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U.S. Army WWII wool overcoat color

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  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Bucks county, PA
U.S. Army WWII wool overcoat color
Posted by Bucksco on Monday, June 12, 2017 1:31 PM

Hi everyone!

I am painting a couple of U.S. Infantry figures that are Battle of the Bulge era (Winter 1944). They are wearing wool overcoats. I am finding conflicting info about the color of these coats. Photos and info I've found on the web points to a brown color and I am also seeing references to Olive Drab. Can anyone point me in a color direction? Perhaps what Vallejo color might be close?



  • Member since
    November, 2004
  • From: Cat Central, NC
Posted by Bronto on Monday, June 12, 2017 1:47 PM

This link should help you out.


  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 8:00 AM

Depended on the manufacturer and the color they used. You can see a vast difference in web gear color ranging from light green to darker shades. I have 3 WW 2  era M1 carbine slings and they have different colors. So the clothing was similar In color variation.

  • Member since
    February, 2003
  • From: Bucks county, PA
Posted by Bucksco on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 10:56 AM

I found a photo of an example in a Schiffer book on World War II U.S. uniforms. It says it is O.D. Green and had plastic green buttons. It appears to be a light shade of Olive Drab. Doing internet searches and some of the reference books out there turns up photos that make the coat look brown. I can understand differences in shades of the same color but the brown thing is what is throwing me. Did O.D. and brown versions of the same coat exist? I have a 50/50 chance and I know I'll pick the wrong one if I flip a coin....

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by KnightTemplar5150 on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 4:40 PM

This is typical of the Army, Bocksco. In a system where the lowest bidder wins the production contract, you tend to get a lot of variations in "standard" colors. OD does range from a deep green to a muddy brown when brand new depending on the manufacturer and sometimes even the specific production lot. After use and exposure to the elements, the colors can shift even further.

  • Member since
    November, 2008
  • From: Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Tuesday, June 13, 2017 4:51 PM

There is no "correct" shade because of the many variations from use/exposure, photographic lighting and dye variations. Just use whatever OD shade you have. 

  • Member since
    November, 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Saturday, June 17, 2017 4:59 PM

Did O.D. and brown versions of the same coat exist? I

Nomenclature is tricky, as is comparitive vocabulary.

Vehiclees painted OD were green with a brown hue.

Uniforms in OD were typically  brown with a greenish hue.


It's good to remember that olives are a wide varieties of colors.

This is an officers (private tailored) overcoat:

offcier overcoat

  • Member since
    October, 2009
  • From: South La
Posted by Ti4019 on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 2:40 PM
Ive seen these at the World War Two museum in New Orleans, and to me, even in the subdued museum lighting they appeared brown with a slight green tint. There were variations in everything we saw, as would be the course for any supply system with millions of units being produced by subcontractors.

If you aren't having fun, you're doing it wrong! Build to please yourself and they will flame you every time!

  • Member since
    April, 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 4:24 AM

Also seen with brass buttons - which is how I did my stretcher bearer - ardennes 1944.


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