Armor/AFV: Techniques
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Preserving 'ridge' on molded tires
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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 1,083 posts
Armorama: 1,014 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 06:51 PM UTC
Hi All,

I know this is a very basic beginner's type question, but here goes. I have the Dragon 6315 Panzer IV Ausf. F1(F). The road wheels have a very fine 'ridge' molded down the center of the tire. The problem is that the attachment point to the sprue is right in the middle of that ridge, so when you remove the wheel/tire from the sprue, that ridge is ruined.

I am wondering how you would go about 'preserving' that ridge while removing the wheel/tire from the sprue, if possible, or how best to restore that part of the ridge after removal. I know these were present, on the real thing, when the tires were new, and they probably wore off, but how soon I have no idea. Probably the best (easiest) thing to do would be to sand the ridge off of all the tires, but if i want to keep the ridge, what do you think is the best way to do so; either a method during removal or restoring afterwards? Thanks for any thoughts you may have.
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Utah, United States
Joined: December 14, 2007
KitMaker: 3,389 posts
Armorama: 2,054 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 07:04 PM UTC
I have used a scalpel to carefully trim the attachment point level with the seam. I then cut down on both sides following the seam and carefully shave off the sides so the seam is intact.
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Washington, United States
Joined: March 11, 2016
KitMaker: 1,792 posts
Armorama: 1,186 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 07:47 PM UTC
IF the ridge detail does get damaged mount that road wheel on the tank with the damaged area down against the track so it's hidden. With all the road wheels you have you're more than likely mess up at least one.
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California, United States
Joined: December 06, 2004
KitMaker: 3,694 posts
Armorama: 2,693 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 08:50 PM UTC
Armor modeler's tend to sand any seams off assuming that they are seams from the mold. I recall someone's post when they were taking pictures at Aberdeen and he noticed the mold seam on a real Panzer tire and said "I've been sanding these off all these years". I'm sure they wear off rather quickly after a few miles but you can clearly see them on photos of tanks carrying spare wheels, even M1A1s in Desert Storm. But it's kind of OCD with some. It's something they are so used to doing, they feel somehow incomplete unless they sand them all off.

To fix it, you might try the old trick of using stretched sprue or finding thin plastic rods to glue in the gap and sand down to size. This was a trick for replacing raised panel lines on old airplane kits.
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Wisconsin, United States
Joined: February 06, 2006
KitMaker: 147 posts
Armorama: 140 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 10:02 PM UTC
Frankly I remove them, while they do exist on real tanks I believe that the seam is out of proportion in scale. I also generally beat up the tires a bit so the seams would be less prominant anyway. Finally if you are entering a contest judges would tend to think that you forgot to sand them. Of course, this is your hobby, and you can do whata makes YOU happy and I will do what makes ME happy.

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Pennsylvania, United States
Joined: January 18, 2003
KitMaker: 2,402 posts
Armorama: 2,377 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 10:18 PM UTC
People sand them off because in scale the real things would be indistinguishable. Here's some seams on new M60 tires:

Now for a close-up:

And with a US Quarter Dollar coin for scale:

The rim of a quarter is .070 inches thick, 1.78mm. The tire seam sticks up only a fraction of that height. If we were to reduce that quarter down to 1/35 scale, we're talking .002, maybe two coats of model paint, so the real seam is virtually nothing. You would be better off masking the middle of the tire and putting two coats of paint on on side and one on the other or drawing them on with ink than leaving the molded seam.

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Nevada, United States
Joined: February 12, 2012
KitMaker: 1,083 posts
Armorama: 1,014 posts
Posted: Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 11:05 PM UTC
Hey guys,

Thanks a ton for all the ideas. It helps a lot!