by: Darren Baker [ ]
MiniArt has produced a small number of workable track sets, but I rarely see them utilised. I recently started a built a Dragon Models Stug Ausf A, I found the Dragon Styrene tracks in the box had to be stretched to fit the wheels of the model and so did not look right to my eye. MiniArt again have their Workable Track Links Set for Panzer III/IV Early Type in 1/35th scale available and I took them for a spin.
The product arrived in an end opening card box; not my favourite due to how easily it can be crushed in the postage system that said it did arrive in good order. On the front of the carton is an image of the tracks and how they are assembled; also present is an image of a panzer III, Stug and Panzer IV. On the rear of the box is a list of the suitable vehicles that these tracks are for and are as follows:
Panzer III Ausf A, B, C and D 96 – 98 links per side
Stug III Ausf A, E and F 94 links per side
Panzer IV Ausf A, B, C, D and E 101 links per side
The rear of the carton is also where the instructions for assembly of the track is located.
Inside you will find 20 sprues that contain the track links and that give you 240 track links. There are 5 sprues that contain the pins for securing the tracks together and these are sided and provide 255 inner and outer pins. Finally there is a jig for assembling the tracks 8 links at a time. An examination of the contents reveals no major issues such as ejector pin marks, but there is some flash present on a few of the track links nothing excessive though. I also like that there are plenty of spare links and pins that can be used if you lose some or more likely as added armour on your build.
The links have 5 gates which is something I am not keen on as it requires a lot of clean up, that said this high number has insured good moulding quality and so is a chore worth undertaking. The pins have been moulded perfectly spaced to insert into the pre-moulded holes in the track links and so making assembly easier than it might have otherwise been. Other than remembering to add the pins on the correct side you should not need to worry about any other aspect.
The fit of these tracks to the Dragon Models drive wheel indicates to me that MiniArt must have got the scale and measurements spot on or both companies would need to be out by exactly the same degree. The result can be seen in the last photograph that I hopes relays the look of the product in place.
These tracks from MiniArt are very well detailed and go together easily, the only downside I can see is the amount of clean up required. In all other respects this is a well priced product costing me £10.00 range and can usually be found with free postage. The detail on the track links matches that which I have found in my reference, but I cannot guarantee the suitability of the tracks for all the versions mentioned on the packaging. I very highly recommend this product to you with my only gripe being the clean up work.