Friday, November 13, 2009

Double Tracking the new Hellhound Hull

So, I've decided to build an armored basilisk. In my typical eureka fashion, I thought up something I haven't seen done, and am somehow finding a way to make it work. I'll cover the basic idea in another post, once I get a bit farther along. I don't want to give it all up right away. Though I hadn't originally planned to widen the tracks, the bits I decided to use for the armored part require it. After a couple experiments, this is what I came up with.

To widen the tracks of the old Chimera/Hellhound kit, you simply glued road wheels side by side and glued the track to that. While that probably could still work, you'd have to find a new source of road wheels, as the new kit doesn't use them. The new Hellhound sides come with spacers that fit together, one side is a "male," the other is a "female." So, first off, you need to make them both "female" as shown in the top photo. You need to make the new holes the same size as the old ones, so keep that in mind.

Next, find eight nails with the same diameter, and cut them the length of two pieces of tank tread side by side. If you can't find a nail the right diameter, like me, you'll need to get one a little larger and file it down a bit. It needs to be a snug fit.

The third picture shows the width of the standard Hellhound side piece. The next picture is of the widened side piece, having the nails as spacers. The nails, tightly fitted in the spacer holes, give you the rigidity you need to remove any play in the finished side piece. If they end up moving around too much, you're going to start loosing tread pieces. We don't want that.

Next up is the treads themselves. It's not good enough to simply glue two pieces of tread together. One strong push on the joint and you'll break the glue join. Also, the edges of the tread has natural gaps, which would allow you to "see-through" them once finished. While there may be other ways to do this, I chose to use some old two-part epoxy I had laying around and connect them together as shown in the fifth picture.

The sixth picture shows a partially finished wide track side. If you look close, you can see the epoxy poking up through the tread. Please ignore the plasticard attachment, for now. You'll see what that's for in a later post.

One shame to note. There is absolutely no difference in the new tracks than the old. They are exactly the same, down to every hinge and tread pad. What you see here are actually old treads I had lying around. And, although they look a bit different, the sides have the same overall dimensions. The fact that the tread lines up perfectly once assembled shames me, as I could never get them to do that with the old road wheel system. Kudos to GW for improving this part of the kit.