PIBWL presents:

COLOR Panthers 1.6

Color Panther

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  © Michal Derela, 1999

From 1999 we have been developing a set of improved color pictures for Steel Panthers series games, starting from World War II range.

Here is our ultimate PIBWL 1.6 color pictures pack for Steel Panthers I (SP1) and Steel Panthers III (SP3) (World War II range) games.

From 2013 we have prepared also dedicated improved picture packs for Steel Panthers: World At War (SPWAW) and WinSPWW2.


Marder III ausf.M
Autoblinda AB-40
Type 97-Kai Shinhoto Chi-Ha
A release 1.51 of 2003 was considered final, but after a nine-year break, in November 2012 we've decided to review WW2-range of color pictures for Steel Panthers I and III again. It was first meant a limited update to fill last gaps, but it turned out a thorough review and improvement of more than half of pictures. During that time, some new artworks became available to be converted to Steel Panthers format. In ultimate release 1.6 we've managed to fill last gaps in fields of tanks, fighting vehicles and artillery in SP1 and SP3 and many our older color pictures got replaced with better ones.

By rearranging several numbers, in 1.6 we've also obtained better compatibility with SP3 and standard SP1 (there was an issue in both original games with several pictures forgotten by the authors, like Italian guns and Hs 129 - this time we fill also these gaps in SP3 and unmodified SP1). The colour pictures can be used wih either standard SP1 files or our modified PIBWL SP-1 Improvement Pack - in that case you should install our newest 1.6 version of improved data files as well because of some number changes.

We have also decided in 2012 to prepare a dedicated pack for SPWAW - last update came in March 2014 (see below).

By 2018 we have completed also our newest huge task - a dedicated pack for WinSPWW2 - see on shrapnelgames.com forum.

M24 Chaffee: original

color before 1.2

color before 1.6

newest in 1.6

Description (SP-1/SP-3 pack):

Hawker Hurricane MkI
M4 Sherman Calliope
In our pack there are over 460 color pictures (including alternatives) - all of SP-1 / SP-3 (World War II range) tanks, fighting vehicles* and aircraft and most of (if not all) guns and trucks, replacing original ugly black & white drawings. As for now, we have also some 600 pictures for SPWAW.

* - with an exception of Soviet SU-45 and Romanian ADKZ, which are available in SP-1 and SP-3 but they were prototypes only, and were removed in our corrected SP-1 pack.

All original artworks, taken as a basis for our pictures, remain a property of their authors, used in non commercial purpose. All were converted by us to Steel Panthers format, what was a difficult task due to poor Steel Panthers color palette (which is unfortunately especially poor in reproducing realistic green shades, common in camouflages). We've tried to obtain best possible effects - sometimes we had to try many times to obtain an acceptable look. Many source artworks were heavily modified or improved by us, some were even completely scratch-built. Several artworks contained errors, usually in proportions, corrected by us when spotted (especially in 1.6 version).

Before 1.2 release we've discovered, that SP-1 accepts most colors of slightly better SP-3 palette, so a quality of pictures could have been improved. Since 1.4 release we've tried to keep similar shade of camouflage in the same countries, which was difficult due to different quality of base artworks. In 1.6 we've put an additional stress on vivid and most natural look and correct rendering of left/right side (it is peculiar, why a great majority of artworks present tanks and aircraft facing left, while in SP most are facing right - sometimes conversions are not straightforward). We've tried to follow an apparent rule of thumb from SP-1, that vehicles are facing a direction of country's main enemy.

M3 Lee: original

color before 1.6 (wrong
artwork proportions)

newest in 1.6


Download Color Panthers 1.6 pack for SP1/SP3

Download improved Color Panthers for SPWAW (composite file, updated in 2014)

You should simply unzip and copy all the files into PIC sub-folder of your Steel Panthers I or III or SPWAW game.

Warning! These pictures will overwrite existing ones, so you may create a backup copy of your "PIC" folder first.

In case of SP1 / SP3, the pictures will replace original ugly or very ugly black & white pictures. The original pictures they are really not worth saving (besides, you should have them on your Steel Panthers CD), but our pack will overwrite also other third-party pictures, so you may want to create backup. You can also unzip our pictures into a different folder, and than copy them into "PIC" folder, using a browser (like ACDSee or XnView), so that you can compare pictures and decide which to choose. You can also choose alternatives this way, which are available in some cases (removing additional last letters from a number).

In case of SPWAW our pack will replace part of its black & white photos and pictures and its older color pictures. The original color pictures in SPWAW were mostly provided by us, when the game was created, and hence they are our old color pictures from 1999/2000. The pack contains only pictures, that I consider better or more correct/appropriate, than already are in the game. We are also aiming at replacing all photos and 3D pictures with standarized sideviews. You may want to use a browser in a way described above, so that you can decide which to choose. In some cases improved pictured might look very similar to existing ones, but we recommend improved ones - sometimes there are subtle differences in contrast, details etc. Besides, some pictures look better, when they are a little downsized. The files should be installed in their order, because in some cases newer files contain further updates.

The pictures also fit to SPWAW Enhanced FR (before 2016 edition - these pictures were included into SPWAW 2016), but in this case you should install a patch at the end (there are solved compatibility issues with three pictures, and also there are several original SPWAW color pictures replacing b&w photos, and several updated pictures used in SPWAW ENH only).

You can download picture files for WinSPWW2 at shrapnelgames.com forum (updated: 2018) - instructions are in this subject.

SdKfz-234/1: original

old color in SPWAW

newest in 1.6

original KV-1 picture

color KV-1 before 1.2

color KV-1 before 1.6

newest KV-1 in 1.6

Check out also our

PIBWL SP-1 Improvement Pack

Color pictures for SP-2/SP-3 (modern range)

Polish Armour 1918-1939 page.

We're waiting for your comments!