Viet Nam M-48A3 OD color needed

Same as 34087 or different? Would Tamiya XF74 work? Thanks for any answers.

If you’re talking about Army tanks, I guess so…


1 Like

Darker than 34087. Add some black to Tamiya XF-62, since none of the Tamiya colors are a great match out of the bottle. Humbrol 66 is also a good starting point.

@Frenchy. Thanks for that link to the old FSM thread. Memories.

1 Like

I wouldn’t stress too much on the color. I was just looking at some photos I took in RVN in 1970. Armor from 25th Infantry (2/34 Armor, 3/4 Cavalry and 2/22 Mech Infantry), as well as vehicles from 11th ACR. Colors range from a very dark OD (similar to Tamiya XF-62), to a much lighter color (sort of F-62 mixed with khaki). The sun and local dust really impacted the colors. The dirt around Cu-Chi was kind of yellowish gray while up in Quan Loi (the 1st Cav AO) soil was very red. This dirt/dust got into everything, so colors could vary a great deal. Also, the OD paint the Army supplied was not all that consistent. It’s tough to say any OD color is dead wrong. I guess my point is, go with a medium OD paint and weather your vehicle according to what you know about it’s operational area.


sometime in early 68 they came out with a lighter O.D. color. I remember this well when we were prepping equipment for a CMMI inspection. The new paint almost looked like it had a little silver in it. Up my way the paint faded very badly from the top down. Started out a semi gloss O.D. and in four months was a very matte finish with even lighter high lights. Your right about the dust getting into everything!
You drive thru an area that was red and two klicks later it was black as the ace of spades. Que Son valley went from red to a tan colored dusty sand

P.S. welcome home

1 Like

Re: Welcome home…thanks, right back at you! I get a bit wound up about “correct OD color”, because I saw a lot of variation in shades of paint, even on new vehicles. Even the cans of issue paint for spot painting often didn’t match the color on the vehicles. In Germany, an issue can of paint (I think it was labeled “OG 107”), was almost a greenish khaki color. This kind of variation, combined with the effects of sun, dust and dirt like you mentioned, allow for a pretty wide range in “correct” colors for Vietnam era vehicles. I do recall seeing that “semi gloss” color you referenced, a new M113 was parked next to a very well worn M42 and the color difference was incredible. That’s why I try to tell folks building VN era vehicles (and even helicopters), not to get crazy about correct OD color, it varied.

1 Like

I’ve been a fan of XF74 for years, as have apparently others. It’s a good base to work off of.

For me, OG 107 was the slant pocket ripstops we wore in Group. Hmmm… could it be a co-inky-dink, or did they fade to a greenish khaki color as well?


Hi I’m also doing an M48 for Vietnam. I picked up Ammo US Olive Drab and they also have shadow and highlight in the same color. Depending on if it’s wet or sun baked the OD n those tanks seems to vary. Take care.

ever notice how choppers changed color to a very dull looking greenish brown? To be exact more brown than green. Tracks would have a sand blasted look after four or five months in the heat. The tops would almost have a silvering look to them. Then the monsoon rolled thru with the wet mud all over it. In my A.O., tracks were pretty much loggered in by then as the rivers were impassable (blue crossings). Everything went to foot traffic or by air. Yet even the aircraft showed that same dull matte finish no matter how clean they were. At least the neighbors slowed their pace down in that crap.

I drink beer on graphic occasions with a Command Sargent Major out of the 11th CAV, and I hear about busting jungle all the time. I’ll pass on it, thank you! My A.O. was very much like a vacation in the Smokie Mountains right down to the same shapes and brush. No tracks out there. Travel via tracks ended about five to eight hundred yards out front of me, but if you were brave (or dumb enough) you could roll on out the valley another four or five klicks. There, you would end up in a light colored no man’s land with nothing to look at but cliffs and bomb craters, and enough NVA to turn your hair white. If you got bogged down out there or broke down it became the nightmare of two lifetimes. I did ONE road march up thru there, still dream about it. We did an LZ out there on a hill top, and when we left I thanked the Lord for getting my sorry ass outta there. 1st / 1st Cav had that A.O., but only went out there a couple times a year. I flew 98% of the time!!!

I have a near new set of them (jungle fatigues), and plan on wearing them to a get together in March. I need to put them out on the deck for a couple months and maybe shoot holes thru them with a shot gun (gotta look the part) , and the walk on them in the mud. We wore no markings of anykind, but noticed you did. I almost always wore a boonie cap or steel pot. Never like ball caps all that much… And I see you have the M1a1 aviator glasses, so you were styling quite well! Did you grow the handle bar that was known as a right of passage? I did, and Top hated it! I had dark auburn hair, and if you saw photos of me, it looked like I bleached my hair blond. Those were the days when we were bullet proof, and weighed in the 140’s.

good pic, and may your life be filled with beans and wienies with pound cake and fruit cocktale on the side

My Dad was 2/34 Armor, '67 to '68

Unfortunately color film fades as well.

I was with 2/34 Armor at Ft. Carson in 77.

most folks have no idea about how intense the sun was from late April to the end of September. As for the color variations, i suspect it was from different contractors. I lost my section right near Labor Day in 68. Two of made it and the rest went home really early. The gun was CBL’d, as well as one of the bunkers we used as storage. They fly in a new gun the next afternoon (a very well used new gun; if you know the story). It a piece of junk that needs a 100% rebuild. A General comes out about two hours later to see what was going on. Top shows him the POS, and he goes into the FDC and gets on the radio. 48 hours later a C141 brings us a gun right from the states. It was pretty and almost glowed next to the other five. By Thanksgiving it looked like it’d been over there for years. That gun was jinxed from the start. When we registered it we had a hang fire on the first shot! Thirty minutes later all was well. Then we went after our pre-registered targets out on the ridge line (about 800 yards), and had another hang fire. Randy was scared of it, and I was too dumb to let it get in my head. They retrieved the firing lock off the old CBL’d gun in Chu Lai, and we never looked back. By the way after got going again almost the entire section was 11b10!! So it was a constant training mission, but they did OK. When we first registered the gun the crew consisted of two LT’s , Top, and even a cook. But we still had a virtually new pig in the house!

@18bravo that is a very interesting photograph of yourself in Vietnam, but it is late here (2am here in the UK) so i will PM you a question or three about it tomorrow.

I’m getting up there in age, but I missed Vietnam by a few years. That photo is from 1984. You can tell it can’t be earlier because the SF tab (and branch for that matter) were not created until that year. During my time in 10th Group we wore the slant pocket OG 107’s and even the ERDL, although both had been phased out by Big Army.

This may be my last year. Trying to get in on one more rodeo but one never knows…

Actually the slant pocket jungle fatigues were authorized for wear until the hot weather BDUs were introduced armywide in summer 1987. I know that I wore them from when the army brought them back in mid ‘84 until that time.

You were also in an Airborne unit I presume. The base commander at Ft. Devens used to have a conniption any time he saw us in anything other than BDU’s. the pickle suit wasn’t even authorized any more by '83, even though my tacs did wear them in Airborne school in '82. Last time I ever saw them.
Similarly he did not care for for our “Crayola” green Gore-Tex jackets that we were testing, or our brown Gore-Tex boots. Or our Black Chippewas…
In fact, I don’t he cared for us period. 10th Group was a tenant unit there back then. And I believe our Group commander outranked the base commander.

1 Like

well at least you had clothes! It took me two years to get used to wearing underware again when I got back to the states. They had tee shirts by the hundred thousands, but none ever got to the bush. My mother sent over a Fruit of the Loom pack in every other care package (black or dark green), and I split them up with the other guys. Freddie and I had to steal socks from the REMF’s. I had one shirt and a pair of pants come Labor Day in 68, the others just rotted off you. Then I got messed up in early November or late October, and the head nurse thru my clothes in the burn pile. I did save my socks and washed them in a real hot shower. She got me a clean set of clothes and three pairs of socks and two tee shirts. She wanted me to have new boots but they didn’t have my size. Mom sent a couple dozen pairs of white tube socks, and we thought we gone to the promise land!! She (nurse)asked we why we were so dirty, and I told her Top wouldn’t let us take a bath! After a ten minute lecture I heard Top yell he was gonna bust my head. I then told to see how mean he was to us. I saw Fred the next day, and never saw him again. Randy had three operations to remove all that iron he was lugging around, but he showed up six weeks later after Top personally went and got him.(not real good) Top had a nery small sense of humor, but if you knew him you loved him

Not at that time. I was at Ft Polk.