MiniArt has issued the cast wafer-type individual tracks for the T-34 family as a standalone set. Itís a smart move, since this is a cheap alternative for individual tracks. They issued individual track sets from other kits, and will issue the engine compartment for the T-34 separately as well. The T-34 and its variants are quite widely modelled, and many of the older kits come with the rubber-band like tracks.
Itís recommended for use with the T-34, T-34/85 and the SU-85. Since factories and repair depos fitted any tracks they could lay their hands on to their vehicles during the war, itís probably safe to say that these tracks can be universally fitted to any T-34 tank and vehicle based on the T-34. (But donít quote me on that.)
As a small disclaimer: there were about 11 types of tracks used with the T-34, and I am not an expert in the field.
This set represents the M-1942 hollow-horned wafer (waffle?) type tracks. Itís made up by two types of links: a thicker one with the guide horns, and the slimmer connecting links between. 36 of these double units make up a track section per side in a T-34 (and all T-34 based vehicles). The instructions are on the back of the box, and quite easy to follow. (It lists the same assembly steps for all three suggested tanks.)
The set has 176 parts, which leaves plenty extras once you finish fitting them to your vehicle. The quality of moulding is excellent, and the detail is pretty nice: you can even see the small casting numbers on each track.
I have some experience working with these tracks, since both the SU-122 and the SU-85 kits came with it, and found them pretty straightforward and simple to use. The cleanup is a bit tedious, as the tracks are attached to the sprue (or each other) through at least three gates. Due to the placement of these gates (they are on the connecting surfaces of the links), you have to be careful with cutting and sanding them off. It would have been more fortunate to place these gates on the sides of the links, where they would not have interfered with the assembly. If you leave a little residue of plastic from the gate, the fit will not be perfect; and if you cut/sand too deep, well, there will be a gap between the links.
The one gripe I have with this set is that they are not workable. The claims were made in the case of every model that has used these tracks, but the fact is the pins are so small and delicate they are unable to hold the tracks together without application of glue. Otherwise thereís not much to write about: the tracks look like the piece, they go together well, and they are easy to paint and weather (since they are made of styrene).
If you expect a workable set of tracks, you will be disappointed. If you expect a nice set of tracks made of individual links, you will be happy with this set; especially for this price.
Highs: Good detail, cheap individual tracklink set for a very widely modelled subject. Should fit on most T-34 based models, providing a low budget update for older kits.Lows: Itís not workable (no matter what the box says); cleaning them up takes a long time.Verdict: Recommended (with the understanding that it is a set of static individual tracks).
About Andras (spongya) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I am a biologist by trade, and as a hobby I've been building scale models for the last twenty years. Recently I started to write reviews of the models I bought. These reviews are written from the point of view of an average model builder; hence the focus is on quality of the model, how easy it is to...