I have several photos of OPFOR vehicles operating at BATUS. These include the CVR(T) Spartan, Sturgeon and Salamander. In each case, the colour appears to be an overall dark green, but with a distinctly grey tone (seemingly different from the standard NATO green). Of course, this may be due to the effects of ambient light and quality of the photographs. However, it may be that OPFOR vehicles are repainted with a particular colour. If so, does anyone have any idea what this would be, and how it would be best matched to model paint colours (preferably enamels)?
Thanks for the selection of photos, some of which I have already seen.
The vehicle I am particularly interested in is the OPFOR Spartan (as shown below).
Is this painted overall NATO green, or a darker shade (perhaps repainted in the REME
Paul, I’m sure some of the BATUS boys on the site will pipe up soon, but you might be overthinking this a little bit.
I think it unlikely that a different shade of paint would be applied other than what was available normally. It would take an exceptionally energetic Quartermaster to bother himself to that degree. I suspect that whatever iteration of “NATO Green” was in use with the Army at the time (and place) would be the one.
As I say, more then happy that the boys who have been to BATUS (I haven’t) set the record straight.
So do you reckon those OPFOR Spartans are painted overall NATO green, the combination of heavy layers of dust/dirt and ambient lighting contributing to the grey/brown tones to the paintwork?
Also interesting, the grey/black camouflage uniforms … presumably worn by OPFOR crews.
Paul, I’ll leave it to the BATUS boys - who I’m sure will chip in soon; I’m just applying a little bit of military logic to the conundrum - although sometimes in the British Army the term “military logic” is a bit of an oxymoron(!)
Hi Paul. Regarding Reyniers pictures …
Top 4 are obviously OPFOR 43’s but from UK or BAOR. (many moons ago )
Bottom 2 are 12B a Salamander and then the rest of the OPFOR Sqn Vehs from BATUS (more modern upto current).
The 2 images under those are a Sturgeon (ex Spartan MCT) which is programmed to show as a BMP3 for TES. Interestingly on this one there is no C/S area painted on or ZAP number on the side.
The CVRT Scimitar C/S 20 is just a Scimitar, nothing to do with OPFOR, this one is a BATUS battle group vehicle .
The blue circle is the Veh call sign and the green circled number is the veh zap number.
Regarding the paint. It will be NATO green (possibly the Canadian version and not he UK version which could have a slightly different tone. Being in Canada they may source paint from there too and just use what the Canadians use for NATO green. It would be a sensible thing to do as it would save money as the Brit army loves to save money where it can, but that is just me thinking out loud, do not take it as gospel ). Bottom line - Use UK NATO green.
Also bear in mind the conditions. Even after they have been washed down, the wagons are never pristine… they always have a slightly dirty look to them
I will defo try to get a few images of the OPFOR CVR’s while I was there so you can see the colour they were then … that deserty Pink tone I mentioned before. Totally forgot about last week when I was in work, sorry.
Regular visitor to BATUS (up to 3 times a year) from 1992 - 1997).
Bear in mind, OPFOR only came in about 1995 with the introduction of the SAAB TES systems. Before that, it was all live.
They are overal NATO green with the outline broken up by a brown disruptive pattern in stripes (sometimes the stripes were quite thin and numerous, think Tiger stripes).
Not sure what the brown colour is, as British Army vehicles in the ETO were NATO Green + NATO Black at the time. Colours/patterns for BATUS OPFOR varied from year to year, there were a few variations I can remember. Basically, they just had to be different from the BG vehicles which were standard BATUS Desert Tan/green.
I remember when there used to be at least 7 x Med Man Exercises per year. As specialist RE (32), it wasn’t unusual for us to do 2 - 4 Med Mans back to back and spend 6 months at a time there. Almost went native. The earlier/later in the season Med Mans always had snow IIRC, it was brutal on that prairie in Autumn/Winter.
Yeah I did 2 OPFOR tours, 1 armoured range safety tour and far to many MedMans to remember the exact number… Snow was usually during the last 2 med mans and if severe enough the Trg Area would close down. I was in Crowfoot for a week of range safety and we were snowed in, no heating, no running water and no electric … great fun … we could go and sit in the wagons with the heaters on full whack !!
Just had a reply back from my mate in HCR Trg Wing at Bulford, when they were last out in 2018/19 as OPFOR, all the OPFOR fleet was solid NATO green at that particular time and blue fleet (Battlegroup) were desert tan.
Chaps, just in case you miss it, I’ve posted a 15min video I stumbled across re 32 Armd Engr Regt - from 1986 - back on the original Pipe Fascine post (I’ve forgotten how to cross reference it I’m afraid). Not brilliant quality but may be of some interest, especially to the Sappers.
Thanks to you all for some very interesting photos and explanations. @Johnnych01 … you mentioned the lack of commander’s MG. I assume
you were referring to the Salamander. Given that this was based on the
CVR(T) Scorpion, there wouldn’t have been one anyway … or am I wrong
there? Am I correct in thinking that the wheeled vehicle in the fourth photo
is a Pinzgauer?
If you look at your image of the NATO green salamander 12B you can see the wooden Comds MG on top the turret… It also has more angled turret side bins … If you look at my Salamanders, they do not have the wooden MG on top the turret, nor the angled side bins. At that time they just had barrel extensions (unless they fell off) and the wooden dummy external tanks…
All Salamanders are meant to replicate T80/T90… That’s what the TES kit is programmed to see. Sturgeon is meant to be a BMP3.
And yes, its a Pinz