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"Dunkelgelb" Topic

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Heedless Horseman Supporting Member of TMP28 Sep 2022 6:55 p.m. PST

Given that many / most wargame tables are in various shades of 'Green', German 'Panzer Yellow' in it's varying shades, tends to look odd as overall colour for Europe or Eastern Front models. OK, basic paint job for armour replacements… but appear rather 'obvious'.

But, after a dry UK spring and summer… with rather desiccated areas of grassland, not to mention Cornfields.. it would actually work rather well. Same with 'brown' disruptive additions. I had always preferred some form of '3 tone' for German tank camo… but… choice would depend on your table.

'Greens' stand out more… but there is ALWAYS 'Dust! Lol

Bit of rain… add camo to suit.

I vaguely remember an old Sven Hassel book in which someone comments that 'Everything is green! Why are we driving around in a yellow tank?'. ;)

Korvessa28 Sep 2022 7:36 p.m. PST

Well the M60A3 I played around in many years ago was at least half dirt brown

Martin Rapier29 Sep 2022 12:04 a.m. PST

Dunkelgelb is a pretty good match for dry grassland, such as that found in Ukraine, which was why the Germans picked it as a base colour. Easy enough to darken up with green/brown camo.

Late in the war as the front moved back into more forested areas they switched to dark green as the base colour.

Shardik29 Sep 2022 1:09 p.m. PST

When did they switch from grey to dunkelgelb?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Sep 2022 1:50 p.m. PST

Shardik, officially late 42/early 43, and I'm sure someone here knows the exact date. But worth keeping in mind that there was usually a directive to use up existing paint stocks, and I've seen both memoirs and photos suggesting that you could still find panzer gray tanks in France in 1944--not in high-prestige units with relatively new vehicles, you understand, but--as the Russians are now discovering--wars are not always fought with the most recent production.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2022 12:43 p.m. PST

Funny thing, but we all think that Blitzkrieg tanks were painted in "Panzer Grey (or Gray)" overall. Much evidence is that this was combined with a very dark brown cammo, that faded so much as to be indistinguishable on contemporary colour (or color) photos.

In which case this is of absolutely no relevance of course.

But I can only try to confuse things further after all.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2022 8:35 a.m. PST

I am hundreds of miles from my reference shelf, deadhead, but I think you'll find it varied year to year Poland, France Russia--sometimes disruptive dark brown, sometimes only Panzer Gray. (Assuming the regs were universally adhered to, of course.) I fooled around with it a bit in microscale, found I couldn't tell the difference at three feet, and just went to Panzer Gray throughout for early war and three-tones based on dunkelgelb for late war. I think eventually all the DAK vehicles will be gelbbraun with sandgrau. It's an oversimplification, but I am NOT repainting for every battle.

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP04 Oct 2022 9:07 a.m. PST

This I have often found useful and it offers an answer to most questions posed;


Captain Pete04 Oct 2022 5:05 p.m. PST

My recollection is February 1943 was when the official switch from Dark Gray to Dunkelgelb went into effect.

There are lots of pictures of vehicles prior to that that had disruptive sand and/or green patterns painted over the gray.

There certainly was lots of variations both before and after Dunkelgelb became the official color.

Marc33594 Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2022 5:25 a.m. PST

It was HM 1943 no. 181 dated 18 February which dictated the switch to the three color system with Dunkelgelb as the base color. Good wrap up here:

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