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Link and length tracks

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Here's how I've started doing my Tamiya tracks, so amazingly simple I can't believe I'd never seen this method mentioned before, though I didn't look that hard. The problem I had with them was that I'd rather paint them separate from the model, so I try to assemble them in two halves but getting them to stay in place, so I could line them up, glue them, then remove them was driving me batty. Particularly because certain links have bends and curves built in and exact placement is critical. Damn things kept moving and falling off while I was trying to line everything up. The solution I hear you ask..................... Nothing more than the good old rubber band!

Start with a flat length of track on top and bottom then spread a lacky band around the whole running gear.


Then continue to slide in the rest of the track pieces till the whole thing is filled up.


All the pieces in, check for alignment. I've deliberately exaggerated the mis-alignment in this pic just to show how wrong you can get it.


Now the cool part, at least with Tamiya is, that the drive sprocket is not glued on and therefore moveable. Carefully moving the the whole track and drive sprocket as one, in one direction or the other, just like on the real thing will cause it to all line up perfectly. When your happy with that I choose to glue the links together with some CA. carefully applied with a knife blade. Some guys I know are using white glue for this, and I avoid liquid cement 'cos it's just too fluid and I don't want to risk gluing the tracks to the wheels. Remember to leave two links unglued if you are planning on taking them off to paint them.


Take off the rubber band and carefully remove the tracks, planning on where the unglued tracks are going to be is critical beforehand. They can be tight around the drive sprocket but you can pull that off too with the section of track and remove it from the inside. You should end up with two fairly rigid halves of track which you can then paint seperately and only have two glue joints to do after painting. Hopefully one of these is on the bottom and invisible and the other can be covered up with a little weathering/paint.


Edited by Leigh

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Here's the finished result with real mud weathering


And a tip from FSM, bought two squares from the hardware store, combined them into one, great for aligning all the road wheels etc.


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