login   |    register
Bronco Models [ MORE REVIEWS ] [ WEB SITE ] [ NEW STORIES ]

In-Box Review
135
PzH 2000 Tracks
Panzerhaubitze 2000 Tracks
  • move

by: Sean Langley [ PIGSTY ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

Bronco have recently released a number of sets of 1/35 replacement track links for a variety of WWII and modern subjects. Many of the modern ones are two-pad live tracks from the Diehl stable for a number of European armoured vehicles. Like most single-link track sets, they offer greater fidelity to the real thing. But this particular set, AB3526, is doubly welcome because it finally offers a correction for the worst part of Revell’s PzH 2000 kit.

review

Take a look first at the original vinyl tracks. They’re not too bad for detail, but they feel HORRIBLE. It’s like handling a pair of dead octopus tentacles. Worse though, they have a reputation for self-destruction, often taking the running gear with them. I understand this is because they contain too much plasticiser and, for some reason, Revell has never improved them. (Although they’re still better than any of Revell / Italeri’s Leopard tracks.)

Bronco’s tracks are moulded in tan polystyrene so will be completely stable. They’ll also take paint, which is another problem with the originals. So, that’s one big point in their favour already.

You probably know your way round modern tracks: dual-pin connections with bushes in the connectors to keep the track under tension; central guide horns; two rubber pads on each link. Esci’s old Leopard 2 kits sported similar tracks in link and length, but their detail was heavily compromised. Bronco have taken one possible route towards improving on that standard.

Each link consists of three parts: the outer treads, the inner side with the guide horns, and a pair of pins with the end and central connectors moulded onto them. The outer and inner parts have channels in them to take the pins. Assembly is simple but not easy, as they say: you take the outer tread, drop a pin into each channel, then lay the inner side on top. There are tiny free areas on the inner and out parts that will allow you to add just enough glue to secure them without locking it all in place. When you’ve done this once, you have a single link with pins poking out of either side; then you keep adding links and pins and links and pins until you have enough.

This is a pretty good way of portraying the real thing convincingly. The links should be free to move around the pins; the pins won’t move relative to the connectors, which is close to how real tracks work.

Another way is illustrated by AFV Club’s Leopard 2 tracks, shown here for reference. This method has four parts per link: the link in one piece including the ends of the pins, two end connectors, and one central connector. This is very much more fiddly. The connectors are minute and need to be positioned exactly if you want the links to move. Luckily, AFV Club’s engineering is top-notch – on the ones I’ve used, the parts are a push fit and hang together almost without glue.

This method is both more and less accurate. It shows the main moving parts as, effectively, free to move. But the pins shouldn’t really be integral with the links (although it has to be said that the net effect is the same); and it increases the chance of links being twisted out of true, which is almost impossible on the real thing.

Another consideration is how the parts are laid out. Each link on the PzH 2000 tracks requires seven sprue gates to be cleaned up. Each link for the Leopard requires ten. That’s over 350 more in total, even though the Leopard’s tracks are shorter. Alright, we know all indy links are phenomenally time-consuming, but still ...

The actual moulding of Bronco’s parts is first-rate. There’s only a tiny amount of flash and the parts are all very crisp. Ejector pins are either on extensions (the pins) or on the backs of parts where they won’t be seen (the other parts). I could find no sink marks. And the tan colour should make painting easier, since it will be dead easy to spot bits you’ve missed.

A few other detail matters:

• the connectors on the Leopard tracks are slide-moulded. This allows them to show both full-depth holes for the pins and accurate detail for the bolt-head that holds each connector shut. There’s less on Bronco’s tracks – theirs have the bolt-heads but also have solid, slightly protruding pin ends. AFV Club’s thus have the slight edge here – but at the price of a trickier, more frustrating build.

• the PzH guide horns are hollow, which matches the real thing; the Leopard tracks have indentations instead of a truly hollow section.

• the PzH tracks have the correct shape for the inner face, which is slightly rhomboid, whereas the Leopard tracks’ are rectangular.

conclusion

On balance, I’d say that the Bronco tracks are ever so slightly better. But each has its good and bad points.
One box of PzH tracks supplies eight sprues, 24 links per sprue, making 192 in total or 96 per side. The PzH has 95 per side so that’s not many spares; not compared with about 14 in the AFV Club box. If you have a tan carpet, replace it!

Bronco modern track sets are currently retailing at around £20 in the UK. They’re available for about half that from Luckymodel, which is where I got mine.
SUMMARY
Highs: Good engineering; clever assembly; high level of detail.
Lows: Slight detail compromises; too few in the box; price.
Verdict: Bronco’s PzH 2000 tracks are an enormously welcome accessory for Revell’s kit. Their moulding and detail are excellent, with only small compromises that are unlikely to matter in the great scheme of things. The method of assembly is ingenious.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AB3526
  Suggested Retail: £19.99
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Dec 19, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.50%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

About Sean Langley (pigsty)
FROM: NO REGIONAL SELECTED, UNITED KINGDOM

Copyright ©2017 text by Sean Langley [ PIGSTY ]. 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
Do you own this item and want to review it? You can add your review of the item here. Please read the reader review instructions before posting.


Comments

Now THAT is a thorough review. I have been fortunate to be one of the few people I know who did not have trouble with the original tracks. In fact, I just pulled the model off the shelf and re-examined them: Still good after well over ten years. However, should they ever start self-destructing I'll definitely pick up a set of the Bronco track, based on this review. Nice job.
DEC 19, 2009 - 03:20 PM
Great review, enjoyed reading. Also liked the comprehensiveness of it. I hope that this "spot light" on plastic workables will bring this to the attention of more companies (and you can see in trumpeter catalog the amount of workable tracks!) and we will see more and more items ins this line.
DEC 19, 2009 - 03:54 PM
Very nice review but it would have been interesting to know a few other points like: - How do they fit around the Revell PzH 2000 sprocket? - How do they fit lenghtwise on the kit? perfect fit, too much tension, exessive sag... Thanks for sharing
DEC 19, 2009 - 09:34 PM
Great review, I finished building a set of these last week. The tracks fit the drive sprocket perfectly. I think the tracks on the real vehicle shold have no sag. Still, the revell kit is a disappointment compared to this excellent AM set.
DEC 20, 2009 - 09:48 AM
Hi! I also examined mine, no destruction at all here. I picked up one of the first kits that came into the shelves, before the barrel was replaced. Maybe later kits had more that problem. But-worst quality of track detail and quality ever seen (ok, second worst, just after Hellers AMX30) , but-no self-destruction at mine. The new set looks great. Thanks for the comprehensive review! I will use it for sure if I go for a second PzH2000 kit. Anyway, nearly no sag at the original vehicle with this type of track as with most double pin end connector tracks. Nearly means that it is a few mm in original. Less than a single cm as far as I know. You dont see it, and if you scale down to 1/35, no sag at all. Andreas
DEC 21, 2009 - 01:54 PM
I'll admit to something embarrassing - when I built my PzH 2000 about five years ago, I assumed that since it was so "Leopard 2"-ish, it used Leopard 2 tracks, and that the kit tracks were thus waaay too narrow. So I fixed it I made the PzH 200 hull 3mm wider - not really that big a deal since I only needed to "push" the skirts further out, and was having to remove most of the hull side detail anyway, to replace it with Eduard stuff. So I added 1.5mm plastic card on each hull side, then put all of the detail back, either via the Eduard PE or by scratchbuilding. Then I completely rebuilt the sprocket - by widening it and creating new sprocket pins - so that the Leopard 2 track (HKCW individual links - the original manufacturer of the AFV Club links) fit correctly. I was very pleased with the end result - until I discovered that the PzH 2000 *didn't* have Leopard 2 tracks, and the kit ones were the right width. I may well end up buying the kit again one off these days and doing the whole thing over again, this time with the Bronco tracks. There, my shame is now known to all
DEC 21, 2009 - 02:34 PM
S! At LuckyModel or HobbyEasy you can find it as low as US$ 9,99 plus shiping. Much better than almost 20 pounds.
DEC 25, 2009 - 08:27 AM
I did think about fitting a few round the sprocket but unfortunately didn't have time before I had to clear the decks for moving house. As to sag, there should of course be none (as these are live tracks) and I'm hoping that the recommended number of links will prove to be too many, so that I can take out one or two. I've certainly found that on other sets - rather than take anyone's word for it, you just keep assembling links until you reach the right length. Luckily, Arpad has covered both points - thanks!
JAN 08, 2010 - 06:48 AM
I've just taken a look at Hannants' new website and it appears that the UK retail price is a lot lower than originally indicated. Instead of £19.99 they're asking £8.99. So I have no hesitation in dropping my reservations on the grounds of price!
APR 06, 2010 - 08:16 AM
Tip: Just hit enter to submit your reply!
   
What's Your Opinion?


Photos
Click image to enlarge
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move
  • move