Sunday 5 October 2014

New Tracks From Old Strapping

Many of the Battlekings that I have  acquired over the last six months have been missing their tracks, so I have started experimenting with a technique I have used with other kits of using plastic strapping (such as is used to strap up cardboard boxes) to make new tracks.

A selection of tools and materials used to track the toy tank.

I have improved on the normal method I used of just putting a band of strapping around the running gear by cutting small bits of strapping and gluing it around the curvature of the tracks at front and rear.

Despite losing the commander's head and both tracks, the original paintwork is disturbingly intact.

Strapping goes round running gear, small bits placed at curvature of track to create illusion of more detailed tracks.
 Ideally the small bits created should be uniform in size. I used the THAR  (That Looks About Right) method to achieve this.

Toy tank and lens cap
The next step is to decide on a suitable head to place on the tank commander body, and then paint the tank up.

More tanks.

Other tanks acquired recently have included two of the tanks from Hornby's military train set, and a Playart diecast Chieftain tank. (More on this to  follow  later)

Hornby Tank and Matchbox Chieftain
The Hornby tanks are quite interesting as they seem to based on an impression of what features a modern tank should have, rather than on an actual vehicle. Given that I plan on using them in imagination moderns games, this allows me to give them stats that not overbalance play as they will be used to represent a tank that has been produced by a commercial interest to be marketed towards the lower end of the market.

Side view and bottom view.
They will require a bit of work as the running gear appears to be modeled backwards, and the wheels on the bottom prevent the tracks from sitting on the ground.


  1. I tried this idea out on a Airfix Tiger about ten years ago after suffering with their terrible tracks.

    It did not work any where as good as these Brian. Kudos!

    Great post.

    1. Thanks Paul,
      Hopefully I will be able to adapt the technique to some other trackless model AFVs.

  2. A rather effective refinement to a time-honoured technique. Good one!

    1. Thanks Ion,
      With luck I should be able to use the technique to fix up a few other models!

  3. Plastic strapping is commonly used to seal packages. But with your project in transforming it in to a new track, you definitely discovered a new and creative way on how to recycle plastic strappings. How is that going, btw?

    Thelma Bowman @ Quality Strapping

    1. Thanks Thelma,
      Using the plastic strapping has proved to be a useful method of replacing tracks on models. I hope to refine the technique further, but so far the current method seems to do the job!