Early (DAK) 5th Light color

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Early (DAK) 5th Light color

Joined: April 28th, 2005, 8:56 pm

June 3rd, 2017, 6:05 pm #1

When the 5th light was first ship to Africa their tanks, trucks, ect. were still painted Panzer Grey. Not long after some/most was semi repainted in another color (according to photos). It looked like a hasty job. What color was this? Available Italian sand? I think this would have been before RAL 8000/7008 became official.
Some photos show recon units in mud, but the tanks had a different color.

What did most of them use?
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 7:41 pm

June 4th, 2017, 2:36 am #2

with a slurry of mud and water or used oil, applied directly over the dark gray paint. It was not a permanent covering and wore off quickly in areas subject to scraping or repeated contact, like edges of structures and places where the crews climbed on the vehicles. This excessive wearing off has led many modelers to believe German paint was fragile, but it certainly was not - this was a temporary emergency expedient camouflage and would have been replaced with proper desert-color paints as soon as they were available. Even Rommel's GREIF half-track had this expedient mud color added as the early desert color used to quickly repaint it was not suitable for the pinkish tan sand of the Western Desert in Egypt and Libya.
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Joined: June 23rd, 2003, 4:53 pm

June 4th, 2017, 4:52 am #3

They were the first in action and so there was less time to prepare them for combat than was the case with other vehicles. A study of wrecks with known locations and dates of loss might indicate when actual repainting started.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 7:41 pm

June 4th, 2017, 1:25 pm #4

but there are numerous photos of mud slathered vehicles of all types. Note that there were very well done examples of mud painting that look like paint - only closeups show the texture of the mud slurry. But most of the vehicles showed hard wear on edges and around areas where the crews climbed on the vehicles or opened bins, or especially touched the upper edges of the open sides of half-tracks and open-top armored vehicles. German paint was quite durable and didn't rub off easily, so when you see a DAK vehicle that is light colored but has dark edges or areas with worn off sand color, suspect that they were mud camouflaged. Early supplies of true sand paint were limited, and so many vehicles were partially repainted in an effort to stretch the paint supplies. Instead of solid coverage, the sand paint was sprayed on in lines or patches, leaving much of the dark gray paint exposed. Paint was usually scruffy in the desert, due to the harsh climate and often-poor painting conditions.

Here's and example:


This kind of extreme wear is indicative of a mud camouflage finish.
Last edited by Bruce Culver on June 4th, 2017, 6:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: December 10th, 2012, 11:06 pm

June 4th, 2017, 3:52 pm #5

When the 5th light was first ship to Africa their tanks, trucks, ect. were still painted Panzer Grey. Not long after some/most was semi repainted in another color (according to photos). It looked like a hasty job. What color was this? Available Italian sand? I think this would have been before RAL 8000/7008 became official.
Some photos show recon units in mud, but the tanks had a different color.

What did most of them use?
I have doubts the DAK used Italian paint, as they too did not have a proper desert vehicle paint until it was decided upon March 18, 1941 - a day after Wehrmacht regulation for tropical paint was passed. The difference here, the German paints chosen were already in existence for civilian use (8000 commuter train wagons for example, and 7008 from steel building construction - per Tomas Chory).

In the publication WORKHORSE Panzer III in North Africa, the statement is made that within 3 weeks of arrival, most tanks would have received some coating of RAL 8000.

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Joined: June 21st, 2008, 2:15 pm

June 5th, 2017, 2:01 am #6

but there are numerous photos of mud slathered vehicles of all types. Note that there were very well done examples of mud painting that look like paint - only closeups show the texture of the mud slurry. But most of the vehicles showed hard wear on edges and around areas where the crews climbed on the vehicles or opened bins, or especially touched the upper edges of the open sides of half-tracks and open-top armored vehicles. German paint was quite durable and didn't rub off easily, so when you see a DAK vehicle that is light colored but has dark edges or areas with worn off sand color, suspect that they were mud camouflaged. Early supplies of true sand paint were limited, and so many vehicles were partially repainted in an effort to stretch the paint supplies. Instead of solid coverage, the sand paint was sprayed on in lines or patches, leaving much of the dark gray paint exposed. Paint was usually scruffy in the desert, due to the harsh climate and often-poor painting conditions.

Here's and example:


This kind of extreme wear is indicative of a mud camouflage finish.
on 1/35 scale kit, what colors, say from the Tamiya line, would you advise? -- dark earth, buff, deck tan? Cheers
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