Miniarm 1/35 T-64 Workable Track Set
|Date of Review||July 2005|
|Subject||T-64 Workable Track Set|
|Primary Media||168 parts in tan resin|
|Pros||Fixes another major flaw with SKIF kits; if assembled correctly, tracks DO work|
|Cons||No directions; some track links still have either mold or resin in the pin pockets for the joining pins|
Without a doubt, my personal choice for overall worst set of tracks on a contemporary model are those which came with the SKIF T-64 kits. First off, the designer didn't know the difference between T-64 tracks (double pin with a hole in each plate section of the link) and T-80 track (double pin with a solid plate section on each side of the link.) So, he split the difference, alternating them in the single piece vinyl runs. Secondly, the tracks are so flexible and soft they have no concept of the word "rigid" and are totally useless to install.
SKIF did try and fix it by offering a set of styrene single link tracks which are not too bad. But again, SKIF managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory: based on the geometry of the tracks, it takes 168 links to do up a T-64 series tank, but SKIF only provides 160 in the kit! (For argument's sake, we'll ignore the fact that according to the manual the tank is only supposed to use 78 links per side or 156 total.)
Miniarm provides 168 cleanly cast resin links with two cone-shaped pins on the hinge faces of the narrow section of the hinge. With some care they are easy to simply pop together – I did five as a test last night in less than two minutes. But some of the links either have resin in the hole for the pin or mold element stuck there, so plan on having a Dremel Mini handy with a tiny burr to clean out the receiver for the pins.
Some directions would be good, however, warning how many are needed and also some ideas of the easiest way to snap them together. They are not quite intuitive.
Overall, these are brilliantly done and the price is competitive with Model-Kasten or Fruil track, and they are beautifully finished with all of the subtleties not seen on the SKIF styrene links. This, and one of the turrets, fix about 90% of the problems with the SKIF T-64 kits.
Thanks to Bill Miley of CMD for the review sample.