T-44M / T-54 model 1949 / AT-T / BTM-3 / BAT-M /MDK2-M
Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Set No. ATL-176
Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
This set of track links from Friulmodel is designed for the T-44M, T-54-2 Mod.1949 kits from Miniart, as well as the AT-T Prime Mover and forthcoming BTM-3 kits from Trumpeter. It should be noted this is not the same track type that is fitted to later models of the T-54 or T-55 series tanks.

The set consists of 234 white metal links and the usual coil of brass wire to cut up for the track pins. The links include the normal links with the guide horn and flat style link without guide horn as used on the T-44M tracks. These tracks often had a flat link inserted after every 4 or 8 of the guide horn links and you can assemble these as you wish for the required configuration. The later types usually had the full track length entirely with the guide horn links.

Instructions showing the different configurations possible.
Metal parts

Each track link is cast with nicely done link details including fine data embossing, there is some minor cleanup required with a couple of small pour burs and some fine metal flash along the rear edges, note the size of the burs varied between links but all require clean-up to some degree.

Images showing the two different style of links included and the basic cleanup (left) before assembly.
Fruilmodel Fruilmodel

After cleanup the track pin holes will need to be drilled out using a 0.4mm drill bit, you should set the drill bit into your pin vice with only 14mm of the drill bit exposed so you don't drill all the way through the links. The wire supplied can be easily cut into the required 14mm track pins, this is best done using a steel ruler as a cutting board so you cut (using a #11 blade) each pin to the exact 14mm lengths.

Assembly is quite straightforward by fitting one link into the next and inserting the wire pin, any problems inserting the pin can be fixed by slightly moving the links until the holes align and the pin slips into place. Holding the wire pins with stout tweezers while feeding this into the holes will save any finger damage and make then process easier.

After fitting each track pin secure with a dab of thick cyanoacrylate on the end of the pin so it won't come loose at any time while handing the track runs, repeat the sequence for each link until the track run is complete for each side

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.

Drilling out the wire holes after setting the drill bit into the chuck to give the correct hole depth,
and the wire segments cut prior to assembly.

Fruilmodel Fruilmodel
Assembly as per text above.
Note the alternate assembly, top run has the flat link fitted after every four of the guide horn links.
The second run is all with the guide horn links.


Fitting the tracks:
Fitting the assembled track to the Miniart and Trumpeter kit sprockets sees a perfect fit to each for a quick and easy replacement of the kit tracks.

Metal drive sprockets and tracks fitted to the Miniart and Trumpeter kit sprockets without any problems

This set of metal tracks from Friulmodel is nicely detailed with good track link definition with just the usual cleanup required for the links prior to assembly.

The assembled links are accurate, robust and articulate very well making for a quick and easy update to the applicable kits if you prefer working track to add additional detail to both.

Rating 9/10

Thanks to Friulmodel for the review Set.

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Page created July 10, 2017

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