Leopard A5 or A6 tank tracks color

Could some of the experts on here with knowledge of the leopards help me with a track question?

My question is did the track usually get painted to match the scheme of the tank? Were the rubber pads painted over then just worn off during usage or avoiding painting the pads part of the process? Was a factory track a certain color or was in changed once delivered?

I generally use Tamiya dark iron for the metal parts and a dark grey/rubber color for the rubber track pads.


I think I will just use vallejo pigments and then paint the pads.

I still wonder what color the tracks come out of the factory as.

New, the track parts are painted semi-gloss black, with shiny rubber rubber parts.
However once fitted, within a few miles the black is rapidly worn off, & go rusty quite quickly.
Noticable is the way the insides of the guide horns are polished to a high finish.


On brand new tracks the metal parts are light bare metallic gray, like a dark dull silver. The rubber parts are semi-gloss black like brand new car tires That’s out of factory. Very quickly the rubber shine rubs off, and the metal parts that don’t wear against other metal parts, acquire a combination of rust and dirt. Metal parts that do rub against other metal oarts, such as the Guide horns, are polished to a shiny metallic silver.

If the tank is truly freshly painted and have not been driven, the tracks and the rubber tyres on the road wheels will likely all be covered by overspray so the tracks and road wheels are all the same colors as the rest of the tank. But just driving a little will wear the paint off of the tracks and the road wheel tires.


This is the usual look of the tracks

I find this photo interesting, it is of a demonstration vehicle, you can clearly see parts of the tracks repainted with the color of the wheels, probably because they were repainting the vehicle



It all depends what you are depicting. A new tank would have clean shiny tracks as described (grey metal bits, fresh rubber pads), while the same tank driven a few miles would have dust hiding the colours, and a tank once driven and then washed/parked would have all the metal bits covered in a thin layer of orangy rust that wears off as soon as it drives again. The tanks come factory-painted in camo so the tracks shouldn’t have any overspray, but if for some reason they get re-sprayed later I would expect overspray to coat the tracks too. Spare links in stowage follow a similar pattern, except they don’t get scraped clean through use obviously!


Some good, knowledgeable answers here on what the real tracks look like. To depict this, I paint my tracks with Tamiya dark iron, then Ammo track wash, then pick out the pads with Tamiya rubber black, and lastly hit the guide horns with a HB pencil to give them that authentic metallic shine.


It also depends of course of where you’re depicting your model: see below (training area) where even the “shiny” bits on the inside of the track are quite dull:

Tamiya Buff can be your friend here! (sometimes it doesn’t get much more complicated than that!)


Reference my last: just for clarity not a Leopard.


Try a 4B pencil or softer (B>5) and you might find the result even better


I thank you for all of these answers. It helps with this build and how I will treat the next better quality leopard I will build.

This is from the Italeri kit and it was so crappy to other brands I wanted to use it for practice in weathering. This will end up with cleaner looking pads.

Business Insider ran an article about the refurbishment of M1 Abrams tanks; one of the illustrations was a track being taken back to its tank to be remounted. The tracks were dismounted and refurbished, with damaged track pads and links replaced. The track is only off the tank for a few days, but you can see how the metal parts of the track are already growing a coat of rust.

Once the tank is reassembled, it’s run around a test track, at the conclusion of which all the rust on the tracks is gone, replaced with a light coating of dirt and dust. So barkingdigger is quite correct; how the tracks look depends on the state you want the tank to be in – out in the field in the dust, dirt, and mud, washed in the vehicle park for inspection, or sitting idle for a few days waiting to be sent out again. And the material the tracks were made of is important, too – for example, early WWII German tank tracks were made from Mangalloy, a manganese steel, and did not acquire a rust patina the same way that steel tracks from the late war did when strategic material shortages curtailed the use of Mangalloy for tracks.


yes, I was aware of that pic when doing my past Abrams builds. Not to get to deep into overthinking this. just wondering once in service and bouncing around deployments how either paint build up or change of colors would get into the joints and if created different tracks effects. Also how over spray paint would have to get into the side openings in the pads and with no way to contact the ground, show as the color just shot. I get that this isnt as much of an issue with Leopard colors, but maybe with a Euro Abrams switching theater and sprayed tan.

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Slightly off topic, but I see the wheel centers (grease filling caps?) are red. Are they still red colored in combat situations, or would the wheels typically be so covered in mud/dust, etc. that any color would be irrelevant?
:smiley: :canada:

This is a KFOR vehicle, the wheels are all mud/dust

and here is someone who overdid it with the pigments


Was that last one driven through a rampart at speed? Or is it the new “mole” variant?.. :grin:

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Leopard tank tracks came from the factory coated with a dark protective film on the track shoe/pads. Never painted to match any camo. The tracks lots the coating while being used, and the track pads would show some wear. Tracks in use cross country, would have a metallic shine, if stationary for a period of time, the tracks would start to rust and take on a slight orange colour. Photos for reference, former Leopard Tank Commander.



Thanks guys for all the helpful information !

@recceboy Thank you so much for that info. That is showing exactly what I was curious about, and how if whatever countries do painting how it would possibly effect it.