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AFV Painting & Weathering
Answers to questions about the right paint scheme or tips for the right effect.
How to paint tank treads?
hobbes
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Singapore / 新加坡
Joined: April 04, 2003
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 11:24 AM GMT+7
I ahve seen some great looking tank threads and I was wondering how do I have that rubber thingy look like the real macoy?

I'm interested to know what colours I should use and how to use it and if possible try to use Tamiya/Gunze acyrlic paints as I'm currently using those 2 brands. I have an airbrush as well.
GunTruck
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California, United States
Joined: December 01, 2001
KitMaker: 5,885 posts
Armorama: 3,799 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 12:14 PM GMT+7
Here goes Hobbes...

I like to use the polyvinyl tracks supplied in the model kit. I also use Tamiya acrylics exclusively. Here's a set of photos and two ways I finish tracks to help you out:

Pastel washes & Oil Drybrushes

All begin with a base coat (primer if you will) of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black. This provides the shadow that you'd want without having to resort to a oil wash. Some modelers run into trouble when they use a caustic carrier (Turpentine or other type of mineral spirit) for the oil wash - and it attacks the polyvinyl track underneath the paint.

For the steel color - I mix up a coat made by 90% Tamiya XF-56 Metallic Grey to 10% Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black. I make up perhaps 1 to 1.5oz of the paint and then add an equal amount of Lacquer Thinner to thin it. I do this to make the steel overcoat thin and to break up the thick Tamiya paint pigment. I overspray this onto the track run.



Above photo - after the steel overspray has setup (as fast as an hour - though I wait overnight) I wash the track runs with pastels and water. In the T-55A tracks shown above, I ground down brown and small amounts of orange pastels and made a paste. Then I dipped the brush to get a tiny amount of the pastel paste - dipped it into plain tap water - and then washed the tracks. I went back and dipped the brush into the tap water again and applied it to the area to spread out and thin the pastel chalk application. You have control of how little or how much you apply and can create some wonderful effects with the colors you opt to apply in this manner.



Above photo - you can work as fast as the time it takes for the water to evaporate away in the pastel wash - though I never rush it. I wait a minimum of an hour up to overnight in most cases. Weathering this basic application in the T-55A was done with oil paints. I make a 50/50 mix of Silver to Burnt (or Raw) Sienna oil paint and apply it with traditional drybrushing techniques. Again, the degree of weathering is under your control. I do not recommend using straight Silver as it is too brilliant for 1:35th scale - in my eyes. Below photo - the pastels allow you an easy way to control the color and degree of color transition between components on your model tank's running gear. There is mud, some rusting, and some clay-colored tinting on the T-55A below - and all are complimentary. Hard transitions between the colors confuse the eye, but you can soften them with pastel washes. All terrain types and weather conditions can be mimicked with pastels as well, helping you create an air of "realism" with your polyvinyl track runs.



Same colors and steps as mentioned above, but no oil paints are used for my M41A3 Walker BullDog polyvinyl tracks here. The acrylic paint coats are weathered with pastel chalk washes. Because this tank is modeled as moving over frozen ground, the oil paint silvering is kept to a precious minimum - and concentrated in areas where the Sprocket Teeth came into contact with the track itself. Painting this polyvinyl run was more involved than the T-55A above because of the sophisticated integration of rubber shoes with the steel track sections. I recommend picking these details out - paint the track like it was brand new - before weathering it. With these techniques, the attention to detail still shows. It might take longer, but is a relaxing process. Below, the pastel washing was done in stages - one side at a time until all were done - before moving on.





In the end, you can make the polyvinyl tracks as convincing as any aftermarket set. The same techniques apply to them too - so your result is predictable. There are many variations on this theme with different paint mediums, but I think you wanted to see examples of using acrylics like you like to use. Don't dread the kit supplied tracks - just make them work for you.

Gunnie
scoccia
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Milano, Italy
Joined: September 02, 2002
KitMaker: 2,606 posts
Armorama: 1,721 posts
Posted: Saturday, June 07, 2003 - 03:53 PM GMT+7
I use a different process from Gunnie. First of all I prime them with the Tamiya gray primer that in my view helps in creating a more consistent base for the other paint. Then I spray them with Model Master Rust (enamel), then if rubber is involved i spray the relevant parts with Model Master Rubber (enamel)





After that I drybrush with several silver/aluminium/chrome silver tones the parts where the attrition reveals the bare metal and with light gray the rubber parts (all enamels) and the finish them with pastels or pigments (the pigments I use are bought art crafts stores and with a few bucks I've got a lifetime stock in various colours)









Ciao
hobbes
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Singapore / 新加坡
Joined: April 04, 2003
KitMaker: 29 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Sunday, June 08, 2003 - 10:43 AM GMT+7
Thank you for the great advice and photos as it really helps alot in seeing how its done!
propboy44256
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Ohio, United States
Joined: November 20, 2002
KitMaker: 1,038 posts
Armorama: 454 posts
Posted: Monday, June 09, 2003 - 11:23 AM GMT+7
Great posts guys..someone should submit this as a tech article
Shahrid
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Damansara, Malaysia
Joined: June 18, 2002
KitMaker: 116 posts
Armorama: 75 posts
Posted: Monday, June 09, 2003 - 12:01 PM GMT+7
Superb photos guys. This will help me in my curent project..............a Russian T-55A tank scale 1/35 ! :-)
HellaYella
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United States
Joined: August 27, 2003
KitMaker: 109 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 02:46 AM GMT+7
can this be done with a brush i/o airbrush? gimme the rundown,

1) do I HAVE to primer the tracks (poly vinyl)?

2) paint the whole tread (basecolor) flat black?

3) area that meets tread should reflect worn metal?

4) areas that don't can be dirty or dusty?
HellaYella
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United States
Joined: August 27, 2003
KitMaker: 109 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 03:35 AM GMT+7
bump fpr replies
Cokes
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New South Wales, Australia
Joined: September 17, 2003
KitMaker: 119 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 01, 2003 - 07:43 AM GMT+7
Heya Hella,

for the primer, just grab a can of Tamiya primer, or car primer... comes in a can so you don't need an AB.
Oatster
Joined: September 16, 2003
KitMaker: 55 posts
Armorama: 45 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 02:52 PM GMT+7
WOW! Excellent refernce guys...that why this site is so great.
Marty
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Massachusetts, United States
Joined: June 16, 2002
KitMaker: 2,312 posts
Armorama: 1,054 posts
Posted: Wednesday, November 05, 2003 - 03:27 PM GMT+7
Nice looking threads :-)
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 5,509 posts
Armorama: 3,943 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 07:55 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Here goes Hobbes...

I like to use the polyvinyl tracks supplied in the model kit. I also use Tamiya acrylics exclusively. Here's a set of photos and two ways I finish tracks to help you out:

Pastel washes & Oil Drybrushes

All begin with a base coat (primer if you will) of Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black. This provides the shadow that you'd want without having to resort to a oil wash. Some modelers run into trouble when they use a caustic carrier (Turpentine or other type of mineral spirit) for the oil wash - and it attacks the polyvinyl track underneath the paint.

For the steel color - I mix up a coat made by 90% Tamiya XF-56 Metallic Grey to 10% Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black. I make up perhaps 1 to 1.5oz of the paint and then add an equal amount of Lacquer Thinner to thin it. I do this to make the steel overcoat thin and to break up the thick Tamiya paint pigment. I overspray this onto the track run.



Above photo - after the steel overspray has setup (as fast as an hour - though I wait overnight) I wash the track runs with pastels and water. In the T-55A tracks shown above, I ground down brown and small amounts of orange pastels and made a paste. Then I dipped the brush to get a tiny amount of the pastel paste - dipped it into plain tap water - and then washed the tracks. I went back and dipped the brush into the tap water again and applied it to the area to spread out and thin the pastel chalk application. You have control of how little or how much you apply and can create some wonderful effects with the colors you opt to apply in this manner.



Above photo - you can work as fast as the time it takes for the water to evaporate away in the pastel wash - though I never rush it. I wait a minimum of an hour up to overnight in most cases. Weathering this basic application in the T-55A was done with oil paints. I make a 50/50 mix of Silver to Burnt (or Raw) Sienna oil paint and apply it with traditional drybrushing techniques. Again, the degree of weathering is under your control. I do not recommend using straight Silver as it is too brilliant for 1:35th scale - in my eyes. Below photo - the pastels allow you an easy way to control the color and degree of color transition between components on your model tank's running gear. There is mud, some rusting, and some clay-colored tinting on the T-55A below - and all are complimentary. Hard transitions between the colors confuse the eye, but you can soften them with pastel washes. All terrain types and weather conditions can be mimicked with pastels as well, helping you create an air of "realism" with your polyvinyl track runs.



Same colors and steps as mentioned above, but no oil paints are used for my M41A3 Walker BullDog polyvinyl tracks here. The acrylic paint coats are weathered with pastel chalk washes. Because this tank is modeled as moving over frozen ground, the oil paint silvering is kept to a precious minimum - and concentrated in areas where the Sprocket Teeth came into contact with the track itself. Painting this polyvinyl run was more involved than the T-55A above because of the sophisticated integration of rubber shoes with the steel track sections. I recommend picking these details out - paint the track like it was brand new - before weathering it. With these techniques, the attention to detail still shows. It might take longer, but is a relaxing process. Below, the pastel washing was done in stages - one side at a time until all were done - before moving on.





In the end, you can make the polyvinyl tracks as convincing as any aftermarket set. The same techniques apply to them too - so your result is predictable. There are many variations on this theme with different paint mediums, but I think you wanted to see examples of using acrylics like you like to use. Don't dread the kit supplied tracks - just make them work for you.

Gunnie




Hello Jim
okay let me get this straight you use Lacquer thinner with Tamiya paint !
I missed something here Great job about time you give up them secrets!! (++) (:-)
sgtreef
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Oklahoma, United States
Joined: March 01, 2002
KitMaker: 5,509 posts
Armorama: 3,943 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 08, 2003 - 08:01 PM GMT+7
Great job also Fabio is that an M-48 M-60? (:-) (++)
scoccia
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Milano, Italy
Joined: September 02, 2002
KitMaker: 2,606 posts
Armorama: 1,721 posts
Posted: Sunday, November 09, 2003 - 01:32 PM GMT+7
M47 "Patton" the one who won a gold at the last "Statica 2003" in Milan...
Ciao
Jurgen
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Limburg, Belgium
Joined: October 29, 2003
KitMaker: 651 posts
Armorama: 510 posts
Posted: Friday, November 21, 2003 - 04:31 PM GMT+7
Nice job guys, thanks for explaining!!
(maybe a dumb question;
but how do you guys keep them tracks like that in the picture... #:-) )
Jurgen
GunTruck
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California, United States
Joined: December 01, 2001
KitMaker: 5,885 posts
Armorama: 3,799 posts
Posted: Friday, November 21, 2003 - 04:39 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Nice job guys, thanks for explaining!!
(maybe a dumb question;
but how do you guys keep them tracks like that in the picture... #:-) )
Jurgen



Heh heh - yes Jeff, I use Lacquer Thinner with Tamiya paint. It cuts down the heavy Tamiya pigment into a mix that lays down smooth and even.

Jurgen - keep the tracks like what? #:-) Not wavy?
Jurgen
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Limburg, Belgium
Joined: October 29, 2003
KitMaker: 651 posts
Armorama: 510 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 03:37 PM GMT+7
Yes! Not wavy...
GunTruck
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California, United States
Joined: December 01, 2001
KitMaker: 5,885 posts
Armorama: 3,799 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 03:45 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Yes! Not wavy...



Well, I take the approach of "training" the track runs to stay in place.

"Training" the track runs means to build up the model kit, leave the Drive Sprocket, Idler & Road Wheels removable, and set the polyvinyl track runs in place. I do this and set the model aside for several days. Most of the time, a week goes by with the tracks sitting on the model. I set the correct alignment and use the tension of the wheels in place to help "train" the track run to stay in place.

Most of the time, the polyvinyl track runs "remember" the "training" when you go back and remove them from the model. This makes it easier to paint them and return them to the model kit later on, with most of the twisting and warpage taken out already. Any minor warpage is now easier to handle and you can tack the track run in place with small amounts of 5-minute epoxy.

It's pretty difficult to wrangle wild tracks into place without dealing with them before painting and finishing - best to get 'em to behave beforehand...

Gunnie
scoccia
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Milano, Italy
Joined: September 02, 2002
KitMaker: 2,606 posts
Armorama: 1,721 posts
Posted: Saturday, November 22, 2003 - 03:49 PM GMT+7
Just the same as Gunnie here (for vinyl tracks of course)...
Ciao
Jurgen
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Limburg, Belgium
Joined: October 29, 2003
KitMaker: 651 posts
Armorama: 510 posts
Posted: Monday, November 24, 2003 - 12:49 PM GMT+7
Hmmm will go and try that!
T(h)anks!
Jurgen
straightedge
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Ohio, United States
Joined: January 18, 2004
KitMaker: 1,352 posts
Armorama: 629 posts
Posted: Friday, February 20, 2004 - 06:28 PM GMT+7
Do you really use lacquer thinner to thin it with, or was this a mistake
scoccia
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Milano, Italy
Joined: September 02, 2002
KitMaker: 2,606 posts
Armorama: 1,721 posts
Posted: Saturday, February 21, 2004 - 04:20 AM GMT+7
To thin Tamiya Acryls I use either isopropyl alchool or windex or lacquer thinner too...
Ciao
boatswain
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Ohio, United States
Joined: December 02, 2003
KitMaker: 53 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 12:34 PM GMT+7
Thanks for the post guys...it will certainly come in handy when I get around to painting the tracks on my tank!!!

rock
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New Jersey, United States
Joined: February 25, 2004
KitMaker: 10 posts
Armorama: 0 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 09:40 PM GMT+7
GREAT TIPS ON PAINTING TRACKS CAN YOU TELL ME WHAT ARE PASTELS
Spades
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California, United States
Joined: February 08, 2003
KitMaker: 770 posts
Armorama: 471 posts
Posted: Tuesday, February 24, 2004 - 09:58 PM GMT+7
Thanks for the pics, never seems to amaze me how many different ways thier are of painting tracks.