Painting Israeli Tanks
with Chris Townley

When Fate Of A Nation changed status from being a project that I hoped would one day happen, to an actual project with Phil working on it, I found myself quickly volun-told to paint the Israeli vehicles.

Left: A example of one on my M51 Ishermans.

Fate Of A Nation
The fate of a nation hangs in the balance. Israel cannot lose even a single battle. One defeat would mean the destruction of the tiny Jewish state. Not waiting to be attacked by the Arab forces massing on its borders, Israel strikes first.

Learn more about Fate Of A Nation here...
Fate Of A Nation
What Colour Is Sinai Grey?
The colour of Israeli tanks is the subject of almost as much debate as what is the correct colour for Dunkelgelb (or Dark Yellow, the base colour for German vehicles from Feburary 1943 onwards). Over the years Sinai Grey has also changed numerous times to make it more appropriate for the battlefield, and once you take into account the slight regional differences caused by local commanders and the effects of weathering, it gives you quite a large scope to choose from.
Trawling through books and internet sites (most of which disagree on the perfect colour) I’ve come to the conclusion that you should pick the colour that you feel is right and in our case we have chosen Tommy Green (FWP345) / Green Grey (886) or Jager Green (FWP344) / German Camo Beige (821) as the base colour.
Below: An example of a Israeli M50 Sherman finished in Sinai Grey.
Painting Israeli Tanks
Below: Tommy Green (FWP345).
Painting Israeli Tanks
Below: Tan Leather (FWP384).
Painting Israeli Tanks
The Step-By-Step Painting Guide
Step One
I undercoated the vehicles black and then put a basecoat of Tommy Green (FWP345) / Green Grey (886) on the tank.
Step Two
Grab your biggest brush and give the entire tank a drybrush of Worn Canvas (FWP306) / Stone Grey (884). This will help the details pop out a little and give some early contrast to the model.
Painting Israeli Tanks Painting Israeli Tanks
Step Three
Recently I’ve been experimenting with oil washes (a mixture of oil-based paint and white spirits; if you have not heard of these, check out James’s video on painting Japanese tanks where he talks about it a little more) so I carefully pin washed the model, then used a spare brush (with a little white spirits) and cotton bud to clean up any excess wash. You could just as easily use Manstein Shade (FWP492) / Black Shade (201) to achieve a similar result. As you can see, it really helps to define the detail of the model.

Painting Israeli Tanks
Painting Israeli Tanks Step Four
Next, I painted the tracks, road wheels, exhausts, .50-cal AA machine-gun and Tank Commander Black (FWP300) / Black (950). The tracks (and .50-cal AA machine-gun) were then given a light drybrush of Wore Rubber (FWP302) / Black Grey (862) and then Cold Steel (FWP481) / Oily Steel (865) whilst the gun mantlet cover was painted Battledress Brown (FWP325) / English Uniform (921) The whole model was given another drybrush of Worn Canvas (FWP306) / Stone Grey (884). This helped to tidy up any spots where the wash had gone astray.
Below: A closer look at the exhaust painted black.
Below: A closer look at the gun mantlet cover painted English Uniform.
Painting Israeli Tanks Painting Israeli Tanks
Step Five
On to the finishing steps. I painted the exhausts Oxide Red (FWP382) / Flat Brown (984), and then stippled a little Rust Orange (FWP360) / Light Brown (929). The Tank Commander was painted Military Khaki (FWP327) / Khaki (988) and Dark Leather (FWP322) / Leather Brown (871), whilst the searchlight had a little Infantry Blue (FWP400) / Dark Blue (930) and White (FWP301) / White (951) at the top (I prefer the slightly more cartoon look for glass).
Below: Painting the details. Below: A better view of the searchlight.
Painting Israeli Tanks
Painting Israeli Tanks
Step Six
Decals maketh the tank! I add chevrons to the skirts, battalion rings on the gun barrel, number plates on the right side of the lower turret and on the underside of the hull (below the spare track links) in addition to a great big Platoon / Tank number on the rear of the turret. I didn’t put any Air Recognition markings on, as I have not seen any photos of Centurions with them. However, I have seen Sherman tanks, Magach tanks and M3 halftracks with and without them so it stands to reason that some Centurions (or Sho’ts) would have had them.

Painting Israeli Tanks
Looking online, there are plenty of places you could put decals, especially number plates and brigade symbols. I chose to put the decals in these positions as they seemed to be correct for 1967. But like everything to do with the Israeli Defense Force there is a fair amount of secrecy surrounding markings so you should feel free to have a look on the internet for inspiration and once again do what looks right (or cool) to you.
Learn more about Israeli Vehicle Marking in Blake's Israeli Decals Deciphered article here...
Below: The number plate on the lower portion of the turret. Below: The Platoon / Tank marking on the turret rear.
Painting Israeli Tanks Painting Israeli Tanks
Painting Israeli Tanks

Step Seven
This last step is optional. I chose to break out the airbrush and give the model a little weathering with Dry Dust (FWP364) / Iraqi Sand (819), thinned down a little with glass cleaner. This helped to make the decals look like they were more natural as they were then covered in dust and sand.

Happy painting!

~ Chris.

Painting Israeli Tanks

Last Updated On Wednesday, July 8, 2015