KPA and Chinese Forces: Uniform Colours

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    john jones

    I see that a previous question was raised re the colour(s) suggested as relevant for KPA forces.  I’d like to enquire again, providing my general thoughts on the matter based upon research so far.  I am not generally a figure modeller, so excuse my ‘non-specialist’ thoughts.



    I’m interested in the colour(s) of the summer uniform, not the quilted winter one.  Research has shown it to range from a ‘new uniform’ khaki-green as displayed at the IWM London, to a paler shade described as ‘mustard-yellow’ in US sources.  The uniform is said to have faded from the khaki-green to the mustard-yellow given constant exposure to the sun which, owing to poor quality dyes lead to the fading.

    So, I assume that throughout the summers of that war, the colour for the individuals uniform could be anywhere on that range, darker for the newly conscripted and lighter for the veteran.  So, ‘new’ units posted to the front would have uniforms tending to the darker shade and those already in the field somewhere along the line towards the mustard-yellow.

    I see that ‘Zandri Dust’ and ‘Sand’ have been suggested as apt colours.  But I am inclined towards colours similar to those used by Japanese forces in WWII – Korea then being occupied by Imperial Japan with many of its forces being raised there.

    It is known that Japanese uniforms were, at least in the early stages of the war issued in two colours – a khaki-green for winter and a sand colour for summer.  As the war progressed, I’d assume uniform dyes would have become scarce and composition variable hence colours could well have varied with fading on issue being quite marked.

    Would it have been likely for KPA uniforms to have been produced to the Japanese colours?  The range of colour shown by the IWM uniform and the reported ‘Mustard-Yellow’ being attributable to fading?  Which raises two related questions, (1) were units formed from training cadres sent as units into action – if so then the uniform colour within the unit would be similar, with the newer units being of the darker shade fading to veteran units in the ‘mustard-yellow’.  But how long did this fading take?  (2) were combat casualties subject to direct replacement – if so, unit uniform colour could be expected to vary, perhaps considerably from the darker to the lighter shade?

    And what about Chinese forces.  I’ve seen illustrations of their wearing uniforms more towards a brown/beige colour as well as a green.  Well, ideas are welcome on that one!

    If I receive no reply I am tempted along the Japanese army colours route!


    Any opinions?

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