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Lanz Bulldog Roadless Track conversion .....1/35 scale ... Start to Finish

Started by Gordon Ferguson, December 29, 2020, 12:56:16 AM

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Gordon Ferguson

Right, while the portable steam engine undergoes the paint process ..... which in my case can take a few weeks , I will work backwards on some of the builds I have done in the preceding months/years while I still have a handle on posting pics 😉

Unlike most here I do build a lot from kits although I have a pathological inability to build it "out of the box ".
As the vast majority of my builds are civilian based when MiniArt released the Lanz Bulldog tractor it was an immediate purchase and it made it's way directly to the bench unlike the majority of purchases which seem to end up in the stash ..... for a one day I will build it.

Whist cleaning up the bits , and little clean up is really required as it's a lovely little kit my mind turned to what I could do to the kit to make it a bit different. A little research turned up this , a Roadless Track conversion ..... so an iconic German tractor with an English company's conversion , developed by a man who had worked on British tanks in WW1 .... seemed a nice twist

Gordon Ferguson

OK obviously I was getting too smug over my ability to post pics ....... can somebody tell me how when you have added a photo that takes you over the 230 limit you can delete a photo , I could not find out how and have had repeat the whole process !

So here are the other pics of the real life one

Gordon Ferguson

The tractor went together pretty quickly, like all MiniArt kits there are a lot of fine/small parts and the biggest delay in the build for you will be when you are scrambling around on the floor looking for the minuscule part that pinged into the ether  ;)

As you can see the kit comes with a nice set of steel wheels , which I am sure will come in useful sometime in the future .

The only thing I changed in the kit was the front axle which comes with the king pins moulded in, so the front wheels end up in the straight ahead position ....... not acceptable, another of my pet foibles .... a quick alteration with micro saw and scalpel sorted that out .

I had no info on how the real life version fitted the track units on, so my work is at best educated guess work combined with research on similar conversions to Fordsons and my supposed knowledge as an ex mechanical engineer


Gordon Ferguson

The initial paint application , Mr Surfacer Mahogany primer followed by pre shading with Tamiya Matt black along panel lines and underneath in the shadow areas.

My first attempt at the tracks and sprockets

Tracks are plastic after-market ones sold for the WW1 Whippet, these were modified by cutting approximately 2mm of each side of each track shoe, sanding of the rivet detail along with some slight reshaping and then the addition of a 30 thou square bar in the middle of each track shoe ....... not entirely accurate but came close to capturing the look, which is important to me.

The smaller rear idlers were made by the circle method just recently beaten to death by me in the Ransomes thread

Front large sprockets , started out as laser cut sprockets available via eBay ..... just search under Steam Punk gears, lots of sizes available . These were then modified with the addition of front discs and rivets, nuts , etc, etc

As I said this was the first attempt , when I tried them on the tractor and while they fitted , they just did not look right  ???

Gordon Ferguson

So the second attempt , the rear idlers were OK but I ended using smaller laser cut sprockets for the fronts ..... on the plus side it gave me the opportunity to improve my initial attempt at replicating  the detail from the real ones.

New version on left , original try on right

In both cases the actual sprocket teeth are wrong in size and shape but for this model it is almost impossible for them to be seen on the finished build .... so I got away with this inaccuracy

The initial paint job progress , techniques here are a mix of hairspray , secondary colours, brush and sponge chipping with acrylics, and oil paint washes

Gordon Ferguson


Gordon Ferguson




this looks extremely good to me - what an interesting conversion! I like the overall look of the wheathering, especially the rust tone on the tracks.

I'll make it. If I have to fly the five feet like a birdie.
I'll fly it. I'll make it.

The comprehensive book about my work: "Vollendete Baukunst"

Lawton Maner

In order to spend less time crawling around with a flashlight hunting for AWOL parts, adopt the use of a watchmakers apron.  Attached to the bench, with a deep catch basin on the front and a band behind your neck it will catch and hold most pieces which try to escape.

Gordon Ferguson

Tried this Lawton , but forgot and nearly strangled myself when I stood up from bench  :D ::)


What a lovely job you have made of this Tractor conversion - as you say these MiniArt people are really coming up 1st with some nice stuff with plenty of civilian models coming on the market - paint work is nice to not to scruffy just a nice used look
Never Let someone who has done nothing tell you how to do anything
Stuart McPherson


That model looks so nice it's disgusting. Something you just knocked out while waiting for paint to dry on the other model, huh? It would have taken me eight months and the result would have been vastly inferior. Satisfactory.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who spends half his modeling time looking for tiny parts on the floor.



MiniArt make really beautiful models. I built the Caterpillar D6 with winch-operated dozer blade as a civilian version. However, the plastic was quite brittle.
On the Lanz Buldog I especially like the seat suspension. Your conversion and the paintwork are super.



Gordon, nice clean work as always. Starting out with good kit work and adding your own stretch-build parts, and to finish with your beautiful painting and weathering. This thread and the finished model are a little sunshine and inspiration in a dark time,

Gordon Birrell.

Ray Dunakin

Visit my website to see pics of the rugged and rocky In-ko-pah Railroad!

Ray Dunakin's World