Some Soviet-style individual track links


As I think I mentioned when I started this project, I wasn't going to play with the rubber band tracks and these individual link tracks weren't entirely individual. There was a long strip to be located under the tracks, then two shorter bits that'd be going from the outmost road wheels towards the drive sprocket and the idler wheel. All the rest were to be done out of individual alternating toothed/toothles pieces. In case you wanted to build it with slightly sagging tracks on the top, the kit offered jigs for that. I thought that I ought to try that at least once.

Slacking tracks

First I cut off the jigs from the sprues and checked the instructions to see how many it suggested per side. That was 34, which didn' tmean that it wanted that many of each type but half of one and half of the other type. Patiently I cut off and cleaned 17 of each and set them in handy groups.

work in progress
Maybe I was silly for building these upside down, with the guiding tooth pointing upwards, but I did that to get the gluing done with much less of a hassle. Had I done this the other way, I'd had to glue them all separately or to drown the whole setup in glue, inviting disaster. Laziness won again.

A bit later I flipped my setups around and pressed them into shape. At that point I didn't need to be too worried about the track parts getting stuck to the jigs.

Some assembly required

Again I sorted my pieces in a line and when ready, applied glue on the inner surface of the track. After waiting for a few minutes I bent it around the wheels and set the top bits I had prepared the previous evening to get the whole track in place - without gluing these two sets together. Then I let them be for a good while. Finally I carefully detached my constructs and admired what I had achieved.

I repeated the same show on the other side of the tank. Before I could get too confused I used a permanent marker to mark the first side's track bits and the inside of the tank to link them together. In the photo the second trackset was still being set to shape.

This was a popular approach to tank tracks, I had understood, but I hadn't tried it out so far. This way doing the basic painting of the tracks was going to be simple and they also wouldn't be on the way while I was painting the rest of the tank.

I was interested in trying a trick I had once read about: I'd paint a clean metallic band on the inside of the track where the metallic road wheels would be constantly grinding. Of course I couldn't find my source anymore.

An extra bonus piece

In the earlier stages of the build I had ignored the tow cable completely, and I hadn't realized that I could've done it any of the times I was fooling around with superglue. Now I finally cut off the cable ends, cleaned them up and pressed the ends of this string to them. Then I applied some superglue to set them and left them for the night. I was pretty interested in seeing how these would soak up the paint later on.

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