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PlasticSoldier

US Vehicle Colour Schemes

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Hi, 

 

Just doing an LVT 4 at the moment, intending it to be a USMC one, ideally Pacific, 1945, but if not, Europe, 1944 at least.

It’s all going well, but I cannot find out what colour they would of been. The instructions say Humbrol 86, but that’s a light green, when it would appear most where Olive drab, 155. However I also see pictures over grey American vehicles which would be 66! Yet still there are vehicles in 86.

 

So I’m kind of clueless at the moment. If somebody could give me a decent insight or source to American vehicle paint scheme that would be very much appreciated.

 

Many thanks,

PlasticSoldier

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Posted (edited)

Going by the research done by STAR Decals, the ones in NWE do look to be just olive drab.

 

Their earlier brand (Bison Decals) did have a Marine set and there is quite a variety of schemes.  Difficult to read what colours they suggest, but is name only and no reference to actual brand.

 

http://www.angelfire.com/pro/bison/35037.html

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

Another set here;

https://www.bnamodelworld.com/military-vehicles-tanks-decals-stickers-bison-decals-bd-35186?zenid=1c643f275fde3296498d5cb8ff5169c0

 

regards,

Jack

Edited by JackG

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, PlasticSoldier said:

Hi, 

 

Just doing an LVT 4 at the moment, intending it to be a USMC one, ideally Pacific, 1945, but if not, Europe, 1944 at least.

It’s all going well, but I cannot find out what colour they would of been. The instructions say Humbrol 86, but that’s a light green, when it would appear most where Olive drab, 155. However I also see pictures over grey American vehicles which would be 66! Yet still there are vehicles in 86.

 

So I’m kind of clueless at the moment. If somebody could give me a decent insight or source to American vehicle paint scheme that would be very much appreciated.

 

Many thanks,

PlasticSoldier

 

Hi,

 

there's so many options for LVT's color scheme, that it's difficult to sum up in just a few words ... but you had grey-blue (USN colors) for early ones, the gray-blue and camo stripes, and later olive drab with sand, brown and black stripEs and splotches.

 

If you're looking for color references, the book "US amtracs and amphibians at war 1941-45" by Zaloga & Balin is a good source ...

 

I don't use enamel, so I can't help you with paint numbers ... but if you can find either a bluish grey or a sandy color, a subdued black and a red brown, plus olive drab, then you're good to go 😉

 

Been a bit long ... hope this helps, E

Edited by Etienne

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Quick point, there were no USMC in Europe except small shipboard detachments on some warships.  US Army was, overall, a larger user of LVTs than USMC - even in the Pacific.

 

US and British LVTs in Europe would have been in plain OD.  UK had discontinued disruptive painting of AFVs before LVTs came into use and it was rarely used on US AFVs in Europe.  In theory, UK LVT in Italy in 1943-44 might have been camouflaged with Light Mud over the OD.  But by the time LVTs came into their own in the rivers and lakes in the North in 44 into 45, the plain darker colour would have been more appropriate to the terrain.

 

I don't believe that any LVT-4s were ever grey: I believe that colour had been superseded on LVTs in favour of OD before the -4 came into service.  So plain OD or the 3-tone camouflage is most appropriate for the Pacific for USMC.  Plain OD for Army.  I believe Australian LVTs in the Pacific were also plain OD.

 

The light green colour you mention is probably intended to represent USMC Green, the pre- and early war lighter green colour.  This was superseded by OD as USMC received kit ordered for the armed forces at large rather than ordering their own.  AFAIK, no LVTs of any type were ever finished in USMC Green.

 

There's also the Osprey "Amtracs" book by Zaloga, although It isn't as good as the one mentioned above.

 

If you can still find them, there are 2 very good "Project LVT" modelling books and a set of line drawings by David Harper, published by Letterman in 2003.  But they don't cover the -4: only the -2 and the (A)s.

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US forces used the dark olive drab(Humbrol 66) until early 1943 after which they changed to a lighter colour so Humbrol 86 is correct for 1944/45.

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Neither Humbrol 66 or 86 are US Olive Dab No.9, not even close.  Your are going to have to mix it;  7 x H46 + 3 x H33 + 1 x H155 is a dead match to a swatch I have from USA archives.   

USMC Armtracs were at times painted 5.0 Ocean Gray.  I was able to match this against a swatch from The Floating Drydock series: 5 x H104 + 3 x H157 + 1 x H34.  However this was with the old dark 157 not the current colour.  I haven't needed to use the colour for years so it needs reformulating.

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But I'm pretty certain that LVT4 production started some time after Ocean Grey had been superseded as an LVT finish.  You often see LVT2 and LVT(A)1 in grey - but rarely (if ever) LVT(A)2 and LVT3, and I've never seen an (A)4 or 4 in grey.  At least not in any of the books discussed above.

 

So we come back to the oft-discussed question of the correct OD shade, whether as a plain colour or as part of the 3-tone Pacific camouflage.  There are many more learned than I who can comment on this.  Like Mike S.  I try to avoid modelling OD subjects, or indeed any Plain Green Things.

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I knew I had another book on the LVT somewhere.  If you can track down a copy of Allied-Axis Issue 8 it has about 40 very good pages on LVTs.  Loads of photos from PTO and ETO, including USMC, Army and some British.  That issue also has about 20 pages on USMC M4s.  There is also a Squadron-Signal book on LVTs.

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