Painting Tracks

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My technique is pretty simple to paint tracks, no matter what the medium (plastic, metal or resin), workable or not. Color selection is pretty easy: pick out 4-5 red-brown and orange shades of varying darkness. Put the darkest aside for last. First, I start with a thorough overspray of flat black from a spray can. I use the cheap stuff from Home Depot and make sure everything is covered (see 1st picture).

Next, I start with the second darkest color and airbrush a zigzag pattern across the face of the track (see 2nd picture).

Third, I take the lightest shade and turning the tracks around I repeat the zigzags. Then, I go back to the third darkest shade (see 3rd picture).

I finish the zigzag patterns with the remaining shade (see 4th picture).

Whether they overlap or not isn't particularly crucial; it needs to be random. The last airbrushed layer is the darkest shade and I thin that out well before misting it over the entire track (see 5th picture) in order to blend the colors together better. I let that dry for about 30 minutes and then turn the tracks over and repeat.

My last step is to do some dry-brushing of the raised portions of the tracks with some steel-colored paint (see 6th picture). Being that this is for a World War One vehicle and you do not see the inside of the track, I did not do any dry-brushing. From there, you can proceed with your favorite earth/mud/dust techniques to finish the effect off.
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About the Author

About Georg Eyerman (TheGreatPumpkin)


the author doesn't know what the word "overspray" means. Overspray in the painting industry is a negative term. If you cover a piece with overspray..it doesn't stick...if you paint over overspray..it takes alot of paint to cover it...rough looking & will peel off. Don't say overspray....you sand off overspray..not spray over it.just say "First, I cover the track with a thin coat of flat black from a spray can." - much better I'm not being nit picky..just use the right wording.
JAN 09, 2017 - 10:11 PM
This is cool. I'll need to give it a try.
JAN 09, 2017 - 11:21 PM
I'll try this. Having a heck of a time painting the DS treads on my Dragon MBT-70. The tamiya paint I used just flakes off when I bend it.
JAN 10, 2017 - 01:26 AM
Given the wide variety of oxidation that occurs on metals, this method is very interesting.
JAN 10, 2017 - 02:12 AM
Orangelion03, did you try priming it first? My experience with Tamiya paints is that they are really fragile. Not as bad as Vallejo, but fragile.
JAN 10, 2017 - 05:03 PM
Thanks for sharing your technique
JAN 11, 2017 - 05:42 AM
Thanks Georg, I'm going to give it a try!
JAN 13, 2017 - 01:51 AM
So, the paint is not going to come off when using stock vinyl tracks? that has always frustrated me even when using lacquer paint. When I put the painted tracks on I find my self flexing the tracks and the paint falls off.
JAN 24, 2017 - 07:31 AM
They look great .Im going to try that !
FEB 06, 2017 - 05:33 AM
Looks to be a simple technique with great results. I am going to give it a try on my next model.
FEB 15, 2017 - 06:53 PM