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Ask about and post about tips and tricks you use while modelling.
Rubber band tracks
UpperCanadian
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: June 28, 2020
entire network: 152 Posts
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 05:05 AM UTC
When is the best time to fit these on the tank?

Should I glue them together and dry fit them during assembly?

The reason I ask is that on my last project, I painted them and left them off till the end. But I had a hell of a time getting them on and glued down.

Dan.
Scarred
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 07:14 AM UTC
One of the first things I do is build the running gear, most times this is one of the first steps anyway, I'll leave the disassemblies off until I paint the base color then I'll glue them in place. When using rubberband tracks I'll leave off a road wheel or idler wheel, fit the track, then put the wheel in place. Some kits have enough slop in the running gear that you can get realistic track sag, others are so tight that when you put the bands on it causes the idler and drive sprocket to bend out of position. My way of doing it is paint the tracks, weather them, put them together, either glue or melt the pins then dry fit the running gear and tracks to give you an idea how tight the tracks will be. Glue the running gear on, leaving off an idler or wheel, mount the tracks then install the wheel. Don't try this with the drive sprocket, the teeth get caught into the openings in the track and are difficult to get over the guide horns.

Additional, I've not had much luck with acrylics sticking to vinyl tracks so this is one of the few areas where I still use enamel. But you always want to handle them carefully because even enamels don't adhere well to vinyl tracks.
UpperCanadian
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 08:30 AM UTC
Patrick, thanks for the helpful reply.
Vicious
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 05:54 PM UTC
The first thing to do with them is...if you can...chuck them in the bin and buy some after market,the rubber tracks should be illegal,itís a crime against modeling still produce that stuff in 2020
UpperCanadian
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British Columbia, Canada
Member Since: June 28, 2020
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 07:05 PM UTC

Quoted Text

The first thing to do with them is...if you can...chuck them in the bin and buy some after market,the rubber tracks should be illegal,itís a crime against modeling still produce that stuff in 2020



In principle I agree. But I can't afford aftermarket parts right now.
Namabiiru
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MODEL SHIPWRIGHTS
#399
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Posted: Tuesday, August 11, 2020 - 11:13 PM UTC
I also like to start all projects with the first step of pithing out the one-piece tracks, but I hear what you're saying about the cost of AM tracks.

That said, the technique I use for tanks with skirts should work well for you in this situation, I think. I paint the lower hull and running gear, then paint the tracks off the tank. Mount the tracks and then cover tracks and running gear with tape/aluminum foil/cling wrap/whatever. mount the upper hull and paint. Whenever everything is done, just take the wrappings off the tracks.

Good luck!

Scarred
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Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 07:11 AM UTC
There have been times when no matter how much I tried to get band tracks to fit they were just too tight. In cases like that side skirts come in handy. I'll put the track on without gluing or melting it closed, put the ends on the upper run and secure the ends in place with wire or fishing line. Then I can hide that area behind the skirts.
Vicious
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Posted: Wednesday, August 12, 2020 - 10:22 AM UTC

Quoted Text


In principle I agree. But I can't afford aftermarket parts right now.




We are on the same boat unfortunately, that's why i wrote "if you can" ...
cutigerfan
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Member Since: February 21, 2010
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Posted: Friday, August 21, 2020 - 10:08 PM UTC

Quoted Text

When is the best time to fit these on the tank?

Should I glue them together and dry fit them during assembly?

The reason I ask is that on my last project, I painted them and left them off till the end. But I had a hell of a time getting them on and glued down.

Dan.



Dan, great question. I myself like using the "rubber band" tracks especially the ones that Tamiya has in their kits. Here's my method that I use. I use a two part epoxy glue (gorilla glue here in the states) to glue the two ends together. I then clamp them together and let them set for a day. Then I test fit them to the tank. Sometimes the fit is good and other times they're a bit snug. How I remedy this take a hair dryer and CAREFULLY apply heat to the entire track. All you want to do is get the rubber band tracks warm not hot. Then CAREFULLY, CAREFULLY and gently pull the tracks to stretch them ever so slightly. Let them cool down and reapply to the tank and see if they need more or has this fixed the problem. If the tracks are to your liking then remove them and prime, paint and weather them. I've used this method many times with great success. Hope this works for you.

Tony
UpperCanadian
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Posted: Sunday, August 23, 2020 - 06:39 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

When is the best time to fit these on the tank?

Should I glue them together and dry fit them during assembly?

The reason I ask is that on my last project, I painted them and left them off till the end. But I had a hell of a time getting them on and glued down.

Dan.



Dan, great question. I myself like using the "rubber band" tracks especially the ones that Tamiya has in their kits. Here's my method that I use. I use a two part epoxy glue (gorilla glue here in the states) to glue the two ends together. I then clamp them together and let them set for a day. Then I test fit them to the tank. Sometimes the fit is good and other times they're a bit snug. How I remedy this take a hair dryer and CAREFULLY apply heat to the entire track. All you want to do is get the rubber band tracks warm not hot. Then CAREFULLY, CAREFULLY and gently pull the tracks to stretch them ever so slightly. Let them cool down and reapply to the tank and see if they need more or has this fixed the problem. If the tracks are to your liking then remove them and prime, paint and weather them. I've used this method many times with great success. Hope this works for you.

Tony



That's great advice, thank you.