JS-1/JS-2/JS-3/JSU-122/JSU-152 Track
Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Set No. ATL-54
Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
This set of tracks from Friulmodel represent the narrower 650mm wide split link tracks applicable to the KV-1S and SU-152 and not just for the JS series listed on the box top. The set consists of 180 white metal links, 90 with the guide horns and 90 without the guide horns plus a set of replacement metal drive sprockets for the applicable JS kits from DML or Tamiya. There is also the usual coil of wire to be cut up for the track pins and a small assembly guide.

Metal parts

The actual light weight split link track used on the KV-1S and SU-152 is about 650mm wide which is 18.5mm in 1:35 scale and the set tracks measure out at exactly 18.5mm (give or take a fraction). The track links are handed, this means the links are cast with the large pin bolt on the outside of the right and left links with the wire pins inserted on the inner side of the links so you need to take care not to mix up the links and fit them correctly to the kit running gear.

The links are quite cleanly cast with nicely done link details although the hole on the opposite side of the guide horn is quite shallow compared to the actual track and the 'split' links are cast in one piece with the split join depicted as an engraved line. The amount of clean-up varies with some links requiring just the small pour burs removed while others have excess metal 'flash' to be removed and the track pin holes will need to be drilled out to clear any blockages before assembly, you should set the drill bit into your pin vice with only 17mm of the drill bit exposed so you don't drill all the way through the links.

The wire is easily cut to the required 17mm length using a steel ruler as a cutting board so you cut (using a #11 blade) each pin to the exact 17mm using the ruler calibrations as a guide.

The drive sprockets only have some small pour burs to be removed prior to assembly and match available plans perfectly with excellent detail on both sides of the two sprockets, there is additional inner spacer rings for fitting to the DML JS kits.

Images showing the handed left and right links.
Fruilmodel Fruilmodel

After cleanup of the links and cutting of the track pins assembly of the links is fairly straightforward by fitting one link into the next and inserting the wire pin, 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.

The drive sprockets are also simply to assemble with the two sprocket halves fitting perfectly together as does the separate outer hub with the aid of some cyanoacrylate. I didn't fit the sprockets to the Tamiya JS-2 kit here as the Friul tracks fit perfectly to the Tamiya sprockets but they simply replace the kit sprockets should you wish to use them.
To fit the metal sprockets to the DML JS kits you need to add the metal collar inside the sprocket and fit to the kit drive sprocket axle as per the instructions. The fit of the Friul tracks to the DML kit sprockets was not as snug as expected and using the metal sprockets adds additional detail as well as fitting the track perfectly.

The Friul tracks fitted to the Trumpeter KV-1S and SU-152 kit sprockets perfectly without alterations for a straight replacement for the kit tracks.

Link assembly
Fruilmodel Fruilmodel
Assembled link section.
Assembled drive sprockets with additional collar for fitting to the DML kits.
Tracks fitted to the Tamiya JS-2 kit sprockets perfectly.
Tracks fitted to the DML JSU-152 sprockets, the fit is not as snug as with the Tamiya kit.
Tracks and metal drive sprockets fitted to the DML kit to improve the detail and track fit.
Tracks fitted to the Trumpeter SU-152 kit with perfect fit.

This is an excellent set of replacement tracks from Friulmodel for any of the available JS kits and also to the Trumpeter KV/SU kits. There is very little cleanup but you do need to ensure all the pin holes are fully drilled and assembly was straightforward sfter clean-up.

The resulting track runs are very robust with excellent detail and will provide additional detail over the kit tracks on whatever model they are used on.

Rating 8.5/10

See the comparison summation of the available track sets HERE.

KV Techical History and Variants
by Neil Stokes
Published by AirConnection, Canada
ISBN 978–0–9781091–2–7
Tank Power Vol.XCI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.332
ISBN: 9788372193322

Thanks to Friulmodel for the review Set.

Page created June 2, 2012

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