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Built Review
135
Tiger I late tracks
White metal tracks for Tiger I late version.
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by: Roman [ BIZARRE ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Tiger 1 was a German heavy tank first deployed in combat in 1942 when Axis forces were approaching Leningrad in the USSR and overall it was an impressive piece of machinery that utilized up to date (some say over-engineered) equipment and solutions together with very powerful 88mm gun capable of dealing with most of the tanks at the time and well armoured (at least until appearance of T-34-85, SU-100, IS-2, SU-152, etc.). Despite the fact that less than 1500 actual vehicles were built, the Tiger 1 is one of the most popular subjects for modelling, and it is well covered by Tamiya, Dragon, AFV club, Academy, Italeri and Zvezda. Different brands released different versions of the tank trying to follow up the development and improvement of the original vehicle with Dragon being the most dedicated to that vehicle basically having the whole range in the catalogue.

As with any model there is room for detailing, and one the items that modellers like to replace in the kits are tracks for different reasons. There are plenty of options here - flexi vinyl tracks from Dragon kits, plastic tracks from AFV club, Modelkasten and Dragon (in re-release of Zvezda kit as well), metal offerings from Karaya, Friul and now Masterclub. The subject of this review is a set of metal tracks for a late Tiger 1 variant and while I wish I could do an extended comparison review with other brands I lack all the possible solutions available on the market. Therefore I recommend you to visit a comprehensive research article on tracks from Alexander Chibisov (http://www.dishmodels.ru/gshow.htm?p=1593). It is in Russian but you get the overall feeling together with measurements from each individual kit and the images speak for themselves. Note that the article featured resin tracks from Master club, not the metal ones which are brand new release.

Review

Masterclub’s set of metal tracks for a Tiger 1 (ref MTL-35005) comes in a regular plastic box with a small piece of paper with the catalogue number and basic information regarding the set. Inside there are 3 plastic bags – 1 with 210 track links and two bags with track pins. The casting quality shows no defects and the appearance of late tracks is nicely captured. On the outer surface there are ribs and cleats and on the inner surface we see most noticeable feature of Tiger I tracks – lightening holes on the guide horns. The holes for the track pins on the links are already opened and there is no need for drilling, unlike with other metal tracks on the market. Some of the tracks from my set required minimal clean up due too small burs, however these can be ignored as they are soft and when you press the links together and articulate them a couple of times they will be gone. The pins are simply inserted into corresponding holes when the links are aligned and there is no need for glue to hold the track length together. Be sure that you insert the pin with washer from the outer side of the tracks (I did it wrong on the review images!). After the assembly the track length is fully articulating, which is especially good on vehicles with articulating suspension and uneven ground (don’t forget about characteristic sag on Tiger I from sprocket to road wheels).

Dimension-wise these tracks are very accurate with minor discrepancies reflecting imperfections of my measurement equipment. Here is what I got (numbers in the bracket indicate original size downscaled to 1/35th): width 20,5mm (20,7), length 5,2 (original 5,2), height 5,6 (original 5,57), guide horn width in the middle point 0,48 (0,46), distance between guide horns 6,48 (6,46). The fit was tested on 2 drive sprockets – from a Dragon Model kit (light grey styrene) and Tamiya kit (dark grey) and as you can see on the images it was good. I wish I could have tested it on other manufacturers, but I don’t possess their kits.

conclusion

I think these are a very good set of metal tracks, which are competitively priced to other metal tracks on the market and provide an accurate rendition of original tracks in miniature. Easy assembly and realistic tracks pins are absolute advantages. The choice is of course up to modeler and modeler’s budget.

"This item was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of a review directly to the author.”
SUMMARY
Highs: Accurate representation of Tiger I late tracks in miniature, no need to drill holes, no need for glue.
Lows: Extra costs on your model
Verdict: Highly recommended for those who prefer metal tracks and accurate aftermarket.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MTL-35005
  Suggested Retail: 34-40 USD
  Related Link: official web
  PUBLISHED: Jun 21, 2014
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.52%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 89.79%

About Roman (Bizarre)
FROM: AKERSHUS, NORWAY

Copyright ©2017 text by Roman [ BIZARRE ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Thanks for a great review
JUN 21, 2014 - 10:30 PM
An excellent review and very good pictures to show their quality. Thank you for sharing that.
JUN 23, 2014 - 10:23 AM
thanks, guys, glad it was useful!
JUN 23, 2014 - 02:31 PM
I want to try these!! Tired of drilling Friul.
JUN 24, 2014 - 07:08 AM
Good review, Roman, but I'm slightly skeptical the track pins will stay put without some CA glue. Can you elaborate on that point? Certainly MC's resin tracks don't stay together if the pins aren't secured, at least not in my experience.
JUN 24, 2014 - 09:07 AM
Bill, I get what you mean but so far I had no problems with these tracks. I painted and weathered 4 sets so far and 2 of them are installed on the models, 1 of these traveled around Europe with me and was handled through airport security, hand luggage, etc. No problems with pins falling out or smth like that. The holes are tight and they just sit there. Moreover, Masterclub's owner, Sergey, claims that they did weight tests and the assembled chain holds up to 3KG of weight without braking the pins. If you would like to ask me how this was done from the technical point of view - I have no idea, sorry. I think I've read somewhere that the bored holes have slight conic shape inside, but I can't be sure if that was regarding these tracks. Here Terry wrote that he had a couple of pins not sitting in their holes, but overall they do LINK
JUN 24, 2014 - 09:19 AM
Thanks, Roman. I agree about Friuls being a pain to drill out, so I'm definitely intrigued by MC's efforts. Glad to see fresh ideas.
JUN 24, 2014 - 12:14 PM
Thank, Roman. Very helpful. One time I've used Friul track and the bad issue was drilling out too much ! Must try these. Thanks for sharing.
JUN 25, 2014 - 03:27 AM
I am glad it was helpful!
JUN 25, 2014 - 05:24 AM
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