1⁄35Indy Link Tracks
introductionIn this short tutorial I will demonstrate a step-by-step process on how I assemble, install, and paint individual link tracks. No doubt there’ve been several tutorials of all types on how different modelers achieve their results but as new modelers enter the hobby, it’s probably smart to keep the subject on the table and even experienced builders might learn something new here. You can never have too many ways to work with indy links! This particular method works especially well with models which have small return rollers above the road wheels such as any Pz III or IV variant, Russian KV’s, JS II’s, and many other British and American tanks as well as much Modern Armor. The model I’m working on here is the DML kit #6042, the 15 cm Sturminfanteriegeschutz 33 auf Pz III.
Hull and Suspension PrepTo start, I assemble the lower hull, and because the fit of the wheels is a bit tight, I first use this handy Diamond Bead Reamer tool—available in the “Beads” section of your local craft store—to open the holes a bit. Once the openings are a bit wider, the wheels will slip right on. Now, here’s one of the key steps in my method: I only glue on the the inside return rollers. This will allow me to later set the track sag on the complete set of wheels as well as form and glue closed the entire length, assuring that the track will be glued and dried as one integral piece and preventing the nightmare of finding out after the glue has set that the track ends don’t meet properly due to shrinkage or miscalculation. The road wheels, idlers, and sprockets are only slipped on their posts at this point. Additionally, I’ve added some cuts and wear to some of the rubber parts of the road wheels to simulate damage.
track assemblyI start assembling the tracks by first laying down a strip of masking tape, sticky-side up, secured on both sides with additional strips. I then start placing the individual links down into each other, using the tape to hold them in place for now. I checked the length that I’ll need by wrapping an old “rubber band” track around the wheels to get an approximate length, marking the length with a strip of tape. I placed the track ruler next to the tape and marked the needed length with a “Sharpie” marker. When I have one length satisfactorily assembled, I use Testors Liquid Glue to join the links. Testors glue is a relatively slow-setting glue, perfect for this task. You want a slow-setting glue to enable you to properly massage the links together, to seat them properly into each other, and to allow them to get to a point where they are not going to fall apart when you handle them but are still pliable enough to be bent around the sprockets and idlers and to take “sag”. I use an emery board to evenly seat each link and for a final alignment, doing this after the glue was applied ensures that the alignment will set and stay straight. I then let the tracks set FOR A FULL HOUR! It is important to let this time pass in order to both allow the glue to set, and to allow the insides of the tracks to firm up where the glue had been brushed on. Be aware not to go much longer than this; you don’t want the tracks to be inflexible! During this time, I attached the fenders to the hull, as they would be necessary to set the sag.
Copyright ©2020 by Karl Logan. Images and/or videos also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. The views and opinions expressed herein are solely the views and opinions of the authors and/or contributors to this Web site and do not necessarily represent the views and/or opinions of Armorama, KitMaker Network, or Silver Star Enterrpises. All rights reserved. Originally published on: 2007-09-14 00:00:00. Unique Reads: 42899