Monday, March 25

We go back to look at the colours of the season in 1945 with AK Interactive in our review

Massive amounts of conjecture surround the colours of German Vehicles used towards the end of the war. Some people are very sure they know the answer but the rest of us are still asking questions. What we need is a book full of profiles to help us better make an educated guess on what colours to use – ohh – there is? and AK Interactive have the paint set to match? Let’s have a look at them..

 AK Interactive
Camouflage Profile Guide
Softcover A4 Portrait
71 pages full colour.
18.50 EUR from AK Interactive directly.

Also looked at here:

1945 German Late War Colours Set (Acrylic)
No: AK 554
Price: $20.95 AK Interactive directly.

Just recently there has been an increased interest in German late war and “what if” armoured vehicles. While more and more people are becoming interested in this period of time the debate about the colours goes on between the knowledgeable and the rest of us! Well AK Interactive has produced a new book to try and help us ALL become Experten on the subject of the colours used on German vehicles in the last year of the war – and we review it..

AK-Interactive is a clever company – they have harnessed some of the best armour modellers in the world who use many of their products on some of the most heralded and talked about models. Just recently there has been a bunch of revelations in modelling techniques and research of the way we interpret photographs. Several people in the know have found evidence to substantiate the claims that colours of the vehicles used in German service were not just the Dunkelgrun, Rotbraun and Dunkelgelb that we thought the vehicles were until recently.
This book takes the colours of the last year of the war in it’s sights, and together with AK Interactive’s 1945 colour paint set this is yet another smart decision from this company. Let’s look closer at the book.

This is a softcover book in a satin cover in portrait format – slightly larger than A4 in size, this book is 72 pages in total and full – and I mean 9/10ths full of coloured profiles of German vehicles from the last year (well actually six months) of the war.

Written by Mig Jimenez & Carlos Cuesta, this book has also some of the smartest people in the field associated with it. Lee archer and Bill Aurbach from PanzerWrecks, as well as Tom Jentz, Thomas Hartwig and Mr. Mirko Bayerl who especially helped with the colours of this book all had a hand in the publication. All names well known to any armour modelling fans there would have been a lot of cross referencing and communication sent before the final choices were made

There is not a lot of the usual structure of text in the book – the first few pages contain a description of the reason of this book – the fact that it is meant to inspire readers to model, and also the way that pictures are interpreted and how the colours are chosen.

I could have done with a little more rock solid proof to further buy into this book – but without further ado we launch into the best and largest part of the book – the profiles..
There are in excess of 180 colour profiles of many different vehicles of the German armed forces – though mainly tanks, there are some rare and not often seen vehicles covered like the  Raupenschlepper ost, a Panzer ammunition carrier, A Panzer 38t, Sd.Kfz 234’s 8 Rads, Möbelwagens, Opel trucks, half tracks Mauliters – well I could keep going but it will get boring. It Is great to see so many obscure vehicles in there with the scores of Panthers, Tigers and Panzers. With the pre-eminence of obscure vehicles coming into vogue with modellers this is a great addition.
These untypical shapes help you imagine some of these schemes on tanks that you have no reference for. Myself I have a Lynx and a Lowe that I am making - these profiles – together with the next chapter, gives you a lot of food for thought when picking the colours to suit your model.
The chapter I speak of is something not seen in a lot of publications ten pages with three profiles each of “Paper Panzers” the tanks that never really made it off the drawing board or training and development fields. These are a pretty hot item right now and I am delighted to see the inclusion into this book of these “what if” schemes. Sometimes these can be the hardest to do as you have to make it all up for yourself as well as trying to get the colours and pattern right. Although some of the colour schemes seem a bit whacky I will just point you in the direction of the “octopus” king tigers captured at the very end of the war – truly a different type of camouflage and these speculative schemes at least give you a heads up as to what “might” have been, and educated guess is better than no idea.
Lastly there is a small section with some very nice models by the book’s creator Mig Jimenez, a Panther II, a Luchs and a heavy VK 4502t tank. This is really putting your money where your mouth is, I have seen these kits before this book – but they really tie you to the colours and this whole new idea of experimental vehicles and also regular tanks in these late war – and quite different colours to what we HAD thought was the norm.
This is an excellent book fo inspiration, I gave it to three people to look at and to pick three models they would pick to make – most were completely different, and all three modellers said they wanted to make the kit after seeing these schemes on paper. I know it made me better understand these colours and how they were used – and it has made me want to model them in action. I have picked the schemes for my two tanks I have waiting in my paint booth.  Mission successful Mr Jimenez.

- It would be remiss of me not to mention the paint set that can be purchased from AK Interactive to match the colours in this book. Six acrylic colours sold in a set (or separately) they are - AK-554 1945 GERMAN LATE WAR COLORS SET
The six colours, a product of a lot of research from AK Interactive are designed to replicate the colours last used by the German armed forces in 1945. these colours are easy to use due to the lack of having to mix shades, you can get the consistent look on all of your late war vehicle's colour schemes. Designed also to take into account the Scale Reduction Effect mentioned in the 1945 book that accompanies them, these paints handle and are packaged just like Vallejo Acrylics. So if you have some history with them you will get used to these very quickly. These are going straight onto my next paper panzer!
I know with the knowledge I have gained in this book I will be using them in my modelling exploits – indeed it is good to have them because I can use the paints as a ready reference to the colours being mentioned in the book. A good complimentary set then to this book!
Great work from AK Interactive – although this book could have gone deeper inot precise orders and picture proof if they wanted to, to for once and all dispel theories by nay-sayers etc. – but that this will never be 100% proved or decided will it? The inspiration and the education are all here, now it is up to you - the informed modeller to do the application!

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to AK Interactive for sending this book, it will be on my bench along with the paints that will be on my tanks soon enough.