by: Fabio d'Inzeo [ ]
One of the weakest points of the Italeri's M24 kit are the not so accurate suspensions and tracks. In my endless quest for detailing I found the Armour Track Models 1/35 injection plastic replacement individual track links (workable) kit TK-06 US T-85E1 Rubber Track (post war) for the M24 (late).
The box contents
The tracks come in a nice box which contains three plastic bags and an instruction sheet. Two of them contain ten sprues each made of 8 individual track links and 16 link connectors (the injection plastic parts colour is black); the other one contains the two resin sprockets and the two resin idler wheel (the resin parts colour is pale yellow).
Individual parts overview
At first look the individual links and their connectors look very nice and without any ejection pin mark. The resin sprockets are really very nicely cast and well detailed. The idler wheels are not as good as the sprockets, because of their holes that are not consistent in size, shape and positioning. Some of them are right, but some are almost round and it looks not so easy to correct this problem.
Putting the tracks together
The instructions are very clear and it seems that putting the tracks together will be a very straight forward and painless task. In the real life it's very easy to build them, but the link connectors are extremely fragile and they break very easily not only when you put them on, but also when you are going to adapt the tracks to the suspensions set or make them work a bit just to get the correct shape.
At the beginning I followed the instructions which suggest to make them in sections (see the above pic) and the broken link connectors were approximately 50% of the total. I achieved better results separating all of the connectors from the sprues and using them one by one. In this way I managed to have the two tracks built with only one connector left!
The only tools I used for building the tracks were a sharp hobby knife (to release the link connectors) and a sprue cutter (to separate the links from the sprue). No glue at all is required.
The tracks, once mounted look quite good as well as the sprocket. The only thing to do is to lightly sand the seams on the side of the links connectors that are the only sign of the injection process. Honestly I was surprised by the fragility of the link connectors and the poor quality of the moulding/casting of the idler wheel. The cost of the tracks is something like 50% more than buying the Italeri M24 kit. In case you should decide not to use the sprocket please consider that the resin one coming with the tracks does not accomodate the rubber tracks coming with the Italeri kit, but they can accomadate the Friulmodel ones.
Copyright ©2020 text by Fabio d'Inzeo [ ]. All rights reserved.
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