Tamiya M-3 Stuart

I’ve recently found that a key to assembling tracks on the suspension with removal and later re-installation is a fixing the sprocket and the idler, if it is toothed. Otherwise the tracks never go back on correctly.

KL

1 Like

One of my main issues with assembling tracks to be removable for painting is the trouble I have in lining up the sections so they will fit together correctly after painting. Also, breakage of assembled sections when handling them, for things like test-fitting and painting.

If I can glue the tracks to the model before painting, because everything will be mud-coloured anyway, I’ll do non-workable tracks just fine. But if I have to paint the tracks differently from the rest of the suspension, I much prefer them to be workable for ease of fitting and painting — I’ll take the harder assembly in stride. Usually :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Well, I never seem to learn the lesson often enough about measuring twice and cutting once. I jumped straight into surgery on the drive shaft as per Modelkasten’s instructions only to discover their configuration doesn’t leave enough clearance for the drive sprockets to turn freely without fouling the rivets on the hull tub. Had I simply drilled out the shaft and not cut down the outer shoulders as depicted in the instructions, I probably only would have had to find a longer shaft than the one supplied by Modelkasten. Now my choices are to file off the rivets on the hull tub, which can’t be seen anyway, or find a longer shaft and add some spacers to the retaining rings. Before I can make a decision, it looks like I’m going to need to assemble the rest of the running gear (and the tracks!) to make sure the spacing on the sprockets is correct to line up with everything else. Could be awhile before the next update…

:beer:

3 Likes

Double-sided tape was used to attach the guide horns to the edges of some scrap wood for painting. First, primed with Tamiya JGSDF Brown lacquer from a rattle can, then airbrushed with Vallejo red-brown. After dry-brushing the outer faces with Vallejo light rust and inner face with oily steel, they were given a grimy wash I cooked up with oils and white spirits.


Things are a little shiny in the photo because the wash is still drying. After the tracks are assembled, they’ll get dusted up with pigments.

:beer:

3 Likes

Those look nice and steely

2 Likes

As I started to assemble the running gear, I decided I better get the back on the hull tub before I went much further. Which then prompted me to take a slight excursion into making tow clevises.


They’re not perfect, but close enough for me. The two most closely matched clevises will go on the front.

:beer:

2 Likes


After some experimentation to figure out the best way to assemble the track shoes without significant risk of getting glue where I didn’t want it, they went together surprisingly quickly. I found that if I assembled the shoes and then dabbed a tiny amount of extra thin cement onto the seam between the two halves capillary action would do the rest. I just hope the join is strong enough to survive final assembly. Won’t know for sure until the time comes. :crossed_fingers:

I sacrificed some track pins and guide horns to early experiments on the best way to assemble everything so I was left with just enough parts to get the 67 links per side called for in Modelkasten’s instructions plus one spare for each side.

Now I have to pause till I have a chance to get to the LHS and pick up some regular (not extra thin) cement so I have a passing hope of gluing the guide horns on without getting glue on the shoes.

:beer:

2 Likes