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In-Box Review
135
Type 97 Tracks
IJA Type 97 'Chi Ha' Medium Tank Workable Track Set
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by: Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]

introduction

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.

review

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.

Test Run:
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.

conclusion

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.
SUMMARY
Highs: Good detail, easy to work with, and they hold together quite well.
Lows: I would like them to be less expensive (who wouldn't?). No other issues noted.
Verdict: This is just what is needed to upgrade your Type 97 kit.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: VA9003
  Suggested Retail: 20.00
  PUBLISHED: Jul 24, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Japan / 日本
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 84.47%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 88.33%

About Russ Amott (russamotto)
FROM: UTAH, UNITED STATES

I got back into the hobby a few years back, and wanted to find ways to improve, which is how I found this site. Since joining Armorama I have improved tremendously by learning from others here, and have actually finished a couple of kits. I model to relax and have fun, but always look to improve. ...

Copyright 2019 text by Russ Amott [ RUSSAMOTTO ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Good review, Russ.
JUL 24, 2010 - 09:42 AM
Thanks for this review, I've been wondering if they were worth getting or not. Looks like I'll be buying a few in the near future
JUL 24, 2010 - 10:02 AM
Thanks for the replies and James, thanks for getting this up. Now, who makes an interior set for the Type 97?
JUL 25, 2010 - 11:28 AM
Thanks for the review. I'm definitely buying these!
JAN 03, 2011 - 05:37 PM
They don't look as good as Modelkasten's workable tracks, which are crisper I think and also most importantly have the hole in the teeth going all the way through. It would be nice if that was mentioned in the review... Cheers, Christophe
JAN 03, 2011 - 09:35 PM
Another two points to make when reviewing track links. Mentioning the 'media' used, i.e., injection molded, resin, metal, etc., would be a huge help in determining a purchase...of any and all track links. Another statement that needs to be expressed is the issue of 'sink marks'...a killer (a non purchase) for me when looking for non rubber band replacements. When individual track link kits, workable or otherwise, cost as much as the kit they'll be used on, knowing about sink marks will make all the difference on my decision, and type, of purchase. Just my 2 cents!!! Good review however!!
APR 15, 2013 - 05:04 AM
   

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