Some may see this as a waste of time or a smart marketing move to make a few more bucks from their now obsolete kit depending on your viewpoint. As we all know the Tamiya KV-1 kit needs a lot more than just a set of metal tracks and barrel thrown at it to even come anywhere near respectable by today's standards and why bother when the Trumpeter kits are available at such a good price let alone the excellent details included.
The pre-assembled tracks certainly save a lot of assembly time but to use on the Tamiya kit you have to use the metal drive sprockets supplied as the kit sprockets are quite useless. The sprockets in my set were damaged with some bent drive teeth and quite a bit of cleanup needed and while it is easy to straighten the bent teeth there was one tooth completely missing but again this could be hidden when the track is run around the drive sprocket.
The tracks are left and right handed so make sure you use them the right way around but the details on the metal links are simply not as well defined as those on either the Miniarm or WW2 Productions resin KV-1 tracks. The drive sprockets in these two resin sets are also better detailed than the cast metal sprockets in this set which are designed to trap the Tamiya poly caps between them for fitting to the Tamiya kit.
The Tamiya (Friulmodel) track runs are a perfect fit to the Trumpeter drive sprockets if you wanted a set of pre-assembled metal tracks for these kits but the only advantage as I see it being no assembly (other than joining the runs together) and the added weight of the metal track for good track sag. As mentioned either of the resin track sets and sprockets are better detailed and also fit the Trumpeter sprockets perfectly and for the scale the resin tracks also give natural track sag.
Turning to the barrel, this represents the 76.2mm Zis-5 Barrel and is nicely turned with a smooth finish and the muzzle drilled out but there is no rifling included which is almost a given for metal barrels these days with the metal barrel fitting precisely into the Tamiya mantlet for an easy replacement.
As mentioned the only pluses for this set is the pre-assembled track runs and weighty metal tracks but a fair bit of cleanup is needed on the metal drive sprockets while the barrel is a metal one but again not much more to offer.
Unless you really want metal tracks or can't stand assembling individual track links you would be better off getting either the Miniarm or WW2 Productions resin tracks for the Tamiya or Trumpeter kits.
Note: The drive sprockets in this set and the Miniarm or WW2 Productions sets are not suitable for the KV-2 as they have the eight hub bolts while the hubs on the KV-2 sprockets have 16 bolts as correctly depicted in the Trumpeter KV-2 kit.
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Page Created September 19, 2005