Introduction
Statement
The purpose of this section is not that I claim that I know the exact paint schemes used on Bismarck and Tirpitz. Let me make it totally clear that I don't know it. And the last thing I want is to tell people how Bismarck and Tirpitz appeared. I have seen the Bismarck as wreck which helps to a certain level but I have not seen it while it was in service and I have never seen the Tirpitz.
The purpose of this section is to show some possible paint schemes used on Bismarck and Tirpitz.
Technology and it's Limitations
I have, like many others, looked very detailed on some of my photographs and tried to sort out possible colours and camouflage patterns used on Bismarck and Tirpitz.

Most of the available photographs is in black and white which makes it impossible to clearify which colours that where used.

Furthermore the photographs are very old and the photo technology at that time was not as good as it is today.

Additionally we have to be aware that people look at photographs in many different ways. Some people can see something in a photograph that others don't.

The light and the shadows on a subject varies depending on the time of the day and the weather conditions when the photograph was taken, and the angle from where it was photographed from.

This website and it's material appear different depending on the configuration of peoples computer. Although I try to minimize these problems it's hard to avoid.

We also have to consider that it's possible to manipulate with photographs and that the same photograph may look different depending on the source we get it from. It's very important how a photographs was handled before it was printed.

Let me show a couple of examples, see below:
Confusing Photographs
These photographs of Bismarck (from the day of commissioning) is from the book "Schlachtschiff Bismarck - Eine Technikgeschichtliche Dokumentation" by Siegfired Breyer. Both photographs appear on page 23.

Try to compare the rangefinder on main turret C (Cäsar) and the upper structure on both photographs. On the photograph to the left it seems quite dark.

It appears that the rangefinder have another colour than the rest of the turret. And the rangefinder and the upper structure seems to have more or less the same colour as the hull.

On the photograph to the right you can see that the rangefinder appear to have the same colour as the rest of the turret. And that the turret and rangefinder have the same bright colour as the upper structure. And on this photograph you can see that the turret and the upper structure have another colour than the hull.

These photographs is most likely taken by the same camera and by the same photographer on the same day and within a short period of time. Nevertheless the colours on these photographs appears different.
This photograph of Bismarck was scanned from the book "Sclachtschiff Bismarck - Eine Technikgeschichtliche Dokumentation" by Siegfired Breyer, page 119.
This photograph of Bismarck was scanned from the book "The Battleship Bismarck - A Documentary in Words and Pictures" by Ulrich Elfrath and Bodo Herzog, page 122.
The photographs above is the exacly same portrait but they have been handled very different before it was printed. Notice that I have not corrected anything. I have scanned the photographs and resized them, that's all.

Paint Scheme Layout
Codes of color explanation
Light Grey
RAL No. 7001 *
Grey
RAL No. 7000 *
Dark Grey
RAL No. 7024 *
Red
RAL No. 3010
Redbrown
RAL No. 8013 *
Black
Teak
* RAL means " Reichs Ausschuß für Lieferbedingungen und Gütesicherung" and is the German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification e.V.

Apperance of False Waves Painted on the Bismarck
Starboard
Port