Author Topic: Colour photos of WW2 armour  (Read 1635 times)

Pinky

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Colour photos of WW2 armour
« on: January 28, 2017, 05:24:55 PM »
Happy Chinese New Year everyone...

I spent a bit of time digging up genuine colour photos of WW2 vehicles, to get a better idea of the colours and the weathering.  Here are a few (I'm sure some of you have seen some of them before).  I've tried to find photos that haven't been re-touched, or colourised.  I haven't adjusted them at all.  There are a lot of famous colour photos from Signal, but they tend to be very washed out, probably as a result of the limitations of colour printing at the time.

US jerrycans.  The colour seems different to olive drab on most of them, but you can see some darker ones.  Note the weathering, and the spot of red near the handle.


A beautifully clear photo of a jeep (it looks fairly new).  Note the colour of the stowage, and the way the dust has accumulated.


A French Sherman, probably an M4A2 and probably also quite new.  Note how dark the olive drab is, and the light colour of the dust.  The appearance of the tracks and stowage is also interesting.


Early Churchills in training.  This shows how mud accumulates, and the different colours that result as it dries.  Note also how the paint tends to wear away rather than chip.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 03:20:26 PM by Pinky »

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 05:31:47 PM »
A dark grey Panzer IV.  The dust contrasts strongly with the grey.  There is a large collection of similar colour slides of WW2 German subjects released by Bundesarchiv.


Another Panzer IV, in close up.  This shows how the paint becomes shiny from wear.  I think there is a bit too much blue in this photo - apparently a common issue with certain types of colour film at the time.  Note how monochrome the tank is, especially with the layer of dust.  There seems to be some chipping around the front mudguards - but almost no rust.


A Panzerjaeger I.  The grey looks much more weathered, and may have faded a bit.  Note how bright the bare metal is where the track teeth meet the wheels.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 10:22:30 AM by Pinky »

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 05:39:01 PM »
A Panzer IV of Panzer Lehr in a classic 3-colour scheme.  While the colours have been sprayed fairly evenly, it's quite rough.  This is how it was usually done, not the elaborate patterns depicted on many models.  I think the barrel is grey, possibly still in heat-resistant primer.


A Panzer IV from a column knocked out in Italy.  A combination of dust and the effects of a fire has almost obliterated the colour scheme.


Another knocked out Panzer IV from the same column.  You can see vestiges of the colour scheme under the layers of dust and grime.  Note again how roughly applied the colours are.


A destroyed Marder.  This exceptionally clear photo shows that dark yellow could be almost pink in hue.  The camo pattern is very crude and might have been applied by hand.  Note the absence of chipping.  And rust.


A column of StuG IIIs in Russia.  This is one of the few relatively clear photos I could find of Panzers in a clean 3-colour scheme.  Again, the dark yellow looks almost pink, and contrasts a lot with the other 2 colours.  It seems too pale, but based on the previous photo it appears to correct.

« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 12:16:50 AM by Pinky »

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 06:00:15 PM »
Finally, a fascinating photo of a Panther production line, which apparently came from Steve Zaloga.  The comments were added as part of a discussion about primer colour.


« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 06:02:04 PM by Pinky »

Captain Blood

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2017, 08:52:18 PM »
These are great. Thanks for sharing.
Very revealing, as your comments intimate... Shiny metal where wheels meet tracks - something virtually never shown by modellers; hastily and roughly daubed on camo schemes - not the pinpoint accurate d├ęcor schemes beloved of AFV modellers; and a lot less chipping than you see on most models (mine included!)
Really interesting.

ripley

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2017, 11:56:56 PM »
Really great pictures . Always loved looking at old LIFE Magazines my grand dad had way back in the 60s . A lot of the pictures would be too graphic in todays PC world , lots of dead , blown up and flame thrower crispy enemy soldier pictures . Neat picture of the grey Panzer IV E (? ) , looks to have a non standard ( unit built ) turret stowage box .

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2017, 12:19:30 AM »
Neat picture of the grey Panzer IV E (? ) , looks to have a non standard ( unit built ) turret stowage box .

I think it's an earlier version, judging from the long muffler (wasn't that shortened on the Ausf E?).  Maybe an Ausf B or C retrofitted with a non-standard Rommelkeiste?
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 01:11:55 AM by Pinky »

ripley

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2017, 01:57:32 AM »
Could be D , but I think its a E because of the armored  smoke candle box on top of the long muffler ( shorter muffler came out  on the F ) . Also seen pictures of tanks missing mufflers completely  , hard to sneak up on people   ::) . Either way , cool picture . A lot of war time pictures just say " Panzer IV of this unit  passing this town " , they really didn't go into super detail for us modellers 70 years later , B@sterds !

johan

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2017, 04:11:18 AM »


US jerrycans.  The colour seems different to olive drab on most of them, but you can see some darker ones.  Note the weathering, and the spot of red near the handle.



Pinky, we still had the same on our jerrycans in the army. The red "spot" is in fact a small metal plate which was attached to the handles, It came in red (petrol), yellow (diesel) or white (water)

tyroflyer

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2017, 07:52:59 AM »
Can anyone make out where the original Panzer IV picture was taken? Either by reading the road sign (my eyesight can't make it out), or perhaps the architecture. 

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2017, 10:08:03 AM »
Pinky, we still had the same on our jerrycans in the army. The red "spot" is in fact a small metal plate which was attached to the handles, It came in red (petrol), yellow (diesel) or white (water)

Thanks, that's interesting.  It's a detail I've never seen depicted on a model.

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2017, 10:18:01 AM »
Can anyone make out where the original Panzer IV picture was taken? Either by reading the road sign (my eyesight can't make it out), or perhaps the architecture.

Good question.  The original Bundesarchiv caption (cropped off) says it was taken in June 1941.  The heavy stowage is typical of 1941-42; it must the Eastern Front.

Here are some more photos - they have their Bundesarchiv captions which say they were taken in 1942.  These definitely look like they're in the Ukraine - you can see Von Kleist's 'K' symbol on the glacis of the Panzer IV in the top photo, which means it's part of Army Group South.  Can anyone identify the unit marking on the mudguard of the Horch in that photo?






« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 12:59:47 PM by Pinky »

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2017, 10:25:46 AM »
Here's an interesting one.  The colours aren't as clear as I'd like, but it shows a Panzer IV Ausf F1 passing an Ausf F2, and the latter seems to be camouflaged with dark yellow over dark grey.  The Bundesarchiv caption says 1941, which must be wrong (so the captioning on other photos may also be inaccurate); I'm guessing this is actually late 1942. 

The Ausf F1 is almost certainly the same vehicle as the one seen parked next to a house in the first photo in the post above (note the officer riding along).  Its turret number starts with a '4', as does the Ausf F2's.  Note that the vehicle in the middle photo in the post above is '423' - I think all these tanks are from the same unit.


« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 12:51:44 PM by Pinky »

Pinky

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2017, 10:34:25 AM »
An Afrika Korps Kubelwagen.  It seems to be overall brown yellow with an overspray of green - as per an order issued in early 1942.  Note that some of what appears to be dark chipping is actually dirt on the slide.


« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 12:42:59 PM by Pinky »

ultravanillasmurf

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Re: Colour photos of WW2 armour
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2017, 03:25:08 PM »
Very interesting photographs.