Painting your Pershings

Guest article by Jerome (JeroM1e)

Hi everyone, I am Jerome Wong, the person who has probably the largest Team Yankee USA army in the whole of Singapore. Just a quick introduction of myself, I am also a modeler, doing scale plastic models other than gaming miniatures. The prime reason that got me interested in Team Yankee was due to the Cold War equipment that is presented in the game. Since I do have some interest in the WWII era, I decided to jump in to Flames Of War as well. This article is on the M26 Pershing, which is due to be released in the upcoming Bulge American book! Enjoy!



The M26 Pershing origins stemmed from the need to improve on the battle tested M4 sherman medium tank. The design stemmed from the T20, which then became the M26 and was named Pershing after the General, John J. Pershing.

The Pershing was only introduced in the closing months of WWII, as there were many delays in its production. The Pershing eventually saw its entry into the war before the battle of the Bulge, it saw combat in 1945, where it proved to be an effective tank against the famed German Panzer IVs, Tiger Is and Panther tanks. The Pershing would see further combat in the Korean War, before it was replaced by the M46 Patton.

 Painting the Pershing

Painting the US armor in general can be a relatively difficult or an easy task, depending if you want things to pop as most of the US vehicles in this time period were in the single tone Olive green color. For this project, I will attempt to make the Pershings “pop out” via some modulation paint work.

Pershings ready to be painted!

These Pershings are from the WOT (World of Tanks) blisters. They come prepainted and pre-built, ready to play.  Kudos to the assemblers and painters for these, even out of the box they look great!

Priming in black….

The 1st step in any painting endeavor is to of course, clean the surface of any dust, oil or the like that could mess up the paintwork. Following that it comes to choosing the primer. There are many colors to choose from, depending on what kind of end product you are going for, the primer is chosen accordingly

For my case, I would like to start with a darker shade to modulate up from, hence I chose the black primer for this purpose. I am currently using the HnS infinity airbrush for my airbrush work.

Pershings painted, mostly

After priming comes the fun part, actually painting the base model! The paints I used to paint the Pershings is the AK gen 3 acrylic Olive modulation set. The set comes with 4 different paints each for their own purpose for modulating. However, due to the size of the model itself, I will only be using 3 of them, a shadow, normal base and a highlight. 

For the shadow, you would want to paint that in areas that would have the least amount of light shining on them, eg, the lower places of the turret ring, mantlet. This gives as what the name suggests the shadow. Next onto the base layer, this is generally applied to the rest of the tank.

From here you can see a nice contrast of the dark and lighter shade of olive green, the next step is to do the highlight. Again as the name implies, this is to highlight certain areas of interest, panels, top of cupolas and the top edges where light will mostly fall. The trick here is to apply in small amounts slowly until you achieve your desired effect.

Almost there, nearly done

After finishing up with the airbrush, it’s time to paint the finer details on the tank, such as the tracks, road wheels and the extra tracks on the turret. I used Gunmetal for the tracks, as they pop out more than using metal black. Some patience and a steady hand is needed for this, but we are nearly at the end!

Not historical I know, but hey it’s my tank!

Prior to decaling, it is a good practice to protect your existing paintwork with a top coat, in this case, since I am going to be doing a decal application followed by a wash, a gloss coat is recommended!

For applying decals, patience is a must. It helps immensely if you have a sharp knife to cut out the decals as well as a pair of tweezers to help you pick up the parts. For further assistance on decal adhesion, liquid based solutions such setter for pre decal application onto the surface and softener, to be applied to fix the decal onto the surface is recommended. Cotton swabs should be used to assist in positioning the decal.

*Side note: Please allow your decals to dry fully before touching them!*

After allowing the decals to be firmly set and dried, we can now move on the wash. I used AK’s wash for green vehicles for this. However, you may choose to use german grey depending on how much you want the details to pop. I used a fine tip brush and applied the wash onto  areas of interest such as raised panels, recessed lines to make the detail pop. Any excess wash can be cleaned up with a cotton swab damped with spirit.

Annnd we are done! Bonus Bradleys in the background

For the final step, as the gloss coat made the Pershings glossy, it is time to dull it back with a flat coat. I have to say, this was an immensely fun project to do. While it is simpler to just paint it in one olive green color, I decided to mix it up with different colors to highlight certain parts of the tank to make it more pleasing to the eye. I hoped you enjoyed reading the article as much as I did painting these tanks. Thanks for your time! Stay safe and happy painting/gaming!

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