Best Tamiya rattle can spray paint to match the West German OD green?

Still at the beginning stages of this hobby and not ready to make the investment in a proper airbrush set up yet.

Anyway!! I’m building a Tamiya Leopard 1A4 kit and was wondering what would be the best Tamiya rattle can spray paint color to match an early 1980s West German armored vehicle’s OD green finish?

As for the kit itself, the details are fairly good, especially for my level, and compared it to Tamiya’s first Leopard kit, it’s far superior in most every aspects.

Thanks for looking!!

Sorry, but there’s no rattle can colour that I know of that reflects the German Gelboliv (“Yellow-Olive”); I always refer to it as “Bundeswehr Brown” because of its very brown hue. The Germans at that time did not use a green colour at all.

You might, might just get by with a Humbol rattle can 155 Olive Drab, which is really meant to be a US colour (whether or not it does that job or not I can’t really say). Once you’ve got the markings on etc it might convince most that you’ve got something approaching the right colour.

Revell, as you might expect, do an enamel actual Gelboliv but in 1:35 I personally find it too dark. My preference is to use a Tamiya paint Khaki Drab (XF-51 I think), which sprays just right, but of course, this is airbrush territory.

Good luck if you do procure the Humbrol aerosol.

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Stop Press! I’ve now found this; it’s not a true Gelboliv but is probably a better bet than the Humbrol shade:



Obviously not a Tamiya paint and I have no idea of availability for yourself, however, it might be worth a go.


The early Bundeswehr vehicles (until the late 1970’s/early 1980’s) were painted in RAL 6014 Gelboliv and I would recommend Revell Aqua No. 42 for that. Have used it several times for my builds. I think you’ll get it also in a rattle can.

I’v been looking for a good enamel or lacquer match for the color.

Any thoughts on how well Mr Paint MRP-208 GelbOliv RAL-6014 matches?


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Blokes, look, this might sound like a heresy, but honestly don’t get too wrapped around the axle regarding colour. I appreciate the search for excellence but don’t forget you’re modelling something that is far smaller than the original; this will impact on how one perceives colour. Well, in my opinion anyway.

As I mentioned above, if you want a colour that works (for Gelboliv on 1:35 scale models), and is readily available and relatively easy to use, go for Tamiya’s Khaki Drab XF-51.

Wade, sorry I can’t comment on the Mr Paint match; however, having used Revell’s 42, which is a match for the real thing, I found it too dark on a 1:35 model. The same might apply on the Mr Paint product; might.

Now, I haven’t got a monopoly on any of this; perhaps other modellers will chip in. It is, after all, literally a matter of individual perception.


If you go on youtube you can find 1970s and 80s Bundeswehr leopard exercises.10th Panzer division who had the 1a4 variants.Some even look grey green and its all down to fading paint at times.Models tend to look too dark in Revell 42.Best to use slightly lighter shade.If you can get a copy of Tankograd leopard 1 “Cold war warrior” you will see them in winter schemes also.Ive got 2 Tamiya 1a4s and they are good enough for my modelling.The Tankograd books are great for leopards from many nations.Check out Mike Shackeltons Leopardfibel website as hes the real Leopard man here in u.k.
I might start my Tamiya a4 tommorow bud.
All the best from Richard

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I know color photos can themselves create misinterpretations as to color hue and shade; but that being said, could we possibly see some photos of actual model applications to get a better idea here? Anyone?

Here goes then Michael; some of my “Bundeswehr Brown” (AKA Gelboliv) efforts:

This was in Revell’s Enamel 42 Gelboliv; it shows as a bit lighter mainly due to my over spraying in Tamiya Buff for the “on exercise” look.

M48 finished the same.

M41 ditto; looking a little darker to my mind.

I can’t quite remember on this one - Revell 42 I think.

Now a couple of Leopards, both in Tamiya Khaki Drab:

Leopard 1 - Bw

And finally my M109G in the Tamiya colour:

Looking at these you might think that there’s not much in it, but certainly the way I weather my models has had an effect perhaps.

Just to reiterate:

Revell Enamel 42 Gelboliv
Tamiya XF-51 Khaki Drab

As I’ve said above, I don’t get too fussed over the actual colour but now feel that Tamiya’s colour is just that bit better. Although I still tend to major in enamels, I do find the Tamiya one, being acrylic, a little easier to use.

Over to you guys…


Thank you. - I agree. I dont concern myself with having the EXACT correct shade because I can color shift using pastel pigments during the weathering process.

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In closing I’d have to say - re the original post - that if you find a rattle can that purports to be Gelboliv - then use it!

I suspect poor Bergun’s given up on us all by now.

Wow Brian.
There are some seriously nice builds there.Really love what you have done with these Bundeswehr models.
Excellent in my opinion.

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Well, thank you very much - that’s always nice to hear.

I thought I might be seen as showing off but Michael did ask(!)

I try and maintain my modelling aim of portraying Cold War models - that is both sides of the Iron Curtain within the (NATO’s) Central Region; sometimes I stray a bit, I still have a fair few Bundeswehr projects to tackle. My focus on the opposite numbers of the Warsaw Pact have been few and far between recently so I really must address that.

Anyway, thanks again.


Hiya Brian.
Nice to hear from You.I too like the Cold war era being a child of the 70s and 80s.Im more into the NATO side of things and have a long lasting liking for Leopards,Gepard,Marder,M60,Abrams,M109.The list goes on.I love watching Reforger and other exercise videos on youtube.Great to see tanks covered in netting and fording bridges etc.Plenty of stuff to keep a modeller going for years.
All the best from Richard

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Thanks Richard - the more Cold War modellers the better!

I missed one of my Bundeswehr collection - the Tamiya Leopard 1A4; it’s one of my older kits and I can’t quite remember when I built it, but you should enjoy it if you like cam nets.

Anyway for what it’s worth (and this is a thread hijack!):

Apologies to Bergun


Yes apologies Bergun.Hope you are interested in our chat.Ive got 2 Tamiya 1a4 kits.Ive got an Australian one planned with some bits ive had for years.Some say the kit is toylike but i still like it.The other one will be a Bundeswehr one maybe with winter camo.Ive just bought a great Tankograd book called Cold war warrior with lots of Leopards on ecercise in mud and snow.Love the maize field on the diorama Brian!!!

Thanks Richard; the maize is from the model railway side of house - O Gauge I think - which seems to tie in nicely enough.

Tankograd books are brilliant I find, not least as a source of inspiration; I’ve a spare Leo 1A4 in the stash though not sure yet what to do with it.

Onwards and upwards!

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Cold War West Germany? Then you must be looking forward to the 1/35th scale Iltis, with a rumored MUNGA close behind, as Feldjager or arbiter vehicles.

Chipping in a bit late here, but I agree with Brian @BootsDMS about not getting too hung up on colour “precision”. Those example models that Brian shared all look pretty realistic to me, and I can say with certainty, they all look even better in the flesh!


To speak further to the concept of “color shifting” during the weathering step: In the photo below both the tank and the tarpaulin received the same base cost of OD. (Model Master’s #1911 - no longer available) The difference in the final color lies only in the pigments used in weathering,

(Yes, I know, taillights are wrong & air cleaner color is wrong. I fixed all that just last night,)

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