Skins for tanks – a step-by-step tutorial (2024)

Step 3 – Begin real skinning!

Everything you will add now should be placed in the “Camo & Markings” folder. Since we have created a mask with the former Alpha channel, the scratches, dirt, mud etc. from the original template will simply appear ”over” your camo and various markings. Of course you can modify it, but we will stick to the basics in this tutorial.

Let’s add the camouflage paint. Create a new layer called “Olive Drab” inside the “Camo & Markings” folder. Select it all (Ctrl+A) and fill it with an Olive Drab shade. For US tanks, I use a Federal Standard reference:

Red: 81

Green: 80

Blue: 65

#: 515041

Skins for tanks – a step-by-step tutorial (1)

Now you can place any insignia, marking and detail that you want in new layers over the camo. For this skin, I have created all the insignia from original photographs in other Photoshop files and inserted them into the appropriate “Camo & Insignia” folder.

Once you are happy with how it looks, you have to save the skin as a .dds file.

Click “Save as”, choose your “M10 skin” folder then choose the DDS format. Make sure you tick the “Alpha channels” box, otherwise the plugin will create a new white Alpha channel which will mask your new skin… That’s not what you want, is it? Click “Save” without changing the file’s names and override the older file.

In the next menu, choose the format “DXT5 ARGB 8 bpp interpolated alpha” and “No MIP maps”, then click “Save”.

Skins for tanks – a step-by-step tutorial (2)

Skins for tanks – a step-by-step tutorial (3)

Now repeat the above process (steps 2 and 3) for the other files of your skin – here, the turret (

Step 4 – prepare the skin for the game.

Now that the skin itself is done, we need it to be usable in War Thunder.

Create a new folder called “French M10 Siroco - 2e DB”. Actually you can call it whatever you want – the name of this folder will be the name of your skin as displayed in the game.

Copy the extracted “us_m10.blk” file into this folder. Do not rename it!! If you rename it, War Thunder will not recognize it and the skin will not work. Open it with your notepad. So far, the default contents look like this:






This file tells the game to replace the default textures with your new ones. So replace the contents for this:










Make sure that the .dds extension appears in the appropriate lines as above, after your new files’ names. Note that we have erased the lines referring to the default olive drab camo.

Save the .blk file.

Move your freshly created .dds files into the same “French M10 Siroco - 2e DB” folder. It should look like this now:

Skins for tanks – a step-by-step tutorial (4)

Cut or copy this folder and its contents to your UserSkins folder – the same one that we have seen in the Preliminary steps.

And… you’re done! You can launch War Thunder, select the M10 tank destroyer, open the Customize menu and refresh the User Skins list. If you have followed all the steps above, your new skin will appear in the list, ready to be selected.

A final word

Ok, I hope this tutorial helped you in any way. If it helped a few persons, then I am a happy man!

The “technical” Step 2 may seem a bit complicated in the first place, but you will quickly get used to it and make your base template very easily with little practice. It gives a very versatile file since you only have to add new layers for the camo and markings and you can move and modify them without erasing anything else.

Remember, you will probably have to test your WIP skin once or multiple times to adjust the colours, the insignia placing and size and any little detail you may add. All skinners do so. Speed doesn’t make one a good skinner, patience and attention to the details do. It goes through trial and error and that’s what will make you improve your skills. You will find out that skinning can be very rewarding when your own creation comes to “life” in the game!

You can download my M10 blank template here:

It was created with this method, so feel free to use it and compare it to the steps above if it can help you.

I hope this tutorial is clear enough. Don’t hesitate to make suggestions and I will improve it! Any feedback is appreciated.

Edit 3rd March 2017: quick tutorial added down this threadif you want to make a skin with a separate camo file + insignia showing through it.

If you need help regarding skinning, check out this thread and ask your questions to the specialists:

There are some fantastic tank skinners in this community who are much better than me, and I guess they will happily help you.

Thanks for reading!



Edited by ScoAtao

Skins for tanks – a step-by-step tutorial (2024)
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