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"British early war/BEF equipment colors" Topic

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693 hits since 10 Jan 2012
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MacSparty10 Jan 2012 6:27 a.m. PST

My google searching today isn't finding what I need for some reason, so hopefully someone can help me out.

What is a good color match for early war British equipment, i.e., machine guns, mortars, ammunition cases and the like?

I know it is green, but is there a specific shade, or good Vallejo match. Should they match the helmets? I use Russian Uniform for that, but it doesn't seem "rich" enough to my eye for the rest. But I could be wrong!

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jan 2012 12:09 p.m. PST
Personal logo Dom Skelton Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jan 2012 1:15 p.m. PST

Wrong war though…. ;-) FWIW I'm happy with Russian Uniform, although I might be tempted to mix in a little brown violet. (Don't forget the webbing sleeve around the barrel on the Vickers.)

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jan 2012 1:21 p.m. PST

Sorry, saw BEF and immediately thought of WWI.



Personal logo Dom Skelton Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jan 2012 2:24 p.m. PST

I'm sure I've done the same myself…. ;-)

hurrahbro Inactive Member10 Jan 2012 4:52 p.m. PST

Landships has not been updated for years and has been abandoned, Try the successor site

If you are talking 1940 BEF, I'm not convinced on the green for everything. Most references, and the opinions of re-enactor researchers I've encountered, suggest much boxed material like ammo boxes were painted and earthy reddish-brown rather than green. Even the enamel on the enamelled tea mugs was that earth red-brown (like my 1952 marked mug). Vallejo Flat Brown/140, seems a very close match.

I've certainly seen the metal ammo cases for machine-gun belts with post war markings (dated upto mid 60's) in the brown, I suspect the that these may be re-purposed .303 cases as the Nato 7.62 markings are on a painted on olive drab panel (likely over the original .303 stencils).

Wooden cases that were intended to be disposable were left as is.

If it had wheels or tracks, it got a deep bronze green or Mid bronze green and so did artillery pieces. The Vallejo bronze greens are based on those very colour. And yes, deep bronze green is supposed to be that dark.

Also consider the pale green/almost yellow, anti gas paint that was usually painted in a band or a panel somewhere where it would be visible the the vehicles driver (usually on the bonnet) or weapon crew (by the sights, or their side of the gun shield) where it would be in their view when they would be busy operating the machinery. It was assumed that they would be too busy operating the weapons/vehicle to keep an eye out for the obvious signs of gas and so it was dabbed in as in their sight as possible. It was supposed to change colour when exposed to gas and so alert them (and it seems as if it would change to a red colour).

I'm not sure if its allegorical (probably is), but there is a story about a re-enactor that after cleaning a grubby Vickers had found part of the receiver by the sights had turned red (chlorine in the cleaner he used reacted with the anti-gas paint). I have seen that same effect on a helmet and for that same reason.

There were cloth sleeves on some weapons like the 2 inch mortar. I don't know if that got the blanco treatment as well as they may have been asbestos cloth (hot parts to handle). If they did, something approaching a pea green (as in dried peas) like the 1939/40 blanco would be the best option as all the soldiers had it for applying to their cloth webbing.

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Jan 2012 9:13 p.m. PST

Thanks for the new link.

MacSparty11 Jan 2012 8:38 a.m. PST

Thanks for the responses. Interesting info, hurrahbro. I certainly did not know that about anti-gas paint, and would not have thought about the cloth sleeves on mortars.

I also finally hit upon the right combination of terms on google: "water cooled vickers" gave me some good images.

With all that, here's what I did, using paint on hand: For the green on the gun, I went with Polly S IJA Green, which as it turns out, is almost a match for Vallejo US Dark Green. The water can, I went with Polly S IJN Green, a little richer green, adds differentiation from the gun itself. The cartridge box is Vallejo Flat Earth.

Overall, I think it looks pretty decent.

I'll post some photos when I'm done with the complete crew and basing.

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