How To Make Easy Realistic Looking Tracks


Replicator of Toys
Officer Club
Mar 15, 2011
New Orleans
Hey Guys,

I am not a fan of heavy weathering .
That is the new thing in modeling.
Tanks did not last all that long in WW2 especially German tanks
Maybe a week not more than a month ,
In that time span, tanks did not rust .
If a track did , as soon as it rolled most of the quick rust was slung off and the tracks were in dirt and mud.
The mud was slung as well , if the tank stayed in the wallow chunks would hang on.
As soon as the vehicle hit the road that mud was slung.

Ok I stepped off of my soap box.
here is a quick and easy way to make realistic tank treads all steel or with rubber pads.
You can use your favorite dusting powder I use Doc O Brien's weather powder it has several different shades . MY fav is Grundgy Gray.

Doc O'Brien's Weathering Powders, Set of 12 Colors
You get several little plastic cups
I almost ran out of my Grungy Gray so I made my own tint with 1/4 rust, 1/4 black with 1/2 yellow and it was close to Grungy Gray .

Materials needed

Flat black spray paint for metal tracks ( I use O Riellieys automotive primer )
Flat Dark gray spray paint for rubber tracks( O Riellieys Gray hot rod primer )
Weathering powder
Pencil graphite ( I use shaved pencil graphite the graphite you use for locks will not work )

Steel treads

If you want realistic steal treads.

1. Paint track flat black
2. Dust with your fav tinted powder
3. Dip your finger in pencil graphite and rub on cleats and side of tread.
Done !!

Rubber tracks .

1. Paint tracks with Hot Rod gray.
2.Dust with powder.
3.- Wet finger and wipe powder off of center track pad
4- If track has metal on side like the Hanomag tracks, use graphite on the metal parts
4. Done

Both quick and easy and if you like rub some of the graphite on the running gear.
The graphite will give you that metal sheen.


Replicator of Toys
Officer Club
Mar 15, 2011
New Orleans
Here is a Sherman track using European mud or dirt powder and pencil graphite

Custom made powder with graphite

M-113 I went with a mud red powder ( Vietnam dirt ) and graphite

I did go with the rusty track idea and used Hot Rod Gray then rusty powder and graphite

On the spare tracks, I painted flat black and gave it a dusting with rusty powder and picked out ware areas with graphite . I think they look real !



Active member
Oct 20, 2018
Nice job. I never liked the factory attempt to weather vehicles. I just wanted a good basic paint job with some unit markings all nice and clean like they just rolled out the tank wash. Let me weather them if needed.