Painting Meng Leopard workable tracks

I assembled the black plastic workable track that came with Meng’s Leopard 1a5 kit. After i spray it with Tamiya light gun metal spray can paint, about 1/5 of all the track pin ends just broke off and fell out over the next few days, i was not attempting to work the track at all. it was just sitting there. it seems to me the paint must have reacted to the plastic and caused small cracks to develop, and the pins, being so thin, just broke when cracked. anyone else experienced this?

this was a nasty surprise to me because i previously sprayed Meng’s leopard 2A7 workable tracks with the same paint without any problems. although the leopard 2’s tracks were molded in the same light gray plastic as the rest of the kit, unlike Leopard 1A5’s black plastic track, which were not the same color as the rest of the kit, and presumably of a different type of plastic.

ihas anyone successfully spray painted Meng’s Leopard 1S5 workable tracks? if so which paint did you use?

Can’t comment on the paint, but I found those Leo1 tracks had a tendency to disintegrate too. I painted mine with Tamiya acrylic in the airbrush, so it shouldn’t have attacked the pins, but mine kept breaking about 1/3 of the way in from the end connectors. I think it’s a combo of them being too thin (& weak) and the sideways pressure exerted every time they move - it pulls them apart. Sorry if tis isn’t what you hoped to hear!

the problem is fewer ends actually broke off the track that I bent and flexed during installation to fit them around the idlers, drive sprocket and rollers.

the other track, which was just sitting there and haven’t been installed, lost more track pin ends.

so i don’t think the ends came off because they were too thin to handle being worked. they seem to fail just spontaneously. but since none of them failed before they were installed and painted. i think it has to be some part of the assembly and painting process that caused them to fail.

Leopard Workshop review. Go to the bottom of the review for a possible solution:

Bear in mind that Tamiya spray can paints are not acrylics, they’re lacquers, and the thinners can be too aggressive for some plastics.

I decided to get another set, to give it another try with humbrol acrylic paint. I discovered the problem is not the paint, but with the track pins them selves. The first thing I noticed is about 5% of the track kits would break just with very gentle handling. What is more, they all break at exactly the same place. about 3/4 of the way out from the center guide horn to the end connectors. some of the pins will break on both sides of the guide horn, again at exactly the same place on both sides. Luckily, there is enough spare links to assemble to complete tracks after discarding the damaged pins. And this was before any painting.
After assembling the tracks and painting them with acrylic, three or four additional track pins on each track broke and fell off.
My hunch is the track pins have a systematic molding defect about 1/4 of the way in from end connector to center guide horn. The solvents in lacquer paint may have exacerbated the problem. But the problem with emd connectors falling off is there there even without applying any paint at all. Maybe four or six end pins out of each set would break if you just breath on it.

Looking at how runners connect to the track pins, I am guessing the hot liquid plastic is injected into the pin mold from three spots, the two wnd connectors and the center guide horn, the injected plastic meets along the pin about 3/4 of the way from guide horn to the connectors. for whatever reason the plastic did not fuse well where they met in the mold, so there is a point or weakness along the pin at the same spot on each pin

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Yes, it is the tracks themselves, I did the Meng Flakpanzer Gepard and half of the links broke in exactly the same place. I thought it was because the links are half a thou shorter than they should be and when you push the two track halves together they stress the links. I bought the MENG D640A aftermarket kits (2 sets! I wanted to upgrade a Tamiya Leopard 1A4 kit I was making) and I carefully made sure there was stress on the links and they all broke anyway! I think Chuck731 had the right idea with the mold not being hot enough. Time to find other aftermarket tracks…