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

Built Review
135
1/35 T-154 M109A6 Tracks
Skunk Models Workshop #35002 T-154 Individual Track Link Set for M109A6
  • move

by: Matt Smith [ BIGSMITTY ]

Introduction

The current 1/35 iteration (albeit flawed) of the US Army's M109A6 Paladin self propelled gun is Italeri’s 2007 issue (#372), complete with tracks that are inflexible and incorrect for the vehicle. Until recently, only Skybow/AFV Club offered an aftermarket solution to the tracks on the Paladin, using older T-136 tracks; this track/pad combination had been used on older M109A2s and M992s. They are the correct T-154 tracks used on the M109A6, but are a close substitute. Skunk Models Workshop has released a set of T-154 “crawler” tracks in injection molded plastic and at a very reasonable price.

Kit Review

The tracks are packaged in a side entry box, with a nice tri-view of the M109A6 on one half of the box and CGI renderings of the kit parts (and a stylized “instruction view” as well) on the other half. The tracks are packaged in two separate bags, each containing 5 sprues with 18 individual track links, 36 end connectors and a single “link and length” track section with 22 links, but with each end link open for an end connector. Presumably this is to help a static model by using these as the bottom run, and possibly the top run after the small amount of track sag has leveled out. The end connectors have a pair of sprue connection points, and every single connector I took from the sprue needed clean up from the sprue points and some flash on each face of the connector. With 79 links suggested per side for the M109A6, this could be a VERY long and tedious process. I suggest some good music and a tall refreshment beside you before undertaking the cleanup.

I have included some comparison shots in the gallery with the AFV Club tracks, which I happened to have already with the Italeri kit. While not correct, they do seem to provide a better overall appearance over the drive sprocket and have a better “sit” along the road wheels. Also, the AFV Club tracks are workable, as the end connectors for the track links “press fit” into the links quite tightly. Again, not a comparison review, but help for those out there looking for alternatives to the kit “tracks”.

Instructions & Painting Guide

The front and rear covers of the package provide the necessary “instructions”. Take a track link, clean it up, take another track link and clean it up, clean up two end connectors, and attach. I used Testor’s liquid cement in the black container with the steel applicator tip and used as small a dot as I could. I then slid the end connector on and aligned the track section on a home made alignment jig made from two 6” pieces of Evergreen strip #321. It had enough height to form a good channel on the glass pane I use for making tracks.

Conclusion

For the price, it’s hard to beat these individual track links. They are miles above the kit offerings, and are the correct version for the M109A6 Paladin. Based on the NSN (national stock number) for the track and pad, the measurements are very close to dead on accurate. The cleanup is a really big chore, and the small size could mean frustration for those not acclimated to individual track link assembly. Fortunately you get 180 links plus ten long single runs, so if you lose one or two (or ten) to the carpet monster you still have enough to complete your runs for the Italeri kit.
SUMMARY
Highs: Cost is low enough to buy two sets to practice with, plenty of extra links for “oops” moments.
Lows: Clean up on every link is virtually unavoidable, small end connector cleanup can be frustrating for newer modelers with little experience.
Verdict: A good set of correct tracks for the Italeri M109A6 Paladin at a reasonable cost; recommended, with reservations as stated above.
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35002
  Suggested Retail: $6.99
  PUBLISHED: Sep 09, 2012
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 86.25%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 83.44%

Our Thanks to Skunk Models Workshop!
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.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Matt Smith (BigSmitty)
FROM: MINNESOTA, UNITED STATES

Originally started modeling in high school in the mid to late 1980s building whatever I could afford, which meant a ton of Monogram and Testors aircraft. Every once in a while I would be able to treat myself to a nice Tamiya armor kit or Hasegawa aircraft kit after mowing a myriad of lawns. One ye...

Copyright ©2018 text by Matt Smith [ BIGSMITTY ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Link not working. This review either does not exist or has not been published for public viewing. Please contact us if you think you believe this is in error.
SEP 08, 2012 - 03:32 PM
All working... Excellent review Matt, thanks!
SEP 08, 2012 - 03:36 PM
I got a set of these and have to say I was disappointed. The track pins lack the hollow 'D' shape, sink marks in the pads, and the end connector details are soft. Compare them to the way they should look (photo from Prime Portal) Jim
SEP 08, 2012 - 03:47 PM
I'm with Jim. AFV Club's tracks are much better detailed.
SEP 08, 2012 - 03:51 PM
@Jim and Gino I agree with the both of you. The AFV Club T-136s have a great deal more detail, have less cleanup and fit the Italeri drive sprockets better than the SMW. If you're on a really tight budget and HAVE to replace the horrific kit tracks, these are a good second option. I'm waiting to see if the Riich T-154s are a knock off of these, but I haven't found them. Also waiting to see if the Riich Models M109A6 ever comes to light as well. Cheers fellas!
SEP 08, 2012 - 04:24 PM
I don't know about that. From what I can tell, they actually sell for about the same price. Both are about $15 including shipping from Lucky Model.
SEP 08, 2012 - 04:32 PM
Wow, those are both pretty close in price. I don't know why I thought the AFV Club tracks were so expensive. Might have been when I got them, or I'm just slowly going senile.
SEP 08, 2012 - 04:41 PM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

What's Your Opinion?


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