by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has released some excellent models lately with incredible detail, things such as full interiors, detailed engines and workable tracks being just some of the pluses they have provided. MiniArt has now realised that there is a market for the various aspects and these are now being made available as standalone detail sets. In this review Darren Baker takes a look at the tracks for the T-34.
This offering from MiniArt is provided in the end opening carton style usually used for their figure sets. The only thing I have against this style of box is that it does a poor job of preventing crush damage to the contents. The contents are made up of 10 sprues holding the track links with the guide horn and 8 runs of links with just connectors for those without a guide horn.
Inside this offering there are 90 track links with guide horns and 96 links without guide horns. The detail on this track is very good, and the detail matches the model of track link produced during 1943. I checked the links against the details in the book ‘T-34 Mythical Weapon’, the detail is spot on as far as I can see. The links measure out at 14.3mm, when scaled up this works out at 500.5mm and that is 0.5mm wider than it should be at 1 to 1 scale. So accuracy wise these are exceptional in my opinion, even the small holes in the links are present. If you look at the ground contact face of the track links you will notice that even the hollow nature of the guide horns has been faithfully replicated. The last highlight of this offering is that casting numbers have been liberally applied and add that certain touch of je ne sais quoi.
As with most things in life there has to be a dark cloud for every silver lining and in this offering from MiniArt it is the word ‘workable’. The track links have been designed to be workable via a pin moulded on the inside edge of outer lug of the links with the guide horn, the problem is that these pins are so fine that they break when trying to engage the holes present in the other link. Now in the belief that most modellers do not play with their completed models, I do not see this observation as a problem. What we have here is a very accurate set of track links that can easily replicate track sag as needed, but that will need to be glued together just like a popular track that use to be available from a competitor.
Removal and clean-up of the tracks is easy enough if you have a good set of side cutters that provides a clean cut. I have covered the issue of the snapping and so what I did was cut the pin off of one side and then attach the link at the other side and slide home with a touch of glue. Just let the links sit for a while and then place them on your desired model in the required position to set fully. Just so that you are aware my reference tells me that it should be 72 links per side.
MiniArt has suggested these track links can be used on the:
I agree with that statement providing you are building a vehicle that was produced in 1943 or after or it is in a setting after that year.
I feel this is an excellent product in terms of accurate detail, and providing you can get passed the word ‘workable’ any purchaser should be happy. I like that MiniArt has provided plenty of spare links to cover issues and to be used as extra links on the vehicle if desired, perhaps even added armour on Russian or German tanks of the period.