Styrene individual link track trick

I'm pretty new around here, so someone may have described this before; but n the offhand chance they didn't; here's a very slick little trick for doing easy tread runs using individual-link styrene tracks. Several years ago, I purchased the ICM 1/35 scale T-35 tank kit; as anyone who has purchased this kit knows, the tracks are made up of hundreds of individual styrene links. After having driven myself half-batty doing the individual links on the DML Maus tank kit, I knew there had to be an easier way to do this, and remembered what had happened to a model plane I had assembled with Testors liquid cement when it got left out in the sun around a year after it was finished (the landing gear collapsed). So here's the trick: Take the track links and start gluing them together along the edge of a ruler with Testors liquid cement. Then let the whole strip dry for a couple of hours. This sounds crazy, but bear with me. Then paint them any way you want, like you would any model part, with any wear, rust, mud or highlights on them you want on the finished model. Now the key to it all; get yourself a hand-held blow dryer. As soon as the tracks are heated by the blow dryer's warm air, they will become flexible as the glue softens due to the heat. So you simply wrap the tread around the tank's undercarriage like you would a vinyl track and join the two ends together at the top (in a case where this section of the track will be covered when the tank is finished) or under one of the road wheels if the whole track is exposed; if the track starts to stiffen, reheat it with the blow dryer and it will soften again. Once the track is in place and joined together, you can heat the top of it and get the sag you want between the return rollers (like those huge droops on the KV-1 and Stalin tanks) just hold it in the position you want, and it will stay there as it cools and the glue resolidifies. This turned doing the tracks on the T-35 into a piece of cake; both were put on the tank inside of 1/2 hour, with all their painting already done.


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Pat Flannery
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