Colour Guide for Painting Afrikakorps Infantry

North Africa

Colour Guide for Painting Afrikakorps Infantry

By Jeremy Painter

The Afrikakorps uniform was an olive green colour, allegedly due to misconceptions at the Tropical Institute of Hamburg, where it was developed, regarding the amount of vegetation in the typical North African landscape. However, with heavy use and exposure to the harsh desert sun, the fabric quite quickly faded to a much paler sand or bone colour..

Paint references are for the Vallejo Model Colour range.

German DAK Desert Uniform

Flesh (faces, arms, hands and legs)

For painting flesh see James's excellent Colour Guide for British Infantry in the Desert...


Panzergrenadiers of the Heer had grass green piping: 833 German Cam. Bright Green.

The cuff title can be done by painting a thin strip of 912 Tan Yellow, followed by a thinner strip of 950 Black.

The eagle insignia on caps is painted 820 Off White over a 950 Black base coat.



Base coats

Gasmask cannister, belts, straps and breadbag: 879 Green Brown

Water bottle: 872 Chocolate Brown

Highlight Colours

Gasmask cannister: 914 Green Ochre

Belts, straps and breadbag: 988 Khaki

Further Highlights for Belts, straps and breadbag: 884 Stone Grey

Water bottle: 984 Flat Brown


Stage 1

Stage 1 Rifle Butt:  826 German Camo Medium Brown.
Stage 1 Bayonet Handle: 872 Chocolate Brown.

Stage 2

Stage 2 Rifle Butt highlight: 983 Flat Earth.
Stage 2 Rifle metal: 863 Gunmetal Grey + 995 German Grey (50/50

Stage 3

Stage 3 further Rifle Butt highlight: 983 Flat Earth + 929 Light Brown (50/50)
Stage 3 Rifle metal highlight: 863 Gunmetal Grey


Stage 1

Stage 1 Boots: 872 Chocolate Brown.
Stage 1 Uiform and Gaiters: 924 Russian Uniform WWII.
Stage 1 Helmet: 879 Green Brown.

Stage 2

Stage 2 Boots highlight: 826 German Camo. Med. Brown.
Stage 2 Uniform and Gaiters highlight: 881 Yellow Green + 924 Russian Uniform WWII (50/50).
Stage 2 Helmet highlight: 914 Green Ochre.

Stage 3

Stage 3 Uniform and Gaiters highlight: 881 Yellow Green.

Italian Trousers and fading

Some German troops in the Desert mangaed to get hold of items of Italian, Luftwaffe and British uniforms. Feel free to paint trousers in khaki and ochre shades to match these other items of uniform.

Italian Trousers: 924 Russian Uniform worked up to 914 Green Ochre.

The faded effect of a veteran DAK Panzergrenadier is achieved by adding 988 Khaki in larger amounts to the 881 Yellow Green base colour.