Home Forums WWII Lend Lease Valentine Tanks Colour?

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  • #200316
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Hello to the wise Magi of TWW:

    I am confused. I have a Soviet 10-tank company of 15mm Valentine Mk III infantry tanks which I want to paint up for gaming in late 1941 to 1943 scenarios but I am unsure what colour to use. My first question is, “Is British “Service Brown” (SB) the same colour as SCC-2 by another name?” I have sources saying that the first 20 Valentines delivered to the USSR which were used in the Battle of Moscow were painted in SB but technical sources say that the colour of these tanks should have been SCC-2.

    The next question that I have is, “Exactly what colours were SB and SCC-2 as there seems to be a lot of variation in opinions based on the various manufacturers involved, the effects of paint weathering and the effects of matt varnishing on these colours?”.

    My third question is, “Does any one know whether the Soviets themselves repainted their Lend Lease Valentines in their own colour schemes after the rush to press them into service during the winter of 1941-42 had passed? Pictures of one of the few extant Valentines at Kublinka show it in a sort of greenish-grey matt colour which bears no resemblance in my mind to what I understand rather vaguely to be either SB or SCC-2 or any Soviet base coat which I have seen?” This is no doubt paint applied after the war to preserve the vehicle and so may not be historically correct as a Soviet paint example during the war. I have seen and examined a Valentine VIII at the Canadian War Museum which spent years in a Soviet/Russian river but it’s almost impossible to differentiate between rust from paint on that vehicle.

    Finally, I also have a company of Valentine VIIs or VIIIs which I will paint up for games in 1943-1945 and the same questions about those later Valentine tanks are in my mind too. Also were Canadian-built Valentines painted in the same manufacturer’s base colour as their British cousins?, is my post-final question, as it just occurred to me.

    From all the modelling and vehicle restoration sites I have visited I can find no consensus on these colours. I have also asked friends and acquaintances in the museum and WWII vehicle restoration business/hobby and found little out. So I figured I’d roll the dice here and see what you lot can tell me.

    Thank you in advance for any input you can offer.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #200318
    Avatar photokyoteblue
    Participant

    Google Brit Service Brown see if it turns up anything.

    #200322
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    There’s no difference in colour. BS381c No 499 Service Brown has a satin finish, SSC No2 is true matt.

    Don’t worry about it too much, the War Department had multiple suppliers, and there was a war on. No-one expected rigorous adherence to paint charts. if anyone says you’re wrong, ask to see their spectrophotometer.

    Interestingly the Humber Oil Company made paint for the WD, so Humbrol might be the best match 😉

    Now, have you heard about Gulf War Yellow? 🙂

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #200324
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    Yes, Service Brown and SCC2 are the same colour, but SB on ammo boxes etc has a slight sheen to it. Humbrol Khaki is a reasonable match, but as with lots of wartime brown paint shades vary.

    Wrt repainting, the Soviets sometimes repainted Lend Lease stuff, sometimes they didn’t, so paint them whatever colours you like. Nothing is ‘wrong’.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #200325
    Avatar photowillz
    Participant

    All paint varies in shade and colour, so don’t sweat the small stuff near enough is good enough.  I always give my WW2 tanks, AFV’s and trucks a good dry brush of earth colour.  This helps to hide any imperfections in an exact colour match.

    #200326
    Avatar photobobm
    Participant

    Coat D’Arms paint found out that their manufacturer (same as Foundry) made paint for use on armoured vehicles in WWII.  They asked them if they could produce an exact match in the range they produced for them…they were asked “What year & month?” they wanted the match for…

    There's 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.....

    #200343
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Hey KB:

    I hope you’re well and on the mend. Yeah, that was something I did years ago but the problem is even the digital paint swatches vary depending on manufacturer, weathering and what types of varnish were used over the paint. The range is suprisingly broad too!

    I contacted an old family friend who inherited a lot of personal technical papers from his father who was a manager at the old Dominion Engineering Foundry where Valentines were made in Montréal but he came up with nothing. I crawled all around and even under a Valentine Mk VII or VIII at he Canadian War Museum but could not find any reliable paint flakes since it had rusted so badly after decades of being submerged in a river where it had fallen through ice.

    I have reached out to a good friend of mine who is a manager at the Ontar Tank Museum in Oshawa, Ontario where they rebuild and refurbish vintage tanks and other military vehicles but he couldn’t help me much either.

    i guess I’m just displaying too much OCD about getting this right because there really is no one right way to do this.

    Cheers man and I hope you’re doing well.

    Rod.

    #200344
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    NCS:

    Thanks for the information and the chill but “sage” advice. I will not dare to ask about Gulf War Yellow, which will no doubt lead me down a rabbit hole to stories of the “Yellow King” and mind addling terror.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #200346
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Thank you MartinR.

    I just want them to look as right as I can get them. Alas, there may be no right. I’ll just have to get used to surfing the probability wave until it collapses into possible certainty sometime in the future. Damn quantum hobby thinking. Damn Heisenberg and where is John Wheeler when you need to interrogate paint?

    But I digress.

    Speaking of digression, incidentally, from another thread, I love the Pz 38(t) but I would not want to be in one when I encountered a hostile S-35, a T-34/76 or a Matilda II. It to me is still a beautiful early war tank. Bully of Poland, real threat in France but sorely wanting in the USSR.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #200347
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Willz:

    Mud and dust! We came from it. We will return to it. It covers over many of our hobby errors along the way! Long live he wash and the dry-brush. Easier than wet-blending. Thanks!

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson

    #200348
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Coat D’Arms paint found out that their manufacturer (same as Foundry) made paint for use on armoured vehicles in WWII. They asked them if they could produce an exact match in the range they produced for them…they were asked “What year & month?” they wanted the match for…

    bobm:

    The suspense is killing me; but yet another cliff-hanger to endure. I’ll tune in next season! 😉

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #200352
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Gents.

    I now have a cunning plan!

    The plan is to prime the first platoon of 3 Valentine Mk IIIs with Tremclad matt black spray paint, then base coat them with Tamiya Flat Earth and then to layer on thin coats of the following mixture – Vallejo Model Air Dark Earth : MA Camo. Med. Brown : MA Dirt, at 2 : 1 : 1, to try to get a very close match. Then dulcoat, weather, wash, dry-brush, matt varnish and dulcoat again. We shall see how that turns out.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson

    #200372
    Avatar photoMartinR
    Participant

    Tbh, I just do all my Lend Lease vehicles (Valentines, Matildas, Stuarts, Lees, Shermans) in various shades of green with mud all over the tracks and running gear and a thick layer of dust. I did give the Bren Carriers white stripes of the mudguards, as the Russians apparently liked to do that.

    I have seen a photo of a Valentine in that super jazzy disruptive winter camo of white stripes over dark green with areas of white cross hatching.

    "Mistakes in the initial deployment cannot be rectified" - Helmuth von Moltke

    #200444
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Tbh, I just do all my Lend Lease vehicles (Valentines, Matildas, Stuarts, Lees, Shermans) in various shades of green with mud all over the tracks and running gear and a thick layer of dust. I did give the Bren Carriers white stripes of the mudguards, as the Russians apparently liked to do that. I have seen a photo of a Valentine in that super jazzy disruptive winter camo of white stripes over dark green with areas of white cross hatching.

    MartinR:

    Maybe I’ll do that green and dirt/mud/dust motif with the later Mk VII and MkVIII Valentines but the Mk IIIs are going to be as close to what I still imagine (hopefully correctly) that SCC-2 is like as I can get them.  I’ve got some 15mm T-34s and T-60s done up in an approximation of that winter camouflage pattern but it’s too specialized for general gaming use in my opinion. Winter camouflage looks really out of place on a warm-weather, table-top battlefield but tanks in non-winter camouflage still look passably okay on a winter season, snow-covered table in my humble opinion.

    Thanks for the ideas.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

    #200448
    Avatar photokyoteblue
    Participant

    Pics or it didn’t happen!!!!

    #200475
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Okay, KB:

    This is the before picture:

    There are 3 Quality Castings Valentine Mk IIIs and 3 OldGlory/Skytrex Matilda IIs to be primed with Tremclad and base-coated in Tamiya Flat Earth. It’s pouring rain right now so I will report back when they’re primed and base-coated.

    Cheers and be well.

    Rod.

    #200476
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    KB:

    This is what I have left to do, some are already primed and base-coated, but most are not.

    Cheers and be well.

    Rod.

    #200522
    Avatar photoIvan Sorensen
    Participant

    I can’t find it now, but Tank Archives had a post where he mentioned that lend lease vehicles were generally not repainted, but some were winter washed. (generally not meaning “always” however).

    If you were doing multiple companies it might be cool to do one in each scheme.

    #200535
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    I can’t find it now, but Tank Archives had a post where he mentioned that lend lease vehicles were generally not repainted, but some were winter washed. (generally not meaning “always” however). If you were doing multiple companies it might be cool to do one in each scheme.

    Ivan:

    Multiple companies is a wee bit too rich for my means, especially in metal models. I do have multiple companies for different model types of the same tank and I do have some T-34/76 M942s in a winter camouflage pattern, but that is only a troop/platoon of tanks which were surplus to the main company. They also don’t look that good, so one day I may strip them and do a better job. The only tank types which I have multiple companies of the same model types are  T-26 M-1933s and BT-7s (2 companies of 11 tanks each).

    As to the Soviets repainting Lend-Lease vehicles or not, I was always under the impression that they generally did not. However, the extant Valentine tank on display at he Kublnka Tank Museum is a greyish-green, so that got me wondering. It is probably a post-bellum paint job but I can prove that. Therefore uncertainty!

    When I get the chance and time to do it, I’ll drive the three hours to the Ontar Museum in Oshawa, Ontario and speak to the Soviet vehicle specialist and the technical archive historian to see if either of those two sage chaps can set me straight. They know their stuff far better than I know about this paint question. Until then, I’ll just blunder forward.

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod.

     

     

    #200538
    Avatar photoNot Connard Sage
    Participant

    Lend lease Valentines at Birmingham Carriage Works in Smethwick, West Midlands, BCW built tanks during the war.

    The building behind is still standing.

     

    Obvious contrarian and passive aggressive old prat, who is taken far too seriously by some and not seriously enough by others.

    #200581
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    Lend lease Valentines at Birmingham Carriage Works in Smethwick, West Midlands, BCW built tanks during the war. The building behind is still standing.

    NCS:

    Thank you for the picture. In the spirit of transatlantic fraternity here are a couple of good sites covering Canadian-built Valentine tanks. The CPR-owned Angus Shop was about 20km from where I grew up in Montréal, Québec.

    https://www.tankarchives.ca/2023/04/canadas-valentines.html

    http://www.ascalecanadian.com/2023/05/canadas-valentines.html

    Cheers and good gaming.

    Rod Robertson.

     

    #200584
    Avatar photoRod Robertson
    Participant

    KB:

    As per your request, a photo of the first step of painting the trial troop of the Soviet Valentine Mk. IIIs. They will be painted in my best attempt at SCC-2. The Soviet A-12 Matilda IIs will be painted in something approaching Bronze-Green.

    Cheers and be well.

    Rod.

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