German late war armor color

Hello everyone, just a quick question about late war (Spring 1945) German tank colors. I am currently building a Jagdtiger, abandoned due to lack of fuel in spring 45.

I want to do it without 3 tone camo, however I am not sure about the overall color. I believe that the Germans switched from overall Dark yellow to overall Dark green in late 44.

However an overall green tank will make it look like one of my Allied or Russian tanks.

Could there or was there still armor painted overall dark yellow, rushed to the field before camo was applied?

One more question…what is a good color to use for the unfinished barrel color ( a light German gray)?

Thank you in advance,

In fall 1944, German factories switch to Red Primer as the base color for the three color scheme as a time saving measure. But IIRC, the vehicles were camouflaged with olive green and dark yellow at the factory and not delivered in solid primer. A few month later in early 1945, the base color was switched to Olive Green and again, camouflage colors were supposed to be applied at the factory before delivery. Again there should not have been delivery of monotone vehicles. Of course with the late war chaotic production situation, take that with due consideration.
Only the earliest Jagdtigers would have been delivered in overall dark yellow with camouflage applied by the user unit.

overall RAL 6003 olivgrun with RAL 7028 and RAL 8017 with sharp break between colors (but thats getting pretty particular from German standards-im sure field applied variations where abundant). I’d picture the barrel as the red primer since that was pretty universal, gray having been phased out several years prior. Thats what might limited research would indicate for you.

Late war camo is olive base with other colors applied over the olive, with a tight edge between the colors. The barrel would be painted. If the barrel had been replaced it probably would not be in primer. It might just be a solid olive. The paint job would be in good shape because it was only a couple of months old.



Thank you for all your replies.

Hope this helps.

And the grey primer on the guns was a heat resistant paint and it was applied in the gun factories. I always use a medium grey for those.

Thank you for the images, a question I have about them though is that usually on models I see the strip of red primer running along the edge where the fenders used to be, yet these pictures show the camo on those areas also?

Don’t forget this one :exploding_head: Kink Tiger near Kassel front view | World War Photos

Here is a original WWII color slide of a Jagdtiger in similar condition like what you sound like you want to recreate. It’s not the best quality, but the three colors can be discerned. Compare the road wheels to the dark yellow areas on the superstructure.

The first Porsche Jagdtigers were delivered in overall Dinkelgelb, and camouflaged by the unit (the 653rd Schewre Panzerjager Abteilung). Starting with chassis number 10, they were camouflaged at the factory, as were all of the Henschel-suspension Jagdtigers. It does not appear that any red primer was visible in the autumn camouflaged vehicle (though there may be some that were painted with the mudguards in place). The overall olive green finish with red brown and dark yellow overspray was mandated in December, but it’s not clear when the Nibelungenwerke factory implemented this. The first unit (the 653rd) did not actually enter service with these vehicles until late December, so all of these schemes were seen at the same time, depending on the chassis number. The only other battalion, (the 512th), received its vehicles in early 1945, and they all had the final cammo pattern. Gun barrels were primed in a heat resistant glossy dark gray lacquer, but this was ordinarily overpainted with camouflage paint.

1 Like

Yes…it looks like there is (was) no primer under the track guards…you can clearly see the camo.

If I ever invent a time machine, I am going to go back to WW2 Germany, and ask them to paint their AFV’s uniformly so that modelers 70 years in the future won’t get such a headache modeling their vehicles.

I don’t know… there is a pretty clear color demarcation line along where the tack guards were. And it sure looks to match the red brown areas of the camo. At least to my eye. Could that be the red primer base for both areas?

Isn’t photo interpretation fun?

I’d just love a good digital camera with a massive memory chip in that time machine :thinking:

1 Like

To me it looks like the same camo…just less weathered due to the track guards. I have always wondered about all these color plates in books and online. How much is historical, and how much is artistic license.

Right? Personally, without a photo to back up the plate in some way, I’m pretty skeptical about plates nowadays.

I am with Carlos regarding that particular image. If it’s an original colour slide, you can clearly see a break line where the track guard would be running along the hull and I see in a lot of areas the upper cam doesn’t overlap the lower section.
If you haven’t already, Google worldwarphotos and look in the German section under Jagdtiger. There are 77 pretty good images and on a fair few you can easily see a clean break line for the area under where the track guard would be. There are some that show that area with cam and a few that don’t (at least to my eye) there are also some in dunkelgelb without track guards and they also have a visible line and in this case a lighter/faded shade of what looks like dunkelgelb in that sometimes covered area. There are a fair few that are burnt out wrecks so you can’t tell on those either way… It’s worth a look though. :+1:

Thank you I will definitely check them out.

I am not sure the photo is a color slide. It looks like a colorized photo. Every thing is tinted the same greenish blue except the flag and the skin tones and sky. The building and tank are the same colors. The redbrown would show up if the red flag and skin tones are visible. That said, the area where the mud guards are missing can be clearly seen as a solid color. The areas that look camouflaged on the area where the mud guards are missing may be just dirt/ dust.

Without any information concerning the provenance of an image, it’s pretty difficult to discern a color slide from a well-done colorization these days. I’m not even going to make a guess here, other than it’s a nice, high-resolution photo;

Be sure to click it twice for full zoom.

One of the reasons why I don’t think the previous photo of 331 at Neustadt is colorized is because it is one of a series of photos taken of the 3rd company, s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653 at Neustadt, as is this one of 323;

If you were going to expend the effort in colorizing the image, I would think that one would remove the red blotches out of the image during the editing process, yet they remain.

The photo that I posted has several of the hallmarks of original color slide film: washed out colors, improper exposure, all the specks of dust and scratches from storage and handling. The second photo, if original color, looks like it has been digitally cleaned up. The third looks like typical era color film from a non professional photographer, again with the washed out tones.

Here are some color photos straight from the Bundesarchiv;

Same washed-out. blue-tinted appearance as the Neustadt images.

I think the image I posted of 131 is highly-processed and colorized, (but they did an amazing job), it appears too clean for the period, although other people’s options may differ.