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WWI British Uniform Color and Mix?

Discussion in 'Acrylics' started by hmgroth, May 4, 2012.

  1. hmgroth New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I am getting ready to tackle the new Model Cellar bust, "Over the Top." Since this is not my usual "period" my references are skant and what I have been able to find is not much help.

    My main question concerns the service dress and helmet colors. Contemporary descriptions and reenactment photos I have seen show the color ranging from light/medium brown to a distinct greenish brown for both. Is this range in color similar to that for U.S. olive drab and khaki in that there was no truly standard color and that it could change drastically due to dye lot and to exposure to the elements?

    A secondary question, but no less important to me, is does anyone have a good jumping off point in Vallejo acrylics for this color?

    Thanks for any help you can lend me!

    Mark
  2. ACCOUNT_DELETED A Fixture

    Country:
    Canada
  3. housecarl A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Vallejo English Uniform, shaded with German SS black brown and highs with Iraqi sand.
    Carl.(y)
    hmgroth and captnenglish like this.
  4. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    I agree with Carl on this.
    hmgroth likes this.
  5. billyturnip A Fixture

    Country:
    England
    That seems to be working well for me at the moment too.
  6. Tony Barton Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Definitely Vallejo No. 70921 English Uniform is a good median shade .You could lighten that a little .
    Service Dress varied quite a bit , since it was made in such vast quantities , a bit like Field Grey.
    One thing that always seems to happen in colour reproduction is that khaki drab appears as a pinky-brown shade : this is largely a figment of printing ( typically in Osptrey books , which are serial offenders in colour distortion ) and monitor screens.
    The real colour is almost exactly between green and brown, appearing greener in shade and browner in sun.
    Surviving WW1 SD uniforms in our local museum very between almost sandy , to a slightly pinkish shade, to proper khaki drab with the greenish element . But all will have faded after 100 years to a greater or lesser extent, so it's perhaps better to rely on unused , unfaded drab cloth , which when new always has the green element.

    Helmets : the early issue 1916 Brodies were a dull apple green, which colour was replaced by khaki by 1917.
    I should use 823 Luftwaffe cam.green for the former , and 70873 US Field Drab for the latter. The later helmets usually had sand mixed into the paint to create a rough matt finish.
    Webbing equipment was a paler version of the khaki drab , but not too pale. Boots in the frontline were a dull brown.
  7. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Country:
    France
    Hi Mark,
    I can personally recommend a visit to the the website Great War Forum. I too am currently working on my first WW1 figure and found the guys there a great help.
    If I discovered one thing in this process it was that the speed at which uniforms were required by many different suppliers lead to many interpretations of the colour.
    Good luck with this great figure.
    Cheers,
    Keith
    hmgroth likes this.
  8. Dan Morton A Fixture

    Country:
    United-States
    Some examples of color variations....

    tunic.jpg 6th Liverpool Rifles officer tunic

    One.jpg Three.jpg
    M1902 issue enlisted uniform

    Typical 1914 kit and uniform
    BEF 19140005.jpg Brit-20th-Hussars.jpg
    20th Hussars ca. 1915

    All the best,
    Dan
    Grod, Ventress and hmgroth like this.
  9. captnenglish Well-Known Member

    Country:
    United-States
    The only caveat I have with Vallejo English Uniform is that in my experience you have to shake the cr@p out of it for it to not gloss up, but otherwise in my opinion it is a spot on match.
    Babelfish and hmgroth like this.
  10. hmgroth New Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks, everyone, for your valuable input! I'll be sure to check out the Great War Forum, too :)

    Mark
  11. housecarl A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Tamiya X21, will put a stop to that mischief.
    Carl.(y)
  12. Wings5797 A Fixture

    Country:
    France
    There are no problems just opportunities. :D

    Cheers ,
    Keith
  13. Knill22 Member

    Country:
    United-States
    VALLEJO COLOR PAINT GUIDE



    British infantry 1914.jpg British infantry 1918.jpg
  14. gothicgeek A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Ach!

    Zombie thread .....
  15. gothicgeek A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    But nice info LOL!

    TY

    :)
  16. MCPWilk A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    WW I British uniforms should be khaki drill (brown) and webbing blancoed khaki drab (greenish). The latter often faded without the use of 'blanco' to a sandy colour. It is worth remembering that uniforms were produced by many manufacturers, and would have also faded with use. The serge material used on the Western Front would have been darker and heavier (see;- http://www.militarymodelling.com/albums/member_album.asp?a=30124) than the uniforms worn in the Middle East (see:- http://www.militarymodelling.com/albums/member_photo.asp?a=10541&p=256500).

    Mike
  17. Sgt. Red Active Member

    What Humbrol colour equals Vallejo No. 70921 English Uniform?
  18. Tony Barton Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Don't think there's a direct match. I should mix Humbrol 72 and 155 in about equal proportions, or experiment .
    But Revell enamel 86 would be a pretty good choice for khaki Service Dress, if you wanted an oil-based alternative.
    Mike - The Kiwi and Sgt. Red like this.
  19. arj A Fixture

    Country:
    United-Kingdom
    Sgt. Red likes this.
  20. Tony Barton Active Member

    Country:
    United-States
    Thanks Andrew, that's a handy document, if a bit baffling at first. The online colour charts of paint ranges like Humbrol are so wildly inaccurate as to be more or less useless for making matches.

    However, the Vallejo suggestion that Humbrol 29 is the equivalent of their English Uniform 921 is wildly off. H29 is a milk chocolate brown ( I just opened a tin ) with none of the green / yellow element of real khaki drab we've been mentioning above.
    The point I have been trying to make it that drab is NOT pinky brown, whatever colour illustrations might make you believe. To grasp the proper colour, you need to look at real uniforms.

    If you can get it locally , I would stick with Revell 86. But there is certainly room for variation using that as a starter.
    Scotty likes this.

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