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How to Paint Camo Spots

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Just like the Americans, the Red Army had very specific instructions about how to paint camouflage patterns on tanks, down to directions on painting individual spots. The spots had to have a wiggly outline and vary in shape and size in order to disrupt the outline of the vehicle by concealing distinctive features such as corners or straight lines. Spots should not be painted in parallel with any edges. Similarly shaped spots of the same colour should not be positioned symmetrically.

There were two types of spots: closed (entirely within one side of the object) and open (coming off a side). Open spots should not terminate with a natural boundary and should be continued on the other side.

Corners should have dark spots on them. The center of the spot should not coincide with the corner.

Contrasting yellow and brown spots should be applied to areas that are permanently shaded.

The size of the spots differs depending on the required range.
Desired range (m)

Size of spots (cm)

4BO

6K

7K

Width

Length

Width

Length

Width

Length

300-600

8 to 40

Up to 80

8 to 30

Up to 60

8 to 40

Up to 70

600-1000

15 to 80

Up to 200

15 to 60

Up to 150

15 to 80

Up to 180


45-55% of the vehicle was left in standard 4BO green, and 15-30% apiece went to earth yellow (7K) and dark brown (6K). In the winter, the 4BO sections would be painted over with solid white and the spots would be painted over in a criss-cross pattern.

Correct way to apply camouflage to an object. Spot #1 is closed, spots ##2,3,4, and 5 are open.

Incorrect way to apply camouflage to an object. Spots ##1 and 2 are the same in shape and colour, spot #3 is parallel to the object's edge.

Correct way to position a spot on the corner of an object.

Incorrect way to position a spot (the center of the spot coincides with the corner).

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