Issues with wheels of Type 69-II of Takom

Hi all,
I’m building the kit of Iraqui Type 69-II of Takom, 1/35. I knew that there were some issues on the road wheels, and now I see this thing better. A metal rim dividing the rubber part from the metallic part is not reproduced on the kit’s wheels.
This creates both an accuracy issue, both difficulty to painting the steel and rubber parts of different colors.
I’m considering the possibiity to buy a set of wheels of Miniart as the easiest solution. Now I would be sure of some things:
the wheels of the Takom kit have hub caps of two different sizes, the first road wheel has a cap with slightly larger diameter than the other wheels. Now, at a first look, this doesn’t seem confirmed in photos of real T-69-II. Can anyone confirm or deny this for sure?
For what I know, the first hub of larger size was characteristic of T-55, while T-54s have caps with the same diameter on each wheel and I think that Type 69 should be the same of T-54. Can anyone confirm or deny this for sure?
Miniart has two different sets of wheels, one for T-54 and T-55 early, another for standard T-55. Should I buy the first one?
Has anyone found any other good solution to this issue that doesn’t involve to buy this set of wheels?
Thank you for any help.

Here’s a workable solution.

ESCI Leopard 2, long ago and no replacement wheels. The model didn’t have a lip or ridge on the road wheels.

I tried a circle template.

a) paint wheel & tire a rubber black color

d) Mask tire off with the circle template, carefully center the wheel

c) Carefully airbrush vehicle color into center of the wheel and rim.

I should have paid more attention to properly centering wheel etc.

If the replacement wheels fit that’s a good choice.


Edited for clarity

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All the hubs seem to be the same size.
Miniart 37056, T-54, T-55 (early) provides 10 (5 + 5) wheels with small hubs and 2 (1 + 1) wheels with the larger hub. The hubs are separate parts so the Takom hubs could be used in case the Type 69-II hubs are special in some way.
This means you have the option of 5 wheels each side with all the same hubs or 4 same + one larger
Large side view

However! The lip on the Miniart wheels is a bit low and wide.
Another option is to glue a strip of thin styrene around the inside edge of Takom parts B1


As Robin has said the hubs should all be the same size, the type 69 is a direct descendant of the T 54.

According to this fine scale modeller review the rim is part of the rubber tyre (albeit faintly) you could enhance it with plastic strip to your suiting

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Hi all, thank you for your suggestion.

Taking into account the problem of the larger hub, the best solution seems to replace all the road wheels with those of the T-54 of Miniart.
Eventually, I could have a look to my spares where I have wheels from other kits including Esci.

I had considered also the idea of a mask for painting the metal rim, but I don’t know if I am able to cut perfect circles of the right diameter. If I find one, I could glue something to make the positioning more accurate. But if I make one mask, I have to use it twenty times, it tooks a lot of time and the airbrush would have problems with drying the paint. Besides it doesn’t resolve the thing of the hubs.
Self adhesive masks sets are listed on online shops but their price isn’t far from that of a whole wheels set.

About adding a plastic rim: if we consider a plasticard stripe inside the hole of the B1, the problem is that it couldn’t exceed 0,1 mm thickness as it is; else I could enlarge the diameter of the hole removing the thin rim and remake it from inside with a more appropriate thickness. I’ve already made something similar for the inner rims of an Hetzer of Italeri (a waste of time, seeing how cheap is a Takom kit now), but one can’t expect a perfect work, so one can try to follow this path only if there is the possibility to add mud to hide eventual defects, but it is unlikely for an Iraqui tank.

Enhancing the rim with plastic stripes would be not so easy, one should bend the stripe (0,25x0,25 mm?) in perfectly circular way, I can’t see how to do this.

Another thing: on walkarounds of ex-Iraqui Type 69, I’ve seen often or always an extension of the exhaust pipe, a prismatic thing bolted to the flange, with an hinged cover: I have to check if it was on all the known Iraqui Type 69, if so it will have to be scratchbuilt.

Definitely understand replacement wheels are an outstanding option.

There’s no need to cut any circles or anything else when using a circle template. The template itself can be used as the mask.

My circle template has 30+ years of being used as the mask and sprayed to paint the center of road wheels.


Some tanks were fitted with a rather crude but effective smoke screen generator. Though the Type 69 series could pump diesel on to the hot exhaust to generate smoke, Iraqi Type 69-IIs ran narrow pipes from the rear exhaust area, along the left side of the hull to the front so smoke could be pumped out of it.

IIRC some T-72s were fitted also fitted with a similar system.



So that’s what those pipes were for. I have seen them on tanks before, but I had no idea what they did.

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My suggestion was more like a 0,25 x 2,5 mm strip glued to the inside of the “tyre”

Something like this

Bending a thin strip to a perfect circle on top of the “tire” would be extremely difficult.
Maybe with a pipe/cylinder filling the center of the “tire”.
Press the strip against the cyilinder and glue it in position a little bit at the time
working slowly around the cylinder.
The ends need to be preshaped or by making more than a full circle, say 380 degrees.
The strip could be wound around the cylinder, forming a spring, and then cut to
360 degree segments.

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Hi all, thanks for the suggestions.

I have a circle template of appropriate diameter, but centering the wheel on the hole would be most difficult, particularly for 20 times.
I could try by fixing some centering references on the back of the template, I could try making them by plastic and fixing them by tape. It would be a long work of painting but feasible.
Of course this wouldn’t resolve the thing of the different hubs.
The good thing is that I don’t risk to ruin kit parts if the thing doesn’t work well.

Some tanks were fitted with a rather crude but effective smoke screen generator. Though the Type 69 series could pump diesel on to the hot exhaust to generate smoke, Iraqi Type 69-IIs ran narrow pipes from the rear exhaust area, along the left side of the hull to the front so smoke could be pumped out of it.

Very interesting, I wonder how to scratchbuilt the pipes. An unique bended metal rod seems difficult to make and glue, while the curves would be difficult to make with plastic rod.

My suggestion was more like a 0,25 x 2,5 mm strip glued to the inside of the “tyre”

Something like this

Seems that this idea will make the hole smaller and overposes to the part A20. To avoid this, I would have to remove the inner rib of the B1, but it is a long and risky work.

Bending a thin strip to a perfect circle on top of the “tire” would be extremely difficult.
Maybe with a pipe/cylinder filling the center of the “tire”.

Interesting, but it is likely that the added rim glues to the cylinder too.

The strip could be wound around the cylinder, forming a spring, and then cut to
360 degree segments.
Interesting again but the elasticity of the plastic would enlarge the curvature radius of the bended strip as soon as cutten.

I had a look to the wheels of T-55 of Esci, I’ve lots of spare ones.
The problem of the rim and of the cap diameter would be resolved. Though, the axial thickness of the rubber rim of the Esci wheels is 4,1 mm while the parts of the Takom kit are 5,2 mm. If the Takom is correct, the Esci wheels are too thin. Besides they would require other adaptation works, so the solution doesn’t seem too good.

I wonder if there is any shop creating masks on order by cutting adhesive paper, or thin plastic circles by a laser cnc cutter. Anyway I fear that such solution would be more expensive in time and money than buying the set of Miniart.

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As a Plan B, I guess you should find everything you need in the Plastruct range


I needed some small discs of tape for masking bolts on an IDF vehicle. Punching masking tape is not easy. Punching masking tape when it’s applied to card stock is a breeze, The you get a bonus - the small discs of tape and small plastic discs.
Punches come in a variety of sizes. I have them from micro punches all the way up to sheet metal punches. I used one of the larger ones to add hood pins to my car.
This size might work for you:

You can use the tape or the plastic - your choice. Maybe not on this project, but the technique comes in handy quite often.

Yes, here in the US it’s called FastSigns.

Maybe find someone who owns one of these:

The only item in all of Michael’s that does not qualify for their 40% off coupon. :confused:

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Life sucks except when it sucks some more :wink:

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I forgot to add that you can use those, but you’ll have to enlarge/reshape the holes in the sopkes.

I’ve a Su-122-54 of Miniart still to build. Its wheel sprues are the same sold separately. I am considering to use these sprues for the T-69, and then buy a replacement for the other kit. These wheels seem well compatible in size, with a marginally wider hub hole. The rim is a bit faint, but better than on Takom wheels. No ugly junctions between the rim and the wheel disk, difficult to hide on a tank employed on desertic areas, all caps of the same size.

Esci wheels would be usable, but they are thin. I am aware of the need to open the holes that seem closed by a sort of disk, , but it leaves a space between the wheel halves that would require to be closed with plasticard and putty. On the whole, it would be a lot of work for an uncertain improvement over Takom.

Today I’ve asked the price for 24 laser-cutten rims of plasticard 0,2 mm; it is nearly 40 €. Surely not an option.

Go for that Miniart set

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Hi all’,
I’ve continued the building and I have to report some small issues with this otherwise excellent kit.

The wheels of Miniart have been utilized and fit in excellent way; only, I had to trim a bit the hub of the sprocket to move it about 0,4 mm inside so it was aligned with the road wheels center plan and allow to put the tracks without issues. As an alternative, one could add plasticad disks of the same thickness to move the road wheels a bit outside.
The problem was worse on the front wheel; when installed the tensioner brace, the wheel mid plan was outside of about 1 mm when compared to the road wheels. I think that I would have had problems even utilizing the original road wheels.
I had to work on the tensioner brace and base to move the wheel inside and align.
The tracks are very good, but each link has two small extracion circle inside, not deep but a bit of work is necessary.
Some of the track links have their outer ‘wings’ deformed in some ways, probably during the extraction from the mould. It is even possible that I have deformed some of them while grinding. Anyway the defective links were few and the bag contains some more pieces, so one can make a selection before gluing.
It is interesting to note that the color of the tracks of Type 69 is relatively light and with no rust, at least when operational in semi-desertic areas.
The outside of the turret look remarkably good and all the cage armour fitted well.
There are two alternative covers for the gun shield: one is in rigid plastic, divided into two parts, while an alternative one was of vinyl, in one piece; the vinul one was better looking, but it was necessary to make some holes to fit the laser rangefinder over the mantlet, and the holes on the vinyl part closed after the extraction of the drill, so I had to use the rigid cover that hadn’t problems to be drilled.
An unhappy characteristic of the kit is that the gun has an elevation hinge, but the cover can fit only in one position.
I was considering to leave the hatches open and position a crew, but there is no interior and, worse, there are voids between the inner of the hatch cupolas and the holes on the turret roof; for what I see on documents, this area should have a vertical cylindrical wall. It is very noticeable with open hatches and the inside painted white. It is nothing too difficult to scratchbuild, but the turret is already built and has a lot of fragile details, so I prefer to skip and leave the hatches closed.

The kit includes an aluminum cable that looks good, but unfortunately its diameter of 1.2 mm is excessive, photos show that the diameter should be 1 mm. I had to replace it with a burnished copper one.

Another problem that I found is that the fine DShKM was somewat deformed during the extraction from the mould. I managed to repair it, anyway the kit includes also, as alternative, the Chinese version of the same weapon that is slightly different (and more appropriate for a Chinese-built tank).

This is all for now.