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No36 Mills Body Colour


Hi guys, fairly new to this section, just wanted to confirm the proper war time colour for the body of the grenades?

Was it just black? I've seen some brown ones? I have some reproduction ones that need to be painted up, want to get them right :)

Cheers guys
Hi bud,

WW1 36s or WW2s?

The WW1 colour was shellac, tumeric and meths. Can do the exact proportions if you wish. Ime sure they did without the tumeric in WW2.

WW2 NO36M's ta,

How would I go about getting the right colour as well? great knowing it, golden to get hold of something similar,

Ta muchly
Some were brown coloured, others nearly black with shellac. Green band to denote filling and red Xs to signify that grenade is filled and sealed can be used in tropical conditions.


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During WW1 the grens were shellaced with a mixture 8oz shellac or seedlac, 8 oz tumeric to 1 gallon of methylated spirit. This was applied hot and the grens were then dried in a stove. This mixture should give you the exact colour you need. Obviously you wont need so much of the stuff so just scale down the proportions.
This was applied to all marks of the Mills gren from the No 5 to the No 36 during WW!. Some No 23s were rustproofed using a fermanganising process as well. I dont have any details of this.
If you want to produce an exact gren from WW1 with the correct colouration then this is the way to do it.

ta guys,

So for effect I want browny black to give the right effect?

I'm afraid i'm not quite hardcore enough to be sticking them on the oven!!

Interesting read though gothica, thanks
Just as a follow on, would the original base plug and spoon have the same treatment? or left as bare steel or what?


The only original I own, is marked MP (my initials...made me chuckle lol), which I'm lead to believe is of New Zealand manufacture, what other markings should I be looking for?

Ta again

p.s. its date 4-43

Cheers guys
It is New Zealand manufacture. MP stands for Mason & Porter, Mt Wellington, Auckland, NZ.

Base plugs, all the ones I have, are bare. The majority of my levers are bare too but a couple are painted, some with the filling band painted over too.

I believe they were shellaced on their own prior to meeting up with internal parts the majority of the time.
The only marking I can find is that on the base plug, can't actually find any markings on the grenade or lever (apart from 'K' but am I right in thinking thats the de-act stamp?)
Some Mills 23 MkII base plugs were given a thin coat of copper, the same as the rods.

Mills grenade colour

Don't know if it helps much but heres a couple of pics with three mills grenades side by side. They are all original and unmessed with. I'm no expert but the one in the middle appears to have a different metal finish
than the others and it seems to affect the colour of the shellac.
By the way, any help from anyone with ID of the manufacturers would be great!

All the best


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i wouldnt be too concerned on getting the colour right ,as you can see from posted images they varied quite a bit.
Go with what suits you.

Shellac is a light golden or brown varnish of thin if not watery consitency,and pretty quick drying.

Ive used satin varnish (humbrol modeling paints) over the top of thinned brown (or what ever colour your after) paint.

Ive said it a zillion times before,i dont think there is a right or wrong way.

Storage,quality of materials,batches,age all alter paint in diffrent ways.

Go for pink stripes!!