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"Humbrol paints for WW2 AFV" Topic

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Mark Wall18 Oct 2020 8:58 a.m. PST

I'm interested in using enamels and I want to know what would be the best Humbrol enamels to use for WW2 late British AFV and late war Germans.

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 10:44 a.m. PST

Wargamers on the whole use acrylics lots of modellers use enamels so for the best advice I'd go over to Missing lynx, Armourama etc.
I use Humbrols/Tamiya enamels for allied stuff but tnd to use Life Color acrylics for German three colour jobs, they work nicely in an airbrush. Ive just painted a Daimler AC using Humbrols, just blended the various greens to get what looks 'correct'.

A Sherman painted using enamels.

BattlerBritain18 Oct 2020 11:03 a.m. PST

I use Humbrol and my preferences are:
Late war Brits Humbrol 159

Sand gelb Humbrol 94
Red Brown 86 or 100 or 160
Green: 105 or 150

If you Google you can find quite a few sites around that list colours in Humbrol, eg

Hope this helps,


Mark Wall18 Oct 2020 12:25 p.m. PST

Thanks Leon. The tanks looks incredible. Beautiful work.

Hey BattlerBritain, thanks! It seems that painters are all over the map. I've read some posts suggest 83 and 93 as well for Ochre. I've also seen 70 for Red Brown.

And for Green, well good night; I've seen people also suggest 75, 102, and 155. Why does this have to be so confusing, lol?

In all seriousness though, this is helpful. Thank you.

I wonder why Humbrol does not just name one, as other companies have done. It would be so great.

BattlerBritain18 Oct 2020 12:52 p.m. PST

Yep German colours are a bit 'variable'.

A good set of books on German colours is Panzer Colours books 1,2 and 3.

83 and 93 are also valid for Sand gelb. There is so little difference between 93 and 94 it's a challenge to pick the difference.

Same for the greens and reds.
If you read Panzer Colours you'll see that German supplies were also a bit variable.

Plus they applied the paint with anything from a paintbrush to a rag to a broom.

My only real steer is that platoons used to have similar schemes and the red used on vehicles in Russia was a bit more orangey.


Mark Wall18 Oct 2020 1:03 p.m. PST

Excellent. Thanks Battler. I'll check them out.


Personal logo Herkybird Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 2:06 p.m. PST

Late to this conversation! I too use 94 for German Yellow, usually 186 for red/brown and 105 for green.
British tanks I use 159 too.

I inevitably wash and drybrush over the base colours which changes the colours quite considerably.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP18 Oct 2020 3:42 p.m. PST

If you do use the Panzer Colors books as references there are a number of errors especially in some of the captions. Here is one listing of some of those errors and corrections:

Hornswoggler19 Oct 2020 9:42 p.m. PST

Lots of good advice above. As others have noted, no absolute right or wrong answers. As another die-hard Humbrol user, I thought I would offer my own choices – these are my preferences straight from the tin, though these days I often use mixes to get what I want…

British vehicles
"Factory" – Hu159
Weathered – Hu86
Heavily weathered – Hu102

US vehicles
"Factory" – Hu155
Weathered – Hu116

German vehicles
Dunkel gelb – Hu83 (alternatives: Hu84, Hu94)
Rotbraun – Hu160 (alternatives: Hu113, Hu133)
Oliv grün – Hu117 (alternatives: Hu86, Hu102, Hu105, Hu149)

P.S. Wise note from Marc to use Panzer Colors with care – not a knock on Bruce Culver just a good deal of his original work has been superseded by later research.

Guderian11121 Oct 2020 1:31 p.m. PST

for vehicles use AK Real Colors and forget the rest.
Real RALs accurate to the real thing ;)

Hornswoggler22 Oct 2020 2:48 a.m. PST

Real RALs accurate to the real thing ;)

I think it is widely understood that painting a small scale model the exact colour of a much larger original will not yield a result that looks highly realistic due to the much smaller surface area of the model – commonly referred to as the "scale effect" on colour.

LeonAdler Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Oct 2020 11:39 a.m. PST

Indeed Hornswoggler, the smaller the model the less light is bouncing back off, does odd things to colours. Seen a few of the AK colours and some dont look right even in 1/35th to my eyes. Colours are subjective the more so when the original paints/colours werent 100% reliable and the the number of coats and application method even less reliable.
Whenever I hear words like 'Real' my 'marketing flannel' radar twitches. Bit like 'filters ( known as washes for eons) or 'pigments' ( pastels)or better still relabled oils that are errrrrrrrr just artist oils sold at a higher price………
Yeah yeah I shall now make my shuffling way back under my rock lol
ps and if you want acrylics ( and in this case the question was about enamels which for brush painting beat the hell out of acrylics)the Life Color ones much better bet for scale effect.

bobm195904 Nov 2020 8:09 a.m. PST

The guys who supplied the British military with their paints still make paint including model paints (Foundry triads, Coat D'Arms and others). They still know the "recipe" for the green they supplied for every month of the war. It varied…so did the colour…and the permanence thereof.

There is no single realistic colour

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