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Recently got into armor

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Recently got into making armor models

Had a few questions:


1. For tanks how good/better are metal tracks over the 1. rubber ones 2. separate link ones?

2. metal barrels vs the kit supplied ones?

Also, seems like Barrel depot used to make good ones but no longer around?

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  • 10 months later...

Hey... the aftermarket stuff is always better but it depends on how much detail you are going to get into.  If you are doing a diorama and the tracks of the tank are going to be all muddy why waste the money on metal tracks?  That said, if you were making a pristinely clean, out of the factory, type of finish the detail and such would look much better.  Barrels are also a toss up.  You can usually get a barrel pretty perfect with some work ensuring no seam is visible but buying a perfectly machined aluminum barrel will save you some time...

Really does depend on you and how much of a stickler for detail you are 🙂


Just my two cents worth.



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  • 3 weeks later...

For tracks, consider a few things:

  1. If you are new to armor, you may want to build a few kits with rubber-band tracks.  This allows you to work through the whole process a bit more efficiently, instead of getting bogged down in construction of the running gear.
  2. How visible are the tracks?  For some AFVs the answer is a lot, if there are no sideskirts, incomplete fenders, or track sag.  But AFVs from the late Cold War on often feature sideskirts and obscuring fenders.  Especially in dioramas, heavy mud/dust application, or depending on my level of investment overall, I might rely on classic vinyl tracks.  For example, I'm probably about to start (another) Tamiya Chieftain or an Italeri Leopard I for a diorama, to experiment with netting and field-applied foliage for camouflage.  Given all circumstances I won't bother searching for expensive aftermarket tracks.


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  • 10 months later...

The prep work on individually linked track blocks is therapeutic to some... traumatic and tedious to others.  Rubber bands for life for the latter. 

Metal barrels sound great but the prep work is different and needs attention I wasn't thinking about the first time.  Especially with bad molds (earlier Tamiya Abrams), might be better but some of the more recent SKU are much much better that you may not need it.  Start with reviews on the specific kits.

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