login   |    register

Technique for building Allied style 3 piece Individual Track Links

Part 2 preparing the tweezers: 

The first thing you have to do is modify a pair of self-locking tweezers so that they work like a jig. I used a fairly cheap pair because this process requires them to be bent. You take your pliers and bend the tweezers slightly downward at the bend where they cross. If you do not bend them then as your building the run of links the end of the tweezers start to open wider and the last link you are working on isn't held in place, instead the tweezers will actually be holding them further back from your work while the end is in the air holding nothing. But if you bend them a bit, not to much though, then the tweezers will lay flat along the run of track holding each and every piece in place, esp. the last piece. 

The following picture shows what is needed.

 Part 3 starting the assembly:

Here are a couple of things to think about before assembly. One do you want to make your track where it is flexible so that you can build the entire assembly and then string it onto the tank, or do you want to make it inflexible so that it is stronger and more durable. 

I personally have chosen the flexible route, using this method I only apply glue to one side of the connectors, letting the pieces hold the next tread piece in place without glue. This method allows you to build the entire track and then place it on the tank, making fitting around the drive sprocket and other parts of the running gear easier. The only downside I've seen with this method is the track is slightly weaker and you have to be careful flexing it, or you can break the pins. Then you will have to glue that section down solid.

The inflexible route requires more planning, and requires you to glue your pieces in straight sections that cannot be moved once the glue dries and requiring careful fitting in order to get the fit correct around the running gear. For this method I wouldn't recommend superglue as it dries to fast. 

Step 1 is to take out 1 tread piece and 2 connectors from your storage containers. If this is the start of your run, you will need 2 tread pieces. 

Step 2 is to test fit the pieces you have just removed. I test fit every hole in the connectors with every pin on the next tread piece I'm going to use. You never know when a hole isn't going to be deep enough and needs to be drilled out, or a pin has too much flash on it, and after you've applied the glue is a bad time to find out these little surprises.

Step 3 if this is the start of your run place the first tread piece on the popsicle stick holding it in place with the modified tweezers.

A helpful note here is if your tread piece has any surface features or details and they all must be turned the same way, it to draw the direction the detail must be turned onto the end of the stick. This way you don't get confused. The drawing on the right of the stick tells me which way the tread detail runs.

Project Photos

Part 2: tweezers



Part 3: Beginning of run





About the Author

About Delbert (Delbert)

I'm 47. I've been model building since Dec 2001 and I build everything from wingy things to ground hugger's. esp WWII era. also built a car or two. Some people think my stuff isn't too bad.