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"What color are tank interiors?" Topic

18 Posts

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4,577 hits since 2 Nov 2012
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Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP02 Nov 2012 10:06 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 Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 10:13 a.m. PST


freerangeegg02 Nov 2012 10:14 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 10:40 a.m. PST

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

Ah, that makes sense.

RudyNelson02 Nov 2012 10:52 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 Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 10:59 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 T02 Nov 2012 11:11 a.m. PST

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


Jemima Fawr Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 12:01 p.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.

Martin Rapier02 Nov 2012 12:27 p.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 Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 12:58 p.m. PST


Sysiphus Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 1:32 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.


Garand02 Nov 2012 2:12 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.


LeadLair76 Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 3:26 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. 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 3:58 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 Theatre Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 4:55 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 Ditto Tango 2 3 Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member02 Nov 2012 7:04 p.m. PST


captain canada Inactive Member03 Nov 2012 5:51 a.m. PST

Canadian trained to keep head up.

Legion 403 Nov 2012 8:32 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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