My models

JSU-122S – Part 12: Tracks

Yesterday I have decided to make some progress on the tracks, which were sitting in my desk assembled and ready for painting for already some time (not sure if I did mention that I have decided to use friul model tracks, as I wanted to get the naturally looking sag of the tracks between return rollers).

Recently I have bought metal burnishing product of the AK interactive range so I thought I might give it a try. Using metal burnishing liquids has quite a few advantages compared to the painting. Since friul tracks are movable, when painting them with an airbrush, one has to make sure to cover all the surfaces that are normally hidden, but become visible when the part of the track is on the sprocket or idler wheel, this makes the painting particularly tedious, as you basically have to go link by link and make sure it all painted even in the joints with the next link.

Well, all this work is eliminated when using metal burnishing liquid. I have already used before the only product on the market for a long time – Blacken-it and it worked well. AK’s product is very similar and the method of application is essentially the same.

One advice I have to give – don’t read the instructions on the bottle (they are written in poor english) and are misleading – they advise you to wash the tracks using soapy water, but this is exactly the thing not to be done. Go to the AK’s website and you can find more information on what to do and you can also find a link to videos showing how the product is to be used.

Of course I did not read the above information, so have made all the things I was not supposed to – wash the tracks with soap (I have then just washed them again without it) and glued in the track pins with super glue to prevent them from falling out. This is also not to be done, as at the place where superglue is applied to the surface of a track link, metal burnishing liquid will not work. As I have found out – yes, it’s true. Luckily the spots are very small and on the edge of the tracks that will be inside, so I am not that much bothered by this.

Apart from these hickups, the process went smoothly. I would welcome if the volume of liquid provided would be bit larger. With JSU tracks you have quite a bit of metal to burnish, the plastic dish I have used was quite small and I was still struggling to have both tracks completely submerged.

The final look of the tracks is little more on the greyish side than I have expected, but they still look fine. They will of course need more weathering with washes and pigments.

Most of the instructions on using friul tracks advise to polish the tracks with fine sand paper to show the bare metal on the surfaces that are in contact with the ground. I don’t think this is a good idea as white metal simply looks different than polished steel. So instead I am going to use polishing with graphite or the new AK’s dark steel pigment and drybrushing with Citadel’s boltgun metal, which is the best reproduction of polished steel surfaces that I know about.

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