Building Small(er) Scale AFV Tracks

Discussion in 'Tutorials' started by Fishcarver, Jul 31, 2006.

  1. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    In the process of finishing up the FROG TEL, I became dissatisfied with the appearance of one of the tracks. So I decided to do another one and photodocument the process. This works well for tracks in the smaller scales, where building them up link by link is a prohibitively-tedious process.

    The first step is to prepare the kit tracks. They have been cut out, sprayed with Krylon Low-Odor spray fixative, and allowed to dry thoroughly. Make sure that you have enough length to fit your vehicle, with a link or two to spare.

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  2. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    You can either fold the track in half, or better yet, separate it into upper and lower pieces. Score across the links, but do not cut in any of the details yet.

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  3. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    Now, here is the secret!
    Cut two pieces of double-sided non-foam tape (I used the plastic tape used to fasten down carpeting) and sandwich a double layer of the tape between the top and bottom of the track. Now, you can begin to add details to the track, including (if desired) punching out sprocket holes and cutting out spaces between the links. The plastic tape is extremely flexible, but yet is very strong. Here, I am adding some generic cleats. I will also add a strip of flexible copper sheet to the end of the track to allow it to be joined.

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  4. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    The "horns" (or are they called grousers?) are added to the inside surface of the track. Making these symmetrical and cutting them out carefully is the key to a good appearance. I used a piece of stripwood the same width as the road wheels to keep these the right distance apart. Allow the glue to dry THOROGHLY!!

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  5. GT5500

    GT5500 Member

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    Whoa how long is that lot going to take, it took me hours just cutting notches in a set of tracks.
  6. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    Not nearly as long as Link by Link!

    I built an entire 20" track in less than 2 hours.

    Once the glue on the grousers has dried, we give the entire track another coat of spray fixative, and let it dry over night. The track is nice and flexible due to the carpet tape.

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  7. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    Now we can start painting. I have primed the track with PollyScale Tarnished Black acrylic; basically a dark grey with some silver added for a metallic effect. Once the Tarnished Black has dried, I give it a thin wash of Rust (here, I'm using Gunze Sangyo Rust). You can make your own Rust with approximately equal parts of Burnt Sienna, Black, and Silver.

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  8. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    Finally, I dry-brush the track with Humbrol Steel enamel. Any kind of Silver metallic will do: just do't overdo the dry-brushing.

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  9. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    The results can be seen on Page 6 of the FROG TEL thread!

    Enjoy!
    Jim
  10. airbob

    airbob Member

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    Tutorial on armour tracks!!!

    Jim,
    Thanks for the tutorial....I'll keep it on file for the next armour build...great job on your build....I love rockets and armoured carriers.....have you heard about any good SAM kits?..there was one of the Soviet SAM used in Vietnam, but I've never seen it again!:nope:
  11. Fishcarver

    Fishcarver Active Member

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    Bob: Very fine job on the KC-135! I used to see them down at Grand Forks AFB during "Good Neighbor Days".

    Maly Modelarz had a kit of the SA-2 "Guideline" (aka "Flying Telephone Pole") years ago. And I recently saw a very rudimentary kit of the SA-4 "Ganef". That seems to be about it for SAMs.

    I am somewhat surprised at the lack of modern Soviet/WarPact armor in card form. Hopefully, this will change. I have been accumulating a file on the SS-21 TBM and may take a crack at designing it one of these days.

    Thanks for the kind words. Glad you found the tutorial useful and I hope that others do, too.

    Regards,
    Jim
  12. orpheusrocker

    orpheusrocker New Member

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    Thanks from downunder!

    Anything to help me avoid holding a mushed wad of pulp after hours of effort has to benefit my mental health ...

    .... now to go rip up the carpet!