Painting German figures in WW2

by Rob Haelterman
In this small instalment we will try to give advice to the modeler who wants to paint Braille Scale figures of German soldiers on the frontline in a historically accurate way (or at least something close enough).
As the wealth of information is so vast, only the most important characteristics will be given, i.e. those that are relevant to these small scales. Self-imposed limitations are (for the time being) are:
- front-line uniforms only;
- Heer from 1935 onwards only;
- regular troops (e.g. no foreign legions, mountain units, etc.) only;
- European theatre of operations only. As troops in the Balkans tended to wear the tropical uniform, these are excluded as well.

The exact design of the uniform will not be discussed (e.g. number of buttons on the tunic) unless it influences the painting and time-setting and can be distinguished in these small scales (e.g. pocket pleats). For the same reason, no distinction will be made between colors like aluminum, silver and gray or between gold and golden yellow, etc.
It is important to take into account that German regulations during the war allowed the use of older items of clothing when new ones became available, unless decreed otherwise. (Veterans tended to hold on to these older items as long as possible as a status symbol.) So it would be perfectly possible, though highly unlikely, to see stone gray trousers worn in 1944.
I am sure this article can be vastly improved upon, so I would invite anyone with superior knowledge to contact me.

I : The difference between Wehrmacht and Waffen SS and Luftwaffe figures

II: The difference between officers and other ranks

III: The uniform (non-Panzer)

IV: Panzer uniforms

V: Waffenfarbe

VI: Rank and other Insignia

VII: Smaller items



[1] The Panzer Divisions, Osprey Men-at-Arms 24, M Windrow & R. Hook
[2] Collar Insignia – AFV Uniforms, unknown website
[3] The German Army 1939-45 (1) Blitzkrieg, Osprey Men-at-Arms 311
[4] The German Army 1939-45 (2) North Africa & Balkans, Osprey Men-at-Arms 316
[5] The German Army 1939-45 (3) Eastern Front 1941-43, Osprey Men-at-Arms 326
[6] The German Army 1939-45 (4) Eastern Front 1943-45, Osprey Men-at-Arms 330
[7] The German Army 1939-45 (5) Western Front 1943-45, Osprey Men-at-Arms 336
[9] German Army Uniforms, Heer 1933-1945, R.R. Cardona, A.G. Sanchez, Accion Press (Euromodelismo), 2002
[10] German Soldiers of World War 2, J. de Lagarde, Histoire & Collections, 2005
[11] Evan’s German Army painting guide (defunct)
[12] Ralph Persico, personal communication

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Article Last Updated: 20 May 2014

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