Hobby Boss
Sd.Kfz.251 Tracks
Hobby Boss 1:35 Kit No. 81005
Review by Terry Ashley

Hobby Boss have quite a list of 1:35 kits planned as well as the 1:48 T-34s and Shermans just released and to get the 1:35 range under way are six sets of individual link tracks in injected plastic.

This set has the most common type Sd.Kfz.251 Zgw 5001/280/140 tracks links with the three lightening holes in each shoe and sometimes referred to as “skeletal” track.

It has been mentioned that these track sets were previously issued by Link Model Workshop but that is really an irrelevance as they have not been available for some years so we can look at the sets as new to the market for many modellers.

The set has 29 small sprues in black plastic with four track shoes and four track pads on each sprue for a total of 116 links and as the box top says there are 58 links per side that leaves no room for error or loss as there are no spare links left over.
It should be noted that the actual Sd.Kfz.251 has 55 links on the left side and 56 on the right which could indicate a minor size discrepancy with the links in requiring 58?

The links are cleanly moulded with just the three small sprue attachment points to be cleaned and if you cut close to the link with a sharp blade it will reduce the clean up required. The track pads have a fairly large moulding seam around the middle which will need careful cleaning and this takes a little time.

The actual Sd.Kfz.251 links measure 280mm wide and 140mm in pitch and the HB links measure out exactly to the 8mm width as they should in 1:35 scale but are ever so slightly out with the 4mm pitch with the lightning holes cleanly rendered, the only issue is the size of the sprocket tooth hole as this is a little undersized which has a follow on effect when fitting the links to available Sd.Kfz.251 kit drive sprockets, more on that soon.

The links fit together is what has become the standard for Sd.Kfz.251 tracks where you fit one link into the recess in the next and glue the track pad over the join trapping the two together allowing articulation. You have to be sparing with the glue obviously but I had no problems as the pads have a small ridge and pin on the undersides that fit snugly into the link recess and gently squeezing the pad and links together with a pair of tweezers ensures a good solid join.

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The track runs assembled very quickly and easily due to the nice tight fit of the pad and link when squeezed together as above and in no time I had a run assembled which articulated freely.

Test fitting the track runs to the AFV Club, Dragon and Tamiya kit drive sprockets see that they simply will not fit the AFV Club sprockets as these have the correct sized teeth rollers included meaning they are too big to fit into the gaps between the HB links and major trimming of both the sprocket teeth and the link gaps would be needed to get them to fit.

They will fit neatly around 80% of the Dragon sprocket as these don’t have the drive teeth roller meaning the teeth are undersized but the last 20% was a tight fit due to a very slight difference in track pitch to the Dragon tracks. This catches up at the ends but it will probably fit far enough around the sprocket to work on the model.

The fit around the Tamiya kit sprockets (from the later 251 kits) sees them fit very neatly as if they were designed for these sprockets given their origins and that the drive teeth are a little smaller than those on the AFV Club sprockets.

These are nicely detailed Sd.Kfz.251 track links with the links the correct size but the guide tooth hole makes them unusable on the AFV Club kits without major alterations and will probably fit well enough to use on the Dragon kits while best suited to the later Tamiya kits.

Given the easy assembly, free articulation and particularly the price which sees them about a third the price or less than other aftermarket tracks sets, it’s a shame their application is limited due to fit issues.

Recommended for applicable kits.

Assembled track around the Dragon (middle) and Tamiya (right) kit sprockets,
The impossible fit around the AFV Club sprockets (left) without major alterations

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Sprue x 29
Hobby Boss
Thanks to my aching wallet for the review set.

Page Created September 20, 2006

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