(Click thumbnails for larger image)
First of all: During the war, Red Army did not adapt standartised tactical marking system. Therefore it can be hard to tell that they used that pattern from that date until that date and so on, and it also differs a lot from the German camoflauge patterns.
Painting & marking the T-34/76
The most common pattern for T-34/76 tanks was painting the entire
tank in dark green. They were painted like this in June 1941, and reached Berlin in April
of 1945 in the same way. Various types of paints & shades of green was used,
everything from very light green to black green. In the winter vehicles were painted with
washable Type B paint, but sometimes even with water mixed with lime. Most often the
vehicles turned out white-green. Rarely, in the summer a two color scheme was painted,
green and dark earth or ground brown. Even more scarce were a three color scheme of green,
dark earth and yellow or red. Some vehicles were painted with two contrasting shades of
green. Geometric and numerical markings were used, and this system was a compromise
between overall military secrecy and organized command system. For example a T-34/76
marked with "87" on the turret showed that the tank belonged to the 114th Tank
Brigade. Tactical number consisted of two, three or four digits, combination of two
numbers or combination of geometrical sign and numbers were used. In some units, organized
markings system was used aloowing to specify e.g. company. Vehicles of the 1st Company had
tactical markings beginning with "1" and from the 2nd Company with "2"
and so on. In this case the second number was for platoon. Some Guards and Independent
units had their own tactical markings such as geometric figures, letter etc. Sometimes
tactical markings were mixed numbers and geometric figures. Tactical markings for the air
recognition were also used, especially from 1943-45. During the battles at Don and Kursk
white geometric figures were painted on top of the turret or engine compartment. During
the Berlin operation from April 24th of 1945, special markings were applied as white
stripes on the top and side of the turret. It was done with the knowledge of the high
command for recognition by Allied airforce in the eastern and western Germany. From May
1st of 1945, white triangles painted on top of the turret were introduced.
On the sides of the turret and sometimes on the hull, patriotic or fundator signs were painted, few examples;
"Za Rodinu" (For the Motherland)
"Za Stalina" (For Stalin)
"Lidice" (Revenge for the German massacre on civilians in Czech village of Lidice)
They were applied using either white, yellow or red paint. On some
tanks symbols for destroyed enemy equipment were painted on either the gun barrel or
fenders. Very rarely national emblem was applied.
A red star was painted on the frontal part of the turret above or below the tactical marking. Very rarely it was painted on the front of the recoil mechanism of the tank gun (below the barrel). In Guards units, sometimes guard emblem was applied on the turret.
Soviet Brown Pattern
Suggestion: Use Humbrol's Dark Earth #29. Common in 1941/42. Were sometimes applied by factory.
KW-1 Model 1941/42 with standard brown paint. Notice the painting on the turret where a soviet tank fires at Hitler.
BT-7TU Model 1935.
Soviet Green Pattern
Suggestion: Use Humbrol's "Matt Russian Green" #114. This pattern was painted on most vehicles, and it was often applied at the factory.
(Different situations, e.g Stalingrad, resulted in that tanks were driven directly from the factory to the battlefield w/o being painted.)
T-34/76 Model 1941. Notice insignia and "Za Stalina" on turret. Kharkov area, spring 1942.
KW-1S with standard green paint, Kursk, July 1943.
Soviet Green & Dark Earth Pattern
Suggestion: Use Humbrol's "Matt Russian Green" #114. Then apply about 50% of either Humbrols "Matt Dark Earth" #29 or Tamiyas XF52 color.
T-34/76 Model 1943 - "Staliniets". Dark green and dark earth paint with "106", a red star, and the Order of the Red Banner below.
Soviet Green & White Pattern
Suggestion: Use Humbrols "Matt Russian Green" #114. Then apply about 75-90% of one of the following colors: Humbrol #34, Gunze Sangyo #H11, Pactra #47 or Tamiya #XF2.
Soviet Winter Pattern
Suggestion: Once again use Humbrols "Matt Russian Green" #114 as base color. Then wash over Humbrol #34 or Tamiya XF2 on the whole vehicle.
A late production T-34/76 Model 1941 with the common winter camoflauge washed over the original paint. The black stripe pattern was to break up the silouette of the tank. Especially used in winter of 1941/42.
KW-1s, Winter 1942/43. The green base color is evident.
British Lend-Lease camouflage Pattern
Suggestion: Use Humbrol's "Matt Dark Green" #30. Standard on all British LL vehicles. Paint entire vehicle green.
American Lend-Lease camoflauge Pattern
Suggestion: Use Humbrol's "Matt Olive Drab" #155. Standard on all American LL vehicles. Paint entire vehicle olive drab.
T-34/85 Model 1944s bought by Estonian Comitee and named "Lembitu" after an Estonian hero. The insignia, a divided diamond, was typical for Independent Tank Brigades during 1944/45. The upper half contains the battalion letter (V) and the lower half contains the platoon and vehicle number. Photo was taken in East Prussia in early 1945.