Thursday, 12 January 2012

T-34 track mod - Part 2

Description: Adding a more realistic tread pattern to an Armourfast one-piece track.

To recap, having decided which areas of the one-piece tracks I had to modify - those being the parts of the tracks which could be clearly seen at the front and back - I began to fill in the recessed gaps between the raised treads. This was done to give a flat level surface onto which I would glue my improved tread section.

I used a strip of thin plasticard (about 2.3mm wide) to fill in the gaps. I did this from the front of the track, over the top and down the rear section. Despite the fact you won't be able to see the top of the tracks I filled the gaps in on this section as you would be able to see the unmodified stepped design when looking at the model from the side...

Next, to mark the divide between the now level track surface I glued small strips of beading wire (could have been thin round plastic strips) to act as the raise links section between the track pads. I only did this for the front and end actions of the track unit as you wouldn't see this because of the fender...

Now we come to the main pattern. As I said, the fundamental pattern you see on the surface of the T-34 tracks is a sort of 'waffle' grid. This pattern will sit in-between the raised link strips I have just glued in place. The main issue was how to create a simple 'waffle' pattern without having to make it using tiny strips of plastic which would be enormously time consuming.

Looking at what the waffle pattern is made up of what I needed was a sort of grid of squares, the lines of which are raised or in strips - a sort of NET or mesh.

I had a good think and what I thought was that I could uses a net material…A gauze or net curtain or insect netting (anything with a very fine mesh)...

Cutting the nylon net curtain into tiny lengths and gluing them inside the two link strips should give a impression of a 'waffle' pattern once it is undercoated and dry brushed. This might appear to be a vastly over-simplified method for getting the T-34 track pattern but it does have the advantage of being very quick and easy to apply and the material is very cheap! (A meter of net curtain cost me 90p as a remnant! It has the advantage of also being useful for 1:72 scale camp nets once painted up!)

Being a fabric there are small loose fibers at the edges where the fabric was trimmed, but these can be cleaned up and smoothed out when the undercoat is sprayed on. This might be a good reason to try other mesh materials (harder plastic mesh if I can get it).

Next: Spraying on the primer - will the effect look realistic once painted?

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