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Built Review
135
Sd.Kfz. 251 Late-Model Tracks
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by: Joe Rion [ DISPATCHER ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

These tracks are one of those extra kits you can add on to improve your build. The Sd.Kfz 251 was made through several models and variations with several types of track being made over the war years, with this review dealing with the late style tracks.

contents

The tracks come in an open end box with color instructions on the back. The kit has two sprues of track pads and eight sprues of tracks. All molding looks good and there is no flash present. The tracks all have a faint outline of a knockout pin on the flat side. The pads all have a raised line of the joint showing.

Review

As I had started a build on a half-track I needed a set of tracks to replace the rubber band tracks that came with the kit. I knew I had this set in my stockpile for use so I dug them out and read the instructions on the back of the box. The assembly was straight forward; glue the track pads in place, cut the track from the sprue and push them together. Now, that may seem easy, but the process is not that simple.

The track segments are brittle and break pretty easily. I resorted to cutting them off the sprues with a Xuron clipper. I broke three tracks out of the first eight I removed from the sprue. You can't trim the edge unless the track is placed just right or it will break. The track segments are made so that when assembled they snap together one after another. That seems simple and works sometimes.

I had trouble with the track segments breaking when you try and push them together. The segments that I was able to get together were easily dislodged and did not line up very well. So, out of the first sixteen links around seven were broken. The broken links were glued together for a flat run on the ground.

Another problem I encountered is that the pin that allows the track to pivot is worn down when a track is slipped over it. The pin will not allow the tracks to stay straight, and under a small bit of pressure it slips off. I tried this again after waiting two weeks to see if there was anything I could do better, at which time I finally gave up on this product.

Conclusion

I was unable to get this product to work for me. I could be at fault here, or it could be the product, although I see no way for these to work right unless the track segments are more flexible. I have seen some builds with these tracks online so I assume some builders can make them work. If anyone has used these tracks I would like to hear from you and your opinion.
SUMMARY
Highs: These tracks look pretty good in the box.
Lows: Track pads look thin, brittle plastic, ejector pin marks on each track segment.
Verdict: I will rate this product low because with my experience with them I found them to be unusable.
Percentage Rating
40%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AF 35069
  Suggested Retail: $17.50
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 26, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 78.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.65%

About Joe Rion (dispatcher)
FROM: ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES

I model in 1/35th scale. I do German WW2 tanks, softskins and other equipment.

Copyright 2017 text by Joe Rion [ DISPATCHER ]. 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.


Reader Reviews
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Comments

Joe, Sorry to hear these were so tough for you to use. I've not used one myself and the instructions calling for the cap block to be installed first and then the links snapped together looks like a certain recipe for stress on the links and weakening of the pins which would produce the results you described. Assuming you still have some on hand, is it possible to assemble these by slipping the two links together first and then adding the cap block to avoid the "snap tite" approach? There looks to be an opening at the top where the pins could be slotted in and then the block added to trap them but can't be sure going by the photos alone. If that's possible then the instructions definitely are calling for a much more difficult method of assembly.
APR 26, 2009 - 12:32 PM
Bill, I feel these tracks could be useful. I tried to assemble them then add the track pad, no luck. I would be happy to mail the remainder of them to you for your opinion. I think another opinion would be helpful. Joe
APR 26, 2009 - 12:56 PM
I used these tracks several years ago (assuming these are the same) in the AFV combo kit that had a 251 and a towed PAK 40. They were a bit fiddley to assemble and some care was required so as not to shear the pins off. I used a Xuron plier to ever so gently spread the track so as not to shear the pins. Did I mention that you spread the track gently. Very gently. It took a while to get the lengths together, but they did turn out rather nice. There was a issues with the drive sprockets, but the Mk I brain is unable the access that file at the moment. Cheers Dave
APR 26, 2009 - 01:42 PM
Dave, it's probably that the AFV club drive sprockets are to thick, so that the tracks don't fit into the slot. The drive sprocket works fine with the rubberband track but not aftermarket tracks. I was able to file down the drive sprockets on their joining edge to make Dragon E Z Tracks work on a AFV club kit. Joe
APR 26, 2009 - 02:33 PM
Hi I have a set of Hobby Boss ones which I've removed from sprue and cleaned up which was quite a job. They are very similar to these with the link and pad. I naturally assumed you placed the links together first then carefully glued the track pad over it to capture the pins of the track link within the adjoining track link. So am I in for a nasty surprise or is this a possible way of assembling these AFV Club ones in the same fashion so you don't have to stress the links. Alan Edit. I guess you'd have build a little jig as they need the guide horns facing down. But two strips of plastic set apart for the guide horn to sit in should be okay for the task.
APR 26, 2009 - 03:18 PM
Alan, building a jig will be a help for you. I tried to assemble these tracks both ways with little success. Don't dispair over what I did, give it your best shot. I have built several sets of tracks from a rival company with great success but these don't have the flexability they need in my opinion. Joe
APR 26, 2009 - 03:40 PM
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