Help support TMP

"German Armor Colors for Tunisia?" Topic

9 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

In order to respect possible copyright issues, when quoting from a book or article, please quote no more than three paragraphs.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the WWII Painting Guides Message Board

Areas of Interest

World War Two on the Land

Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Top-Rated Ruleset


Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Workbench Article

Back to the Sands of North Africa

Warcolours Painting Studio Fezian of Warcolours returns to North Africa to paint a British Motor Company.

1,000 hits since 29 Sep 2020
©1994-2021 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Wayniac30 Sep 2020 3:13 p.m. PST

What color would German tanks that were sent to Tunisia during/after Operation Torch be painted in? Would they be the sand/brown color of the DAK, Dunkelgrau, Dunkelgelb (the order for this was in Feb 1943 IIRC)? A mix?

Would it be terribly unrealistic to have tanks painted in the standard grey pre-Dunkelgelb scheme? I am debating doing a new German army for Flames of War and since most of my group prefers Mid to Late and out of my primary opponents one has the USA and one has USSR I'm thinking of building a force beyond simply Afrika Korps that can pull double duty either in Tunisia against the Americans or on the Eastern Front against the Soviets.

Garand30 Sep 2020 5:09 p.m. PST

I'm not 100% sure if Dunkelgelb would have been seen, but very unlikely dunkelgrau. Dark Grey vehicles were used very early on, but they were quickly repainted, & vehicles earmarked for North Africa were painted in tropical schemes in the factory. That being said, some tanks in tropical schemes were used in Southern Ukraine, so you can go the other way.


robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2020 5:12 p.m. PST

If I were you, I'd take the Bovington Tiger (131) for my standard. It's suitable for mid to late war. And remember that German troops in the Med also wore the "tropical" uniform, so if you don't go overboard on captured British kit, that combination of Dunkelgelb vehicles and DAK tropical uniforms works for Tunisia, Sicily and on up the boot of Italy. You'll even see it fighting in France in fall 1944, as units were redeployed from Italy too fast to be re-uniformed.

DAK paint schemes would certainly be allowable, but if you want to fight GIs and Soviets dunkelgelb gives you more than just Tunisia. Panzer gray is the one I'd avoid for Tunisia. I couldn't swear that it never happened, but (a) I've never seen reference to it (b) remember the armor is being shipped rather than flown, which gives them a little more time to get things right, and (c) mostly, the Germans were pretty good about this. I could believe stories I've heard of scrounging up local paints in a pinch, but panzer gray is just not something you'd want for that terrain.

Wayniac30 Sep 2020 5:33 p.m. PST

Thank you. I'm fine with using Dunkelgelb. I will need to check what was actually available in the OOBs since Flames of War has that period spread across two books that span Eastern Front, with one but not the other also being suitable for Tunisia. Although I have a pretty good idea of what would be in one front but not the other.

Thanks again!


Martin Rapier30 Sep 2020 10:32 p.m. PST

Tbh I just use my standard late war 3 tone camo vehicles for Tunisia. I've never seen a photo of a panzer grey tank in Tunisia, maybe a few softskins.

Give them a good coat of mud and dust, and off you go. They are, of course, then good for any front 1943 to 45.

farnox01 Oct 2020 10:12 a.m. PST

German armor in NA from March 1942 on was painted in RAL8020 which is a warm/sandy pink with an overspray of RAL7027 a dull greybrown. However, there would have been a great variety of colors as there would have been plenty of RAL8000 (yellowbrown) W/RAL7008 (green/grey)from 1941 still around. The Bovington tiger is RAL8000 and it was late NA.

parttimegamer19 Oct 2020 8:48 a.m. PST

I've got a photo of the Panzer III on my blog, which I took on a visit to Bovington. It looks like it is painted in a suitable colour for Tunisia. The closest Vallejo colour (to my eye, at least) would be Dark Sand.

Scroll to the end of this article for the photo:

Dan in Vermont19 Oct 2020 9:37 a.m. PST

Thanks for the link to your blog, parttimegamer. one of the hard thing about painting for "accuracy" versus painting for the gaming table is recognizing the difference. I game with 1/87 vehicles so to replicate the visual experience of the battlefield, I mix 20% white to the base colors and the camo blotches.

wargamingUSA30 Nov 2020 4:02 p.m. PST

@Wayniac… really almost any color of tan or yellow can be used, once you account for various paint batches, fading, and add the dust, dirt, and grime, it starts to bring the variations together for the environment. I game a lot of Tunisia '43 and primarily have a desert sand color (a warm sandy pink as described above), along with two different "desert yellows", on my vehicles.

Along with the majority of them being dunklegelb, I also have some of the desert yellow colors with green and/or red-brown overspray on my France '44 vehicles.

@Dan in Vermont… a fellow 1/87 WWII gamer!
Hey, drop me a line if you want to start up a conversation.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.