Neubaufahrzeug Tracks
Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Sets No. ATL-119
Review by Terry Ashley

Amusing HobbyDMLTrumpeter
The Set:
With as many kits as actual vehicles produced it was inevitable that Friulmodel would provide a set of their metal tracks to use on any of the available Neubaufahrzeug kits from Amusing Hobby, DML or Trumpeter.

The set consists of 250 white metal links divided equally between the right and left handed links and the usual coil of 0.4mm brass wire to cut up for the track pins. It should be noted that this track is not the same as used on the later Panzer IV family although it looks similar, the main difference being this track is 380mm wide while the initial Panzer IV track was 360mm wide.

Metal parts

Each track link is nicely cast with solid guide horn and nicely done link details, the only cleanup required is a couple of small pour burs on the front of the shoe, they are also the correct 38cm scale width (10.9mm in 1:35) and correct pitch, but there has been one small concession to allow the links to fit the drive sprockets from all three manufacturers kits. This is basically to do with the DML drive sprocket discs being spaced about 0.5mm too narrow, this may not sound a lot but means the drive tooth cut-out in the links are slightly too wide to allow the track to fit the narrow DML drive sprocket and correctly spaced Amusing Hobby and Trumpeter drive sprockets. The track links in the DML kits have oversized links cut-outs for the same reason.

The track pin holes are mostly open but you will need to use a 0.4mm drill bit to check all are clear of any obstruction and again only a small portion of the links required actual re-drilling of some holes, you should set the drill bit into your pin vice with only 10mm of the drill bit exposed so you don't drill all the way through the links.

As mentioned above the links are handed meaning the cast on pin bolt head is facing the outside on both left and right hand track runs, the links are packed in separate plastic bags for left and right so make sure you don't mix these up during cleanup.

Images showing the basic links prior to cleanup (left), the handed links (middle) and setting the drill bit length for drilling the pin holes (right)
After cleanup of the links and cutting of the 10mm track pins from the wire supplied, this is best done using a steel ruler as a cutting board so you cut (using a #11 blade) each pin to the exact 10mm required the links can be assembled.

This is quite straightforward really 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.

Link assembly

Fitting the tracks:
I test fitted the tracks to the three Neubaufahrzeug kits and the fit was perfect around all three drive sprockets, taking into account the comments above regarding the drive teeth holes and DML sprockets. One minor issue is the kit front idler wheels are fixed in position so no movement is possible to obtain the required amount of track sag over the return rollers and you may have to adjust the number of links on each kit for the appropriate fit.

Metal tracks fitted to the respective kits.
Amusing HobbyDMLTrumpeter

This set of metal tracks from Friulmodel is nicely detailed with good track link definition and has minimal cleanup required for the link prior to assembly although there is the usual Friulmodel requirement of drilling the pin holes and cutting the wire for each track pin.

The assembled links are mostly accurate (tooth holes), robust and articulate very well making for a quick and easy update to the Neubaufahrzeug kits if you prefer metal track or to allow for more natural track sag.

Rating 8.5/10

Thanks to Friulmodel for the review Set.

Page created January 17, 2012

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