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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

M26 Pershing/Super Pershing Build & Paint

By Sean "Throckmorton" Sarah

Historically, the M26 Pershing is a fascinating tank. It's development cycle was rife with internal dog fights between Army generals. Some, like Leslie McNair, were convinced the M4A3 variant of the Sherman was the best tank of the war with the perfect mix of speed, mobility, survivability and firepower. Others, like Generals Devers and Marshall, were convinced that a heavier tank was needed, one that could confront Panthers and Tigers head on.

This squabbling lead to a long development cycle leaving the Americans without a heavy tank until February 1945 when the first 40 were finally delivered to the ETO.

Of course, this means us Flames of War players were left without a Late War American heavy until the release of the Remagen book back in June.

After it was finally brought into production it, and its direct successor, the M48 Patton proved a mainstay of American early cold war Armored Formations.

When I was a kid I got to go to the Patton Museum at Fort Knox and I fell in love with two tanks, the Pershing and the Panther. So, when Steve was like "Hey Sean, you wanna paint up some Pershings?" I was all like "HELLZ TO THE YEAH STEVEY MAC" (ED: actual transcription of conversation).

In game, you get two options for the Pershing. The Vanilla M26 and the Super Pershing. Either version can be taken as a single platoon in the Armored Company list out of Remagen for either the 3rd or the 9th Armored division. But, no matter the division you choose, all Pershings are rated Confident Veteran. 
It's best to think of the Pershing as a Panther equivalent in game, you can take up to 5 in a single platoon (985 points) with the following stats:
Standard movement FA: 10, SA: 6, TA: 2 and a ROF 2, AT 14, FP 3 90mm gun with smoke rounds available. Of course it's got all the MG's as well being stocked with a co-ax and hull MG, and the ubiquitous .50 cal AA mg but none of the normal American tank special rules like Detroit's Finest, Stabilizers or what not, just good 'ole Tank Telephones. 
The Super Pershing on the other hand is a beast of it's own nature. Only one ever saw combat in Europe and thus you can only ever take one in your list for a meaty 275 points. 
Slow and Overloaded, FA: 13, SA: 6, TA: 2 and a ROF 2, AT 16 FP 3+ 90mm gun with smoke. It has the same additional rules (Tank Telephone) and also includes the same death dealing MG's as it's little brother. 
It's SUPER! Seen before front Glacis and Elephant Ears attached, so probably on a testing ground in the US somewhere. 

Let's get on with the build and paint!

Have box. Comes with 3 Pershings, from which you can build any combination of supers and normal Pershings. 


Comes with a few decals, but nothing impressive. I'd have expected to a "Fireball" or something in there. Also, no magnets as there's a "post hole" system in use here to join the turret to the chassis. 

I drool over plastic tracks. Also note the option for the two different turrets. 

There's still room for magnets to join the turret to the chassis, but if you look just above the top of the body that small round bit can be glued to the bottom of the turret allowing you to swivel and keep the turret on with out magnetizing. 

Tracks look awesome!!

In the kit, the front glacis plate of the Super Pershing lies flat, but from images I found on the interwebs it looked like there was a gap between the added armor and the original body, so I glued mine on with a spacer to keep the gap. 

Also note, for the Super Pershing, you could cut off the front mudguards (like I did) it is shown that way in some of the pics I found. BF makes this easy by adding a diagonal groove that you can score to detach the piece. 

One of only two issues I have with the kit. Unless you want to greenstuff over these, you MUST put the tracks into those divots. Seems a little weird to force me to put the tracks in the same place on each Pershing. Note, these aren't on the Super Pershing turret. 

Finished Pershing. The only other issue I had with the build was the plastic .50 cals and Hull MG. The barrels on both are exceptionally fragile. I broke two .50's simply trying to cut them off the sprue. Overall however, I prefer these to the old metals as at least the gun stays on the tank now. 


Air Brush Time!

BOO! I always wear a surgical mask when I airbrush as I somehow always get paint up my nose and the cleaning solution I use makes my lungs burn. 

For these tanks I'm going to be doing a 3 part color modulation. First up is a base of Tamiya XF-62 Olive Drab. 

Then, blocking off the parts I don't want to get paint on with painters tape, I airbrush on Tamiya XF-58 Olive Green. Still careful here not to cover all the previous color. 

It's a subtle effect so far but will get some pop with the final step.

Finally I airbrush on Vallejo Brown Violet. The method is a touch different on each tank, some places getting block highlight and some getting line highlights. I use a Badger Sotar 20/20 and I've been practicing enough now to where I can get hairline highlights with the brush, so I decided to try that a bit here. 

Here's a couple of pics of what it looks like. Once you get the decals and weathering on it tones it self down a bit. 

Next up, details time!

The Super Pershing got an A and a 2 painted up on it's elephant ears at some point. 

All the details and decals done! My decal fu was not strong here. 

For weathering I'm going to use this little guy I picked up at a local hobby store. It's got a make up applicator inside like the ladies use for eye shadow. We'll see how it works out. 

Not bad actually...

Here they are all finished up!


Detail: 4/5 I'm liking the turn to plastic for Battlefront, they're refining their product and trying new things in each build (post/hole turret and divots for detail pieces on this one). Everything looks great on the tanks I was just hoping for some more stowage or something to give the Pershings some personality. But everything is crisp, clear and oh so pretty.

Build: 4.5/5 If it weren't for those MG's this would have been a 5. Both the .50 cals and the hull MG were very easy to break. In fact, since I finished, I already broke the .50 on my Super for the 3rd time. The other gripe is I don't much love being told where I have to put my gubbins and extras. Leave off the detail divots on the next one team. Other than that these are some of the easiest models I've had to build. They go together in a snap and all 3 were ready to get some paint on 'em after an hour.

Value: 5/5 You only ever need 1 Super Pershing, and you get two additional Pershings along with it. Which means, for 2 boxes, you get everything you need for playing late war Pershings. Can't be beat.

Overall: 4.5/5 I for one welcome our new plastic overlords and hope they keep quality stuff like this coming to our FLGS for a LONG time to come. Very happy with this product overall. The Pershing looks cool, builds easy and paints up like a dream.

Throck writes and paints and edits on this 'har blog. Whut.

Models generously provided by Battlefront. 

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