Painting Individual tracks, How do you do it?

Hello Everyone,
Just wanted to ask how does everyone paint individual track links, plastic/resin? I find I am struggling with them and using too much paint. Hard to get everything covered, lots of nooks and crannies. I would be interested in learning how you do it? What do you use and your airbrush settings, psi etc. Thank you all in advance for all the help.

Best Wishes,

Walter

Somewhere in Ohio…

I actually brush paint my track runs. I just lay them out on a sheet of cardboard and dab around with the big harry stick. I too am probably using more paint than necessary, but I find it easier to get into all the crevices than with my airbrush.

Paint before cementing the running gear to the tank.

I use my airbrush and also paint them before attaching them to the running gear.

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I paint them off the vehicle. It just seems I use a lot to paint to do it. I probably use a full color cup, 8ml or so. I use a Mr. Hobby PS-270. I think I use more paint painting the track runs than I do the actual vehicle. I just find it very tedious to do. Would priming them first help? I know I will have to with the resin tracks. Just a thought.

If they are indy track try using a can like a furniture polish can. Wrap the track around the can. this opens the space between the track. Use an airbrush and spray a color like Tamiiya"s dark iron. When dry, flip the track over, wrap around the can and spray the new side. When dry weather to your hearts content.

The most challenging way (at least to me) is to paint them after they are installed.

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I assemble the entire model including the tracks before painting. I prime with rattle can flat back - either Mr Surfacer 1500 or Krylon Colormax (from the hardware store). The visible portions of track are then brush painted and weathered in place. The results are good, and it is much faster.

Thanks Topsmith, I like the “wrapped can idea” . I really dislike then small joint area between the links, this is a much better idea to help get them painted. May even use some double sided tape and find a old krylon can or similar, that way I can keep my fingers flesh color and not brownish iron color, or grey or…

Yeah I’ve tried that can method when I painted a set of fruit tracks for a VT-34 and 38T and they came great.

Off vehicle

Painting plastic tracks, typically two thin coats of airbrushed paint on each side shot at ~45 degree angle.

~12 to ~15 psi, hobby enamel paint thinned ~50%

Key part is a couple of dirt & dust washes over the tracks top & bottom. This also makes sure all of the nooks and crannies in the tracks get covered.

Also brush painting tracks can also work pretty well applying Tamiya Dark Iron thinned 50% as a heavy wash several times.

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I paint them off the vehicle. If they are movable it’s easier as you can stretch them out and spray then roll them up and touch in the missing bits. If they are like DML “Magic Tracks” it’s a bit more difficult as you have to assemble them in a way in which you can still get them back on the vehicle. I usually assemble them in two halves, top run and bottom run so I can get them round the sprocket. Then treat them like rubber tracks, spray inside and out. I always start with black primer (like the vehicle) then overspray with brown trying to leave the black in the treads and crevices. Then spray with earth colour and finally dry brush with steel, then weathering powder if desired. I can’t imagine how people paint them on the vehicle; if they get good results my hat’s off to them for a steady hand and good eyesight (not applicable at 64!).

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Ah, 64. you and me both. Omni visor required.

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I paint them on the sprues as if you are careful snipping them off there is little to no cleanup required. Once painted and washed etc they go on the painted model lower hull.

Paints depend on a lot of things but I’ve found a system that works for me.

1 - black matt primer, usually rattle can or Mig One Shot by airbrush.
2 - Mig Dark Tracks base layer
3 - Metallic wash made of 25% Vallejo black was, 25% flesh wash, 25% pale grey wash, 10% Vallejo metallic polished steel paint and 15% thinner.
4 - wet pigments fixed with hairspray.
5 - dust layer where appropriate with a thick wash of yellow or dust wash.
6 - cleats and track edges picked out in either 6B pencil or lightly brushed with polished metal raw pigments, depending on mood.

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I have wondered about doing that in the past, but I tend to find they don’t stick as well (perhaps I’m using the wrong glue!) once they are painted unless they are cleaned up which would be tiresome. I guess it’s whatever works best for you.

64! You kid you. Closing in on 72

64! You kid. Closing in on 72

Doc asks how I’m doing, I say I don’t know, I’ve never been 64 before so I don’t know what normal for 64 is.

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Hi there !
I painted Magic track on one kit: Good if tracks are dirty.

I’m scared with Friul tracks : I must take care not to rub the paint during the weathering process, but I now have the tank on a post. In the end I’m scared on how attach the model on the base : I don’t trust the gluing “painted tracks on painted wheels” and “painted tracks to the base” because the effort is just on paint coats. And I want the glue to be invisible.

Eric

I’ve only assembled and painted IM styrene indy link sets that was included in the kit. I haven’t built metal or resin sets yet.

I paint these after assembly and separately from the model. Auto Primer from an aerosol can, dark gray or black. Then washes of dirty grimy colors. Finish with dry brushed gun-metal or steel.

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Thread drift. Im building an HB AAV-R and cant cope withe individual track links. Theyre supposed to snap together but if I just look at them - they separate.

So, I ordered a set of AFV Bigfoot tracks for it.

Easier times to come!

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