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"What color are tank interiors?" Topic


18 Posts

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1,750 hits since 1 Nov 2012
©1994-2014 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 9:06 a.m. PST

If I paint a model with the commander standing up in the turret, and the hatch is open, what color should the interior be? Obviously, with 15mm tanks, this only applies to the inside surface of the hatch.

kyoteblue Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 9:13 a.m. PST

Off white or some other light color.

freerangeegg02 Nov 2012 9:14 a.m. PST

Same as the outside of the hatch. No-one wants a white/silver/ light grey circle on the top of their turret, it stands out too much. only surfaces that aren't normally visible from outside the vehicle would be in the interior colour

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 9:40 a.m. PST

No-one wants a white/silver/ light grey circle on the top of their turret…

Ah, that makes sense.

RudyNelson Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 9:52 a.m. PST

By the 1950s and 1960s the inside of a tank or APC was a puck green. I never saw the interior of a tank being dark whether a WW2 example or later.

hard to say what the sahde is. No blue but green and a lot of gray/white.

Lord, the inside is green tint! I had a platoon of 3 M551s, 2 Tow M113s, and a mortar M113 and 4 regular M113s. Later I had three M577 command tracks and 6 mortar tracks. I spent years in them. They are Light GREEN!

LeadLair76 Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 9:59 a.m. PST

I can't answer for WWII but modern US tank hatches are a slightly off white with a greyish hint. And to freerangegg no one really cares about the inside hatch color because when performing combat operations only the very foolish aren't buttoned up nice and tight.

Ryan Toews02 Nov 2012 10:11 a.m. PST

The interior of the hatches are painted the same colour as the exterior of the tank. This has been discussed here:

link

Jemima Fawr02 Nov 2012 11:01 a.m. PST

British tank interiors were painted silver during WW2. I originally read that this was some sort of anti-flash measure, but that didn't make sense. I later found out that it was because metallic paint, when hit by a high-energy round, breaks up into a powder and doesn't do any damage. Other types of paint by conrast, form sharp-edged flakes and can injure crewmen.

However, as already mentioned, hatch interiors were painted in standard camouflage colours.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 11:27 a.m. PST

iirc they were still silver on the inside in the 1970s.

Hatches were however painted the same camo as the outside, as most sensible WW2 commanders fought with their heads out so they could make semse of what was going on. This was difficult in designs which rquired the commander to also operate the gun/radio/load or whatever.

Modern tanks are slightly different, as were cold war considerations of operating in an NBC environment.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 11:58 a.m. PST

The tanks, armoured cars, M113s and M113 R&C (Lynx) in which I served were also the puke green Rudy mentions, IIRC. grin

However, usually if I am painting a 1:72 vehicle of mine which is hatches up I will usually paint the inside walls black just to make it look dark from looking from on top. If the model does come with interior detail and I can have more than just the CC's hatch open, I'll do the interior in a light white-grey.

I am guilty of sometimes painting the hatch an interior colour. I like the contrast. laugh

no one really cares about the inside hatch color because when performing combat operations only the very foolish aren't buttoned up nice and tight.

Hey leadlair, although it goes against intuition, that's actually not correct. Except for armies like the Soviet, the proper way to command is heads up IE "hatches up". Of course, things like artillery barrages, some movement in built up areas, and in modern times, gas! gas! gas! forces you to button up. This really reduces situational awareness and personally, I found range estimation incredibly difficult as, to me, everything looks two dimensional through a thick periscope. I'm not sure about modern armour, but in the 80s and 90s, those of us in Leopards trained heads up. Not hanging out the hatch like you would on a march or even in dead ground trying to wave your platoon mates to spread out or "go there", but the rule of thumb was eyes just above hatch rim level and no more.

As MArtin says:

most sensible WW2 commanders fought with their heads out so they could make semse of what was going on. This was difficult in designs which rquired the commander to also operate the gun/radio/load or whatever.

One of the reasons, apart from crew training, the T-34 was fairly stumbly. A lot of Soviet tanks, including KV-1, BTW (I know I always bring this one up the commander did not stand at the hatch according to Zaloga's interior illustrations), were not designed optimally to allow the CC to do this. I mean jeez, lookit the size of that dirty-big T-34/76 hatch before the hex turrets. Also, the front opening hatch was a major design feature of Soviet tanks as well I speculate this made hatches up command difficult too.
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Tim

Personal logo Ogdenlulimus Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 12:32 p.m. PST

In the 70's the interior of our ARNG M48's was called "robin's egg blue".
It did look a little "pukey" especially after a few days hard use.

Don

Garand02 Nov 2012 1:12 p.m. PST

Personally if I were putting a figure in the hatch of a 15mm tank, I would paint the interior black, as the figure is going to be filling up most of it anyway. But yes, hatches were the same color as the exterior, and the exact interior shade varied. Brits in WWII and postwar were silver, Germans an off white/Ivory (or increasing amounts of red-brown primer, depending on the era), US vehicles in WWII and immediately post-war were white, sometime in the late '60s or '70s switched to a "Hospital Green" (my term), etc.

Damon

LeadLair76 Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 2:26 p.m. PST

@Ditto

I can say that having been both enlisted and an officer in the US Army (cavalry and tanker 1994-2004). That you are "supposed" to keep buttoned up during combat operations and this was actively taught and reinforced. Certainly different units may be different and things may be different now or different before my time but my 10 years of experience was all about being buttoned up during combat operations.

It is actually a hard skill to learn as it seems to be human nature to want to be able to stick your head out of the hatch to see around you. It takes some practice to be able to stay oriented to your surroundings while buttoned up, moving, and shooting (oh and by the way the turret is most likely rotating while the tank is turning and moving).

A good friend of mine made the mistake of hanging out his hatch in Iraq and when an RPG exploded on the side of his tank it was a bad situation. Essentially the platoon lost its commander and the tank lost its commander and a crew member. We were actively taught in OBC NOT to hang out of the hatch.

Anyway just my two cents.

Tankrider02 Nov 2012 2:58 p.m. PST

I can speak from experience on Sheridans, M60, M60A3, and M1 the interior colors are white and the inside of the hatch surfaces are painted the same color as the exterior of the tank.

M113 APC and M2-3 Bradleys , change white to puke green.

Rubber Suit Theatre02 Nov 2012 3:55 p.m. PST

That nasty green for US tactical vehicle interiors (oddly also used in American school buses) is sea foam green. Our hatches were coated in the exterior paint on both sides, but also had a fair amount of black rubber pads in some vain attempt to reduce head trauma or something. And the lug for dogging the hatch was inevitably bare metal about 5 minutes after leaving the factory.

Personal logo Tango 2 3 Ditto Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 6:04 p.m. PST

I can say that having been both enlisted and an officer in the US Army (cavalry and tanker 1994-2004). That you are "supposed" to keep buttoned up during combat operations and this was actively taught and reinforced.

I was an armour officer myself, 1981 1o 2001 (but that included 4 years at RMC, the summers of which I did my armour school training). As I said, I didn't know about what for me is "modern" stuff (post 1991). It's fascinating to hear about that, thanks.

But gosh, I can assure you that doctrine, for Canada at least, was unquestionably to keep the head up up until 1991 when I left. As I described in my post above. Sherman veterans of WWII who used to come and visit our mess very frequently in the 1980s emphasized the same thing. Actually, geez, I'm not sure how it could be natural to want to keep your head up in actual engagements frown and it was emphasized in our training that it was always important to force oneself to do so. So the exact opposite of what your training school emphasized. Interesting!

In fact, Israeli tank commanders suffered very high casualty rates for precisely the hatches up doctrine in the Arab-Israeli wars of the 60s and 70s. In my time, and from WWII right up to it, it was considered impossible to have full situational awareness hatches down. I know from experience it was, and both the Leopard and the Scorpion turret on our Cougar LAVs had, in comparison to a WWII Sherman, absolutely fantastic provision for hatches down vision.

I have to say what you wrote in response to my post shocked the heck out of me. grin I did have a fair amount of contact with US troops in West Germany and Canada. In fact after my regimental (battalion) posting, I was involved with Canada's tank acquisition project (which was cancelled in 1989, 10 months after I joined it). One of the existing features of the M1 or a pending new modification to the commander's hatch (I can't recall now) was so that it could be opened and held above the commander's head for more protection than what was done before. In fact, someone from TACOM in warren explained that to me when we went to Lima and then Warren to view the manufacturing and assembly lines. I and and and a senior officer spent a week in the M1IPs (105mm) of a unit from Fort KNox that was participating in a divisional exercise in Alberta Canada (they were a tank battalion, not cavalry, but they used cavalry terms I thing a squadron was a battalion and a troop was a company? The CO was a captain Dana). I could be wrong, but I am pretty certain that, at least in advance to contact, they were hatches up. This was before the CITV had been developed so the commander shared the the gunner's thermal sight.

It might be with the CITV that US doctrine changed or maybe it already was different from ours, I don't know. laugh

Anyway, as I said, that was really interesting to hear. And depressing that I am so old!

All the best,
--
Tim

captain canada03 Nov 2012 4:51 a.m. PST

Canadian trained to keep head up.

Legion 403 Nov 2012 7:32 a.m. PST

Yes, as mentioned, by Tankrider and Rubber Suit, generally Tanks – white, APCs – light green … Hatch inside surface – OD/color of the AFV exterior …

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