It’s been a while since I posted anything close to a build inn progress here, and it’s nice to be back. I just wanted to comment on the level of effort it has taken thus far to try to do as close to a perfect wheel/tire demarcation on the subject 1/35 Meng kit. I’ve always considered myself something of a fanatic on making the interface between wheels and tires ‘perfect’. That’s why, contrary to many of you, I’ve always appreciated kits with separate wheels and tires, to make the painting of this interface as easy as possible. Also, just my own idiosyncrasy, I’ve never found the masking of tires and spraying the wheel paint color, to be satisfactorily perfect. But I’ve found, on these Gal Batash (M60A1) tank wheels, that the ridge where the tire and wheel meet, is just incredibly small/short/tiny, and I’ve found the only way to do this to my own personal satisfaction, is to dilute Tamiya Rubber Black to a very thin consistency, and use an extremely fine brush to allow the diluted paint to fill that rim with capillary action. I’ve done this many times with other tank wheels/tires, but this kit’s wheels are the closest to actually requiring this capillary action, and due to the diction, may require serval applications to get the density of the Rubber Black color sufficient.
One other thing of note. I’ve seen, in several other forum posts, that many folks have written that these Meng wheels/tires are, in fact, the separate wheels and tires that I write about above. I can see where someone may make this error, but if you look at any good reference (I have the Desert Eagle Publishing ‘Magach 6B Gal and Gal Batash in IDF Service, Part 2’), you’ll see that, at least for the front of the wheel/tire, the ‘ridge’ that I write about is, in fact, the wheel and tire separation point, and the inner part of that part needs to be painted in the tank paint color. The reverse side of that part is, in fact, the tire itself, and can be painted in rubber color before inserting the wheel hubs into those parts.
Just wondering if I’m the only one who has found these wheels to be this level of challenge.
I airbrush the whole wheel in tank colour and when dry I spin the wheels, mounted on a narrow cone, in a slowly rotating mini drill.
Apply the paint brush at the outer edge of the rubber tire and slowly move inwards to the rim.
If the separation is exactly at the joint between rim and tire then the tire ias easy to paint.
All other variants get the spinning treatment.
Most kits have the hole for the axle almost perfectly centered so that it is easy to get the wheels
to spin without too much wobble. A wobble can be handled by spinning at a lower rpm and
moving the brush with the wobble.
Use a cheap and weak mini drill (Dremels have way to HIGH RPM). The cheap/weak can be controlled by using the thumb as a friction brake. Done it lots of times.
A complete set of roadwheels for a Pz IV (2 x 8 x 2 x 2 = 64 tire - rim interfaces) took me less than 30 minutes.
I also try and usually fail to get a nice clear paint line when I do the wheels but just to throw a different look on it; Dont forget that once a vehicle leaves the factory all shiny and new, and has demarcation lines easily defined etc etc, the crew may then paint, touch up certain areas (including the wheels) or completely repaint it. There is plenty of scope to have paint over-spray and or brush strokes of paint over the outer rubber rim so they may not always be perfect … just a thought if you get an inadvertent blob on a rim
Don’t know if you use an airbrush at all, however I bought this for £1 from a cheap shop and use this for wheels. I paint the tyre section first and then use this as a mask held over the wheel/hub and spray as vertically as I can. I find it gives a quite sharp result as long as you are careful and as you can see can be used for just about any wheel size. As you can see I haven’t cleaned it since using it on my Saladin build.
A circle template like @Maximus8425 posted plus quality airbrush makes painting wheels with good demarcation lines child’s play. The ‘spin move’ @Uncle-Heavy mentioned works very well too.
Specialized wheel templates for a specific vehicle make it almost too fast & easy to get good demarcation lines on a whole batch of wheels at once.
Those little hair line seams that can occur plus extra part clean up required make separate road wheel & tire a suboptimal design choice in my experience. Minor filling with ultra thin paint consistency putty is often needed for ideal tire to wheel fit on some combinations. Of course that’s nowhere near as vinyl tires going on plastic road wheels.
I have this same kit and I purchased a set of Fruil metal track links (Merkava Mk.ll). After assembly one side of track links, the kit drive sprockets (teeth) do not line up with the metal track links!! Just to say that I’m highly pissed off is a understatement
Thanks to everyone who replied! I actually completed my wheel/tire painting, and I ended up using my old standby method, the highly diluted paint on a very fine brush, sort of gently depositing a blob of paints where the tire is, and leaving capillary action to get the rim completely (and accurately) filled in. I would say it takes maybe 10-12 ‘blobs’ to completely fill the tire area. I always forget that after I warm up a little, that is, get into the swing of painting, even this method goes pretty fast. I’m guessing that all the wheels took less than any hour.
@Cutigerfan: I’m sorry for your trouble. I verified, just after reading your post, that my Fruil tracks (just like yours, the Merkava II tracks, ATL66) fit the kit drive sprockets. Mine fit perfectly. I was a bit nervous before I checked, but I had verified a few individual links before putting the tracks together. Something, obviously, isn’t correct with your situation, either the tracks or the plastic sprocket. If you’d like to post a picture here, or send a picture or 2 to my e-mail, email@example.com, I’d really like to see how far off the teeth and the track holes are. I find that sometimes, when doing metal tracks for a kit, I have to do a bit of gentle ‘forcing’ to get an initial fit. However, that was not the case with this situation, the Fruil tracks and the Gal Batash.
I agree that this must be the case. Another notable model kit that has vinyl tires, and which also includes a significant part of the wheel on the vinyl ‘tire’ part, is the AFV Club 1967 Shot Centurion. I’ve built that kit, and ended up spraying almost the entire vinyl part in the body color of the tank, and then hand painting the tires like I’ve written I did today.
I have seen this happen before with the specific Merkava tracks. Especially the first production batch had an issue where the track run tended to veer off in one direction instead of being straight, resulting in it not fitting the sprockets due to a difference in pitch. Try using a drill bit just a tad wider in diameter to give the pins connecting the links a bit of slack. If that does not work and you still want to use the specific track then gluing it in place might work.