from November 1941/42/43
Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Set No. ATL-124
Review by Terry Ashley
It should be noted to avoid confusion that the Airconnection "T-34 Mythical Weapon" book listed below states on page 472 that these are 550mm wide track but that is incorrect unfortunately and the links were only produced as 500mm wide track as shown correctly in the other books listed. I have only listed the reference books that have specific sections dealing in detail with the various T-34 track types and not the myriad of available books on the T-34 in general.
The set has 155 links divided equally between the cast link with guide tooth and the cast flat link without the guide tooth with a length of 4mm brass wire to cut up for the track pins plus a small generic type instruction sheet.
The actual 500mm wide track equals 14.3mm in 1:35 scale and these links match that well give or take a fraction with the links cleanly cast with just a couple of small casting burs to be removed, this does vary between links with some having less cleanup required than others. In common with other Friul track sets the link pin holes are mostly open but you will need to use a 0.4mm drill to check all are clear of any obstruction before assembly with the wire cut up into 13.5mm segments required for each pin.
Detail on the links is very well done and matches reference images of the links precisely including the cast details on the inside of the links, the links have one track pin cast with the links and the other side open for the wire pin, this means on the left side track run the cast pin bolt head will face the outside but on the right track run with be on the inside with the wire pin facing the outside due to the links not being handed. This shouldn't be a problem as the T-34 links didn't have prominent extended track pins like on the KV series tracks and filling the pin hole with dab of thicker cyanoacrylate will result in an acceptable appearance once fitted to the kit.
The drill bit set in the pinvise to the exact depth required to avoid drilling
right through the link during cleanup.
Assembly is very straightforward in the usual manner by fitting one link into the next and inserting the precut wire pin, one thing to note with thinner 4mm wire is it can bend very easily while inserting the wire and to avoid this problem use a pair of tweezers to grab the wire a couple of millimetres out from the link and feed the pin into the link repositioning the tweezer as you go. This way if the wire catches on a miss-aligned hole it won't bend and you can apply a bit of pressure to force the wire through the link holes without fear of damaged pins.
Repeat the procedure for the required 74 links for each track run and secure the pins with a dab of thicker cyanoacrylate in each pin hole to make sure they don't go anywhere after assembly, the assembly was quite quick and easy compared to some track sets I've assembled in the past.
Use tweezers to 'feed' the wire pin into the links to avoid them bending if hitting an obstruction.
The assembled track runs are extremely robust being metal and articulate freely allowing you to get a very natural track sag when fitting to the kits which is a big plus for the metal Friulmodel tracks. The links can be used on any of the applicable T-34-76 kits for the appropriate period but the DML STZ kits are the obvious candidate, I have test fitted the tracks to both the AFV Club and DML 1942 T-34 kits here and the only thing to watch is you need to reposition the idler axle appropriately to get the correct track tension but other than that the fit was good with nice natural sit around the sprockets, idlers and top track run.
by Robert Michulec
Published by AirConnection
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