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Built Review
135
T80E1 Workable Tracks
T80E1 Workable Track Link Set (Steel Type) for M26/M46
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Modellers have become more demanding over what they want added to their models recently; however the financial situation of the last few years has affected what modellers are willing to pay for those upgrades they add. One of the items that is often added to vehicles are individual track links; however due to reduced incomes an alternative to caste metal tracks was looked for and injection moulded plastic tracks became more common. Bronco Models is one of the companies that have started to satisfy the desire for injection moulded workable tracks.

Contents

This product is packaged inside one of Bronco Models end opening card boxes. Inside of this box you will find a single plastic bag, inside of which are three more plastic bags that contain the three sprue types that make up the product. The sprues consist of;
  • 8 x brown sprues of track pads and guide horns
  • 16 x brown sprues of link pins
  • 2 x grey sprues

Review

The first thing that struck me with this product from Bronco Models, is the weight of the plastic included with this product, it is nearly as heavy as a standard model. The parts are cleanly moulded with no obvious faults and the gates between the moulded parts and the sprues are small. The inclusion of the later style drive sprockets is a nice inclusion, but better still Bronco Models has supplied the parts for altering the M26 by Tamiya and Hobby Boss and the M46 by Dragon Models Ltd to the later version.

The design of the parts that make up these tracks has allowed Bronco Models to make the track detail very realistic, and as far as I can see accurate. I have included some images of an M46 in the Bovington Tank Museum collection that has the T80E1 track type fitted. Bronco Models has provided enough links for 92 track links per run and the instructions on the rear of the box indicate that each run should consist of 85 links, so this does provide you with a good number of spares.

The Build

The most important thing I have discovered with the workable track link sets from Bronco Models is that the parts must be thoroughly cleaned up after removal from the sprue, and due to the number of parts that does take time. I know we all know the importance of cleaning parts up before assembly, but I also know that human nature means we take short cuts if they are open to us. Failing to clean up all of these parts will make your life miserable and affect the result that you can achieve with this product. You will also note the dent in my finger from gripping and cleaning the track pads, and so I suggest you clean up some parts and then do something else for a while.

First thing to remember; In order to retain the workable aspect of these tracks glue has to be used very sparingly. That said I remove the track pin part of the kit from the sprues and clean up the parts as needed. I then remove the separate guide horn parts and join both parts together. The track detail on the shoes is specific to the left and right of the tracks, in order to avoid a mix up I remove pads for only one side of the track and inner face of course. The mating surfaces of these parts have an offset nipple and receiver. I add a small amount of glue to the receiver and then match the two parts together, I then ease the two pieces apart a little and insert track pin and guide horn into the slots. After this is done it is easy to deal with the other side once the run is complete.

I have found this approach the most successful at retaining the workable aspect of the tracks.

Conclusion

These tracks if care is taken during assembly do make for very realistic results, they do not have the weight aspect of the white metal tracks and so track sag where necessary needs to be imparted after being added to the model. Do not let anyone tell you these are a quick and easy option, as they are not; they do however really look the part and I like them. This is one of those products where the result can vary wildly dependant on the time and effort you put into them.
SUMMARY
Highs: A very realistic finished product, with the track elements moving exactly as they do on the real tracks.
Lows: This product does take some cleaning up and cannot be considered a quick fix.
Verdict: If you want accuracy and realism I feel these tracks are hard to beat.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AB3565
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 27, 2014
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

Our Thanks to Bronco Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70ís starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70ís, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Thanks for your review. The cleaning and building process certainly seem to call for some mental preparation! You wrote: "... they do not have the weight aspect of the white metal tracks and so track sag where necessary needs to be imparted after being added to the model. " Please note that the T80E1 were designed as "live" tracks that would not have any track sag on a properly tuned and operational AFV. FYI
AUG 27, 2014 - 07:38 AM
Sorry Roy I meant when sag is required on other vehicles types.
AUG 27, 2014 - 11:35 AM
I have these...the plastic isn't as brittle as the AFV Club ones, but the amount of parts is daunting. I have been working on them a few at a time. When my eyes start to burn or I start drooling, I put them away for another day.
AUG 27, 2014 - 11:45 AM
I agree Jason in that they are not an easy option, but they do look very good and accurate.
AUG 27, 2014 - 02:04 PM
Recently tried these, and I must say they are horrendous. Whatever genius decided to put sprue attachments to he actual track pin, when the thing is supposed to be workable, should be hung by his thumbs. I did 2 track links in 45 mins. Overly complex ludicrous way of attempting a workable track, good job Bronco. Just as well they include late Korean War drive sprockets as they don't fit the HobbyBoss kit drive sprockets.
MAR 04, 2015 - 11:10 PM
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