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 FWP 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: Jager Green (FWP344).

The cuff title can be done by painting a thin strip of Sicily Yellow (FWP362), followed by a thinner strip of Black (FWP300).

The eagle insignia on caps is painted Whitewash (FWP307) over a Black (FWP300).



Base coats

Gasmask cannister, belts, straps and breadbag: Comrade Khaki (FWP326)

Water bottle: Boot Brown (FWP323)

Highlight Colours

Gasmask cannister: Sicily Yellow (FWP362)

Belts, straps and breadbag: Military Khaki (FWP327)

Further Highlights for Belts, straps and breadbag: Worn Canvas (FWP306)

Water bottle: Oxide Red (FWP382)


Stage 1

Stage 1 Rifle Butt:  Battlefield Brown (FWP324)
Stage 1 Bayonet Handle: Boot Brown (FWP323).

Stage 2

Stage 2 Rifle Butt highlight: Motherland Earth (FWP383).
Stage 2 Rifle metal: Dark Gunmetal (FWP480) + Panzer Grey (FWP303) (50/50

Stage 3

Stage 3 further Rifle Butt highlight: Motherland Earth (FWP383) + Rust Orange (FWP360) (50/50)
Stage 3 Rifle metal highlight: Dark Gunmetal (FWP480)


Stage 1

Stage 1 Boots: Boot Brown (FWP323).
Stage 1 Uiform and Gaiters: Firefly Green (FWP348).
Stage 1 Helmet: Comrade Khaki (FWP326).

Stage 2

Stage 2 Boots highlight: Battlefield Brown (FWP324).
Stage 2 Uniform and Gaiters highlight: Afrika Green (FWP346) + Firefly Green (FWP348) (50/50).
Stage 2 Helmet highlight: Sicily Yellow (FWP362).

Stage 3

Stage 3 Uniform and Gaiters highlight: Afrika Green (FWP346).

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 Military Khaki and Sicily Yellow shades to match these other items of uniform.

Italian Trousers: Firefly Green (FWP348) worked up to Sicily Yellow (FWP362).

The faded effect of a veteran DAK Panzergrenadier is achieved by adding Military Khaki (FWP327) in larger amounts to the Afrika Green (FWP346) base colour.