Late War US Armour Painting Guide

“If you hear a voice within you say you cannot paint, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.”  

Vincent Willem van Gogh

Richard Hardy often comments that ‘I am mad’ as I have a habit of listing old armies on eBay and promptly buying that nation and period again.  No, I am not mad I tell him, I am just a better painter now and I enjoy painting!  Late War US was one of my first armies when I bought in just after the Battle of the Bulge for Version 3 was released.  Since then I’ve learned new techniques and got a nice airbrush.  Therefore in honour of Late War being released next year I thought I’d dust off some unopened boxed sets and get to work on a new army.

As with all projects I needed a plan.  First off, I wanted to ensure everything I wanted for my armoured force was done at the same time.  This would ensure that the paints are the same and the whole army ties together.  Therefore I assembled everything first so that I could airbrush the base coats together.  I also wanted to add some uniqueness to the army so purchased some stowage and spread that which comes on the sprues around the various units.

For me one of the most important things is getting a good base coat down and for this I used the MiG US Armour Modulation set.  The rest of the paint is Vallejo.  Please note some of the pictures of the various modulation have not come out that well due to light but I think but later on you can see the final effect okay.  In retrospect I was too heavy with the final 2 highlight sprays but i’m happy with the final look.

After a grey undercoat, the US Olive Drab Base is applied with an air brush.  Make sure this hits all the areas in the tracks to ensure full coverage.
Another coat, this time Olive Base Drab, hard see in this light but its is brighter.
Olive Drab Light Base is then applied.
Finally, Olive Drab Light Base 928 (an even lighter version) is sprayed mainly on the top where the highlight is needed.  We now have the green done!
the add greater depth I applied a MiG Filter (Brown) which I find more subtle than a wash and without a pooling effect making it great for models with flat surfaces.  Next tracks are painted with Vallejo Track Primer.
All metal areas are painted German Grey.
Wood areas get a base coat of Flat brown.
A dark shade wash is applied to the tracks, metal and wood.  I’ve also base coated the commander Khaki Brown.  I also paint the other stowage on other vehicles.  I mix fabric stowage with up by doing some Green Grey and others Khaki Brown.  All camo-nets are done Green Grey.
This stage is the details and highlights.  To do highlights on the stowage I add 40% Iraqi Sand to the base colour.  Next, I paint the metal areas with Gun Metal Metalizer (not the metal on the boxes) as well as the straps on any stowage.  The commander has a highlight of US Tan Earth for his uniform and a Brown Violet Cap.
Finally (And yes I then realised this is a different tank!).  Decals are added.  I dry brushed the tank lightly with Iraqi Sand which added a final form of highlight.
The final products (the one on the left is the same colour, again just poor lighting)
A few more.

I hope this was useful.  The painting plan can work just as well for MW US Armour as well, just apply a heavy drybrush due to the sand and dust.