paint was almost certainly mixed from its issued paste form by the vehicle crew (or by a unit shop crew) using SOME available dilutant - gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, something. The crew applied it. Which exact shade it went on as is most likely unknowable today.

So, select a rot-braun which perhaps some pundits like and go with it. You won't be absolutely right, but also not actually WRONG.

I personally think that any paint labeled "chocolate brown" may well be a bit TOO brown. A paint labeled something like "German camo brown" or "German red-brown" may be more the one I would go with - something which would be a sort of reddish brown. Tamiya makes a pretty acceptable version, IMO, as does (or did) Testor's, in their Model Master enamel line, and there are several "German camo brown" types by Vallejo, MIG, Life Color, atc. which I would be happy to use. But that is my OPINION and not any claim that I know what the actual regulation color really was. (There IS a RAL standard out there for it - but keep in mind that the RAL standard color chip may well be different from what actually went onto the tank, even presuming that the paint-paste used was the issued item.)

Cheers! Bob
brekinapez
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 04:27 PM UTC
I actually use Tamiya's NATO Brown myself.
404NotFound
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 04:28 PM UTC
Thank you for the thoughtful reply!

I suppose I should say that I wasn't limiting myself to either of the colors, but rather just mentioning what I have and could use.

I don't recall seeing a Model Master rotbraun, but I will check for it.

I could purchase a Tamiya rotbraun just to get an idea of the color and work from there. I don't care much for acrylic paints. Just doesn't work well for me for some reason.

Perhaps too I could take the chocolate brown, add some red and maybe lighten it a bit if need be.

I have the MiG Late War German Camouflage paint set although I've never used it. The rotbraun almost looks orange. I could be wrong, but it just looks too bright.

I must admit I am confused on this topic as some of what I read online (and you know how reliable that may or may not be) insinuated chocolate brown for late war Panthers.

Lastly, regarding this pattern, this would seem to have been done at the factory and not at unit level. That implies a uniformity as regards to shades.
Headhunter506
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 05:29 PM UTC
Is this the scheme you're asking about?



This was applied at the MNH factory prior to assignment to a unit. As of August 19,1944, all vehicles were to be painted at the factory to standardize and improve camouflage patterns; so, there was no more in-field camo pattern painting applied by vehicle crews. Besides, tarnpasten canisters were no longer supplied to troops at this time.

Re RAL 8017, Mission Models MMP-012 Rotbraun is close to the color chip in Tomas Chory's Wehrmacht Heer Camouflage Colors 1939-1945.



Model Master Schokoladenbraun '43 RAL 8017 is also good. Neither will render the reddish brown shade seen on many models, even with heavy dilution, because there is actually very little red in the color.
d111298pw
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 08:22 PM UTC
A couple of things to remember. There were three approved colors for the Panther camouflage.

RAL 7028 DunkelGelb (dark yellow) This was the base coat from Feb 1943 through September 1944.
RAL 8017 RotBraun (red brown)
RAL 6003 Olivgrun (olive green)

Factory applied camouflage began in August 1944. In September 1944, orders were issued to the factories to stop applying the RAL7028 base coat. The three colors were to be applied directly over the red oxide primer. Not all factories followed this, and there were variations.

For your requirement, you need something that is listed as RAL8017 compatible.

edit: Corrected the RAL color numbers from my original post. RAL 8012 was used in place of RAL 8017 when it wasn't available.

Bozothenutter
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 08:50 PM UTC
this site has ALL the info

https://www.historycolors.de/english/basic-facts/

note 8012 is not among them (only as a primer) 8017 is, this idea needs to die.

the RAL list changed a few times during and since the war, so using the current RAL or RAL classic is useless
Bozothenutter
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 09:26 PM UTC
PS
Cybermodeler is doing great work with colour references.
i told him about the difference in the RAL colours, and lo and behold, the RAL sets are now split in modern and 840R
Headhunter506
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Posted: Tuesday, November 19, 2019 - 10:07 PM UTC
This particular pattern is from Jan/Feb '45 and MNH was already complying with the order to use RAL 6003 Olivegrun as the base color, with RAL 7028 and RAL 8017 being applied on it.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 03:43 AM UTC
So, it seems that we have resolved that the striped paint scheme was actually factory-applied to MNH - built Panther G. I was wrong in positing that it was crew-applied. I'll plead age-induced frailness of memory! I did once know all this, but the details have, alas, gone AWOL and it was nice to be reminded of what I once better knew! Now reminded, I, too, recollect reading that the "tarnpasten" (paint paste) was indeed no longer being issued up to individual units and crew after later 1944. And so this would have likely eliminated some of the variation in applied color / shade which crew using different available dilutants may have created (and which has been a fav subject of German modelers!). But this probably doesn't much address in any useful way the OP's original question concerning the color he should use for that scheme.

The regulation red-brown color - identified at the time by the RAL color-standard 8017 - was still in effect through to the end of the war - just applied directly at the assembly plant instead of by unit shops and crew.

WHAT that color actually appeared as is one of the much-fraught and debated questions that bewitch us German armor modelers right to this day! When all is said and done, NOBODY here actually KNOWS which exact shade of a reddish brown really matches what was applied to the striped Panther G by MNH back in late 1944 or early 1945. LOTS of us THINK we "know" and certainly many have strong opinions - but keep in mind that these are opinions. NOT actual facts. I'm actually sure that most - maybe ALL - are reasonably close as to what the appropriate brown color was - and it doesn't seem like worth much strenuous debate.

It's a model. We know that there was an "official" authorized red-brown identified by the then-current RAL 8017 standard. Any red brown reasonably similar to the apparent standard, to the BUILDER'S EYE, should be a pretty good color to use. There are many paints available.

Maybe folks can suggest which paints they prefer as better approximating their take on that 1944-45 color. I think that is what the OP would like to see and could well benefit from. I KNOW that I would benefit from that!

Cheers! Bob
Johnnych01
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 05:02 AM UTC
I think Bob has hit the nail on the head there with his line....., " I'm actually sure that most - maybe ALL - are reasonably close as to what the appropriate brown color was - and it doesn't seem like worth much strenuous debate ".

It was so long ago and with very very few real life colour pictures, then bearing in mind colour fade and the such that you would ever get an exact match, and you would only ever see this immaculate clean finish for about 2 hours after the wagon had come off the factory line.
Then take into account being in almost constant combat for months and months in some vehicles cases, with the amount of wear, fade, constant weathering through all the season, being left out in the open almost constantly the colour variations you can use as modellers would of been almost limitless...... beauty is in the eye of the beholder
Bozothenutter
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 05:03 AM UTC
A d we're gonna weather the thing to within an inch of its life so nobody knows WHAT the colour is anyway!
Biggles2
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 05:38 AM UTC
I've used, on different occasions, these colors (or mixes of these colors) depending on how I feel or on availability: Tamiya XF64 - Red Brown; Tamiya XF68 - NATO Brown; Tamiya XF79 - Linoleum Deck Brown.
alanmac
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 09:16 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Then take into account being in almost constant combat for months and months



More likely weeks or in some cases days before their demise.
Headhunter506
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 10:36 AM UTC
Fruit flies have a longer lifespan than late war German armor did.
MLD
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 12:21 PM UTC
George,

Quoted Text



I have the MiG Late War German Camouflage paint set although I've never used it. The rotbraun almost looks orange. I could be wrong, but it just looks too bright.



I'm no experten by any stretch of the imagination, but I completely agree that the MiG rotbraun is a TERRIBLE color.. orange babypoop comes to mind.. I had sprayed it on a late war 251 and couldn't stand it. I had to go back and repaint. I'm a Tamiya guy, but not out of any real color expert reasons. Mostly becasue I can be sure I'll lay down a smooth coat of blemish free paint every time.

Joseph
"Re RAL 8017, Mission Models MMP-012 Rotbraun is close to the color chip in Tomas Chory's Wehrmacht Heer Camouflage Colors 1939-1945."

I had a chance to talk w Tom Jentz at AMPS Nationals about the Chory book right when it came out, having just bought a copy (but I'm glad I didn't tell HIM that), and his opinion was extremely direct and nearly unpublishable even here.. he was not one to pull his punches.
I sold my copy to someone that afternoon

Mike
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 12:32 PM UTC
You guys are doubtless pretty much right concerning the often rather brief life-spans in action of late-war German armor, albeit there are old movies recording the surrender of the German Army fleeing Czechoslovakia to escape the Russians and seek POW status with the Americans... And there are actually quite a few rather old German vehicles in those films. So not every tank, spg, or armored car actually got destroyed at the end.

But us modelers really should note that late-war production vehicles didn't really have time to rust, get very dinged-up or worn or chipped before the end, even if they did survive to surrender and be collected. I think that we should perhaps keep the notion of generally rather short late-war in-action life-spans forefront in our minds as we set out to weather our late- and last-production builds. Dirty? Yes, by all means. Chipped and rusted? Probably not much, if at all. Faded paint? Unlikely. Battle-damaged? Probably reasonable, given as they were in action fighting to escape and live, for the most part.

Cheers! Bob
brekinapez
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 12:50 PM UTC
When they restored Tiger '131' they discovered the paints were formulated to resist fading, so really the only thing that would have caused that at all would be a looonnngg time sitting out in durect sunlight which isn't very likely in a war setting.
Headhunter506
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 01:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text


Joseph
"Re RAL 8017, Mission Models MMP-012 Rotbraun is close to the color chip in Tomas Chory's Wehrmacht Heer Camouflage Colors 1939-1945."

I had a chance to talk w Tom Jentz at AMPS Nationals about the Chory book right when it came out, having just bought a copy (but I'm glad I didn't tell HIM that), and his opinion was extremely direct and nearly unpublishable even here.. he was not one to pull his punches.
I sold my copy to someone that afternoon

Mike



He might not have pulled punches; but, he had his biases. He was working on his own book of wartime RAL colors, if I recall. This is an original color chip page from RAL 840 L 1941.



Note the chip for RAL 8017, on the lower right of the page. Not only is that a match with the Mission Models Rotbraun, it's a dead ringer for the one in Chory's book.

Headhunter506
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 01:13 PM UTC

Quoted Text

this site has ALL the info

https://www.historycolors.de/english/basic-facts/

note 8012 is not among them (only as a primer) 8017 is, this idea needs to die.

the RAL list changed a few times during and since the war, so using the current RAL or RAL classic is useless



Jens and Wendel are performing outstanding research on the subject. I can't wait for the first volume to be finally available.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 06:53 PM UTC
May the REAL RAL 8017 (sometimes labeled "red-brown", "rotbraun", "Schokoladenbraun", "chocolate brown", and always RAL 8017) used on German tanks in 1944 or 1945 please stand up and identify yourself?

Just for fun and maybe a little edification...

Google "What color is German RAL 8017?" and click on the many images and behold!

At perhaps risk of sounding curmudgeonly... NOBODY here actually KNOWS what exact shade of red-brown was applied to those Panthers back in late 1944 or in 1945. I am, however, pretty sure that it WAS a paint labeled as meeting the standard for RAL 8017, as called for in the painting regs.

Seems from the myriad images encapsulating a pretty wide degree of color variation that one surely has some fairly nice options to choose from!

Sure. One could, for instance, "swear by" and use the posted color-chip image as one's guide for the "idealized" RAL 8017. Do so if that's what you want to rest on. And if I saw it used on a build, I personally wouldn't bother arguing against that decision. It looks pretty "reddish brown" to me! But I am absolutely positive that that choice has about as much chance of actually being the "exact shade" that was used as any of several other offered color-chips have! So pick your color, gents!

As a side note: I am very curious as to WHY would anyone actually have bothered to try and formulate camo paints to "resist fading" back in 1944 or '45? Evidently modern military forces don't seem to have done much of this, given as there appears to be plenty of fading taking place on modern military vehicles!

Cheers! Bob
gaborka
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Posted: Wednesday, November 20, 2019 - 09:54 PM UTC
Thank you for the explanation. I almost got killed for saying that RAL 8012 might have eventually been used as a camouflage color, in a Hungarian forum discussion. The difference is, here you have explained it instead of p-ing off.

TopSmith
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 01:02 AM UTC
Bob, the German armor lifespan was months on average. Modern armor is decades. There was no time to fade. Modern armor has the luxury of time to fade. I think any paint manufacturer who makes paint keeps the fade issue at the forefront as part of their ethos. Once applied the product is a rolling advertisement. If it peals like my Dodge trucks paint did or fade like past reds and yellows everyone remembers.
Paulinsibculo
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 01:51 AM UTC
Quite an interesting discussion.
Therefore I grabbed my chance to speak to a retired sales director of an established and over a century old German paint and lacquer producer.
Her summarized it actually quite acceptable:
During WW2 uniformity was a leading guide in the German (war) industries. However, due to all sorts of restrictions, which only got worse as the war continued and the attacks on industrial areas increased, normalization became less and less possible. Basic materials became scares or even not available, factories were damaged, moral of the employees became less, but also the need to supply increased as well due to the enormous amounts of losses in the German forces.
He stated that it is much likely that there was a considerable difference between producers or even between batches within the same production facility.
So, he was amused by this discussion and stated that if it came close to the given standard it would be 'realistic'. The more since the way these paints were applied (brushed, sprayed, summer, winter, by professionals or good willing tank crews) had their effects on the final results as well. Not to mention the base you start with.

Maybe this eases feelings about being 'totaly wrong'.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Thursday, November 21, 2019 - 03:47 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Quite an interesting discussion.
Therefore I grabbed my chance to speak to a retired sales director of an established and over a century old German paint and lacquer producer.
Her summarized it actually quite acceptable:
During WW2 uniformity was a leading guide in the German (war) industries. However, due to all sorts of restrictions, which only got worse as the war continued and the attacks on industrial areas increased, normalization became less and less possible. Basic materials became scares or even not available, factories were damaged, moral of the employees became less, but also the need to supply increased as well due to the enormous amounts of losses in the German forces.
He stated that it is much likely that there was a considerable difference between producers or even between batches within the same production facility.
So, he was amused by this discussion and stated that if it came close to the given standard it would be 'realistic'. The more since the way these paints were applied (brushed, sprayed, summer, winter, by professionals or good willing tank crews) had their effects on the final results as well. Not to mention the base you start with.

Maybe this eases feelings about being 'totaly wrong'.



THANK YOU, PAUL!

I've been totally amused by the often-vigorous discussions modeling folks indulge in concerning paint colors from back in WWII! It seems that folks find some color chip or old sample somewhere and suddenly decide that THAT chip or sample is actually the RIGHT and exact color that was used! This just astonishes me - I should wonder whether anyone actually believes themselves!

I do wonder whether folks have ever actually gone and bought cans of one paint-color on 2 separate occasions... Ever gone to the Big Box store and had them mix you up a can of your selected color using their computer-controlled tinting machines to match your provided color-chip from your wall? It's extremely common to find that the same paint-base and same color-reference chip used on the same machine in two different weeks will produce a visible-to-you difference in color.

It should be pretty obvious to everyone that actually making paint is an exercise in "mixology" - paint is a mixture of ingredients. All of which affect the resulting color of the batch. The exact ratio of solvents, vehicles, different pigments needed to achieve a given color is a formula. That formula is applied in an industrial process using the available materials. Industrial processes are NOT perfect. We all should recognize that the measurement and mixing of the prescribed ingredients is not very precise - not now in our modern, peace-time, computer-controlled world and definitely not back in wartime Germany. But not only the final paint-mixing process was impacted and varied... The ingredients are themselves products of a range of industrial processes. And the quality of those ingredients certainly varied. They do NOW, and certainly did back in wartime Germany. From where I sit, it seems GUARANTEED that batches of paint differed in color.

And it doesn't matter whether paint makers somehow took pride in their product being "better", "fading less then their competitor's product does" or any other sophistic argument. EVERYONE who made paint in later wartime Germany sold their goods to the Reich. In case we have forgotten... There was a SHORTAGE of paints available to paint those tanks. That means that ALL paints available were getting used. Quality be "d****d.

It's always amusing to me to see folks hang so firmly on the notion that there actually was one specific, exact color which perfectly matched some prescribed color-standard and which got applied to every vehicle. Not happening today, and definitely not back then!

But that's us! Me? I enjoy the discussions and look at the info offered, admire the great builds so many do, and then go choose my colors using whatever I know and believe about what the color should be ON MY BUILD. I don't go to a show and claim that my brown is the CORRECT brown, I don't post builds claiming that I have all the REAL and CORRECT colors, and I don't even tell myself that it I do! It's nice to know that there was a color standard which folks tried to use. The existence of such standards has only a general effect on what the actual applied color was or is. Then and now.

Cheers! Bob