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"Which paint for Italian vehicles in Russia" Topic


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1,305 hits since 5 Jan 2017
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Comments or corrections?

Richard Baber05 Jan 2017 8:28 a.m. PST
Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2017 8:44 a.m. PST

Can anyone recommend a good paint colour for Italian vehicles in Russia? Preferably Vallejo!

I've tried googling it but everything seems to be about the desert….

Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2017 9:00 a.m. PST

Huh, good question.

Best answer from trying Google Images for the 8th Italian Army would be grey scale….

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2017 9:28 a.m. PST

Here is what I used:

ARMOR – POLLY S BR MIDDLESTONE F505260
OR VALLEJO IRAQUI SAND

MUD ON ARMOR

BASE – DELTA CREAMCOAT BURNT UMBER L124L085
DRY BRUSH -POLLY S MUD F-505208


SOFTSKINS – VALLEJO 830 GERMAN FIELD GRAY WWII

freerangeegg05 Jan 2017 12:14 p.m. PST

Hi Cerdic
According to Zaloga the only major italian armoured units in Russia were 3rd Division Celere which had L6/40s and semovente 47/32s, which were both sent to Russia painted desert yellow overall and smeared with mud by their crews to try and make them less obvious.
I would say paint them whatever you use for your Italians in north africa.

christot05 Jan 2017 12:42 p.m. PST

there's probably more paint colours than there were vehicles….

slugbalancer05 Jan 2017 12:53 p.m. PST

Check this out…
link

Legion 405 Jan 2017 2:44 p.m. PST

Yes, I always thought it odd that those "obsolete" AFVs were sent to Russia. While a plethora of "better" Italian AFVs were used in NA and Italy. But even an M13/40 would have a problem with a T34, IMO.

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2017 3:03 p.m. PST

Cheers all!

So what shade is this 'grey-green' then? Has anyone painted any Italian vehicles in non-desert colours?

fantasque05 Jan 2017 4:25 p.m. PST

I would advise using frost resistant paint

Lion in the Stars05 Jan 2017 4:40 p.m. PST

It's Gunship Green, IIRC.

VCarter Supporting Member of TMP06 Jan 2017 8:05 a.m. PST

As above:

Soft skins Vallejo 830 German Field Gray.

My trucks and the like stand in for Italian or Romanian.

Lion in the Stars12 Jan 2017 4:19 p.m. PST

Huh. Could have sworn it was VMC 888 Olive Gray (or was that for Italian uniforms?)…

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jan 2017 6:43 p.m. PST

Yes, I always thought it odd that those "obsolete" AFVs were sent to Russia. While a plethora of "better" Italian AFVs were used in NA and Italy.

I don't find it odd in the least. The Italians didn't send "obsolete" AFVs to Russia. They didn't send ANY AFVs to Russia. They sent UNITS to Russia. Those units took their AFVs with them.

None of the Italian armored divisions were sent to Russia. So none of their equipment or AFVs went to Russia.

The Italians sent several "fast" (Celere) divisions, several motorized divisions, and some cavalry formations to Russia. Some light tanks and light Semoventi's went to Russia, not because someone decided to send those AFVs to Russia, but because they were among the equipment of the divisions that were sent.

It may seem odd to wargamers who are used to choosing whatever models they want for their battles. But that is not how military units operate. Your equipment is provided based on the formation you are in, not based on what you want to take for this or that particular battle. Who would use tanks sitting at a railway station somewhere in Russia, when the formations that might operate them were all in the Balkans, North Africa, Sicily, or the home country?

As to the colors … from my research it seems that almost all of the equipment sent to Russia was painted in Italian Gray/Green. Trucks, guns, etc. should be in this scheme. As to armor … by 1941 all new armor was being painted in the tan/sand color seen in the North African dessert, regardless of which way it was being sent. But I suspect the L3s that went into Russia with the Pasubio division might well have been in the pre-war paint scheme of red-brown with camo patterning.

I have not yet seen definitive information either way on the L3s. But pictures of L6 light tanks sent after the initial 4 divisions of the CSIR clearly show them in sand/tan, but with local adjustments (including mud splashes and/or foliage applied by crews) to try to blend in better with the more temperate zone they operated in. I've not seen photos of the Semoventi da 47s in Russia, but expect they were much the same.

Sorry I cant provide any guidance on which Valejo colors might be used to achieve these appearances.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Cerdic Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2017 6:00 a.m. PST

Cheers Mark. Good post!

Legion 413 Jan 2017 7:23 a.m. PST

I don't find it odd in the least. The Italians didn't send "obsolete" AFVs to Russia. They didn't send ANY AFVs to Russia. They sent UNITS to Russia. Those units took their AFVs with them.

None of the Italian armored divisions were sent to Russia. So none of their equipment or AFVs went to Russia.

I understand how those UNITs were deployed. However, IIRC, and I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong. The Italians had 3 Armored Divs. All served in NA, IIRC.

And based how the Germans and other militaries did things. It would not be unthinkable for the Italians to detach a Tank Bn or more from an Armor Div. And attach those to other Italian UNITs that lacked those assets. Even then they somewhat understood cross-attaching and combined arms. The Germans, their allies, provided some very good examples, IMO …

The M13/40 was not on par with most Russian AFVs. But even the Italian commanders must have known the L6/40 and Sem 47/32s would not do well against most Russian AFVs. But yes, they took what they had. [And hoped for the best I'd think.]

It may seem odd to wargamers who are used to choosing whatever models they want for their battles. But that is not how military units operate. Your equipment is provided based on the formation you are in, not based on what you want to take for this or that particular battle.
I usually when I wargamed WWII took whatever the scenarios called for. And rarely changed that. I wanted to see, how well those units did or would do in the situation as it actually happened. That was the challenge to me to see if I could handle the forces better than what actually happened. But in many cases, that always didn't occur …

And yes, I understand how military UNITs operate and are organized. Very familiar with TO&Es and OOBs. E.g. when we deployed to Panama. Our TOW units became regular Infantry. As in that situation the TOWs would have little use in environment and the "enemy" had no armor. Their TOWs mounted on M151s stayed in the Motor Pool back at Ft. Campbell. KY.

And yes, in WWII you took what you had. The US 1st Cav was still organized as an actual Horse Cav UNIT. But became an Infantry unit, IIRC.

It may seem odd to wargamers who are used to choosing whatever models they want for their battles.
Only for what-if scenarios I'd think.
But that is not how military units operate. Your equipment is provided based on the formation you are in, not based on what you want to take for this or that particular battle.
Yes, again, you take what the historical scenario calls for. Based on the historical record and information. The only way one would do otherwise in a "What-if" scenario.

And again, I do know how military UNITs operate. And was very involved with the US ARMY H to J TO&E conversion. It was a real Pain in the Bleeped text

But no where did I see anyone here mention using M13/40s in Russia ? If they did, it would be a "What-if" scenario. And IMO, no one really should tell someone how to play a wargame. If they want to do a "revised" OOB. It's only a game … No one is going to punish you for what you want to play as you and your gaming crew wish. As I frequently say. Do what works for you …

deephorse13 Jan 2017 9:37 a.m. PST

Ralph Riccio's book "Italian tanks and combat vehicles of World War II" lists CV/L3 light tanks in Russia as being painted in either overall grey-green, or medium green mottles over a brown base. L6/40s and 47/32s were painted sand-yellow.

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP13 Jan 2017 4:29 p.m. PST

The Italians had 3 Armored Divs. All served in NA, IIRC.

The Italians created 3 armored divisions prior to WW2: Ariete, Centauro, and Littorio.

During the war they created a fourth, Freccia, out of the core of the 2nd Cavalry (Celere) division Emanuele Filiberto Testo di Ferro.

A fifth and sixth were created, but these, Ariete II and Centauro II, can be considered re-creations of the original divisions which were disbanded after being destroyed in the Tunisian campaign (they did carry different numbers though, with for example Centauro being the 131st Division, while Centauro II was the 136th Division).


It would not be unthinkable for the Italians to detach a Tank Bn or more from an Armor Div. And attach those to other Italian UNITs that lacked those assets. Even then they somewhat understood cross-attaching and combined arms.

The Italians did indeed do this kind of cross-attachement. For example, the 3rd Cavalry (Celere) Division Duca D'Aosta received a Bersaglieri Regiment (6th Bersaglieri) from the 2nd Cavalry (Celere) Division di Ferro before deploying to Russia.

But the reason for this transfer is in part the reason that no armored divisions or battalions were sent to the Eastern front.

Italy was long on mobile warfare theory. But they were short on mobile warfare capacity. Logistics and supply throttled them at every step of the way. For whatever conversation we may have in various threads about how hard it was to supply the forces in the western dessert campaign, for Italy it was even harder to supply forces in Russia.
Italy never had enough motorized transport to even provide trucks to their "motorized" divisions. Each only had a portion of it's troops actually motorized (and much of it's artillery). So motoroized formations were attached to try to provide four fully mobile divisions for the CSIR.

The logistics footprint of a motorized infantry division is already substantially larger than that of a foot infantry division. The logistics footprint of an armored division is multiples larger again. No ships could travel to Russia, and what rail capacity there was was controlled by the Germans. If you were the Germans, and you had the choice of supplying a German division with all it's glorious panzers, or an Italian division with it's anemic M13s/M14s, who do you think you'd give the rail capacity to?

The Italians were not un-aware of this. Getting food, medicines and ammunition was hard enough. Getting tanks, spare parts, and fuel was not in the cards. Why send one of your few precious armored divisions if their already-obsolete tanks won't get enough fuel to move once they get to the front?

All of that said, I find gaming Italian forces to be fascinating.


My Italian troops in action on the Eastern Front. In this case gunners from Motorized Division Torino covering a bridge at Loboikivka, as part of the CSIR's 3-division action during the larger Battle of Kiev in September, 1941.

Torino crossed the Dniepr just north of Dnieperpetrovsk, and Pasubio crossed further north at Verknedneprovsk, while Celere division (actually Cavalry Division Savoia -- as the first celere (fast) division, it was often just referred to as the Celere division) pinned down the Red Army forces along the banks of the Dniepr between the two bridgeheads. Torino drove north to meet Pasubio's drive southward, closing the bag on the defenders along the river. This game was a tactical clash at Loboikivka, on Torino's road to meet with Pasubio in Petrikovka.

Pasubio used L3 tankettes in this series of battles, but as this scenario was Torino's action, my Italian force had no tanks at all.


My Italian vehicles and guns are primarily done in Italian gray/green. In my case I used Polly-S colors, so I can not suggest which Vallejo color to choose.


The majority of my Italian infantry is done in Continental uniforms (gray/green), giving me a force to apply on the eastern front, Tunisia or Sicily, but not so much for the western dessert campaigns.


My armor, on the other hand, is primarily done in dessert sand yellow/tan. Here are my L6s and Semoventi da 47s. The pic seems to present the vehicles as more green than they are in person. Not sure if it was the lighting or the camera's response to the green background.


This close-up of one of my M13s, taken in natural sunlight on a tan felt mat, gives a truer presentation of the color of my Italian AFVs.

Ralph Riccio's book "Italian tanks and combat vehicles of World War II" lists CV/L3 light tanks in Russia as being painted in either overall grey-green, or medium green mottles over a brown base.

Medium green mottles over a (red)brown base is the scheme I have seen most frequently on L3s from the pre-war period. This is how I expect the Pasubio L3s were painted. But I have found no photographic evidence to confirm it.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

Legion 414 Jan 2017 7:31 a.m. PST

Good post Mark.1 And I agree with all that. But really love the pics too ! thumbs up And I wish I could find Polly's. They really had some of the best more accurate military colors.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP14 Jan 2017 8:29 a.m. PST

The old FOW book "Afrika" listed German Fieldgrey (830) for vehicles and Olive Grey (888) for uniforms.

deephorse14 Jan 2017 10:15 a.m. PST

Mark,

Which sub-unit of Pasubio had the L3s?

Thanks

Beagle08 Sep 2017 11:13 a.m. PST

" In my case I used Polly-S colors, so I can not suggest which Vallejo color to choose."

Anybody have a line on where to get Polly-S paint? I thought they were bought out by Testors and discontinued…

deephorse08 Sep 2017 11:20 a.m. PST

Still no answer from aka: Mk 1.

Mark 1 Supporting Member of TMP08 Sep 2017 1:35 p.m. PST

Still no answer from aka: Mk 1.

Sorry for the delay. I have had trouble keeping track of this thread, both before (last January) and now (September).

I saw that this question was left open, and went to log in so I could reply, and it took me 45 minutes just to find the thread again!

Something about being in a thread that shows the title: "Which paint for Italian vehicles in Russia" (which makes sense given the content), but never being able to find a thread with that title from the forums menu (which makes sense given the BUG).

So, back to the question long ago at hand….

Which sub-unit of Pasubio had the L3s?

The answer is a bit muddled … I am not on fully firm ground on this, despite efforts to seek a definitive answer.

When I did my initial research into the battle at Petrokovka, the sources I found were largely French-language based. That's OK, I read French pretty fluently. So I gathered what info I could.

In talking it through on a couple of different fora, an Italian of some repute for his historical research mentioned to me that I might well have added some L3s to my wargaming scenario. This surprised me, as I did not know that the Italians took L3s into Russia, much less using them in this one action that was of such interest to me. He said that in this set of battles they fought with Pasubio. Oh, well, my scenario was focused on Torino. Too bad.

But to the question of which unit operated the L3s, I have never found any documentation of L3s in Pasubio.

What I have found is that the 3rd "San Giorgio" Group operated L3s as part of the 3rd Bersaglieri Regiment during the Summer and Fall 1941 campaigns. Italian Bersaglieri regiments frequently included separate light tank companies (Groupi). But this Regiment, and this Group, were part of 3rd Celere (fast) Division Principe Amedeo Duca d'Aosta (often abreviated PADA).

PADA was the other division in the CSIR, but was not involved in the Petrikovka actions. So I'm guessing that the L3 company was attached to Pasubio. But that is conjecture on my part, neither supported by any of my research nor by the initial pointer I was given from an Italian colleague.

Not complete, not definitive, not even high confidence, but the best I've got.

-Mark
(aka: Mk 1)

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