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Armor/AFV
For discussions on tanks, artillery, jeeps, etc.
Individual Guide Horns
CellarDweller21516
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 10:53 AM UTC
Why is it so many manufacturers don't give you a 1 piece track link like Friuls and Magic Tracks do. Why is it that companies are making us install every little guide horn on our tracks...2 per link. I am sure there has to be a reason but I don't know why. Is it cheaper for companies to make them like this? I really hate these types of tracks...
barkingdigger
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 11:00 AM UTC
With plastic track it's usually due to limitations of injection moulding. Hollow guide horns either need deep holes under them for the tooling to form the open section, or expensive slide-moulding. Just making the guide horns separate for the modeller to add is cheaper, and in theory adds more "play hours" for the model-builder to enjoy...
Tojo72
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 11:38 AM UTC
So they can boast about a kits high parts count
Armorsmith
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 11:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Why is it so many manufacturers don't give you a 1 piece track link like Friuls and Magic Tracks do. Why is it that companies are making us install every little guide horn on our tracks...2 per link. I am sure there has to be a reason but I don't know why. Is it cheaper for companies to make them like this? I really hate these types of tracks...



Ironic is it not? We clamor for greater detail and accuracy. Then when they give us what we ask for we complain.
TopSmith
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 01:04 PM UTC
Hummm... Sometimes they give us too much of a good thing. Like receiving your paycheck in pennies. I would have about 2 tons to have to take to the bank.
obg153
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 02:47 PM UTC
I'm with Mike & Anthony on this. I hate these types of tracks. Not only guide horns, but some kits even have separate pads as well. That's where your 1100-piece kit has half of 'em tied up in the tracks. This doesn't amount to "more play hours," but mind-numbing assembly instead. Or even greater detail & accuracy, since most of the guide horns won't be seen once the roadwheels are installed and mud/snow are added. To date, I have refused to buy any kit that contains these sets, and can't imagine changing my mind.
GazzaS
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 05:30 PM UTC
I hate individual guide horns. When I was 13 years old and short of money but with plenty of time, I would have loved it. But that was a long time ago. Now I'm short of time. I have a couple Meng kits with tracks like that, but you can be certain that I'll be buying something else to put on the roadwheels.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Tuesday, February 04, 2020 - 06:52 PM UTC
Plastic modeling, like golf, shooting, fishing, painting, etc., is a hobby. It's something that we choose to do, for FUN.

I have many hobbies. All involve parts and activities and aspects which are more enjoyable, and some which are less so. In general, I skip the parts and aspects of my hobbies which I seriously dislike. I don't bother complaining about those parts. I just skip them. And if skipping something prevents me from enjoying that hobby, I move on and recognize that that hobby isn't for me. (I like power boating, but found actually maintaining my boat wasn't worth it, so I got out of floating money-holes in water...!)

Some modelers like lots of tiny parts in a kit (I sorta do...). Others, not. Some like "realistic" over easy and convenient (my pref), others like simpler and easier. Some like to build, others to paint. NOBODY is forced to like all of it, or even any of it (though, I would hesitate to guess why someone who dislikes all of the things found in modeling would bother with any of it). Buy the kits you like and do with them whatever you want to do - there are more than enough great kits for about any modeler's life-time, I think!

My suggestion to those who don't like separate track-horns is to do one of about 2 things: Either skip buying those kits, or just find some AM replacement track. Be HAPPY with whatever you choose to do! This is a hobby. Do what makes it FUN for you. I've never found it enjoyable or worth-while to complain about things that I actually, with clear vision, CHOSE TO DO.

Just a thought!
Biggles2
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 03:11 AM UTC
While we're on about tediousness, how about this -
http://modelshipwrights.kitmaker.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=34659
864 indie links to make an anchor chain in 1/700. High parts count in a single small flat-pack! Guaranteed to keep you amused (or enraged!) for hours!
Scarred
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 03:18 AM UTC
When I have a AFV with indi links I start assembling the tracks first. I'll do 10-20 links then work on the tank for a while, let the parts dry and work on links again.

Cuts down on the rage factor.
TankManNick
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 07:25 AM UTC
You can make the argument that tank models are ALL about the tracks. After all, this is what separates tanks from other types of models!

What I am saying is that I fully understand the quest for super detailed and accurate tracks! If that's not for you then use the simpler bands or model vehicles with wheels!

I like tracked vehicles but the tracks can often be a pain point so I for one am always looking for upgrades when needed. Having said that I have still used band tracks for some builds. Not all builds are created "equal"! I keep some 'just for fun'
tankmodeler
#417
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 07:27 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Why is it so many manufacturers don't give you a 1 piece track link like Friuls and Magic Tracks do. Why is it that companies are making us install every little guide horn on our tracks...2 per link. I am sure there has to be a reason but I don't know why. Is it cheaper for companies to make them like this? I really hate these types of tracks...


Why?

Because modellers who want the highest accuracy asked for them and buy them.

If people want less involved tracks, they exist, buy those.

To replicate certain kinds of tracks accurately, the higher part count and teeny parts is needed. Again, if that's not for you, don't buy them.

I like the highest accuracy possible. I _like_ those tracks so I buy them. They certainly can be tedious, but, in the end, the final result is what I wanted and paid for so I'm totally OK with them.

To repliciate not only the details of the individual links, but also the way those links articulate in the assembled tracks needs a separate part for the connectors between the links in a string of track.

Luckily, there are a range of tracks to suite most modellers from those who like only rubber band to those who only like the most detailed.

Paul
babaoriley
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 08:59 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Ironic is it not? We clamor for greater detail and accuracy. Then when they give us what we ask for we complain.



How about *useful* detail and accuracy rather than merely more pieces? Periscopes that can be installed either raised or lowered is useful added accuracy, people will be able to see that. Breaking down track links into more pieces strikes me as just increasing the part count.
Armorsmith
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Posted: Wednesday, February 05, 2020 - 09:06 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Ironic is it not? We clamor for greater detail and accuracy. Then when they give us what we ask for we complain.



How about *useful* detail and accuracy rather than merely more pieces? Periscopes that can be installed either raised or lowered is useful added accuracy, people will be able to see that. Breaking down track links into more pieces strikes me as just increasing the part count.



I guess it's a matter of perspective. As per one of the above post there are those who find multi part tracks "useful". As for me, I really don't have any complaints about what is or is not included in today's kits. I just appreciate the fact that there are so many manufacturers to choose from and the and the wide variety of kits that they offer, not to mention the plethora of AM products also available.
obg153
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 06:33 AM UTC
"Useful detail & accuracy," is right on point, Doug!! A newly posted build on an RFMM1A2 Abrams by Janos Skulteti would seem to prove this point. Janos specifically notes that the tracks were 6 parts per link, and 78 links per side. That makes 468 pieces per track (x2), totaling 936 parts on tracks alone. While Janos' build is really well done,, I fail to see how all those pieces add anything to the "detail or accuracy" of the finished build.
Even if you were displaying a pristine, fresh-off-the-wash-rack tank sitting in the motor pool, less than half of all that "detail & accuracy" will be visible.

KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 07:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text

Ironic is it not? We clamor for greater detail and accuracy. Then when they give us what we ask for we complain.



How about *useful* detail and accuracy rather than merely more pieces? Periscopes that can be installed either raised or lowered is useful added accuracy, people will be able to see that. Breaking down track links into more pieces strikes me as just increasing the part count.



I don't know of anyone who chose between two models of the same subject based on "parts count" (e.g. one with 450 parts vs. one with 700), so that's really a specious argument. These parts are added to add more detail.

The fact is that separate guide horns are not just useful but inescapable if you want to fully and correctly depict some sorts of tracks or to make them workable to aid assembly or show sag.

Road wheels are also "hidden by mud or snow", so why have any molding details on their backs, or on the belly of the tank?

KL
KurtLaughlin
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 07:37 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I'm with Mike & Anthony on this. I hate these types of tracks. Not only guide horns, but some kits even have separate pads as well. That's where your 1100-piece kit has half of 'em tied up in the tracks. This doesn't amount to "more play hours," but mind-numbing assembly instead. Or even greater detail & accuracy, since most of the guide horns won't be seen once the roadwheels are installed and mud/snow are added. To date, I have refused to buy any kit that contains these sets, and can't imagine changing my mind.



So, if a kit of one of your favorite subjects came out with these tracks and alternative 1-piece tracks, you wouldn't buy it? What if a company came out with replacement 1-piece tracks that went for $10, you couldn't see buying the kit?

Absolutism only hurts you.

KL
brekinapez
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 08:45 AM UTC

Quoted Text

"Useful detail & accuracy," is right on point, Doug!! A newly posted build on an RFMM1A2 Abrams by Janos Skulteti would seem to prove this point. Janos specifically notes that the tracks were 6 parts per link, and 78 links per side. That makes 468 pieces per track (x2), totaling 936 parts on tracks alone. While Janos' build is really well done,, I fail to see how all those pieces add anything to the "detail or accuracy" of the finished build.
Even if you were displaying a pristine, fresh-off-the-wash-rack tank sitting in the motor pool, less than half of all that "detail & accuracy" will be visible.




Sit that Abrams next to Tamiya's with the rubber band tracks and tell me there's no difference in detail. My Tamiya Tiger I sitting next to my Dragon Tiger I looks like a toy in comparison.

Bottom line is you don't have to buy the higher count kit. I don't mind doing tracks so I will go for the better detail.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 11:39 AM UTC
I'm with you on that, Shell. Detail counts, to me, too. But everyone should choose and buy and build the kits which please them most. If the multitude of tiny bits don't call you, simply don't buy that one!

Fortunately, we live in an amazing age of modeling and there are lots of options out there for to fit almost any desire or wish regarding details, parts-richness, and kit features! Me? I'll take the separate horns and itty-bitty bits "ad-nauseum" over simplification and rubber-bands every day!

I do admit that maybe I'm a little bit masochistic!

Bob
obg153
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 02:18 PM UTC
I've never purchased any kit based on parts count. Molding detail on the belly of a tank is a totally separate issue from parts quantity.
And it's a given that comparing same-vehicle kits from different manufacturers will obviously show differences in detail and accuracy, so that's not an argument in favor of a +900-piece track set.
As to tracks, I've built numerous kits that had Magic Tracks or similar indie-link sets, have also used assorted AM sets for various reasons, and had no problem with any of these sets. And yes, if a kit I wanted only came with a +900-piece track set, I'd look for something else.



brekinapez
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Posted: Sunday, February 09, 2020 - 02:39 PM UTC
Well, if you want to believe a rubber band track is just as good as individual links then go on with your bad self.
LonCray
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Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020 - 01:35 AM UTC
My experience with the RFM tracks (M1A2) is two-part. First time I tried to put them together, I tried following the instructions. I loaded those little templates with a full load of outer pads, then the rod/guide horn assemblies, then... disaster since I could never get them all to stay in place long enough to get the inner pads on. I shelved those models for over a year. The other day, I pulled one out to try again. ONE set of outer pads, two rod assemblies and a little extra patience... and success! It's almost mind-numbing to do it over and over again - and not every one stayed together so a few got a li'l Tamiya Extra Thin in them. But with hours of work and a sore neck, I have one track done. It's going to sit next to the tank after painting since that tank is undergoing power pack replacement. Was it worth the work? I don't know yet. But at least I know it's possible.
House
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Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020 - 02:07 AM UTC
We have the owner of a large armor and aircraft manufacturer in our club. He brings pre-release kits in for us to build. I do have to admit the ones with individual track parts look beautiful and the guys who are assembling the kits (no masters here) complain a bit about those guide horns and pads but ,to a tee, say the outcome was well worth the effort. Just my observation from an outsider (as I have never tackled such tracks)
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020 - 02:46 AM UTC
One thing to consider before starting the assembly of those tracks: Is it really really absolutely necessary have them "working"?
Going for solid runs make life much easier. Short curved section to go around the sprocket wheel and the idler. The sections for the sprockets may need to be split depending on geometry. The top run starts a 2 to 3 teeth onto the sprocket and ends with a hook of 3-4 links over the idler. Bottom run follows the ground, usually straight except for those kits where the suspension allows posing of the wheels over uneven ground. Maybe include the sections rising to meet the idler and the sprocket wheel.

The track does not need to be "working" all the way until it gets on the vehicle. It definitely does not need to be workable afterwards unless you plan on installing RC or pushing it back and forth over the work table making wroom-wroom noises ....
panzerbob01
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Posted: Monday, February 10, 2020 - 03:11 AM UTC
quote[It definitely does not need to be workable afterwards unless you plan on installing RC or pushing it back and forth over the work table making wroom-wroom noises ....]quote

My, Robin, that just sound soooo kill-joy-ish! And here I've always thought that most of us armor modelers are really (if somewhat secretively) deeply into pushing our plastic Panzers around going "vroooom, vrooooom!" Just simply devastating to see such skepticism!

OK. I personally don't push them around... I always knock tiny bits off when I do that, and it's hard on my usual chalk-dust weathering... But I do like to take a small paint-brush and sort of flip the top runs up and down a few dozen times. You know, just to see how much "track-slap" there could be on the "real thing"!

Know, IF we were talking wheeled AFV... Well, that's a wholly different thing!



Bob