by: Ted Hayward [ ]
These two indy link sets from AFV Club add a level of realism not possible with thin (the T-34 had quite thin tracks anyways), vinyl tracks. Though the kit-supplied tracks (see photo, TOP RIGHT) did look exceptionable once painted and weathered, they of course must be cemented to the wheels for realistic track-sag.
Model 1940 or 550mm Width set: (see photos, RIGHT)
I first tackled the 550mm (early, “stamped") Model 1940/41 set (item AF 35142). Of the two, I found building these to take longer, but they are more robust when completed. I am very satisfied with the results -an already great model has become the pride of my collection. Each set comes with 75 “A” links (with a guide tooth) and 75 “B” links (smooth), plus 300 tiny connecting pins. Will have to wait for the release of the early 1940/41 Model of T-34 to be released before I can use these.
Model 1942 500mm Width “Cast” set: (see photos, BELOW)
A post 1942 set of indy links with conventional “no cement: snap the pins into the next link"-type assembly, I found the 500mm “cast links” (item AF 35173) to be much more fragile and less likely to stay together on the finished model. 90 “A” links and 80 “B” links are provided. The tiny, fragile connector pins are easily broken, requiring cement to finish the job. I can hardly call this set of tracks “workable” once assembled, but maybe that’s just my clumsy hands! I managed to assemble both runs of 500mm track within a couple of hours of easy work, while assembly of the 450 part 550mm (early) tracks take about twice as long.
For a small investment, I was able to enjoy my AFV Club T-34 once again, without building it again. These link sets are a must for a kit like the AFV Club T-34 with its fully-articulating suspension, and are perfect for a diorama depicting a knocked-out tank with broken tracks. The addition of one of these sets would certainly enhance my tired old Tamiya T-34 with its floppy, dried-up vinyl tracks! These should definitely be under any T-34 fan's tree this year!