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correct colour for WWI british tanks
dylans
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British Columbia, Canada
Joined: March 05, 2009
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 09:43 PM UTC
I have several Mk.IV and V tanks on the bench. some of the painting guides say to use Khaki overall for the colour, the Takom kits say to use Mig "green moss".
does anyone know what the real colour should be?


tia Dylan
Biggles2
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 10:09 PM UTC
There is a great deal of comment on WWl British tank color. In short, they appear to have left the factories in overall gray. In 1916, camo patterns were used, but as they were often covered in mud, this camo was dropped in favor of a single color. Greens are mentioned, but light brown, dark brown, chocolate brown, and khaki/brown seem to be most common. As painting was done locally, colors and shades could vary. Colors could also be affected by the usual dirt and fading. Maybe do a Google search for colors at specific dates, or battles. http://www.oocities.org/pentagon/base/1545/WWI/Main/Misc/TankColours-1.htm
americanpanzer
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Iowa, United States
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 10:10 PM UTC
sources differ on this; some say it's a muddy brown; others khaki; I painted my old Emhar Mk. IV and Whippet with Tamiya khaki then dirtied them with a wash, rust and mud effects; came out good;
ironhull
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Venezia, Italy
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 10:13 PM UTC
WWI british tank were brown and not green painted.
I have MIG color but I don't know were he found references for them.
After long discussions on Landship Forum about colour, it came up with this mixture representing "dark khaki brown" - 4 parts Humbrol 29 and one part Humbrol 98. I didn't try it so I can not report about.
For Tamiya color users, another option was the so-called "service Brown" in the mixture from Mike Starmer:

5 x XF68
4 x X8 (XF3 for a heavy matt finish)
1 x XF69

I made two MKIV (one Tamiya and the other Takom) in such color but I did also a wide work with oil color so the final result was quite different from the original color which worked in effect only as a base.
Here they are but be aware pictures on PC screen usually give a different looking from the real thing

Takom Mk IV Male converted into a Supply Tank



Tamiya Mk IV Male

Biggles2
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 10:28 PM UTC
Here's another link to tanks: http://the.shadock.free.fr/Surviving_WW1_Tanks.pdf They are all museum examples and most have been repainted, maybe not necessarily in original colors, but the really damaged ones might be.
ironhull
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Venezia, Italy
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Posted: Tuesday, November 10, 2015 - 11:13 PM UTC
The only tank generally supposed in original color is Lodestar III ad Bruxelles Tank Museum (they have also a Whippet tank which has a more greenish paint also supposed original). All the other were repainted.
D51 Deborah is full rusted since she was buried for at lest 80 years at Flesquieres near Cambrai.
As far as I know no original paint is visible on Deborah.
dylans
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British Columbia, Canada
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Posted: Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 12:28 AM UTC
Wow thanks for the great replies everyone. I had some serious doubts about the colour guides from Mig. I think I will be going with a more khaki/brown colour than a green hue.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Friday, December 18, 2015 - 07:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Wow thanks for the great replies everyone. I had some serious doubts about the colour guides from Mig. I think I will be going with a more khaki/brown colour than a green hue.



Keep in mind that before the advent of "modern" paint technology, the chemical compositions of any paint before the 1960s tended to fade VERY rapidly when exposed to the elements. In addition, the ratios and combinations of pigments added to their various carriers by different paint suppliers varied quite a bit. Consequently, there were quite a few variations to what should have been a single color. Paint manufacture "in the old days" was anything but an exact science...
Beastmaster
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 04:46 AM UTC
Interesting and useful thread. Nice builds too Pierantonio!
jasegreene
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 10:41 AM UTC
It is,I am learning a lot here that I did not know before .
RLlockie
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 10:11 PM UTC
I understand from Jentz (his research, not mine) that Dunkelgelb , which was based on ochre, actually didn't fade noticeably. What it did do though, was to darken in use. This is why it is important to work from unhandled artefacts which have been kept in storage when trying to establish a baseline for any matching. The evidence from those who have seen plenty of such artefacts is for very little variation in that particular colour.

Of course we are all free to regard this with whatever degree of credence we wish and I merely mention it as a contribution to the debate. I know my position but I'm not going to try to convince others that they should share it and we are all entitled to interpret evidence in whatever way we choose in pursuit of our hobby.
Beastmaster
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Posted: Sunday, December 20, 2015 - 11:57 PM UTC
I do still wonder though if maybe a few tanks were painted a more green colour. Just because we have a preserved example and a few other markers pointing to a more brown colour for most tanks doesn't mean there can't have been some that were painted differently?

tankmodeler
#417
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Posted: Monday, December 21, 2015 - 03:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Just because we have a preserved example and a few other markers pointing to a more brown colour for most tanks doesn't mean there can't have been some that were painted differently?


You really have to decide for yourself how evidence-based you want your modelling to be.

It's hard, if not impossible, to prove most negatives. "Prove to me that no tank was painted green!" Well, no, we can't do that. we can only go by the evidence. Does the evidence have holes? Maybe,(certainly, in this case) but that's not necessarily a reason to do what you want.

Look, it's a hobby. If you want a green landship, paint it green, and be happy with it. What is harder to do is paint it green and try to justify the choice on the grounds of what might have been. No evidence of a thing is not the same as saying that the thing is possible. It isn't the same at all.

It's logically no different than saying that because there isn't enough evidence to prove that every tank was painted brown, that I can believe that it was possible that some tanks were painted pink. Now I will agree that painting a tank green makes more sense than painting it pink, but from an evidence point of view, the fact that green is a logical colour for tanks and pink isn't doesn't make it more likely that green was used when there is no evidence that it was. What is more likely is that the ones with insufficient evidence were also painted brown and none were green (or pink).

It's a subtle difference, but that's the way evidence (and science and logic) work.

But, like I say, if you really want a green one, paint it green and enjoy it. Just don't try to justify the choice as a possibly accurate one. If there is no evidence, it isn't accurate. It may be possible, but it isn't accurate until there is evidence.

Paul
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Monday, December 21, 2015 - 05:27 AM UTC
The usual progression in these sorts of things:

"I want to do X. What is most accurate?"

"That won't work. The kit/color/period/situation isn't right for what you want to do."

"You rivet counters are such a downer. Accuracy isn't everything. You know this is supposed to be a hobby. It's supposed to be FUN."

"OK then, if you just want to have fun, do whatever you want."

"Yeah, but I'm still going to say doing X is accurate because you can't prove it didn't happen."

KL
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Posted: Tuesday, December 22, 2015 - 06:22 AM UTC
Well I painted my old Emhar kit green. I was going to repaint it but I'm just going to leave it now and paint my Tamiya kit the brown shade that most people think is correct.

I have read in the past that maybe some Mk1's were painted green but this was abandoned after more and more green fields and the tanks themselves got covered with mud. Whether that's true or not I don't know but it sounds plausible at least.