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"WW2 German bicycle colour?" Topic

19 Posts

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Chortle Fezian28 Aug 2010 4:57 a.m. PST

I found this


Which looks like desert yellow (or to me anyway). Are there any experts on the board?

For the motorcycles – Panzer grey and later desert yellow, and even cammo later in the war? I have seen pictures of all of these options on collectors vehicles, but you never know if this is accurate.

ming3128 Aug 2010 5:31 a.m. PST

The lastest issue of fine scale modeler has an article on making a bike trooper .

14th Brooklyn28 Aug 2010 5:38 a.m. PST

Just like any piece of equipment. Either Dark Grey (early war) or Sandgelb nach Muster (late war). And like any other piece of equiment soldiers were allowed to camouflage with Green, Brown or White.



combatpainter Fezian28 Aug 2010 5:59 a.m. PST

dunkelgelb Ochre color basically. What did that look like exactly? Your guess is as good as mine. You can use almost any mustard (desert yellow) color in your painting cabinet after early 43 when the orders were to now use this 'dunkelgelb' color to paint all vehicle.

RavenscraftCybernetics28 Aug 2010 6:10 a.m. PST

its missing the tassles on the handlebars!

Chortle Fezian28 Aug 2010 6:53 a.m. PST

Good enough for me. I have dozen of my bicycles and twenty or so motorcycles to paint up for my 20mm forces. I expect I will do them in a mix of paint jobs.

rvandusen28 Aug 2010 7:28 a.m. PST

"its missing the tassles on the handlebars!"

Good one,

If it's the general's bike it should have playing cards in the spokes and a little bell on front. Maybe the seat would be 'metal-flake'

Duc de Limbourg28 Aug 2010 8:48 a.m. PST

The one they stole from my granddad was simply black

aecurtis Fezian28 Aug 2010 9:22 a.m. PST

Sorry, kids. Don't draw assumptions from GI Joe toys.

The overwhelming majority of German WWII military bicycles were BLACK. That was the most common color of civilian bicycles in the '30s. The Germans issued a few military Fahrrads, and "acquired" shedloads of civilian bicycles, especially in occupied countries--and even required some bicycle companies in occupied countries to produce more for them. If any of these civilian bikes were repainted, they were very few.


To "codify" things, Heeres Dienstvorschrift 293--Das Truppenfahrrad (26 May 1942)--specified that bicycles were to be painted black, which was a gloss black; this practice continued throughout the war:

(I need to get my hands on the 1935 edition of HDV 293 to see what it said before the war.)

For any one period photo you may find that suggests a re-paint in a "military" color, you'll find a hundred photos of Truppenfahrad with glossy black civilian-pattern bicycles--even those carrying machineguns!






Some even had shiny spokes!




A few more interesting photos here (scroll down a bit):


As an aside, Dunkelgelb isn't just any old thing. The RAL Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e.V., established by the German chemical industry in 1925, has set standards for paint colors (Standard Farben) since then up to the present day, just as do their counterparts with US Federal Standard (FS) Colors and British Standard (BS) Colours.

The military specification for Dunkelgelb was RAL 7028 (there are painting references that state that no RAL color was specified for Dunkelgelb; they are wrong). That actually meant something then, and it still does now. However, the RAL colours have changed since 1943, when RAL 7028 was specified as a base color for equipment, so it's necessary to match the original, not the current RAL color.

Sure, paint fades; and units may not always have had the right paint. But we *do* know what the color was supposed to be.


Company D Miniatures28 Aug 2010 11:10 a.m. PST

Many years ago there was an article in Mil Mod about a 'Stormfeldpostmann' :-) showing bicycle with sidecar sporting an MG34- with a sack of mail and parcels and ammo for the MG I pity the chap actually pedaling the bike no doubt wanting a Zundapp 750 for xmas. I think the combo was Dunkelgrau.

combatpainter Fezian28 Aug 2010 12:22 p.m. PST

Good! When in doubt paint it black and add grey highlights. I love it!

zoneofcontrol28 Aug 2010 3:14 p.m. PST

I understand the German army used only bikes manufactured by Henry Ford. He told them they could have them in any color they wanted as long as they wanted black!

Militia Pete28 Aug 2010 3:28 p.m. PST

Wow, the Germans had foot powered lights on the front? Where is the little flag on the back? Clown horns? Ah, memories of the boardwalk in Ocean City N.J.are suddenly brought back. I wonder if the German's had an occasional Big Wheel with a brake!

AICUSV28 Aug 2010 4:19 p.m. PST

The one a friend of mine has is black.

Timbo W28 Aug 2010 4:36 p.m. PST

As the Duc says, many civvy cycles were 'taken into service' (ie nicked) by the Germans.

I hear that the standard insult delivered by the Dutch to the Germans is 'I believe you may have my bicycle', though these days I guess its Grandpa's bicycle.

WarpSpeed28 Aug 2010 9:46 p.m. PST

Has everyone forgotten the close pin and a playing card…

Chortle Fezian28 Aug 2010 10:16 p.m. PST

Allen comes through again.. whatever you are putting in his coffee, don't stop! Thanks Allen.

I have undercoated my bicycle battalion and am going to paint the bikes glossy black, with a red brown saddle, silver spokes. I will just matt the saddle and leave the rest with a nice gloss coat.



elsyrsyn29 Aug 2010 5:57 a.m. PST

Surprising that they wanted them, by regulation even, GLOSS black … but I guess every kid wants his bike to look sharp. wink


JARROVIAN Supporting Member of TMP29 Aug 2010 5:27 p.m. PST

If I remember correctly that article in Mil Mod was an April Fools Day spoof, and the sidecar was armed wth a Kartofflenwerfer Mk I.!

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