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Camo Paint for your Military Vehicle

In order to put a good quality camouflage paint pattern on your military vehicle, you need to know the pattern layout for your vehicle and the paint colors to use. The charts on this page provide the military camouflage colors, with their FS595 Color Codes.

FMTV with reversible camouflaged soft top allowing woodland and tan camouflage
FMTV truck with reversible camouflaged soft top allowing woodland and tan camouflage. Photo: Courtesy GMA Cover Corp.

Today in WW II: 23 Sep 1940 After just seven weeks of development, American Bantam delivers the first prototype jeep to Camp Holabird, MD.   

Camouflage Paint for Four Color Patterns

The original CARC paint has been replaced by a safer and more environmentally friendly formulation called Water Dispersible CARC (WD CARC). More information about CARC and WD CARC paint is on the linked Olive-Drab.com page. Be sure to read and understand the CARC safefy information if you are not experienced with this type of automotive paint.

The camouflage CARC alkyd enamel paints and colors for the four color camouflage were standardized under the designations in this table:

Color National Stock Number FS595A Color Code
  5 Gallon 1 Gallon  
Desert Sand 8010-00-111-8353 8010-00-111-8004 33637
Sand 8010-00-111-8336 8010-00-111-7988 30277
Earth yellow 8010-00-111-8130 8010-00-111-7968 30257
Earth red 8010-00-111-8345 8010-00-111-8003 30117
Field drab 8010-00-111-8129 8010-00-111-7943 30118
Earth brown 8010-00-111-8338 8010-00-111-7998 30099
Olive drab 8010-00-111-8069 8010-00-111-7940 34087
Light green 8010-00-111-8007 8010-00-111-7930 34151
Dark green 8010-00-111-8042 8010-00-111-7938 34102
Forest green 8010-00-111-8010 8010-00-111-7937 34079
Black 8010-00-111-8356 8010-00-111-8005 37038

Military Vehicle Camouflage Paint for Three Color Patterns

Colors for more recent three color camouflage patterns would be from this list of FS595B colors:

ColorFS595B Color
Green 38334094
Desert Tan 68633446
Black37030
Brown 38330051
Aircraft Green34031
Aircraft Gray36300

To see what these colors look like, you can use the FS color server. Thanks to MILSPRAY for this information.

Desert Tan 686 (Color No. 33446) is the sole color used for operations in Southwest Asia, a one color camo scheme. See the linked page for more information about desert camouflage.

Selecting Camouflage Paint for Your Military Vehicle

When attempting to match military camouflage painting, you must use a good quality paint from a supplier who is either producing paint for the military, has surplus stocks, or is dedicated to the matching process. Do not use CARC without professional level knowledge and equipment (see CARC and WD CARC page)! Try the paint in a spray can before attempting any large project. Many MV parts dealers carry Aervoe brand as the most common paint available for this purpose. "The Right Stuff" carries military paint meeting FS 595A in kits for four-color camo and Army Jeep Parts, Inc. carries Gillespie Coatings Inc. paint which is full mil-spec. The military specification paints have higher solids content which is initially harder to use but better long term. Use Olive-Drab Supplier Search to find all the paint dealers.

For small jobs or touch-up you can use model paints; Testors, for example, has paint which conforms to the FS-595A paint codes you need. There is quite a bit of material about paint and colors on the web generated by model enthusiasts. For example, this FAQ from rec.models.scale and this article from the International Plastic Modellers' Society (Stockholm) which reproduces Urban Fredriksson's Color Reference Charts covering military paint colors, the FS595 standard and information about many manufacturer's paints and colors.

Commercial automotive paints, such as DuPont, PPG, or Sherwin-Williams, can be mixed in military colors matching the FS595 code numbers. Most automotive paint shops will look up the color codes and mix it for you. Tower Paint will do it by phone or e-mail in bulk or spray cans.

A military contractor who been painting camo patterns on TACOM vehicles professionally for more than a dozen years, working at a facility in Missouri, offers these observations:

I have done the paint work on the M-1000 tank carrier, hemat, patriot missile canister, newest prototype of the new air defense missile launcher, radian highoutput generator trailers, and a couple of different types of gun and missile turrets. Most of the painting is done with a binks air assisted airless mach2 gun with a bulldog pump. Wash primer is used on bare metal, which is far worse than carc and consists of half alcohol and half acid, and then a white 2-part epoxy primer. Using a mach 2, a sharper edge can be made on your patterns. Most always recommend shooting the 383 green first because it is usually more likely to streak if not given more air volume and sometimes blisters when it overlaps uncured black or brown. Brown is shot on next using a 2-quart pot with a mach1 since patterns are usually much smaller and corners sometimes needed filled in. I like shooting the black last because it is the hardest to mess up, as long as you keep the air turned down low so as not to overspray other colors.

We also build a aircraft cargo loader for the airforce called the 60k loader, regretfully, its not camo'd, its actually a mid gloss green. The primer on the loader is probably the worst health hazard we ever had to deal with. Anybody that works on sanding or painting is required to wear a full body forced air suit, highly cancerous material, I am not personally involved with that project so my knowledge goes as far as what I have only heard about it.

Heavy Expanded Mobility Ammunition Trailer (HEMAT) with freshly painted camouflage pattern
Freshly painted Heavy Expanded Mobility Ammunition Trailer (HEMAT) at an Army facility.

Find More Information on the Internet

There are many fine websites that have additional information on this topic, too many to list here and too many to keep up with as they come and go. Use this Google web search form to get an up to date report of what's out there.

For good results, try entering this: paint camo or camouflage or carc. Then click the Search button.

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