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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Insight on German Tiger 1 modifications
chnoone
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Posted: Sunday, April 21, 2019 - 07:15 PM UTC
Hey guys !

Starting a Tiger 1 project, first WW2 kit for quite some years now, I went through the usual research .... the iNet, books, articles .... the whole lot !
Feeling the need to replicate a Tiger 1 in "Panzergrau" things became very interesting .... what unit .... time period 1942/ early 43 ... production periods ... specifics and modifications etc.
Coming across this article on the webpage "Tanks and AFV news" (https://tankandafvnews.com)
.... I believe it quite interesting to share after reading this quotation:

"Overall, the data assembled by Mr. Jentz in his books on the Tiger tank is very accurate, but his modification data has been interpreted far too literally by some modellers — without taking into consideration the origin and limitations that existed within the data he uncovered and documented during his research into Tiger tank production"

Here's the link to the whole article:

https://tankandafvnews.com/reading-between-the-lines-estimating-tiger-tank-production/


"What Colour Was It" is also very very interesting to read !

https://tankandafvnews.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/reading-between-the-lines-what-colour-was-it.pdf

Please enjoy !

Cheers
Christopher
Byrden
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 03:55 AM UTC
You may find this useful...

Grey Tigers
bill_c
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 04:33 AM UTC
Good stuff, guys. Thanks.
chnoone
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 05:55 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You may find this useful...

Grey Tigers



Thankx David

I am thinking about one like this from the 13. Company Großdeutschland in spring of 1943 on the southern Russian front. At the time commanded by Oblt. Stadler I believe.



In your research you definitely exclude any Tigers in "Dunkelgrau" being delivered to this and other units, quoting Doyle & Jentz from their book "DW to Tiger 1"

"Tigers issued to Grossdeutschland, SS-LAH, SS-Das Reich, and SS-Totenkopf in December 1942 through February 1943 were painted in the Tropen camouflage scheme."

Well it looks like the one in the color photo might be the one "who got away"?
..... making it # 26 in your count.
And the one in BW photo looks nothing close to the "tropical" scheme,
even the Tiger in Bovington was originally painted in grey.

Sorry David, but over in "Missing Lynx" you repeatedly rule out that GD ever received Tigers in "Dunkelgrau" at all.
BTW .... "Tiger in Combat II" on page 36 show 2 Tigers I consider being "Dunkelgrau" with the late type storage bins .... an item you also rule out in the "only 25 Tigers in grey" tread.

I do follow your research with great interest and admire the details you reveal on many Tiger 1 related questions. But in this case I respectfully decline your offer, believing your conclusions drawn are not accurate based on the bench line evidence you build your theses on.

Cheers
Christopher


chris1
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 08:08 AM UTC
Hi Guys,
Sorry to butt-in however I thought this might be of interest, if you haven't seen this, from the Bovington Tank museum.

It's not about grey but the Tiger is mentioned so I'm half there,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FM8ghQJ4TfA&t=313s.


Chris



Byrden
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 11:38 AM UTC
WW2 colour photos are not a very reliable reference, because their colours can be adjusted for printing.

Especially if the publisher thinks that he knows what it should look like.

Going back to your copy of the photo; doesn't the sky look a little whitish? The skin tones, a little pale?

Here's the same photo with just a minor adjustment, to give better flesh and sky tones:



Granted, it's not as clear a pattern as you see on Bovington's Tiger, but then, they keep theirs clean. This one has been at war for six months.

And I do believe that I can see a subtle disctinction between the two colours in it.

Your other photo is from winter 42/43 and shows much newer, cleaner Tiger. Besides being too light in tone for a Dunkelgrau tank, it seems to have tonal variations also.



Photos from that winter are the most reliable ones regarding GD.



Just how dark do you think this one is?

David
chnoone
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 05:06 PM UTC
Hey David

Seriously ..... the Tiger in the colored photo is grey to me taking the soldiers clothing as an orientation point .... not the sky.
Same goes for the BW photo taking the soldier in front of the tank sporting a fur hat for orientation, probably being Camel / Coyote color as we call it nowadays.
With the "Tropen" scheme as on the Bovington Tank the fur hat (Camel / Coyote color) would blend in more .... being in the same color spectrum.
But the grey toned uniforms all the soldiers wear match the Tiger color more closely then the fur hat ....
All in all I think Spielberger's (his book) mentioning of the Heereswaffenamt ordering 140 Tigers in "Tropen Ausführung" in 1942 we're talking about the kit ( Feifel-filter, lubricants, filters etc.) .... not color.
That changed "officially" in March 1943 and up to then the Tigers left the factory in "Dunkelgrau" .... handed over to the Waffenamt .... then they allotted/distributed the vehicles to the troops ... then they painted them accordingly if they had sufficient paint supplies.
W. Schneider mentions that the Tigers delivered to the ss units in 1942 were Grey .... probably build to "Tropen Ausführung" standard as Spielberger states.
So I see a color photo of a Tiger in "Dunkelgrau" you claim did not exist, I see BW photos of men wearing Grey / Black uniforms blending in with the Tank they are boarding .... so I am more convinced (BW photos) the tanks shown there are rather "Dunkelgrau" then otherwise.
The thing is .... WE don't know for sure ... do we ?
But arguing the color pic .... you're clutching straws now .... and if GD had this one (#26 in your count), what about their other 8 Tigers ?
Reading the article and T. Jentz's comments on production scenario at the time a "Dunkelgrau" finish up into April 1943 seems much more likely.
I'll just stick to the color photo and if you have one in color in the "Tropen scheme" from this unit then please bring it on and we can take the discussion from there.

Cheers
Christopher
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 07:12 PM UTC
I agree that the colour photo shows a greyish colour but it’s far too light for Dunkelgrau, which looks almost black when new (more like the barrel). It’s therefore been covered with dust/mud and I cantbdcertain what is under that.

The mono pic has, like many pics taken in snow, been underexposed so that the snow is more grey than white and that darkens the tank. The same was true of the SS Hummel pics in Panzer Colours, which were claimed to be dark grey and green despite the fact that the first one wasn’t produced until after the February 1943 switch to Dunkelgelb.
petbat
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 08:30 PM UTC
Hi Guys

Do we have to have this argument again?
Rule No 1 you cannot trust black and white photos to prove or disprove colour.
Rule No 2, see rule No 1.

Tongue firmly planted in cheek, here we go.....

Steyr ADGZ.





Doesn't look dark grey does it? Hey, even the inside of the front door matches the outside tone Gelb? Tropical? Puce?.... but what about the rear door? Black? Navy Blue? British Racing Green? …. and surely that is some mottled paint job visible under the dust.

Same vehicle, same location taken from a different angle but this time no strong sunlight (note no prominent shadow in this like the previous one)



So , well what do you know, the colours look different. A lighter shade and definitely mottled, or are those Mickey Mouse camo tones??.

Same unit, different vehicle.


Definitely cream, or buff, or very light mud, or maybe baby poop brown... then again





Okay, I'll take the clown suit off now if everyone agrees that if it is not actually physically there, in front of the Mk 1 eyeball, and clean and dried, you will never be able to determine what colour is what.
mudcake
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 09:46 PM UTC
Howdy,

Just my 2 cents worth:
B&W film came in a panchromatic or orthochromatic emulsion and this could cause colours to be rendered differently from one another.
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Monday, April 22, 2019 - 09:53 PM UTC

Quoted Text

Hey guys !

Starting a Tiger 1 project, first WW2 kit for quite some years now, I went through the usual research .... the iNet, books, articles .... the whole lot !
Feeling the need to replicate a Tiger 1 in "Panzergrau" things became very interesting .... what unit .... time period 1942/ early 43 ... production periods ... specifics and modifications etc.
Coming across this article on the webpage "Tanks and AFV news" (https://tankandafvnews.com)
.... I believe it quite interesting to share after reading this quotation:

"Overall, the data assembled by Mr. Jentz in his books on the Tiger tank is very accurate, but his modification data has been interpreted far too literally by some modellers — without taking into consideration the origin and limitations that existed within the data he uncovered and documented during his research into Tiger tank production"

Here's the link to the whole article:

https://tankandafvnews.com/reading-between-the-lines-estimating-tiger-tank-production/


"What Colour Was It" is also very very interesting to read !

https://tankandafvnews.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/reading-between-the-lines-what-colour-was-it.pdf

Please enjoy !

Cheers
Christopher



ANY human's perception of "proper" colors is subjective, at best. Ask ANY ophthalmologist...
chnoone
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 06:33 AM UTC
Hey Dennis

U are probably right .... but we still have to make choices/decissions based on what we see.

Here is what the "Tropen" camo looks like:

Although clean in appearance ..... I just can't find any explanation how/why this is a close resemblance to the this one:

.... even talking the developmentt of color film materials/technologie into a reasonable account.

Here's a BW of the same Tiger then under Britisch "management"

I first glance can't identify any camo at all .... the color appears to be one solid tone .... my eyes can't match this Tank to what it really looked liked in the color pic. Enhancing it does help either .....
I wouldn't assume "Dunkelgrau" .... to be honest.
Proof of the overall ID value of BW photos .... maybe ?

Here another two of the 9 GD Tiger supposedly in "Tropen" camo


Based on the color pic of that Tiger's grey appearance ... these two, same unit same time frame Jan./Feb. 1943 ... my "impression" tends towards "Dunkelgrau" being most likely color here.... comparing the unit insignia's background on the Steyr's Fender.

As I said .... I'll take the color pic as evidence/proof to build my Tiger ... at some point you have to believe what you see .... till proven otherwise.

Cheers
Christopher

Byrden
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 11:32 AM UTC
But which version of the colour pic will you use : the grey one that you posted, or the green one that I posted?

If you won't believe the colour tint in mine, at least acknowledge that both of them seem to show a subtle camouflage pattern.

It's difficult to find a photo that can be used to resolve this question. The "initial" Tigers of Leningrad would provide us with good examples of grey Tigers, except for one problem; by the time they arrived there, on train flatbeds, they were obviously already covered in dust. The only clean ones that we can look at are the ones captured and washed down by the Russians!



Here's one of them. Now, this is a clean Dunkelgrau tank, so can we use it as an absolute reference? No, because the photographer has exposed it such that it seems lighter than reality. His goal was to make a discernible image, not a darkness reference.

But there's something more reliable in the photo - relative darkess.

That Balkenkreuz has white lines with black inner edges. There's actual lines of black paint there, 1cm wide, and you practically cannot see them. Dunkelgrau was almost black itself, so the contrast is very low.

Now, let's look for a GD Tiger. Make sure it's one of their first ones, supposedly "tropical", and make sure there's snow on the ground so the tank is relatively new. Ignore the lower hull since it may have already accumulated road dust. Look to the turret only.

Because of the snow, the photographer will need to underexpose the shot, making the tank appear darker than it is. So we will look for contrast; paint versus black.



The national flag provides a helpful reference black colour.

The black-to-paint contrast here is much, much greater than on the Dunkelgrau Tiger "121". I can't accept that this Tiger is Dunkelgrau.

In any case, this whole discussion should be moot. If Doyle and Jentz say these Tigers were "tropical", they read it in a WW2 German document.

David
panamadan
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 01:03 PM UTC
Interesting discussion guys.
Dan
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 01:31 PM UTC
I concur with David on the Tiger re: those last few pics, as I have a few samples of Dunkelgrau at hand and compared to black objects the contrast is not high at all for any of the various brands I use. I painted my Tamiya early Tiger in the Panzer Grey acrylic and even that isn't quite dark enough, but you lose a lot of detail when you 'go too dark' in scale. It lightened up quite a bit under pale dirt washes and dusting.

The Tiger in the pics is definitely lighter than 'Panzer Gray'.

The Steyr AGDZ is a simple case of dust accumulation. That is a dark gray vehicle as shown by the one open hatch in dark gray. The vehicle itself looks light due to all the pale ochre dust all over it. You can see this by the tires, whose natural dark rubber color is about the same color as the AFV now. You can also see heavy buildup of dust and caked earth inside the wheels, which suggests to me in my role as a geographer and climatologist that there was a period of rain followed by a hot, dry spell that resulted in a lot of dried former mud being churned into dust by the columns of tracked vehicles.

In the last pic, I think this is a later image than the first, and some of the dust has had a chance to naturally blow off of or have been rubbed away by crew actions operating the vehicle.

Now, you may say those black uniforms contrast soooooo much with the vehicle it couldn't possibly even be that dark a gray under there but think what those uniforms would be like if the crew was rolling up and down the dirt road for a few hours? Or this: Ever held a white Persian cat while wearing a black shirt? Or dumping flour on a brunette's head? As a WTC 9/11 survivor I can attest that people change colors when coated in dust. Imma gonna get you there somehow, guys.
Dioramartin
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 01:36 PM UTC
At the risk of generating more heat than light here are some altered colour-balances for comparison, using the first posting of the image as baseline.

While attempting to retain a plausible sky colour I’ve tried to use the scraps of landscape as a key, which is still open to question depending on where in the spectrum of verdant to parched it really was. My guess is towards the latter end of that scale but not sure it helps much – ironically there may be more value in comparing the monochrome version to other (b&w’s) where the Tiger’s colour is undisputed…if there is such an animal








TopSmith
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 03:18 PM UTC
My 2 cents for what it is worth. The last set of photos show an almost uniform color of the Tiger. The color is lighter than the dirt on the tracks and much lighter than the black uniform. Had there been more variation between the upper turret/hatches and the hull my answer might be different. I am suggesting the Tiger is not dark gray. If we were talking dust over Panzer Gray, I would expect a greater variation in color/tone/hue. To me the uniformity in color suggests a midtone color. The other crew uniforms are also darker than the tanks color and the tanks color is lighter than the spare track.

The problem with Tropen camo is that it is designed to be a low contrast pattern with similar colors. In many photos of Tropen in the field, you can't see the pattern, similar to the discussion David said about the black edging inside the balken cross on the dark gray hull. Can't see the difference even though it is there.
AgentG
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 05:19 PM UTC
Dark Gray in Africa. Dust sand rocks not withstanding, this is a dark color.



Not scientific or definitive for that matter but, here's a tropen painted Tiger I that we know was RAL 8000/RAL 7008.

Tiger 142's demise was well documented by Life magazine in living color. We know she was painted in early tropen colors as well as having dark gray Feifels and a RAL 8020 tool box.

Here you see the real deal and the contrasting colors.





The model



Same shot in B/W



G
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 08:25 PM UTC

Quoted Text

You may find this useful...

Grey Tigers



That is a very nice and informative article, David. Thank you for writing and linking it.

Gaz
chnoone
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Posted: Tuesday, April 23, 2019 - 09:02 PM UTC
Hey David

Your pic also shows that the S or something else has been painted over leaving the #40. This patch seems to be of a lighter tone, this can be identified on some other GD Tigers of that period as well. Looking at this I ask myself what did they use .... what color was at hand / available to paint over or just mud ?.
The most likely, if color, it would have been Grey at the time.
The problem here is not looking at BW pics but rather more about establishing the "surroundings" other data which might clarify the issue.
W. Schneider (his books) states these and the ss tanks were fielded in "Grey", your theses is based on a quotation in by Doyle & Jentz. I also take into account which color was applied in the factory, the procurement process, any relevant change orders, how did the Heereswaffenamt accept the Tanks, what happened next .... and so on.

So why would a commander .... knowing he was going to white-wash his tanks when leaving for Russia in a few weeks .... take his tanks out of the training process to apply a color scheme completely irrelevant for his upcoming task ? The same applies for those ss unit in question …. there is no „Tanker“ logic there.
And that would NOT be the way german Military conducted business back then and GD was not earmarked for Africa.
So why divert from the system in place ? Is there a cause... a necessity … ?
Instead we’re chasing ghost in BW pics to find any dot to prove the least obvious.
Equipment going to Africa clearly a yes .... but these few Tigers would and have been dealt with by the troops not the factory ... see the Bovington Tiger. …. according to the system in place at the time.

Germany produced all it's weapons and vehicles in "Dunkelgrau" at this time as a standard procedure. The colors were produced by BASF, BUNA, Höchst etc. .... I also pay attention to what was available in Germany regarding resources. Despite the RAL system representing an "Ideal Standard" the production and application of "Dunkelgrau" by various producers gives you various tones. Borsig's Grey for example is almost Black and so on....
Even today TAN CARC colors have different tones depending on the producer, either factory finish or rattle-cans etc.

W. Schneider and others did their research much later then Doyle & Jentz, so maybe they "found" something / info Doyle & Jentz didn't have available at their time (INet, archives), maybe color schemes wasn't even their objective then.
The the first of all …. Spielberger …. just mentions "Tropen Ausführung" .... the kit. His book clearly focusing on technical and production aspects of this tank and not color.

What didn't work for these Tigers (GD+ ss) on the Eastern Front, from a color perspective, that was just fine, and the standard, for all the rest in Russia in 1942 ?
The pressing war situation ... Stalingrad etc. ... did the Germans have the „luxury" to play around with colors ? Or is the prime existence of a weapon, the purpose, to be put to use ? That's what Doyle indicates very clearly in the article. And German was hard pressed at that specific time on the eastern Front.
Anyone who served on Tanks and AFV's will tell you one thing .... in the field your "tool" has to work … to reach your objective .... to complete the mission etc.
The color of your vehicle as a Benchmark for achieving all this is almost nonexistent in a military mindset.
Then and now .... you get the job done with what's on hand regardless of looks !
Overi In the MLynx tread there is a pic of an engine dangling over an 502s Tiger engine deck.

Davids conclusion is straight forward late type engine (produced xx.xx.xx) so the Tiger could never have been Grey.
If you second this observation then the viewer has clearly never pulled an engine from a tank in the field.
This is what I what I see:

1. The engine isn’t being pulled … it being installed … this IS the replacement engine …. why ? because it’s clean … speckless it looks like straight out of the box. So trying to prove the tanks color via engine type is not very convincing when there is a much more obvious interpretation possible …
Life expectancy of a Maybach engine was benchmarked at about 100 hours before major refurbishment needed.

2. The Balkenkreuz … the theory offered is that this unit had a habit of producing the BK in this specific fashion.
Well actually only a few did … the majority didn’t. The tanks base coat being Grey and was just taped off during application of „Dunkelgelb“ is also not an option for David. From my own experience … Tank are mechanically (+ software, electronic etc nowadays) very demanding for the crews to keep operational in the field. A tanker wound’t waste his time painting the corner edges black just to make a piece of art of the BK, (they do on barrel graffiti todays)
More likely/logical (to me) would be the Tiger was „Dunkelgrau“ was repainted „Dunkelgelb“ to the new orders (looking at summer 1943 here), the BK taped off during the process previously … and off you go back into service with a new engine (pic).

3. The track-hanger on the turret could be an upgrade -kit delivered to the front for installation / retrofitting older tanks to new standards …. the square shape and „Dunkelgrau“ original base color of the BK square might be and indication of this being an earlier Grey Tiger upgraded and repainted during one of it’s inspection intervals.
Maybe the turret was swapped … who knows ?

I believe I pointed out some other valid options here, not taken into consideration by David in his answers.

This is why I can’t support David’s theses of the Tigers in question being all in „Tropen“ scheme because the overall situation at the time the pics were taken, doesn’t really support his interpretations by just analyzing BW pics and quoting a book is not enough to prove the exemption of the rules in 1942.
If there ever will be proof one will probably find it in the copies of documents related to the procurement of the Tiger tanks, the acceptance by the Waffenamt or the Institution which payed for them ... not in BW pics.
.... modelers taking thing to literally ....

Cheers
Christopher
TopSmith
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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 12:14 AM UTC
Chris, as a modeler, you do have the option of painting your tiger red white and blue. In this discussion, we have gone from not all modifications happened on the appropriate date(which I agree with) to a might be, why not, they wouldn't have done that, for color. That is not enough to further current knowledge.
Byrden
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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 12:46 AM UTC

Quoted Text

the S or something else has been painted over leaving the #40. This patch seems to be of a lighter tone, this can be identified on some other GD Tigers of that period as well.



Yes, I think this happened to most or all GD Tigers early in 1943. But I haven't yet built a GD timeline the way I built a 501 timeline and a DR timeline.

Since it was only a small patch of paint, it may not have been an official overall tank colour.

Here's a good example:




What do you say to:

- Dunkelgrau bin
- RAL8000 turret
- Dunkelgelb patch

I suggest this because my studies of DR convince me that they were issued Tigers in RAL 8000 but supplied with the standard 3-colour paints, which they used for an overall repaint in April 1943.

David

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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 12:56 AM UTC
I did it my way ....






Tamiyas old Tiger I from the previous millenium ...
Scarred
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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 04:53 AM UTC
Thanks Robin, now I gotta listen to some Iron Maiden.
Byrden
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Posted: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - 04:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

W. Schneider (his books) states these and the ss tanks were fielded in "Grey", your theses is based on a quotation in by Doyle & Jentz.



They are more reliable researchers, in just about everybody's opinion. They use original sources only.


Quoted Text

W. Schneider and others did their research much later then Doyle & Jentz, so maybe they "found" something / info Doyle & Jentz didn't have available at their time (INet, archives), maybe color schemes wasn't even their objective then.



Doyle and Jentz published their Tiger book in 1999. What was the date of the Schneider book?


Quoted Text

I also take into account which color was applied in the factory, the procurement process, any relevant change orders, how did the Heereswaffenamt accept the Tanks, what happened next .... and so on.



If you know any of that info, please share it?


Quoted Text

So why would a commander .... knowing he was going to white-wash his tanks when leaving for Russia in a few weeks .... take his tanks out of the training process to apply a color scheme completely irrelevant for his upcoming task ?



I don't think anybody did that. I think that these Tigers were factory-sprayed with RAL8000.


Quoted Text

GD was not earmarked for Africa.



Quoted Text

What didn't work for these Tigers (GD+ ss) on the Eastern Front, from a color perspective, that was just fine, and the standard, for all the rest in Russia in 1942 ?



The "tropical" scheme was not for Africa only, as far as I know. It was for the entire southern part of Russia, Italy and Africa. I think that you'll find it on more vehicles than just Tigers.


Quoted Text

Equipment going to Africa clearly a yes .... but these few Tigers would and have been dealt with by the troops not the factory ... see the Bovington Tiger. …. according to the system in place at the time.



If you're saying that the Bovington Tiger was grey when it rolled out of the factory, could you share the evidence please? I know that parts of it, at least, were grey at some time or other, but that could be prior to completion.


Quoted Text

Germany produced all it's weapons and vehicles in "Dunkelgrau" at this time as a standard procedure.



So, the "tropical" schemes were never applied at the factory? Not even the base colour? Again, how do you know this?

David