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Tiger II (Revell 1/72) Tracks Problem


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I started this kit about two years ago and have seen various fellow modellers experiencing copious grief with the tracks.

Even YouTube experts seem to finish up with gaps.

I've been putting off trying to finish the model for months now because of the tracks issue.

This is my first attempt at link & length tracks (A Tiger II is probably not the best place to start) I don't really want gaps if I can avoid them.............

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I've completed the wheels and cemented the idlers in place leaving the sprockets free as per some advice I found on t'internet.

(This was before I received helpful advice to place the wheels on the axles and stick the tracks to them in order to construct a running gear unit accessible from both sides as the whole lot could be taken off and worked on.)

I've painted the tracks on the sprues, possibly a mistake, as there's now paint in the link slots where the cement has to go.

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And I've added the top run on one side.

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I think, so far as I can see, that the next steps will be to work round the sprocket and down to ground level then on under the wheels round to the idler.

Would value any suggestions.

From experience does anyone think I need to clean out the link joints?

Is there something else I should be doing?

TVM in anticipation.....................

Edited by echen
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Having never built 1/72 armour I can't be 100% but I'd suggest painted link and length or indi link prior to assembly is a bad idea. You'll probably need to clean up the mating surfaces.

I'd be looking at doing them in 3 or 4 sections, top, bottom and around idlers / drive wheels, using the wheels as a template to form the indi links around. Then paint,  avoid the mating faces or mask them, then fit. 

Or, build totally and then brush paint the tracks once fitted. 

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10 hours ago, echen said:

From experience does anyone think I need to clean out the link joints?

 

The only experience I have with Revell link and length tracks was an abject failure to put together a set for a Leopard which then ended up in the bin. I'd also painted the links before assembly using acrylic paint as I often do that with details on aircraft models as they usually stick very well with Tamiya extra thin, but for some reason on the tracks it just ended up a sticky mess that kept falling apart. Maybe if you tried superglue it would work?

 

Sorry for not having a more helpful reply

 

Keith

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@echen  You have started exactly right! 

 

Now work around the sprocket with single links (alternating types obviously) and prepare the short length to the first roadwheel by very gently bending it to give a little sag.  IIRC you then need a single link at the first roadwheel to get a smooth transition into the long length the tank sits on.  Once this bit is done let it harden while you do the same section of the other side.

 

Returning to the track runs, IIRC it should be another three alternating single links at the end of the bottom run, but TBH here I would return to the top and the idler wheel, reversing the direction of construction so that you finish the run with those three single links.....Same deal as earler, gently bend the length from idler to final roadwheel for sag and to smooth the transitions with the single links and you should be done.

 

Here's a set I made about two decades ago, ironically to demo the correct build sequence as Revell described it wrongly in all of their instructions and have continued to do so ever since:

 

50913405227_4f4d7630c3_k.jpgTracks by squarehead666, on Flickr

 

Sadly the WIP photos with the correct build sequence fell by the wayside.....Never did finish the kit either!

 

PS - Definitely clean up the joints, TBH I don't recommend painting L&L tracks prior to assembly.  With unpainted parts you can actually pre-assemble the sections of single link for the Sprocket and idler, let them firm up so they won't fall apart, then gently wrap them around the wheels.  With pre-painted parts they will usually fall apart before you can wrap them around the sprocket or idler, it's easier to add them one at a time, giving each a little time to firm up before adding the next.

 

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Thanks Gents, much appreciated.

Looks like I've got shedloads of joint cleaning to do. (I pre-painted my Tiger 1 tracks for the Tiger Superthread too!) :sad: 

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14 hours ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Here's a set I made about two decades ago

Very impressive build of Tiger running gear; particularly bearing in mid how tricky it is.

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On 2/6/2021 at 4:14 PM, echen said:

Very impressive build of Tiger running gear; particularly bearing in mid how tricky it is.

Honestly, it's not.....Revell just send you off in the wrong direction and make it seem that way. 

 

Follow the sequence above (letting common sense over-rule me if I'm a single link out here or there), take your time, working in sections and allowing things to firm up (think of each track-run as a mini-kit).....You'll be fine.  And even if you're not, still don't worry.....I have more spares for this kit than you can shake a s****y stick at and they are at your disposal ('cos like I said, they're spares).

 

On 2/6/2021 at 12:36 PM, echen said:

I pre-painted my Tiger 1 tracks for the Tiger Superthread too!

 

If it's the Revell kit, I've got loads of spares for that too.  :coolio:

 

PS - I should probably warn you that if it is the Revell Tiger I, the L&L is quite a bit trickier than it is in this kit, it doesn't fit together quite as well and IIRC the track runs go in opposite directions on each side of the tank (they certainly did on the Ausf. H that I built around the same time as my Kingtiger).

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Took a deep breath and started the KT tracks.

I scraped the paint from the joint faces and added the first two links. Not good. The tabs on the small link just would not go in to the notches on the sprocket tooth holed link.

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So I removed the tabs and superglued the links in place.

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Note the strategically placed axle stub that detached itself during the above activity.

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Nearly got caught out with the joint under the last roadwheel but spotted it in time to put the two links in the right way round.

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Tracks are a bit ropey in places but this is my first attempt at L&L. Also AFVs I model are invariably those that have been driven up to their wheel arches in mud.

However, A HUGE THANKYOU to all for tips and encouragement.

Just one side to go - and then a Revell Tiger 1, a Revell Panzer III, and a couple of Trumpeter Famo 9s.

 

 

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Nice work on the tracks dude.....Without paint I suspect you would have done them perfectly.  :coolio:

 

8 hours ago, echen said:

Just one side to go - and then a Revell Tiger 1, a Revell Panzer III, and a couple of Trumpeter Famo 9s.

 

Could I suggest you do the Revell Pz.III (Which version is it BTW:hmmm:) before the others.....The L&L in that kit is possibly the most user friendly ever.  If you don't paint the parts and are very careful you can easily assemble the entire track-runs without glueing any of the wheels to the hull.  That way you can remove the tracks on each side for painting (you can even do this on kits with schurzen if you are very careful, simply don't permanently glue the top & bottom hull halves together until the very last thing).

 

The Revell Tiger I is a much trickier proposition (as I mentioned elsewhere) and depending on which version of the kit you have, the Trumpeter FAMO may come with indy links (ie: no lengths)!  :o

 

PS - Re: Trumpeter FAMO.....Beautiful kit but ensure you check the fit of the front axle.  The instructions in some of the early kits had you fit it incorrectly, which made the front end sit horribly high (once again I used to have a photo of the correct assembly, but PB had a nauseating fit of greed and it went bye-bye).

https://www.onthewaymodels.com/reviews/Trumpeter/SdKfz9_early_FAMO_prev.htm

 

PPS - If you want I'll buddy-build a Revell Pz.III with you.....Put my money where my mouth is on the tracks, so to speak.  ;)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I 'm hoping to get the Tiger 1 done as I've "entered" it in M3talpigs' Tiger Superthread and don't want to hold things up any longer than my Panther G build has already.

The Panzer III is the Revell 03133 Pz Kpfw III Ausf.L.  y4m_uqwDITszq4vSPW1O009UJuRUkeXuZ0sgeEnxThanks for your offer of help via a buddy-build; I might take you up on that when I get round to the III.

Thanks again for your input to date.

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The right-hand track run didn't go so well....................

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Sprocket to road level proved a bit on the long side. Maybe the top run got installed too far forward. Generated a bit of a kink under the first road-wheel and a slightly too large space between links at the top of the rear idler.

I think I'm beginning to prefer either decent rubber tracks or indy tracks where they can be placed where they belong relative to sprockets and each other.

I suspect a dollop of mud might land on the iffy bit. 🤨

I thought about removing the "diagonal" length, bending a bit of sag into it and putting it back - but not for very long! Last thing I want is to rip the unstuck sprocket off with all the collateral damage that will probably involve!

Talking of decent rubber tracks, has anyone seen the Hasegawa Jagdpanzer IV L48 tracks? The guide "horns" are just a ridge round the centre-line which is going to take some serious disguising.

Edited by echen
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Re-discovered this alternative method for link and length tracks from Model Mate on Alloydogs' Tiger II thread, "Revell 1:72 Tiger II Ausf. B (03129)"

 

https://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/235079109-revell-172-tiger-ii-ausf-b-03129/

 

"I'm fairly new to these link and length types having done three so far (all 1/72), but it's got MUCH easier each time and I've found this works pretty well:

 

Glue the instructed number of links onto the drive sprocket (before it's attached the the hull)

Glue the instructed number of links -1 (i.e. if there are 7, glue on 6) to the idler, again before attachment.

attach the sprocket and idler, but let them spin - no glue.

work along the top from front (sprocket) to back, with the lengths - bend as necessary for sag and glue the last connection to the idler link. This stage fixes the position of the sprocket and idler.

do the bottom run, deciding if you need the last link on the idler or not - I found on my recent wirbelwind that it wasn't needed, even with track sag.

There's usually a single link called for somewhere on the bottom, and I work from either direction towards this. This single link goes in last, trimmed if necessary."

 

I think, had I remembered this post, it might have mitigated the potential error of setting the length across the top too far forward as I seemed to have done on the right hand track. Maybe a combination method might be designed leaving all the road wheels unstuck, perhaps. Still, practice makes perfect, as they say....................

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On 2/11/2021 at 2:45 PM, echen said:

The Panzer III is the Revell 03133 Pz Kpfw III Ausf.L. 

 

Beautiful little kit, a pleasure to build as it's completely free of the faff that is the schurzen on their Ausf M.....It's also the very same one I was planning on doing.

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Decided I didn't like the step in the right hand track by the first road wheel after all. Decided to see if the links could gently be persuaded to part company with the running gear.

I managed to persuade them without demolishing anything. 😅

y4miZmDh0YHKG8K0dl37QQYGUuzuFuLH9oAsLjD9

So I removed the last two links from the sprocket, the 4-link length and the small link from the start of the lower length. I bent the 4-link length a little and stuck the first short link to the end of it. Then I stuck the resulting assembly to the sprocket. I added the short link and the guide-horn link to the start of the lower length then slotted the remaining links into the gap. Not perfect but marginally better than the stepped links and more easily hidden with some mud.

Edited by echen
Correction of missing step in process.
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On 2/11/2021 at 1:26 AM, Sgt.Squarehead said:

PPS - If you want I'll buddy-build a Revell Pz.III with you.....Put my money where my mouth is on the tracks, so to speak. 

Hi Sarge. How does a buddy-build work?

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  • 2 weeks later...

The tracks ended up a bit "gapped".

y4mx6Zft6se2DEKPhHtGiFZA0Bc0PFeeqHbl6gPS y4mjswdadWtHcgK5LFf4zIta8n6VUUxDMgF_jGQU

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But, following some strategically added Humbrol 29 dark earth and some "mud" the offending spaces are dwindling.

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This will be cleaned up, coloured and developed as I progress. I don't want to overdo it.

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One day I might be able to do link & length like Sgt.Squarehead but, until then, I'm afraid it'll be mud for the gaps.

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On 2/27/2021 at 7:36 PM, keefr22 said:

Mine are the same!

Have you got any AFV in RFI?

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4 hours ago, echen said:

Have you got any AFV in RFI?

 

No not yet, I'm really poor at pulling my finger out and taking pics of my models, and I mainly build aircraft and cars....

 

This one is just waiting for its base to be finished and I'll put it in rfi. It's a Plastic Soldier Company Tiger 1 and I completely messed up putting the (simple!) tracks together - hence my comment agreeing with you about using mud to cover up gaps (and other horrors!)

 

IMG_1708

 

:)

Keith

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Posted (edited)
27 minutes ago, keefr22 said:

using mud to cover up gaps

Had the same problem with PSC Shermans and a Firefly. Couldn't get the tracks to meet front and back: there were only two lengths each side! I put some milliput in the gaps but have not got around to weathering and mud yet. Too busy with a Tiger I on the Tiger Superthread, a Tiger II, a Panther and twenty odd others I started but haven't finished. 

I've set a target not to buy or start any more until I've at least finished the part-builds. (We'll see how long that target stands................)

Tiger looks good.

Edited by echen
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15 minutes ago, echen said:

twenty odd others I started but haven't finished. 

I've set a target not to buy or start any more until I've at least finished the part-builds. (We'll see how long that target stands................)

 

Now, why does that sound familiar...??!! I have exactly the same ambition!

 

16 minutes ago, echen said:

Tiger looks good.

 

Thanks :)

 

Keith

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Posted (edited)

Tiger hatch lifting handles.

y4mhYdOI7ni3OpwM16KuqlqpOD2NYH4av6Rhz27B

Handles to turret and forward deck hatches added using fuse wire.

Also to the engine deck and escape hatch.

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They always start off with 90 degree angles and straight handles but fitting them nearly always seems to introduce a bend somewhere.....

However I think they're a marginal improvement on the plastic blobs they replace, even if they are a little over-scale.

The lifting loops are stretched sprue pulled through holes drilled at the required location then cemented in place at the desired height. 🧑‍🔧

Edited by echen
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  • echen changed the title to Tiger II (Revell 1/72) Tracks Problem

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