Dunkelgelb: is it a Chameleon paint color?

Fellow modelers:
Most of you are likely far more experienced and good at modeling. Me? Just one year under my belt, but much invested in time, gear, supplies etc.
Here’s the rub and it’s two parts, but maybe the same question:

  1. It’s called RAL 7028 in the German paint guide. Seems easy enough. Paint number should end the issue, but then why is there such a kerfuffle about exactly what shade of “dark yellow” is the “correct “ one? Remember when Tamiya recently offered the “dark yellow 2”? What was wrong with their original dark yellow. Many modelers claimed it was too greenish. But it seems the tide has been turning more recently toward lighter, almost Sand Yellow, or Desert Yellow as a substitute. Who’s right here? Or did the shade evolve by the German paint gods on purpose, if at all?
  2. What does the tag “DG I” or “DG III” mean? Does this connote the evolving shades of the color? This is very important as the Dunkelgelb became the dominant base coat for most of the war. Please help clarify as now I’m second-guessing some of my paint choices. Dan a

Here comes another can of worms! :scream:
:smiley: :canada:


What colour are those worms …


I believe they are 3-color ambush camo! :thinking:
:smiley: :canada:



AFAIK there are at least two Dunkelgelb shades. The early one is darker and more yellowy, and the later one is a bit lighter and like a beigey sort of colour.

Complicating things is that the VMA dunkelgelb is darker than either of the two Mission Models versions, AK Real is supposedly the most accurate, Tamiya’s is different again.

I have found that I prefer working with a darker shade, i.e.: the early one, just because I use a lot of post-shading and hitting the highlight post-shading with the later lighter one can leave you picking out details in deck tan or something like that: it goes really light.

I think everyone has an opinion on who does the most accurate dunkelgelb shades - I’m more or less wedded to VMA so if i want a really accurate late war dunkelgelb I will need to lighten it slightly but honestly, truthfully I am not that bothered that it is slightly off as I use a lot of highlighting and how well it sprays and levels off and how effectively I can lighten it to do my post-shading is more important to me than whether it is really the most accurate shade.

I’ve heard that VMA are redoing their range to go with their VMC range and that, in common with Mission and now Mig ATOM, they will have two different dunkelgelb shades and that these will be more accurate.

I also think we go to museums and see German armour in person and are always amazed at how far off the colour is compared to what we are spraying usually - I know I am. The museums sometimes dont colour match faithfully and what they mix and use is an approximation and nothing more. I do wonder how many paints companies use these as references and then get it wrong, in the same way model companies end up modelling museum vehicles that may or may not be prototypes or have had stuff taken off or added for artistic effect over the years.


Once again…
Disregard the first entry, RAL 7027.

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Got you covered there


Great info. So you see these are way darker and more browny than the lighter Mission Models and AK Real late dunkelgelbs.

I think the VMA is way too yellowy if we follow these as references.

MiG Ammo current gen looks right colour but slightly too light.

As an experiment I have just gone upstairs and compared all the dunkelgelbs I own. The results were… illuminating.

image1 - Copy (3)
image0 - Copy (2)

Even allowing for an early and a late dunkelgelb, the spread of colours is quite amazing.

Honestly, having said all I said above, I didnt realise VMA was as far off as it is - wow.

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Color perception changes with lighting. That goes for standardized chip samples, hobby paint and preserved vintage items. In lighting they refer to degrees Kelvin for lamps. Same applies to the lighting at your work station and the sun itself.


I turned the overhead light off for the second pic so lighting is just daylight.

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Daylight changes to a varying degree with percentage of cloud cover.


Straight jackets are available on Amazon.


:+1: :rofl: :rofl:

Got a link?
I think I could find a use for one …


Tomas Chory’s book, "Wehrmacht Heer Camouflage Colors" is the best book on the color subject I’ve seen. The book has paint chips not printed materials as color examples. If someone is into the color question this is an excellent book in my experience.

Four flavors of Dunkelgelb. Hilarious they all have the same name.

He’s work is also backed up by other research where someone had a WW2 OEM German paint manufacturer to make some new batches of the old WW2 paints and match to the original factory color chips. The matches were verified using the latest technology etc.

The Real Ral 7028 Dunkelgelb direct from the manufacturers!

While I’m not a fanatic about paint color accuracy etc there is inaccurate paint marketed in my opinion. Some of the big names being the worst offenders in my opinion.

Not that it really matters because weathering changes the colors :slight_smile:


Where can I find that book?

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It’s become harder to find. Today it’s often an ebay or rare bookstore item. Sometimes a copy shows up on Amazon.

The AK Real Colors of WW2 2nd edition also seems pretty good, I’m still reading it etc. Covers more countries and usually at a lower cost. There used to be a PDF version floating around. Can’t recall which edition. No painted chips, printed page.

In the hair splitting sense, depending on the base coat/primer (white, gray, mahogany, dark gray, black, etc) that can have some effect on any Dunkelgelb application that’s done in thin coats and depending on the number of thin coats etc in my experience.

My pet favorite Dunkelgelb paint which is fairly accurate before weathering will shift in color slightly depending on if a mild thinner like mineral spirits (more yellow) is used versus some very hot like Dio-sol with toluene in it (more green).



Thanks! Is this still it, just different cover?


Yes, that’s the book.


Wonderful, thank you! I’ll pick that up for sure.


I have had the impression that the cream colored DG, like the lime green and bright red colors are Spanish modeling fads / trends.