Paint questions for my new project, the Jagdpanther 1:35 scale of Italeri

Good day everyone,

I’m in the preperation phase of a new scale modeling project.
And I’m trying out a new approach.
An approach of first preparing some things before I’m actually going to get started with the project.
Such as checking the content of the kit, inspect the sprues and check if I have all the paints I need in stock.

I’m also using my computer now to type in notepad documents important information to help me with preparing for the project.
And possibly helping me during my project, to keep everything tidy and organized.

That’s where my first post for this comes in.

One of the questions that popped up while checking the instructions to make sure I have all the paint I’m going to need in stock was.
Do I need to paint the tools on the tank in a different color?
That is, do I need to get a wood color and a color for the metal parts like the end of the pick axe or other tools such as this one?

The answer to this question will determine whether I’m going to purchase some extra paints.
Or if I have the paints which I’m going to need for this in stock.

I was considering to look at photographs on the internet myself.
To see if I could fine the answer to this question for myself.
But that would take up more valuable time.
And I don’t have this skill of looking at black and white photographs to interpret the colors that are on there.
So I’ve decided to first try this way.
Which is much easier than doing this myself.

I don’t want to come across as someone who doesn’t want to undertake anything themselves or always takes the easy way out. But, I just don’t have that skill to study black and white photos and make out the colors clearly.

Anyway I hope you are able to help me out.


What color to paint metal tools, such as Breakers, Jacks and other metal parts?

The instructions that come with the kit state that they should be painted Gun Metal color.
But, I’m doubting that this is the right color for them.
But which color do I need to paint them?

The tools are attached to the back of the Jagdpanther, where the exhausts are located.

If I recall, German tools had unpainted metal for shovels, axes, etc, which looks like a dark-grey with hint of metal. (Look in a hardware store to get the right idea!) Handles would be bare unpainted wood. The exception is the wire cutters that had bakelite handles - an early form of plastic that was tan. Not sure which tools were on the rear, but it was probably the jack which could be all metal or might be sprayed to match the tank. Again, it would be more a grey colour rather than gunmetal. The crank handle for starting the engine was bare metal too when new, but again might get sprayed the basic tank colour when the vehicle was repainted in the field.

All of the tools had some kind of clamps to hold them on - these are moulded onto the kit parts and would be the same colour as the vehicle.

Hope this helps!

Try not to over think things too much, it is a model and not a doctorate thesis. These were fighting vehicles, and after a day or two in the field, any neatness goes out the window, and no 2 JagdPanthers would look the same.

Start with buying a paint set…there are a bunch out there…this will give you all your primary colors that you need for the vehicle, for example…

If you are doing an “early” before spring of '43…get a similar set but for early German vehicles…Dark Grey.

After the paint set, you would need a “rubber” black color for the rubber on the tires, a “gun metal” for machine guns, metal parts of tools etc, an “old wood” color for the wood handles of the tools, and I like to use an “steel” color for the tracks.

That should get you to the “weathering” stage, which is another topic all together.
For tutorials and methods, this website, and YouTube has a plethora of videos.

Also Google is your friend when it comes to camo schemes and inspiration.

Happy Modeling!!

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There is no “one-size fits all” answer to this question about the color of the tools. German armor painting practices changed over time.

I have seen clear and undisputed photos of mid-war German armor with the tools and spare track not only painted but painted in the same camouflage colors as the vehicle. (Yes, camouflaged spare track sections and tow cables…) I have seen early war German tanks and AFV’s with the tools in what can only be described as the tool manufacturer’s basic corrosion protection finishes (clear coated wood with black semi-gloss metal parts as well as plain dark gray). And finally, I have seen late war, factory-camo era photos that show the tools finished in plain dark yellow mounted on vehicles with underlying factory applied camouflage. Variations of all of these are also visible in photos.

About the only variation that I have not seen in photos is bare metal and clear wood. It is almost a certainty that the tool sub-contractors were required to put a minimum finish for corrosion protection on the new tools before delivery to the AFV factories or German military depots. Thus, “gun metal gray” "raw metal finishes are likely the least accurate possible (barring definitive photos to the contrary). Worn and weathered? Certainly. New bare metal? Hardly likely.

(For example, the German entrenching tools that I have in my personal militaria collection are all finished - either factory semi-gloss black lacquer with clear gloss over the wood handles or painted Field Gray, Dunkle Gelb, or Einheits Gray.)

I understand and appreciate the idea of spending your time building the models instead of researching them, but the only way you’ll get answers to these kinds of questions is to do enough research yourself to make rational assessments of the many and varied answers you’re likely to get.

Spend some time on the interweb and collect photos when you see them:

German WWII Fire Extinguishers

German WWII Vehicle Heater Blow Torches



Everything appears to be in Dunkle Gelb

Clear coated wood with black metal (and unpainted Bakelite on the wire cutter handles)

Look closely and you’ll see that ALL of the stowage on the Tiger (to include the spare tracks and tow cables) has been over-painted in the camouflage colors


I like to do my tools with black/dark grey metal parts and the handles I paint in a raw wood color, then coat in a dark brown oil and streak off with a stiff brush which leaves a wood grain texture. Then weather them

To me this adds a bit of visual interest

I do all metal parts of tools in a black or dark gray to represent the protective lacquer and either a new wood or old wood color depending on how long in the field the vehicle is going to be depicted as having lasted.

Sometimes I will mount tools/spare track on a vehicle painted in the base color, and then spray the secondary colors on to show vehicles that were painted by their crews without removing the OVM first.

Then I weather the gear along with the rest of the vehicle.

But at any rate, tools left in the original steel are going to be shiny in the sun and that is not good business in wartime.

They do say the crew needs to move fast when the motorpool guys are spraying new camo - to avoid being painted along with their tank! Any big, heavy stuff like spare tracks is bound to be left in place and camo’d because it’s easier. When I paint “raw” wood I start with a coat of tan and then use Games Workshop’s Seraphim Sepia shader as a wash to give it a more woody look. With “black” metal you want to avoid true black paint as it masks all the moulded detail - that’s why I use grey as a base instead. Washes and dry-brushing will make the details pop. But as Michael says, you need to decide on the story of your JP to guide your painting - was it factory-fresh, factory-painted and then used enough to get dirty, or used long enough to get a new paint-job in the field that covered some of the tools?

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Thank you for providing such detailed answers to my questions.
I have saved them in a document on my computer and will use it with the further preperations for starting the project.

The instruction says that the paint scheme it’s providing is from a 1945 Jagdpanther of the Panzerlehr division.