by: Darren Baker [ ]
There are a number of manufacturers providing after market tracks in a variety of materials which are available in resin, metal, and injection moulded plastic. Some of these tracks are workable, and some not, which can make natural representation challenging. Today I am taking a look at an offering from Armour Track Models, workable tracks for the Challenger 2.
ē 22 black sprues of track links.
ē A pair of resin drive sprockets.
ē A pair of resin idler wheels.
These injection moulded workable tracks from Armour Track Models are a multi part affair. Each sprue contains the parts for 8 links, which gives you 88 links for each side. The parts are all very cleanly moulded with no flash, sink, or push out marks on them. The track link is the largest part with the track horn moulded on it, you then have the centre connector and lastly two end connectors.
The centre connector actually clips onto the track link and easily holds everything together for when you come to place the end connectors. The end connectors are a tight fit onto the track pins and require no glue what so ever to stay in place. I once attempted to make a set of tracks for a Sherman that used the same method except that the centre connector didnít clip everything together, and they were the most frustrating exercise I have ever undertaken in my life when putting something together, so bad in fact I gave them away, that is not the case here.
The detail on the parts is crisp and of a good standard. Each part has a very sturdy feel to it, and at no time was I concerned about breaking a pin during assembly. I will admit that locating the centre connector to each link was not the easiest thing to do as I have hands like shovels (so if I can do it anyone can). It should also be said that if you have a good set of side cutters for removing the parts from the sprue the result will be none to very minimal clean up.
Now for the bad news. The resin drive sprockets supplied with the kit are nicely moulded with no air bubbles, however there was a tooth missing on one of them. Can you hear a BUT coming? The drive sprocket does not fit the tracks, the teeth are too far apart and it is too big as a result. Who in their right mind sells an after market set of tracks with resin idlers and drive sprockets where the tracks donít fit the drive sprockets, unbelievable springs to mind. However all is not lost as the tracks fit the Trumpeter drive sprockets perfectly
The resin idler wheels are correctly sized and contain crisp detail, they also fit the Trumpeter Challenger 2 kits. Having compared the resin idler wheels to the kit offered item, the resin idlers will make a nice addition as they contain extra detail on the rear face which is missing from the kit option and they look to me to be better proportioned despite being the same size.
Taking everything into consideration I have to say that this product does improve upon the kit offerings, and even with the problem of the drive sprocket it is still a worthwhile purchase for your Challenger 2 model. Detail is excellent, being bold where needed and subtle in other areas as the real item is. There are other options for after market tracks for a Challenger 2 but these are worth your consideration, I will also add my recommendation to them for what it is worth. I should mention that the price I have stated is the price I paid for them many moons ago and a search online produced prices as low as £16.
It has been brought to our attention that these tracks are now being offered by Trumpeter as product number TK-13, same tracks as reviewed here minus the drive and idler wheels. Since the Armour Track Models set may become hard to find, it's good to see that these will be available under the Trumpeter brand name.