I have recently started building Japanese armor from WWII. There are few kit options available in plastic, and even fewer aftermarket upgrades. Vision Models
has stepped in to assist with a new set of individual tracks for the Type 97 'Chi Ha' medium tank. As soon as they became available, I purchased a set for the Finemolds Type 97 Chi Ha Shinhoto I reviewed here recently:
Type 97 Chi Ha
The Vision Model tracks are made to fit Tamiya kits 35075 and 35137, and FineMolds FM-11, 12, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27 and 29. That should be the Type 97, shinhoto turret, Type 1, and anything else that used the suspension and hull of the Type 97 medium tank.
The box arrived carefully packed, it was a little dented but the contents were secure. The box front indicates 200 pieces of track link, including 8 spare links (for a total of 25 individual sprues, all packaged in a single bag). The rear of the box has the instructions, showing the appearance of the sprues, each containing 8 individual links. Instructions are very simple, showing which parts to cut away. The links snap together, with small indentations on the forward link holding two small friction pins on the rear link. 96 links are called out for each track run. Paint is steel color.
I selected two sprues, removed the links and assembled them to test the fit. Cleanup was fairly easy as the plastic is soft. Details are very good, with no flash or ejector marks found on the individual links. They are small, about the size of the links from a panzer II I built, so much care will be needed when working with them to not include the fingers in any slicing or trimming. They are also easily lost if dropped, or ruined if you are not careful when trimming. 8 spares are included, just in case.
The links snap together very easily, and hold well. I manipulated the run of 16 links quite a bit, and while they did slip occasionally, they held together quite well, and should be easy to work with in a full run without falling apart. If you are really determined, the connections are substantial enough to drill out and run a piece of wire through.
I compared the Vision Model tracks to the kit supplied tracks from Finemolds. The Vision Model tracks are much better defined, show cleaner details, and run straighter than the Finemolds tracks. I believe the same will be true for the Tamiya single length tracks.
At $20.00 US, they were a good price in comparison with Modelkasten and Friulmodel, which is why I purchased them. They are much better than the kit supplied tracks and worth the investment if you're going to make a serious effort with Japanese armor. I recommend them.