Sherman T62 Steel
Workable Track Link Set
Bronco Models 1:35 Scale Kit No. AB3539
Review by Terry Ashley
The parts are cleanly moulded with the only cleanup other than the sprue attachment burs is a bit of fine flash on the tip of some guide teeth. The track rods (part A1) have sizable mould seams but these don’t hinder assembly or the track articulation so save some cleanup by ignoring this.
Due to the number of parts there is quite a bit of sprue bur cleanup but the most time consuming cleanup is with the small end connectors that have two proportionally large sprue attachments and care is needed when trimming these, the end connectors are also not easy to grab hold of due to their shape.
Detail on the link parts is nicely done with the end connectors the correct size and have nicely defined pin ends and guide tooth with the inner rounded profile but the self locking nut isn’t that well defined and some may wish to replace this?
Dimensionally the tracks measure out well against available data give or take a fraction of a milimetre here and there with the only issue being the steel chevron appears to be fractionally thin when compared to available photos of the T62 track (see below) but nothing to get excited over.
The instructions on the back of the box show to lay two of the track rod parts over a inner track block half and then attach the outer block half trapping two of the rods and leaving the other two rods exposed to repeat the process for each link. Obviously care is needed when attaching the outer block not to glue the rods as well.
You must also take care to fit the track rods the right way around as the flat section at each end is designed to fit to the end connectors and this flat section must face the inner block half, it’s easy to get this wrong if not careful.
After assembling a section of track blocks the end connectors are designed to attach to each end of the exposed track rod, this is not at all easy without getting glue on the track blocks in the process as the attachment point is quite small and the end connector rests against the end of the blocks, in fact I wasn't game to try as the capillary action of liquid cement is bound to see it get into the blocks.
I decided on a different method of assembly to bypassed that process for the end connectors as I could only see pain if you wanted the links fully workable, it really wouldn’t matter for the ground track run and gluing these solid might be an advantage?
The first step was to glue the end connectors to the ends of the track rod parts and letting the glue dry completely before proceeding. You then continue as before by slipping the inner block half over the rods and trapping with the outer block half to complete each track block, repeating the process for the full track run.
and the assembled rods/end connectors ready for fitting to the track blocks
Assembled track runs using the modified method of attaching the end connectors
to the track rods before fitting the block halves as described above
I also didn’t glue the track pad halves together as indicated in the instructions but instead ran a small dab of liquid glue along the outer block join; this will seal the join should you want to smooth this out for the links around the drive sprocket and idlers. This resulted in trouble free assembly without any chance of gluing the end connectors to the blocks as they are fitted.
The assembled track run is very robust and articulates freely and I test fitted the tracks to applicable kit drive sprockets from Academy, AFV Club, DML, Italeri, Tamiya and Tasca to see how the fit went for the different sprockets.
Out of the six kits randomly selected from my stash the Bronco track would only fit unaltered around the drive sprockets on the AFV Club (Achilles Mk.IIC kit #AF 35039), DML (Sherman Mk.III kit #6313), Italeri (M4A3 Sherman kit #6440) and Tasca (M4A1 Sherman kit #35-010) kits as they came.
With the Academy (M-12 155mm GMC kit #1394) the space between the sprocket discs was slightly too narrow as well the discs being too thick to allow the track guide teeth to fit between them and on the Tamiya (M4A3 Sherman kit #35122) the sprocket discs were again too thick to allow the track guide teeth to fit between them. Either modifying the kit sprockets on these two kits or replacing them with sprockets from any of the other kits would allow the Bronco track to be used and let's face it most self respecting Shermanholics will have a well stocked spares box.
Images courtesy Armor Color Gallery #5
Bronco T62 track on the AFV Club kit
Bronco T62 track on the DML kit
Bronco T62 track on the Italeri kit
Bronco T62 track on the Tasca kit
The end connectors with the two proportionally large attachments need the most care but once the cleanup is done assembly is fairly straightforward but not without some built in traps with gluing the end connectors as described in the instructions.
The design of the track pins (rods) and end connectors varies from the separate end pin method used by some others but I found it worked well with the end connectors in the right place and the movement between the end connectors and the block as it should be after assembly which is all one can ask really. This set took less time to assembly than the first T48 set being more familiar with the assembly steps.
The assembled track has well defined detail and will add a nice degree of definition to the tracks when fitted to basically any applicable Sherman based kit and hopefully Bronco will add the more common T54E1 Steel chevron track to their list of track sets.
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