Russian WW2 uniform shoulder board color

Hi all. Anyone know what the best color to use on Soviet WW2 shoulder boards? I’m painting a bust of Lt Alessandra Samusenko and not sure what color to use. It looks like gold but just not sure. I know they’re not yellow as I have them now, not sure why I did that!


Looks like uniform khaki/green/brown unless parade uniform or officer.

Thanks barnslayer. I’m assuming it’s the field uniform.

Pictures used for discussion purposes only. The shoulder boards look different in each of these pics, the picture of the painted bust is by a guy named Dan Capuano.

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Thank you.
Some resources to help you:

Images of shoulder straps from 1943 from a Russian online auction where they are now for sale.

These are different types of troops, but the shoulder straps are the same, only the emblems differ.


In the color picture and painting they look gold or something. But the tank table you posted looks as you said a khaki brown color.

Wow Yuri that’s pretty much what I was looking for ; between yours and barnslayers pic I should be able to get them close. Thanks guys

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Well, for the set.

Order of the Patriotic War, 1st class (there is also a 2nd class) in Cyrillic: “Орден Отечественной войны I степени”

badge “Guard”

search result on an online auction with real productsзнак%20гвардия%20

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Yuri thank you again so much , these close ups of the awards with help me greatly in painting them.

According to the table I found she would have gold shoulder boards since she was a lieutenant. Senior lieutenant according to your photo.

Yeah I was gonna say it’s difficult to tell from the photos , but even though it’s a field uniform they do look gold to me too and she was a senior LT. The close ups that Yuri posted look gold too if a bit worn and dark.


“Gold” epaulettes are for full dress and everyday uniforms, green epaulettes are for field uniforms.

So the pictures you posted would be for dress uniforms correct?

No, not true. For everyday and front.
For the field uniform, green epaulets. Golden for everyone else.
Photos of exactly field epaulets from existing auctions

Here is a photo: the uniform is the same, but the shoulder straps are different.

Sorry Yuri I’m a bit confused. What color should I paint the shoulder boards on my bust ?

As you started - gold. It seems to me that the manufacturer of the bust was thinking about just such.
In the USSR, and especially during the war, they rarely took pictures just like that. It was a staged photo for a newspaper or a poster. And she simply could not be in a field uniform, our women cannot do that.

Ok great thank you Yuri

I agree… if for no other reason than she’s wearing medals. Not exactly combat attire.

Yes that’s true

So for Aleksandra‘s every day tanking, it would be green boards and no metals, correct?

Can you explain this a little bit more? “And she simply could not be in a field uniform, our women cannot do that.” I think the translation or intent might not be coming across as intended. I read Russian women in WW2 could not wear a field uniform.

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I meant that she could not look ugly and unfestive when photographed.

I did not find reasonable materials about the female military uniform of the WWII period. I got the impression that the shirt is the same. It’s always so hard with women!
Here in this photo they are in field uniform

And on this shoulder straps are everyday, they are also ceremonial.

Badges and awards. Very interesting difference in mentality.
She could take off the order, but the “Guards” badge was clearly always in place. Look at his photo - he is on the carving. This means that it is difficult to remove it and there will be a hole in the fabric.
Let’s take another look at the joint Soviet-American photography. The photo is most likely staged, but this does not mean that the participants specially dressed for it. The American soldiers have nothing, but ours have medals and badges.
By the way, please note that our officers are dressed in the same uniform, but they have different types of shoulder straps.