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  • The tank road wheel secret

    I managed to get 3 new model references the other day, one is a rather good book on the Pz IV in 72nd scale from Osprey.

    But in reading it, a tired old issue showed up yet again. I see this often in model reference literature. The tank road wheel mystery.

    Ok, unless your a long term armour modeller, this likely will be all confusion to ya.
    But, in the dialogue, and the photos, never do they ever seem to explain how they paint the tire portions of the tank road wheels.

    You see, the models in these sorts of books, they are always built up, assembled in stages, you get to watch the progress. Then they begin the process of painting. But, they never explain just how they manage to pull off painting the tire portions. It's as if they just miraculously get painted.

    You see, I have built what seems like hundreds of tanks over the years, and I KNOW, you can't really paint the tires AFTER you've put them on the model. I mean, most tanks have paired road wheels, or even worse the interleaved ones on German armour.

    And this is to say not all models are like Tamiya, with the soft plastic inserts that permit movement not to mention ease of glueless assembly. Some tanks also feature solid type track links, not the soft plastic one piece jobs.

    So I am left to wonder, are they even painting the inner side surfaces normally outside of the view of a casual observers? Or is there something I missed. To look at the books, a reader can only presume they get painted magically.

    Myself, I paint the wheels fully first, including weathering if I'm inclined to weather the vehicle. I glue them on after. But, it appears this is not the case in the books.
    And as I have never met one of these authors, I can't really ask "hey how did you paint it?".
    Life is change. Built models for decades.
    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
    I didn't for a long time either.

  • #2
    I paint my wheels separately and they are usually the last thing to go on the model. I paint the inside as well as the outside, you never know what will be visible. As for tricks: I mount the wheel on a skewer and rotate the wheel while holding the brush stationary. I can keep a pretty good line. Another trick is to put a small amount of thinner on the wheel where the rubber meets the rim. When you touch paint to the thinner, capillary action will draw the paint around the wheel. This creates a nice, clean line. I've also read of people using Sharpy markers to ink in the rubber. I tried it and didn't like the color or the sheen given off. To each his own I guess.
    If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by freightshaker View Post
      I paint my wheels separately and they are usually the last thing to go on the model. I paint the inside as well as the outside, you never know what will be visible. As for tricks: I mount the wheel on a skewer and rotate the wheel while holding the brush stationary. I can keep a pretty good line. Another trick is to put a small amount of thinner on the wheel where the rubber meets the rim. When you touch paint to the thinner, capillary action will draw the paint around the wheel. This creates a nice, clean line. I've also read of people using Sharpy markers to ink in the rubber. I tried it and didn't like the color or the sheen given off. To each his own I guess.
      Sounds like we have much the same method.

      I've also found the Tamiya paint markers can make short work of this task. Well at least portions of it. The last bit where the rubber meets the rest of the wheel, is strictly dependent on the specifics of the actual wheel design.
      Life is change. Built models for decades.
      Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
      I didn't for a long time either.

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      • #4
        Ditto Freightshaker's technique.
        I know the 'mystery' seems deep but to my mind there can only be two answers to it. First, they do indeed paint the road wheels after construction and I have a book that shows pics of the authour doing just that and had I been dead, I would have spun in my grave. Second, they construct the whole thing and then break it down again for painting...even with indy link tracks. This is the only method that makes any real sense to me and if you check out the third group build thread, you'll find a picture of Monster Zero's KV1 tracks all beautifully assembled but removed for painting.
        I certainly don't do this myself...I do exactly what Freight does. BTW Dragon's roadwheels come with seperate tyres for just this reason...at least in some of their kits.
        The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
        Sideshow Bob.

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        • #5
          I use a felt pen. But this only works if you are going to shoot a dull finish over everything. Otherwise the colour is shiny and uneven.

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          • #6
            Well now why not do it the same way a tank crew would have done it in real life? Especialy when doing post manufacture cammo.

            Keeping a clean line on the rubber tire would have been of little concern.

            HP
            "Ask not what your country can do for you"

            Left wing, Right Wing same bird that they are killing.

            you’re entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts.

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            • #7
              I guess i'm the exception here, i always put them on first, then paint them.
              I also paint them with a brush, what can i say, old habit i guess but it works fine for me.
              Life is what happens to you when your busy making other plans! Lennon - www.lufttiger.com

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Half Pint View Post
                Well now why not do it the same way a tank crew would have done it in real life? Especialy when doing post manufacture cammo.

                Keeping a clean line on the rubber tire would have been of little concern.

                HP
                We've had this conversation before and it's a problem for many modellers. Do you build and paint a model with nice airbrushed camo in a fancy design or do you paint a 'realistic' camo job that would've been done with a mop? The real challenge is to do both. I try to airbrush conventional designs and ride a fine line between the two.

                If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by freightshaker View Post
                  We've had this conversation before and it's a problem for many modellers. Do you build and paint a model with nice airbrushed camo in a fancy design or do you paint a 'realistic' camo job that would've been done with a mop? The real challenge is to do both. I try to airbrush conventional designs and ride a fine line between the two.

                  Never a truer word. This is exactly what I mean when I said 'making a bad camo job look good' on a model. There are some fanciful paint jobs on models everywhere these days...one has to tread the line between art and accuracy I think. The magazine pieces seem to be straying too far towards art IMO at the expense of accuracy.
                  The truth? You can't handle the truth! No truth handler you! I deride your truth handling abilities!
                  Sideshow Bob.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Duncan View Post
                    I use a felt pen. But this only works if you are going to shoot a dull finish over everything. Otherwise the colour is shiny and uneven.
                    I use felt pens on a number of items. Works well.
                    ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
                    ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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                    • #11
                      I paint em...then weather em, the glue em on to the chassis subassembly. They get a second weathering to match the chassis, where any mud or twigs or snow get jammed in em as in real world. then when the tracks go on they get a trd weather to blend in with the track.

                      I still brush paint em......one skewers or paintbrush ends what ever they fit on at the time
                      Now it's ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
                      In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
                      Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun and bought it

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by panzermacher View Post
                        I paint em...then weather em, the glue em on to the chassis subassembly. They get a second weathering to match the chassis, where any mud or twigs or snow get jammed in em as in real world. then when the tracks go on they get a trd weather to blend in with the track.

                        I still brush paint em......one skewers or paintbrush ends what ever they fit on at the time
                        Skewers work well but I expended on it. I took a piece of 1x4 stock lumber about two feet long, and pounded in 1 1/2 inch finishing nails in rows three inches apart. I can set wheels on the heads of the nails to dry or slip alligator clips over them to hold small pieces while painting and drying.
                        ACG QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
                        ¿Cualquier persona fija en el nude? Slug

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cyberia View Post
                          Skewers work well but I expended on it. I took a piece of 1x4 stock lumber about two feet long, and pounded in 1 1/2 inch finishing nails in rows three inches apart. I can set wheels on the heads of the nails to dry or slip alligator clips over them to hold small pieces while painting and drying.
                          Much rather have the skewers or brushends sos I can Rotate the wheel as I put on the rubber tire. It makes an neater line if you put the brush to it and spin the wheel.

                          Paul, that is Nice for small bits that need painted and is a good idea! I lose so many pieces trying to hang onto em and slap paint on.....If them 4 arm holders ever go on sale again at Menard's and I have the cash...... Victory is mine!

                          What we all need to invent is a sure fire small part finder!Now I have tried the cupped apron... the white sheet on the floor under your work area...and Blu tack, and every other idea I read or heard about. But Murphy's law is CRUEL and if A part is destined to be lost......so be it! Some were in my house is a part gremlin sitting on a stack or small hooks, tow hitches, bolt heads, Machine gun barrels, Figure Accoutrements, and any other tiny piece you can thing of........
                          Now it's ten years later but he still keeps up the fight
                          In Ireland, in Lebanon, in Palestine and Berkeley
                          Patty Hearst heard the burst of Roland's Thompson gun and bought it

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by panzermacher View Post
                            What we all need to invent is a sure fire small part finder!Now I have tried the cupped apron... the white sheet on the floor under your work area...and Blu tack, and every other idea I read or heard about. But Murphy's law is CRUEL and if A part is destined to be lost......so be it! Some were in my house is a part gremlin sitting on a stack or small hooks, tow hitches, bolt heads, Machine gun barrels, Figure Accoutrements, and any other tiny piece you can thing of........
                            I take it as a personal challenge to see how far me and a set of tweezers can tiddly wink a 1/72 tow hook.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by panzermacher View Post
                              What we all need to invent is a sure fire small part finder!
                              Wrap a piece of painters tape, sticky side out, around your hand and just pat down the carpet.
                              If you can't set a good example, be a glaring warning.

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