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Russian 4BO Green

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Paul the Military modeller27/03/2012 09:25:47
428 forum posts
83 photos


I am about to start a model of the Russian T34 and looking for some pointers as to the best paint colour to replecate the Russian Green used.

I have access to Revel and Humbrol Enamels and tamiya and Vellajo Acrylics. Which one should I use to replicate the Russian 4BO Green.

The few examples of the reel thing I have seen show what looks like a green that is quite close to the Olive Drab used by the Americans in the latter part of the war but don' know if they are original or re-paints so don't know for sure if the Olive Drab paint is original.

I have searched on all the forums I use and seen many examples of other modellers builds and everyone seems to use a totaaly different green, from one so bright it should be on Kermit the Frog to one so lacking in green it was more grey.

Any help with this is most appreciated.


Edited By Paul the Military modeller on 27/03/2012 09:28:47

Michael McLaughlin27/03/2012 09:56:47
5585 forum posts
2787 photos
11 articles

Hi Paul,

The recipe for 4BO is ".....RKKA paint mixing instructions from 1941 specify that Protective Green 4BO was a mixture of 40-60% yellow ochre, 15-20% zinc chromate, 10% ultramarine and 10-20% white....."

Steve Zaloga uses Tamiya Field Grey , which I have used and 'looks right' to me in scale.


Alan Mckenzie27/03/2012 11:11:17
3081 forum posts
26 photos


whilst it doesn't give you relevant colours for the brands you mentioned none the less an excellent resource of free information kindly published on line by Neil Stokes.

Great site for info on the KV's especially.


Dierk Schmidt27/03/2012 12:38:08
196 forum posts
97 photos

Hi Paul,

When you check out the excellent site recommended by Alan, you'll see that there is no such thing as the 'definitive 4BO green' and, yes, it can be very close to US olive drab. The aspect that seems to set it apart from other colours is that, due to chemical instability, it actually went darker under the influence of UV radiation.

When I use enamels, I mix them in the following ratios:

50% Humbrol 150
25% Revell SM365
25% matt black
Have a look at the KV-1 and GAZ-AA in my gallery and judge for yourself.
If you need some reference books for your T-34, send me a PM.
Paul the Military modeller27/03/2012 19:27:23
428 forum posts
83 photos

Thanks everyone for the help


Andy Claesens27/03/2012 22:17:30
10986 forum posts
9945 photos
16 articles


To be honest, I wouldn't get too hung up on the colour. As the lads have said, field variations plus all the usual wear & tear and light conditions could potentially lead you to distraction. I am not very disciplined about what I used over the years and no-one has come out and said "that looks wrong!" so don't worry and use what you feel looks right. Here's a few examples

For this first T-34/76 I have used a mix of Tamiya spray cans, TS 28(olive drab 2), TS-61(NATO Green) and AS-9(Dark Green(RAF)). All three cans at once, one after the other while the paint is still wet. This way they mix really well & you get slight tonal variation as you go.

CH T-34 final pics (21)

This started out as an Oxford Green solid basecolour but the stippling/chipping to remove the winter whitewash was achieved with half a dozen or so different greens.

T-34-76 Winter final (2)

This T-34/85 from Maquette had a basecoat of Humbrol Light Olive misted over Rust-Oleum Hobby Enamel Oxford Green. Again weathering was utilised to break up the colour and vary the tones.

34-85 finished 6

This IS-2 from Zvezda started with Humbrol Light Olive as the basecoat.

IS-2 Finished (16)

And this IS-3 from Tamiya was painted with a Tamiya TS-28 (Olive Drab 2)

IS-3 rhs34.JPG

Hope that is helpful.


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