Wednesday, April 4, 2012


What is the correct colour to use for German Dunkelgelb? 

Maybe the most asked question next to what is the meaning of life?

Nobody seems to know the answer... at least, thats my assumption. While we have gazillion amounts of information on the internet about world war II, millions of bits & bytes worth of discussion about this period... still, nobody knows the answer to this rather simple question. Is it really that hard?

To be honest, my search for the correct Dark Yellow or Dunkelgelb ended where it began...

It all started with the Flames of War forums, searching through endless and endless pictures in the gallery of painted Panthers & Tigers. I had Ernst Barkmann in his Panther and 5 Late War Tigers on the workbench and i really wanted them to shine so i looked at thousands of pictures. I quickly came to the conclusion that Vallejo Green Ochre was the right type for me. Mixed with some Windex and drying retarder i sprayed away. I was a happy man!

But then things turned bad...

German Tritonal Camo became my worst nightmare ever. Vallejo Model Air, which i have alot of, is literally Airbrush Hell. clogging, clogging and then some more clogging. Evening after evening i tried and tried but nothing helped, so i started searching for a simple solution. Some people pointed me towards a japanese word, one simple Japanese word: Tamiya.
Tamiya has a small range of Acrylics based on Isopropyl-Alcohol. Thinning of these paints is easy. Just buy some Isopropyl-alcohol and you're set. It's that simple. Mix 50-50% and spray away!
Grabbed me a Tiger and sprayed some XF-60 Dark Yellow, Red Brown and Olive Green. It turned out nice but not nice enough to be honest. The brown and green were good but the dark yellow was just too ... well, dark. I tried again. Mixing Dark Yellow with XF-57 Buff for a ratio of 70%-30%. Sprayed the same camo pattern. Nope, still not what i wanted... I then sprayed a new model with Vallejo Green Ochre and used the Red Brown and Olive Green from Tamiya, which gave an odd result. For some reason those 2 brands don't like each other colour-wise The pattern just didn't 'match'...

Next test : Vallejo Middlestone; What the hell was that. It's just not my colour :-) didn't bother continueing with the camo. Tried in the past, one of my first tanks was painted with Middlestone. I remember looking at it at my bench ad thinking to myself; "Meh".

Next up was DOA Dunkelgelb: Too yellow, really TOO yellow. Like a fellow-blogger describes on his blog: DOA are good paints to spray but are just too dark, way to dark if you ask me. 15mm models need light colours imho.

In the end i came to the conclusion that i was the most happy with Vallejo colours. My Stugs turned out okay and they were painted with Vallejo. If only i could solve the clogging problem. Reading all day about people with the same VMA problems, i decided to try a new product (yeah, i know). Liquitex Airbrush Medium. Most people call it a MUST for Vallejo paints to work well in the Airbrush. Gonna order it today and pray, pray, pray to the Gods of the Airbrush.

Dunkelgelb! After all, Dunkelgelb is your choice! Not some guy who thinks he has found the correct mixture of colours, thinners, mediums and flow improvers to paint the correct Dunkelgelb on his tank only to show some pictures on some forum taken with a million-dollar camera with the wrong indoor-lighting settings! i like 914 Green Ochre d*mmit. It's easy. it looks okay and it's damn cheap too :-) 914 is my number!

Have a nice week :-)


  1. The way I look at it is this. The colour itself would most likely have changed through out the war depending on availability of supplies, which factory was using it and most likely even down to what thinner each factory was using as I understand the paint was shipped in big goopy barrels that had to be thinned.

    Thus I contend that there is no correct variation of the yellow. As for myself I use the Tamiya XF-60 and have done so on a variety of basecoat colours. Thus each team in my army looks just a little different to each other anyway.

  2. good article. I saw once a kubelwagen in the street and I knew this was dunkelgelb. As odd as it is, I just knew.

    For lack of better description, the color was more or less the same as cardboard (neither too dark, neither too light). It was definitely not greenish.

    But then, how one would know if it was actually the right color?...

    but then you might want to have a look at this picture (lighter than the color I saw)