Bronco Models
Leclerc MBT Workable Track Link Set
Bronco Models Kit No. AB3525
1:35 Scale
Review by Terry Ashley


Bronco Models have released 8 different track link sets for Modern AFVs all consisting of individual fully workable track links and the set we will look at here is for the French Leclerc MBT which is designed for the Tamiya kit #35279 French LECLERC MBT Series 2.

All the 8 track sets released to date assemble in a similar manner as described below differing only in the detail applicable the track type being depicted.

The Kit:

The set has 6 sprues with 144 parts in light beige plastic on each for a total of 864 parts with the standard of moulding being extremely good. There are no pin marks and only very fine mould seam lines which really don't need any attention at all, the only cleanup needed is the sprue attachment points which will require a little time given the number of parts to be removed and trimmed.

Each tack link consists of 6 parts, 2 upper and 2 lower track shoe/pad sections and the central track pin/end connector part with a separate track tooth guide. This has the full width track pins moulded quite thin and care will be needed during cleanup of the sprue burs to avoid any damage.

The 6 parts per link, front and back views, note the open guide horn
Bronco Models

Each track run consists of 72 links (432 parts) for a total of 864 parts for the two track runs meaning there are no spares in case of damage or loss so take care during assembly. Just to clear up what may be confusing on the box where it says "2 sets needed". This actually means 2 track runs of 86 links each (left/right) not 2 actual track sets.

The detail on the links is extremely well done with the end connectors, track pad/shoe and open guide teeth details matching the photos of the tracks in Tankograd Leclerc book all but spot on, the lack of pin marks on the tracks is also noteworthy as this is often an issue with individual plastic track links. As the track links are in two parts any pins marks are on the inside hidden from view after assembly.


As mentioned the most tedious part of the assembly is the sprue bur cleanup with 2 on each of the 4 track link part and 3 on each track pin/end connector part as well as 1 on the guide tooth and with 864 parts for the 2 track runs, that's quite a bit of cleanup.

There are 24 links on each sprue and it may be easier to cleanup and assemble each sprues 24 links as you go to avoid going completely insane cleaning up the whole lot in one operation, but that's up to you really.

Assembly requires some care due to the separate left and right track pad sections that have opposing directions for the pad detail, you have to ensure to align this correctly during assembly. There is also an error in the instructions that you should note to avoid problems, the two upper pad sections have a large and small pin that fit into the lower (or road pad) section but the instructions show the pins the wrong way around. The large pin should be on the outside and the small pin on the inside and not the other way around as shown in the instruction illustration.

Instruction error with the orientation of the attachment pins
Image modified to show correct pin position (right)

Bronco Models

There are a few steps to the assembly but once you get into a rhythm things move along quite quickly. Firstly it's best to attach the tooth guide to the track pins first and not after the track has been assembled as shown in the instructions to avoid getting glue where you don't want it.

The illustration below shows the assembly steps, 1. Lay two track pin parts over one half of the outer pad section, taking note of the pad detail orientation. 2. Add the inner pad section for the first half of the link. 3. Lay two track pin parts over the other half of the outer pad section, again taking note of the pad detail orientation which is opposite to the other half pad detail. 4. Add the inner pad section for the second half of the link. As you glue each pad section be very careful to ensure you don't glue the pin in the process.

Guide tooth added to track pin part (left) and assembly of each track link with 2 track pin parts
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Repeat the above steps for each subsequent link but again make sure of the orientation of the pad detail as this is very important with all the pads on one half facing the opposite direction to those on the other half as shown in the image below. Thankfully the Leclerc tracks are not handed so the tracks are the same both sides of the tank and can be interchanged between left and right side of the vehicle.

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After assembly the tracks can be fitted to the Tamiya Leclerc kit drive sprockets and the fit is very good with a nice snug fit between the sprocket teeth and the guide horns easily fitting between the twin road wheels.

The main thing to remember is most all Modern Western Tank tracks are "live" track which means there is little or no track sag on the upper track run, as opposed to the "dead" track on Russian type AFVs which have noticeable track sag between the road wheels/return rollers as did German track of WWII. Live track tends to curl inwards due to the design of the link bushings and this curling effect results in the lack of sag on the upper track runs.

The assembled track runs are very nicely detailed and are a considerable improvement over the vinyl track included in the Tamiya kit for an excellent appearance.

Assembly tracks around the Tamiya Leclerc drive sprockets and front idler.
Note that the small gap between the top of the sprocket and the track is due to no tension on
the track as I only assembled 24 links for the review, with the full track run this gap wouldn't be there.

Bronco Models
Bronco Models


The instructions are simple exploded view drawings on the back of the box along with some CAD images of the assembled track links to help in proper assembly.

As mentioned it is essential to make sure of the direction of the outer pad detail as it's quite easy to get these mixed up and as there are no spare links in the set, there is no room for error. Checking the instructions carefully beforehand will avoid any problems, but note the instruction error as mentioned above.


This is another superbly moulded and detailed set of workable track links for the French Leclerc with the assembled track runs really improving the overall look of the kit.

Detail on the end connectors and open guide horns are especially noteworthy as is the lack of pin marks on the track pads and links.

The cleanup of the many individual link parts could become quite tedious but the assembly of the links themselves after cleanup is quite quick and easy one you get into it, just be careful with the glue.

Highly Recommended

The Sprues:

Click on thumbnail for larger view
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BookLECLERC - The French "Ground Dominance" MBT
by Stefan Marx.
Tankograd French Special No 8001
Soft cover, A4 size, 64 pages

Thanks to Bronco Models for the review kit.

Page created September 28, 2009