Tiger II – Camouflage painting

Painting the camo scheme of this Tiger II was quite funny: I chose the typical late-war “ambush camouflage”, or “Hinterhalt-Tarnung”.

Some years ago, during a fair, I stumbled upon this Tiger II kit: this vehicle has always fascinated me, and which often sported some camouflage more interesting than usual. I chose a three-tone (yellow, red and green) scheme with spots of different colors, the so-called ambush camouflage —or Hinterhalt-Tarnung in German.


This Revell kit (no. 03249) dates back to 2016. It represents the variant of the tank with the Henschel turret.

The box content consists in 7 light grey sprues, together with the two halves of the hull in separate pieces. Moreover there is a decal sheet and a set of vinyl tracks. The instruction manual is well detailed and in color.

I decided to assemble everything out-of-the-box, with two exceptions: the Friulmodel metal tracks (no. ATL-16) and the turned aluminium and brass gun barrel by RB Model (no. 35B04).

The assembling was quite long, due to the presence of over 300 pieces, but I didn't find any big issues. The only problem was mounting the Friulmodel tracks after the side skirts: the latter should be slightly thinned out or replaced with photo-etchings, otherwise the tracks won't fit easily; alternatively, they can be glued in the end.

As further details, I replaced the plastic spare tracks on the turret with some Friulmodel ones, and I added the power cable of the front projector, made with some copper wire. Moreover, I textured some parts of the armor with a rotary burr and sandpaper, to simulate the rolled steel effect.

Base painting

For the pre-shading, I found easier to spray first a dark coat, namely the Vallejo 73.603 German Panzer Grey uretanic primer, then painting the center of the panels in white.

After that I sprayed the yellow base coat, using Vallejo 71.025 Dark Yellow RAL7028, and I eventually bleached it with 70.976 Buff.

Then came the red. In the reality, it was red lead anti-rust paint, left unpainted to spare the colors; in my case, I used a Tamiya acrylic, XF-9 Hull Red.

Finally I sprayed the green, a mix of Tamiya XF-61 Dark Green and XF-57 Buff.

Camouflage effects

The point of the Hinterhalt-Tarnung, or ambush camouflage, was to better conceal the tank among the trees. The colored spots reproduced the sunlight effects through the foliage, a principle similar to those on a leopard's fur.

In the reality the spots were sprayed, but in this scale I preferred to paint them with a lightly blunted toothpick. I used the usual Vallejo Buff for the yellow ones, and the 70.890 Refractive Green RAL6003 for the green ones.


The scratches on a tank shouldn't be too apparent, because usually the real vehicle didn't last too long to wear to such extent. Moreover, it was really difficult for a steel armor to get rusted.

I mainly consider two types of scratches: a shallow one, that doesn’t notch the whole paint layer but leaves a lighter mark, and a deep one, that uncovers the underlying metal.

For the shallow scratches, I used a lighter hue of the base color, namely:

  • the usual Buff on the yellow ;
  • Vallejo 70.967 Olive green on the green;
  • Vallejo 70.818 Red Leather on the red.

For the steel color of the deep ones I usually prepare a paint mix made by 5 parts of dark grey (Vallejo 71.056 Panzer Dark Grey RAL7021) and 2 parts of dark yellow (71.025 Dark Yellow RAL7028).

Moreover, I highlighted with the same colors all the protruding parts (bolts, rivets, handles, etc.), a technique analogous to dry brush. The contrast is now very apparent, but will be dimmed in the future weathering steps.

Usually I paint a thin outline around the deep scratches, with a lighter tone of the base color; it gives a sense of depth, as you can see in the following photo.

tiger ii camouflage

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