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"Early WW1 German Uniforms?!?" Topic

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Sierra1928 Jul 2008 5:59 p.m. PST

Ok, I'm a little confused here. The color picture I have of a German Uniform, circa 1914-1915, shows it being green-grey (kind of like Vallejo WW2 German Fieldgrey or WW2 German Uniform), but most pictures of painted miniatures shows the uniform as being more blue-grey. So can someone help me out here? I would like a Vallejo, GW, or P3 color (if possible), just so I get the paint scheme reasonably accurate. I was kinda bummed when I flipped through my copy of Great War that it listed paint schemes for Late war Germans, but not Early war Germans. Thanks for the help!

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian28 Jul 2008 6:02 p.m. PST

I thought the green-grey uniforms were for special troops, such as machinegunners.

Bardolph28 Jul 2008 6:53 p.m. PST

Look at the pics here:
He has the 1910 and the transitional tunics, as well as the 1915 which was worn till the end.

Martin Rapier29 Jul 2008 12:20 a.m. PST

The early war ones were grey, apart from Jagers etc. The Osprey 'German Army 1914-18' isn't bad on these although the colour plates are a bit garish.

Prince Rupert of the Rhine29 Jul 2008 2:23 a.m. PST

I'm having the same problem with my late war germans (I also has the same problem when I was painting WW2 germans)German field greys seem to come in so many shades its quite hard to match them up.
I've got two ospreys on my painting bench The german army one and the stormtrooper one and even those seem to have different grey shades in different plates.In the end I've plumped for a green/grey mix(GW codex grey and catachan green). For early war I'd do the same but substitue green for a blue. Page 112 (bottom picture) of the great war book has a good example of early war jagers and infantry together to show the difference in colour of their uniforms.
I'm trying not to get to worked up about it though, becuase once the uniforms have got wet,muddy and bleached by the sun all sorts of shades were probably possiable,so any mid grey colour would probably work. At least thats my story :) Good luck with your painting.

cheers Jon

Tommy Atkins29 Jul 2008 2:48 a.m. PST

Try this for M1910 German Uniforms.
Base coat Vallejo German Grey.
Mid tone Vallejo Grey Green.
Highlight Vallejo Grey green with a little white added.
see results of this colour scheme on

UK Mark29 Jul 2008 4:18 a.m. PST

I used a green grey from Colour Party paints. Its more green than grey and looks right for early war. There are some pictures on my figures at

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2008 5:22 a.m. PST

For books showing unifoms I would strongly recommend WW1 Infantry in Color. Actual models wearing actual uniforms from the period. A little easier to decipher clothing colors from photographs.

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP29 Jul 2008 5:44 a.m. PST

Early war infantry and Jagers had different color uniforms.


DestoFante29 Jul 2008 8:02 a.m. PST

Hi Sierra,

Based on the Osprey for the early war, I tried to differentiate between shades of greys in 1914 German uniforms. In particular, I noticed the cover of the picklehaube should be slighter more greenish than the actual uniform, which is a light greyish without too much blue in it. I have afew pics in y blog here:


I have to add that, once I finished the 15mm miniatures and treated that with the "miracle dip" method, most of the difference between helmet and tunic disappeared, and you may notice in the pic. Sometimes, in the smaller scales, an excess of precision doesn't pay off. Maybe later tonight, when I'll be back home, I could add which Vallejo I used, and which online sources I was looking at.


Sierra1929 Jul 2008 1:39 p.m. PST

Well, for Late War Germans, I've settled on Privateer Press P3 paint. The Uniform is Ironhull Grey-kind of a medium gray with just a touch of dark blue. It's a little darker that the Charadon Granite used in the book. But I have no reference for early war germans, using any paint brand that I can readily obtain, hence my frustration. And to Tommy Atkins-Great Paintjobs! Do you drybrush on the mid-tone and highlight? My painting skills are decent enough, but I never really got into the whole higlighting thing. I find a color that is the closest match to the uniform, paint it on, and call it good. So a few quick instructions are in order. Thanks!

Tommy Atkins30 Jul 2008 2:55 a.m. PST

Thanks for the compliments! No drybrushing on my figures. I'm a simple "paint it" bloke.

Blatent plug…buy the Sept/Oct issue of "Battlegames" as I have a painting article appearing within that explains all.
Simply…paint all uniform in the dark base coat. Repaint uniform in mid tone leaving folds of cloth/shadowed areas untouched with the lighter paint. Paint over raised areas of uniform/edge of tunics/edge of sleeves/elbows/knees etc. with the highlight. This puts a lot of paint on the figure (four coats including undercoat in places)but gives a "solid" result. Hope that helps.

Shootmenow30 Jul 2008 1:56 p.m. PST

Totally agree with Young Atkins! For a quality finish I don't think you can beat the building up of base coat, mid coat and highlight. I may be a little biased as I really enjoy painting figures as I build up the army and I fully admit it takes more time than using a base coat and dipping but the quality shows in the end product.

I must say that whilst I'm happy with my Late War German Field-Grey I'm also confused by the quite different shades offered by various illustrations I've seen of Early War Germans. If only those French photographers could have taken a few snaps of Early War German POW's!

Marcus Brutus31 Jul 2008 12:21 p.m. PST

The early War German field grey definitely has a greenish tinge to the uniform. There are many accounts of Germans troops being described as green in appearance. I use a greenish-yellow for the pickelhaube covers.

Ben Ten31 Jul 2008 3:04 p.m. PST

The first hand examples I've seen of Uniforms from 1914 and 1918 are exactly the same colour, a green grey. The sources for dyes and cloth remained the same throughout the war, although the dyes used were 'rogue', and therefore bleached and stained to various hues depending on the local conditions.
I'm a little confused by the latest theory on British helmet colour, the paint used at the time matched the colour of the uniform almost exactly but many recent painted miniatures I've seen are in a dark grey. I wonder why?

Sierra1931 Jul 2008 6:16 p.m. PST

Well, I may just have to go with Vallejo WW2 German Grey, and call it a day.

Tommy Atkins01 Aug 2008 11:52 a.m. PST

Who's painting battle bowlers in grey, then?
Certainly grey was used for a time while various attempts were made to find a paint that would not reflect light. So, if you have some Tommies from 1915-16, that would be fine. As you say, Capt. Haddock, by 1917 a green-brown paint was being used, sometimes mixed with sand to decrease the reflected light. However,I've seen extant Brodie Helmets with dark green paint (could be due to age). I use a Bronze-Green for my late Tommies helmets. This gives a variety of shades of green on the figure and makes them more visually interesting. Likewise problems with webbing….I've several pieces of webbing from WW1 and no two pieces are of identical colour!

marcpa01 Aug 2008 12:56 p.m. PST

>The sources for dyes and cloth remained
>the same throughout the war

Sources probably, quality of both
I wouldn't guess so.

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