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In-Box Review
135
T54E1 Track Links
Sherman T54E1 workable track link set
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

Bronco have released a number of individual track link sets, with this option providing tracks in the T56E1 style. These are the Chevron steel tread, composite bolted links (notches in chevron to accommodate bolts) style often seen on Sherman tanks.

The Tracks

The tracks come packed in sealed plastic bags with a sturdy box which show the product and manufacturers details on the front and contains the build and sprue information on the rear.

Moulded in buff coloured plastic the set consists of 8 x JA sprues and 8 x A sprues. The Ja sprue holds 48 track pads each consisting of both upper and lower pads, which works out at a total of 192 pads within the set. The A sprue holds the connecting rods and end connectors for the track pads. According to the instructions the pads shown on A2 are not required for the build.

Each pad is made up of 2 half track pads, one consisting of the Steel Chevron and the other the flat pad. 1 x connecting rod and 2 x end connectors, got to make up the 5 parts per pad needed.

Detail on the track pads, connecting rods and end connectors looks sharp and well defined with no excess flash present on the examples I looked at.

As with any set of individual tracks, the biggest effort will go into the clean up. The connecting rods look very fragile so you’ll need to take care and time when removing these from the stubs. The end connectors have two hold points on the sprue so again take the time and care to clean these up.

Conclusion

Individual tracks are not everyone’s cup of tea, and whilst detailed these will require time and patience to build. That said, once built individual links offer a number of options for finish that you don’t really have with rubber band type tracks, such as damaged or repairing type finishes as well as simply being applied normally to the model.

With 96 pads available per side you should have enough for both the normal M4 Sherman and the longer M4A4 Sherman with a few left over for good measure.

These are designed as workable tracks so the connecting rods part A1 shouldn’t be glued in, just sandwiched between the two pads. You might also consider adding the end connectors to the connecting rods first but how you choose to assemble them will be by personal choice.

SUMMARY
Highs: Good detail and flexibility should produce a very realistic set of tracks.
Lows: Patience will be required to build.
Verdict: It is hard to put a verdict on these without having actually built them but from what I’ve seen I’d have no problem recommending them.
Percentage Rating
82%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: AB3546
  Suggested Retail: $13.49 US
  Related Link: DragonUSA Item Page
  PUBLISHED: Aug 30, 2011
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.73%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.97%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
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 Alan McNeilly (AlanL)
FROM: ENGLAND - EAST ANGLIA, UNITED KINGDOM

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2017 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. 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

Did I mention I really need a set of T54E1s with the "early" duckbills that were only offered by DML in their indy-link T48 sets? I've worked out a way to graft the DML duckbill/tooth onto the Bronco track and still keep it workable... (Might post it up if I ever finish the whole set...) Tom
SEP 03, 2011 - 05:07 PM
Dedication Tom. Al
SEP 03, 2011 - 05:19 PM
Nice review, Al. Some real world experience with these: make sure you do NOT use any kind of enamel or Tamiya paints on the connector parts of the links, and be VERY careful about the amount of cement that gets on the connector parts. In my case, I built the Sherman T-48 set, and it's been terrible: the Tamiya black I used to undercoat the connector links caused the plastic to weaken, and the sets fell apart after painting when I tried to apply them to the vehicle. I've been pasting links in-line since. I will try another set of these and use an acrylic black shading coat.
SEP 03, 2011 - 09:30 PM
Bill, did you paint them before cluing? KL
SEP 03, 2011 - 09:45 PM
Hello! I'm collecting a set of tracks T54E1. Very satisfied. Of course accuracy is needed, the work tedious. But the result is worth it! It is more convenient to collect the details are not as stated in the instructions. Another alternative suggested by Terry Ashley convenient. The trouble is that 79 tracks is not enough to collect the track chain of sufficient length. In my Tasca Sherman is such a number is not enough. Need 81-83 track.
SEP 03, 2011 - 10:49 PM
Yes, Kurt, I painted before gluing. I would suggest using an acrylic in either case, as the solvents cut into the plastic with Tamiya or others. Alexandr, I have plenty of links left over, so that has not been an issue.
SEP 04, 2011 - 04:27 PM
So do you think it was an issue of the plastic disintegrating or the cement not penetrating the paint and the parts just coming apart? KL
SEP 04, 2011 - 07:38 PM
Hi Bill, You'd need to build then paint with this set otherwise the paint will interfer with the glue, had that experience Al
SEP 05, 2011 - 10:59 AM
Kurt, the solvents in the Tamiya flat black I used for pre-shading definitely ate away at the plastic. Al, you're right, and I wouldn't paint them the next time. Live and learn.
SEP 05, 2011 - 01:47 PM
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