Built Review
T-34 183 metal tracks
T-34/76 1942 year 500mm late
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by: Roman [ BIZARRE ]


The T-34 was in production from 1940 and there have been several modifications of this “mythical weapon” – different factories were introducing their own improvements to the original design and upgrades suitable for mass production and the limited resources that USSR faced when it’s western part was occupied by advancing German forces. Similar to the evolution of the tank itself, the tracks were changing in their appearance, width, pattern and so on. The pattern represented in this set of tracks from Masterclub (MTL-35022) corresponds to factory 183 made tanks until the factory stopped production. The links were stamped, 500mm wide, with a “V” shaped rib on the outer surface and a guide horn or a single hole for the ice cleats on the inner. Additionally, factory 183 produced a similar type of tracks in the beginning of its operation.

the set

The package is labelled as “T-34/76 1942 year 500mm late V type” and the plastic container has a small sheet of paper with some information. As stated on it, there are 162 tracks links and 324 resin pins inside. These are packed into individual zip-lock bags (2 for tracks and 2 for pins). One set of track pins has round pin head and it should be on the inner side of the completed tracks. This is due to the lack of cotter keys on the T-34 track pins. They tended to fall out during movement and were pushed back into their position by a special lip welded on the top of the drive sprocket mount. The other track pin is just a resin rod cut to certain length. The metal track links themselves have clean casting, however small clean up with a hobby knife or any other hard object might be required where two links meet in order to facilitate assembly. The guide horn is hollow on the outside and the track pattern is nicely done with fine details and correct features. Each track link has a casting number on the internal surface and the ones without guide horns have a single hole for the ice cleats. I don’t have Dragon’s or Friul’s similar sets for comparison but judging from what is available online Masterclub appears to have better detail level with overall finesse.

For assembly you would need only small tweezers, no CA glue or wire is required. This is achieved due to tight fit of resin track pins into openings on the track. It is important not to use excessive force during pin insertion as they might break, and rather spend some time on the alignment of the track links before inserting the pin. After the assembly the chain articulates without problem and fits the sprocket and idler of a Dragon T-34/76 kit. In total I used 74 track links per side which is correct for this type of track. The width is correct in scale as well (14,3mm – equivalent to 500mm of the real track). Note that the direction of the tracks also matters – “V” should be as I assembled them, however there is evidence that some tanks had tracks in opposite direction!


Another great set of white metal tracks from Masterclub that would definitely please the fans of the T-34 tank. The assembly of the first 5-10 links might seem complex, but once you get the right feeling you will finish both runs very quickly. No drilling necessary, no glue required; very realistic appearance.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Nicely cast, fully articulated white metal tracks with track pin detail.
Lows: Minor cleaning.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MTL-35022
  Suggested Retail: 34-40 USD
  PUBLISHED: Feb 08, 2015

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About Roman (Bizarre)

Copyright ©2021 text by Roman [ BIZARRE ]. All rights reserved.


These look pretty good but they would not be common for an STZ made tank. STZ preferred to use 550mm wide links. These are 500mm and would be far more common on a earlier UTZ T-34 (for instance, the T-34 shipped to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in 1943 was fitted with this type). Mark
FEB 09, 2015 - 08:46 PM
These 500mm "chevron" tracks were designed and produced for the T-34M at Kharkov (Zavod No.183) in 1941. They were used on the last tanks produced in Kharkov and then taken to Nizhnii Tagil, where the remainder were used for some of the tanks from UTZ (Zavod No.183) in early 1942. 500mm "waffle" tracks were introduced later that year at UTZ and Krasnoe Sormovo. As Mark says, STZ used 550mm tracks exclusively. STZ also supplied 550 mm "waffle" tracks to Krasnoe Sormovo in early 1942. Regards Scott Fraser
FEB 09, 2015 - 10:56 PM
you are partially correct, gentlemen. STZ had 550 mm tracks before they started using these and 183 had these as well.
FEB 11, 2015 - 03:04 PM
Sorry, but you're just plain wrong. Can you show me a photo of a new tank from STZ with these tracks? None exist, that I know of, and I've seen a lot of photos of T-34s. Until then, I will continue to believe what has been written about these tracks, and those of STZ, by Kolomiets, Svirin and other Russian researchers. They have written extensively on all aspect of the T-34 and these particular tracks have come up before. For a long time, it was thought that the tracks for the T-34M were 450mm, but they turned out to be these 500mm tracks. There ARE photos of tanks from Kharkov that were delivered at the start of October 1941, when the factory was shutting down. There are also photos of tanks from N.Tagil from the early months of 1942 with them. STZ, on the other hand, used 550mm tracks once the steel wheels were adopted late in 1941 until they stopped production in August 1942. This is information from Прославленный Т-34 , which is to date the best book on the T-34. Moving on, I would point out the obvious: nowhere does MasterClub suggest these tracks are for a T-34 from STZ. The have many tracks sets for the T-34, including some that ARE for tanks from STZ. They are labelled clearly. I think it more likely that Roman made an honest mistake when he wrote his review by saying they were STZ tracks. That doesn't detract from his comments about the quality of the product. MasterClub make very good tracks. Sergei is very good at what he does. Regards Scott Fraser
FEB 11, 2015 - 03:31 PM
true that these are not marked by the manufacturer as STZ, that was mine assumption based on what I read about tracks and track development. I would ask the editors to remove that from review. Thanks for your comments.
FEB 12, 2015 - 12:37 AM
and I apologize for mistake made.
FEB 12, 2015 - 12:41 AM
As Roman has already mentioned that he made an assumption, I've corrected his review. Now wasn't this a nice way of pointing this out?
FEB 12, 2015 - 01:24 AM
No disrespect, but Mark's post, the first reply in this thread, made the point that these were not tracks for a T-34 from STZ. I replied confirming Mark's comments and adding a bit of background. Mark and I are acquainted. We both have a fascination with the T-34 and we've compared notes over the years. He knows his stuff where it comes to T-34s. So does Sergei Babych at MasterClub. Frankly, I've been waiting for someone else to realize that these are not advertised as suitable for a T-34 from STZ. I didn't connect Roman / Bizarre with the author of the review immediately or I would have taken this up through a PM. However, I felt that his post asserting that these tracks these were used at STZ required rebuttal, so I replied with more information about these particular tracks. They have been somewhat controversial in the past, but today the record is clear from documents originating from Zavod No.183 in Kharkov. I'm an historian, so these details matter to me, and should to any modeller keen to make an accurate model of an STZ T-34. Anyway, now people know more about MasterClub's T-34 tracks. They are an excellent product, my first choice. Regards Scott Fraser
FEB 12, 2015 - 02:31 AM

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