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The Real Ral 7018 Dunkelgelb direct from the manufacturers!

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  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Monday, September 23, 2019 5:51 PM


'RAL' is the abbreviation of 'Reichs-Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung'. This name can be translated in English as 'National Commission for Delivery Terms and Quality Assurance'.

In 1927 the German RAL organization invented a collection of 40 colors. Prior to that date manufacturers and customers had to exchange color samples to describe a tint, whereas from then on they would rely on numbers.

in 1953 The RAL colour catalogue underwent changes as part of the removal of the National Socialist regime and the colours that went into the catalogue between 1933 and 1945 were either altered in shade or removed completley.

If you look at the modeln classic RAL list:

You will see that RAL 6003 is different from the wartime shade, RAL 7028 is nowhere to be found at all, and the shades 7025, 27,28 & 29 are consicuous by their absence. They were shades used by the National Socialist Party.

The brown colours, 8012, 8017 strangley remain practically unchanged except they may be just slightly lighter than the originals. It is very hard to tell without a computer light measuring system.

However, in the modern RAL list RAL 1001 which was used for tank interiors IS NOT the colour that was originally used. It is a totally different colour and the closest one is now RAL 1013 or 9001. RAL 1013 is closer to the interior colour that was introduced in mid 1944 after an all over interior RAL 8012 caused a huge complaint and nearly a mutiny from the soldiers. 9002 was also used as an interior colour and is the colour seen on the E-boats, often referred to as E-Boat White. This, believe it or not, has not changed from the original shade and is the only colour used not to have been altered.

Afrika Korps colours survive in the main catalogue but are just very slighly lighter. Our eyes etc won't notice this and thye just look like the originals, but it is the loss of RAL 7028 which affects modellers the most as the companies who supply us just don't understand that apart from Dunkelgelb Nach Muster which is NOT a RAL colour and never was, despite the name, RAL 7028 Dunkelgelb was never yellow at all, it was a brown/tan hybrid that changed through the war and there was a toloerence of +/- 3% shade from some suppliers to +/-10% from other suppliers.

original vehicle owners and restorers have this cracked and there are a few paint suppliers which will sell RAL 7028 in it's various shades from recipes obtained from OEM suppliers that have gone out of business or been folded/bought by other companies.

My OEM supplier is still in existance and supplies the modern German Army with paint and myself with Original chipset accurate paint by a private agreement. it comes from their archives and I can choose any of the RAL 7028 chipset and batch variants in 500L quantities. I have about 20 different shades to go at!!!

When Vallejo finally get around to releasing the paints then you will have the original chipset accurate colour to play with and you can then darken or lighten it to a tolerence of +/- 10%.

Of course, when photographing your builds outside, the light will do this for you anyway! I always use natural light for "scale effect" as the german paints were to a certain degree, mimetic and to our eyes would be darker on overcast days and lighter on bright clear days.

YOu all need to email or message Vallejo and ask them when the RAL 7028 shade will be released!

  • Member since
    August 2019
  • From: Brisbane Australia
Posted by Josh_the_painter on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 3:44 PM

Thank you for the history lesson Snapdragon. I occasionally use the RAL system through PPG and in using Colorlock which is a German system for leather repairs so its nice to have some knowledge of what it is and the history behind it. 

Unfortunately things dont seem to have changed in current times to colours changing shades from their reference numbers or codes, mismatching pigments and obsolete pigments being replaced with synthetic versions being only the tip of the iceberg.


  • Member since
    November 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, September 26, 2019 11:19 AM

When you go though the classic Ral codes, you will notice that in some areas numbers are missing and those, in most cases are the colours used during the war. The original field green/grey used for uniforms is not there as is some of the green and blue used on engines and OEM and field equipment.

The colours I use are taken from my suppliers archives and batch samples and matched to the equipment in the vehicles. Maybach engines are typically a very dark blue grey and some gearboxes are a green colour. Nothing seems written in stone apart from the basic interiors.

Two of the Panthers I have have manufacturers codes next to each other. they were side by side on the production line, but one of them has a dark blue/grey gearbox and drive train while the other has a green one. Both engines have the same dark blue/grey colour and the main gun sight on one is the tan brown RAL 7028 while the other is the 6003 green!

All the colours I use on the real vehicles are acrylic enamel and matched 100$ to original chipset/batch colours by computers. when on public display they appear to change colour thoughout the day and that is because of the daylight.




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