Bronco Models 1/35 Sherman T51 Workable Track Link Set First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||April 2011||Manufacturer||Bronco Models|
|Subject||Sherman T51 Workable Track Link Set||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||3542||Primary Media||102 parts in tan styrene|
|Pros||Nicely detailed and workable aftermarket set of Sherman tracks||Cons||Assembly may prove tedious and for some modelers|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$20.50|
Bronco is a model company based in Hong Kong. They specialize in AFV kits.
This kit comes in an end-opening type box. It is shrink-wrapped with a very pungent smelling clear wrap.
The box art show a Sherman tank in profile and a short length of the tracks assembled.
The back of the box has the assembly drawings, parts trees illustrations and a list of 2 colors: flat black and steel. These two colors are listed with the product numbers for them in the Mr. Hobby, Hobby Color and Humbrol brands of paints.
A side panel says that the kit is for modelers who are 14 years of age or older. The other side panel has warnings to keep kit parts away from kids ages 3 and below, due to sharp edges or points on the parts. Next to his is Bronco’s street address in Hong Kong, their e-mail address and their web site address. The copyright date of 2010 also appears here.
Inside the kit are 16 light tan trees of parts. There are 8 identical large trees of parts in a sealed cello. These hold the rubber track blocks, the connecting rods and the triangular end connectors. (96 parts per tree).
There are also 8 identical smaller trees in another sealed cello bag. These hold more of the rubber track blocks. (24 parts per tree)
I purchased this kit at my local hobby shop to replace the rubber-band type tracks included in the Academy M3 Grant kit with British tank crew that I have just about completed (kit no. I3228). Those treads are the type that you are supposed to heat melt the ends of to join them into a continuous loop. This method with a hot screwdriver has always never worked worth a damn for me. The rubber turns to goo and a bad weld always and adding staples in desperation when the seal parts company results in an unsightly gap that must be hidden from site. Plus getting a realistic weight sag into the runs is difficult with rubber band type treads. Also, the ones in this grant kit have numerous pot holes on the faces of the rubber blocks and the detail is mediocre to say the least. Better replaced, like I’m going to do.
The big plus is that these Bronco individual links are workable. Assembly calls for 5 parts per link. This consists of the upper and lower halves of the rubber blocks with the connection rods sandwiched inside and 2 of the triangular end connectors. I put a similar set of these together by another brand years ago and be warned that it takes a while to make a run and is an extra bit of work.
Bronco has pulled out the stops when it comes to marketing various types of tracks used on the Sherman and it’s derivatives. No less than 6 other sets are available:
- Kit no. BOMA3538 of the T48 type workable tracks (chevron type)
- Kit no. BOMA3539 of the T62 type workable tracks (steel type)
- Kit no. BOMA3544 of the T49 type workable tracks (horizontal bar type)
- Kit no. BOMA3545 of the T74 type workable tracks (another chevron type)
- Kit no. BOMA3546 of the T54E type workable tracks (still another chevron type)
- Kit no. BOMA 3547 (no type number mentioned) (cuff chevron type)
So, a set for whatever model of Sherman or other tanks that share it’s running gear.