"Sturer Emil" Track Links
Friulmodel Set No. ATL-86
Review by Terry Ashley

Following the release of Sturer Emil resin track sets from Atelier infinite (set #35-0018), Lionmarc (set #CL30007) and WWII Productions (set #35031) comes this metal track set from Friulmodel.

The set contains 180 links cast in light metal allow as is normal for Friulmodel track sets plus a replacement set of drive sprockets and the bundle of thin wire for the track pins.

The actual track links according to the Panzer Tracts book No.7-3 Panzerjaeger are 520mm wide with a pitch (depth) of 160mm, this equals 14.85mm and 4.6mm in 1:35 scale. These tracks measure out at 14.5mm wide x 4.5mm deep and so are only fractionally narrow but are the same width as the Trumpeter tracks which are also 14.5mm wide.

Metal track links and pin wire

Detail on the link face is quite nice but not as well defined as with the resin links but in some ways that better represents the real thing and they are also handed with the pin bolt cast on one side of each link and the open wire pin hole on the other. There are two bags of links, one for each side of the vehicle so make sure you don’t mix these during assembly with the handed track allowing the join pin end to be hidden on the inside of the track runs.

The metal track links are the same width as the Trumpeter kit links but research has shown the actual links are about 2mm wider as per the resin links from Lionmarc and WWII Productions.

Track pins cut to length and the links showing the very minimal to no cleanup needed

Cleanup is virtually nonexistent with no excess metal flash in the link holes or the open guide teeth but you will have to drill out the pin holes on some of the links to fully open these up but this is quick and easy. When drilling make sure you don’t go right through the link as this will damage the end pin detail.

The coil of wire provided will then have to be cut to length ready to assembly the links and this is easy enough with an old blade on a hard cutting surface but make sure you cut each the same length to save filing once fitted. To help during assembly you can add a small bend at the end of each pin and this will “jam” the pin in the link hole when pressed through holding the pins in place without glue but a small dab of cyanoacrylate will make sure the pin goes nowhere.

The metal drive sprockets have the correct shaped drive teeth and very good hub and bolt head details on all four sides of the sprockets but they are 1.5mm larger in diameter than the Trumpeter drive sprockets which is quite noticeable when comparing the two sprockets. Cleanup is very easy with just some minor metal flash in a few of the sprocket holes and around the teeth which is very easy to remove.

This larger size means only the metal Friulmodel track fit these sprockets and not the kit sprockets, nor do any of the resin track sets fit these sprockets, not that anyone would probably want to fix them anyway.

Friulmodel metal sprockets and Trumpeter sprockets
Note difference in sprocket sizes.

A shot of the Kablinka "Emil" sprocket showing the profile of the teeth.
LionMarc Model Designs

The links fit neatly together making assembly very straightforward and quick with the assembled track runs being very strong and robust and virtually impossible to make come apart which is something that plagues resin snap together links to different degrees.

The track runs fit very snugly around the metal drive sprockets with probably the best sprocket fit of all the tracks sets and the sprockets simply replace the kit sprockets fitting into the kit final drives as per the kit sprockets.

Bend added to the track pin for secure fit

With minimal cleanup and very easy assembly plus the added weight of the metal links for good track sag as well as being virtually indestructible once assembled these tracks will appeal too many despite the slightly undersized links and the larger drive sprockets.

But of the four Emil tracks sets I have reviewed to date the points would have to go the Lionmarc resin tracks links with the correct sized links, minimal cleanup and easy assembly.

Assembled tracks around the metal Friulmodel drive sprocket
Assembled track runs showing softer details on links

See the "Emil" Subjects listings for reviews of additional set available for the Trumpeter kit.

Thanks to my Credit Card and Blast Models for the review set.

Page Created February 7, 2006

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