The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

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Panssari Salama
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The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 13:01

In search of information regarding the Finnish 3-colour guidelines I was given a suggestion to ask for original prints Tampella had, now archived at ELKA (Central archives for business records) in Mikkeli.

Indeed they were there, and for a moderate fee I was provided with the following scanned images of Fnnish General Headquarters guidelines.

Information shared is not lost, so here goes:

Mortar guideline, both for summer and winter:
Image

Image

Field gun guideline, summer:
Image

Anti-tank guideline, summer, front and side:
Image

Image

Anti-airccraftl gun guideline:
Image
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 13:11

The next question then is the question of how to interpret correctly the three Finnish camo colors.

Summer:

N:o 1: Harmaa - Grey
N:o 3: Sammaleenvihreä - Moss Green
N:o 3: Hiekanruskea - Sand Brown

Winter:

N:o 4: Valkoinen - White
N:o 5: Siniharmaa - Bluegray

For this I got a tip from Finnish modeler website Pienoismallit.net, where Jarmo Lindgren had commented in detail about how Esa Muikku and Jukka Purhonen had available various orginal pieces of equipment, and how he and they had chosen Federal Standard colors from the FS 595B sample chips he had available.

This is in effect what he posted there (link in Finnish):

Grey: FS 36306
Moss Green: FS 24079
Sand Brown: FS 30097 or 30040

Bluegray: FA 36293 (36300)
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 13:33

Member 'oml' from Maanpuolustus.net had these IPMS magazine snippets available regarding the 3-color camo scheme:

Image

Image

He also pointed out to Wikipedia with pictures there of Bofors 37mm ATGs carrying the original scheme:

Image
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 13:37

No original colour photographs exist of any Finnish tanks or other vehicles carrying the paint scheme. The best example available at SA-kuva.fi of camouflaged equipment is of this Bofors 40mm AA gun (picture # JSdia277)

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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 13:44

Lately, there has been efforts taken to restore museum tanks and assault guns using the correct colours, per work Purhonen, Muikku et al have done.

Andreas Lärka, at his website andreaslarka.net, lists two good samples of such restorations, those of T-34 "Ps. 231-1" and StuG-40 "Ps. 531-8".

Please visit his webiste with links provided above. For ease of quick reference, I am linking a picture of each here. Copyright to following pictures Andreas Lärka. Note that with T-34, the paint is still fresh, resulting in a gloss that otherwise would not be there.

Image

Image
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 13:48

With this, I believe there's at least two questions I'd like to ask still:

First, does anyone know of more General Headquarters guidelines for applying the 3-color camo scheme? For instance, mortar guideline had a winter variant, whereas the other gun types available at ELKA of Tampella heritage only had summer guidelines available.

Second, for Esa Muikku et al, do you happen to have still the RAL codes for each camo colour? Jarmo Lindgren mentions in his post (in Finnish) that it was RAL colours that were used for creating the modeler's guideline for 3-colour colours. A RAL standard would make more sense for us Europeans, especially as printed RAL charts are easily available (painted samples as well).
Last edited by Panssari Salama on 04 Nov 2018 13:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 13:51

For further reading I can recommend the book "Finnish Armoured Vehicles 1918-1997. Suomalaiset Panssarivaunut 1918-1997" by Esa Muikku and Jukka Purhonen:

Image

The said book has a colour appendix with hand-drawn armoured vehicles carrying also the 3-colour scheme.
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Esa Muikku » 04 Nov 2018 16:01

The best public detailed reference sofar for the camouflage of the Finnish AFVs is the article in Panssari magazine, issue 1/2000. Back copies of the magazine may still be available at the Parola Armour Museum.

The five pages long article is written in Finnish language, naturally. Since it was published 18 years ago, it has some outdated information and it misses the newest discoveries and measurement results.

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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 17:48

Esa Muikku wrote:
04 Nov 2018 16:01
The best public detailed reference sofar for the camouflage of the Finnish AFVs is the article in Panssari magazine, issue 1/2000. Back copies of the magazine may still be available at the Parola Armour Museum.

The five pages long article is written in Finnish language, naturally. Since it was published 18 years ago, it has some outdated information and it misses the newest discoveries and measurement results.
Thank you Esa, I sent an email to them asking them if the said issue is still available.

It would be quite interesting to learn even more details about this, including which RAL colour codes would be a close match to colours used in scheme.
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Esa Muikku » 04 Nov 2018 17:52

The RAL RDS colour system coordinates are mentioned in the article.

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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by JTV » 04 Nov 2018 18:01

If anybody wants to develop their understanding about the subject beyond single camo scheme, it would be smart to get copy of E. Hanell's and T. Viljanen's book Maastouttaminen ja naamioiminen (rougly translated: Hiding to Terrain and Camouflaging) published in year 1931. It contains history of camouflage methods that far and also goes through theories that existed about the matter at that time.

Attached part of page 97 from Rannikkojoukkojen linnoitustyöopas (Fortification Works Manual for Coastal Troops) published in year 1942. It shows the camo pattern of 3 color scheme for 37 PstK/36.

Jarkko
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 04 Nov 2018 19:09

Thank you Jarkko! Forum member @magrove mentioned a book(let) named ""Naamioituminen ilmavalokuvausta silmälläpitäen" (1944) in the other thread, I have sent a request for a copy of that to National Archive should they have it there. I did that last week, let us see what they answer.
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Esa Muikku » 04 Nov 2018 20:05

On top of those already mentioned there are at least two manuals:
- Maastouttamisohjesääntö (MaastO), 1960
- Maastouttamisopas (Maastopas), 1985
which can be found occasionally for sale in the web and second-hand book shops.

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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 15 Nov 2018 19:07

Panssari Salama wrote:
04 Nov 2018 13:48
With this, I believe there's at least two questions I'd like to ask still:

First, does anyone know of more General Headquarters guidelines for applying the 3-color camo scheme? For instance, mortar guideline had a winter variant, whereas the other gun types available at ELKA of Tampella heritage only had summer guidelines available.

Second, for Esa Muikku et al, do you happen to have still the RAL codes for each camo colour? Jarmo Lindgren mentions in his post (in Finnish) that it was RAL colours that were used for creating the modeler's guideline for 3-colour colours. A RAL standard would make more sense for us Europeans, especially as printed RAL charts are easily available (painted samples as well).
I haven't heard back from National Archives regarding my request if they have a copy of the "Naamioituminen ilmavalokuvausta silmälläpitäen" (Camouflage against aerial photographic surveillance) guideline. If anyone has a copy please PM me, I'd be most interested in having that.

I am quite happy about the Tampella prints from ELKA though. To add to those images here, Purhonen and Lärka provided a modeler's guideline for Stu-40 camo pattern, which Lärka published in his website under Ps 531-8 page (I have already provided a link a few posts back).

Here it is, as published at andreaslarka.net, copyright as indicated below:

Image

As for the RAL RDS color codes for the camo pattern, Esa Muikku referred me to his article in PANSSARI magazine 1/2000, where he has a long and detailed article on various Finnish camo patterns. He provided the following information in his article:

Grey: 075 50 10
Moss Green: 110 30 10 (with an additional note it should have a bit more grey than the RDS color)
Sand Brown: 070 30 10 (with an additional note it should have a bit more tinted than the RDS color)
Bluegrey: 220 60 05

Note that he also reminded that recreating original color guidelines from old paint samples is not exact science and does not result in absolute truth even with help from modern technology such as color analysers, and that some color standards do not have proper matches.

But having these codes is very informative and I'd like to thank Esa for his help in this. I am currently colourising an old SA-kuva with Stu-40s at Enso parade, let us see how that goes.
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Re: The Finnish 3-colour camo scheme

Post by Panssari Salama » 06 Dec 2018 11:52

Panssari Salama wrote:
15 Nov 2018 19:07
But having these codes is very informative and I'd like to thank Esa for his help in this. I am currently colourising an old SA-kuva with Stu-40s at Enso parade, let us see how that goes.
These colourisation efforts are never exact science either, but what I like about the ones I've seen is that they in their own way bring history alive, in making the old photograps look as they were not taken that long time ago. I hope you like it.

Happy Independence Day!

Source: SA-kuva archive picture # 151597.

Image

New assault guns being shown to Field Marshal Mannerheim and to President of the Republic. Assault Guns on parade. Enso, 1944.06.04.
Panssari Salama - Paying homage to Avalon Hill PanzerBlitz and Panzer Leader board games from those fab '70s.

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