Here I go with the last installment covering the assembly of this tiny kit.
The -fast build- tracks have become a very booooooooooring and looooooooong modelling stage for me surprisingly.
So I warn you all now: be ready for a very boooooooooring and loooooooong post from now on!
In the following pic you got the Wiesel tracks... well, not bad for a fast build kit but those are not the best from S-Models, I´m afraid.
-I recall how the tiny Kettenkraftrad tracks were with a much better detail, i.e.-
Are those useful as is? Yes, of course, but not for me. In fact, these are the only parts of the entire kit that I was ready to correct or improve, as you wish.
Notice how all my previous assembly work was limited to add missing details or to replace the included p.e. parts but I left the many -too many!- inacurracies as they were. The tracks are going to become the exception.
My main concern -or complain!- here is the outter track detail. It is not well defined... to say something. To put it simple, it is just unreal. Pure fantasy!
So I knew that the way to go was to sand all the track detail off and to rebuild the track pads with styrene strip.
But, wait! These tracks are quite tiny...
...and quite flexible -almost fragile!- to be sanded easily! This is what we got just with a slight pressure on top or bottom of the track runs...
I was going to run into troubles if I tried to sand them as is.
Using a strip of thick styrene a template was done quickly...
That styrene template can be placed easily into the tracks. I only have to be sure to have drilled it to fit the single return roller...
When in place, the track become easy to handle!
Now I could then to hold the track firmly to sand the outter detail easily! No problem anymore to have a flat finish on the track flat surfaces!
Here we got the first track with the outter detail already deleted.
A bit of Wiesel data here: the -original, as per the S-Models kit- Wiesel had continuous rubber band tracks. Yes, like those used by the US Half Tracks in the WW2! Those were latter replaced by Diehl tracks with individual track links with end connectors. The introduction of those more conventional tracks implied a change in the -front- sprocket wheel. S-Models give you the early sprocket so the way to go is to match it with band tracks.
To have a continuous band track, then I had to sand the track sides as well...
Compare the already sanded track with the kit one. Now looks like a continuous band track to me!
I followed previous steps for the other track, obviously.
Now... if I show a pic with the sanded tracks, a modelling knife, the thinnest styrene strip I had at home and my favourite bottle of super thin glue, there is no need for me to explain what´s next!
To add the rubber track pads resulted a looooooooooong and booooooooooring modelling task for me. You know... time to enjoy your favourite playlist while you are at it or to try your best to get peace of mind cutting and gluing those endless tiny styrene bits with the hope to have a small modelling workbench at the modellers heaven in a future!
Time to know if all of that work was worthy... a quick dry fit of the new shoes!
You have already seen that I simplified the track pads in the lower track run. Watching at those pics I should have had simplified it at the upper track closer to the fender as well... well, too late!
Almost there! Let´s add the outter wheels and see...
Hmmmmm... Notice the thicker inner moulded on track wheels and the thinner outter ones.
BTW, S-Models used the detail and pattern of the larger idler wheel to make the three smaller ones just downsizing it. That´s not correct because the smaller wheels should have different shape openings but I can live with that!
But, wait! There is something really weird here! Let´s take a closer look...
Oh, no! Not only the inner wheels are thicker... they are larger in diameter!!!!!
This is me! So close, so far!
Too close of the finnish line to give up for me!
A desperate search at my spares box for any suitable wheels returned what I feared the most: zero!
The path to follow was then clear to me... I had to take the outter wheels of the second in box S-Models Wiesel to use them as inner ones in this one!
No pain, no glory! Ouch!
I started removing the moulded on track wheels...
It is important to do it carefully to have all the guide teeth!
After some sanding, here you got the cleaned tracks... I left the now exposed guide teeth as a continuous one because it will become invissible behind the wheels...
This is the inner side where the moulded on wheels once were...
Time to start with the replacement wheels... I drilled the second kit outter wheels to use them as inner ones to fit them to the kit torsión bars easily...
And, then, is it just a matter of matching the original outter wheels with the modified ones like any ordinary two parts kit wheel...
Now I have separate wheels for my tiny daemon!
This is it!
And that´s all!
I´m sorry to inform you that I´m not going to paint it asap so this one will now become a shelf queen for next weeks or months... this kit has been almost toxic to me!
I have had a great modelling time and I´m very happy to have assembled a nice model of a highly unacurate kit but, to say the truth, this one has not been what I had in mind when I opened the box for the first time!
Thank you very much for all your previous kind and encouraging words and for your time reading all of those post about this micromachine. That has been the best part of this indeed!