Built Review
T-34 white metal tracks
T-34, SU-100, 500mm Wafer pattern tracks.
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by: Roman [ BIZARRE ]


The T-34 was produced from 1940 and there have been several modifications of that “mythical weapon” – different factories were introducing their own improvements of the original design and upgrades suitable to mass production and limited resources that USSR faced when it’s western part was occupied by advancing German forces. Similar to evolution of the tank itself, the tracks were changing their appearance, width, pattern and so on. The “Waffer pattern” tracks were introduced in the beginning of 1943 at the ChTZ produced tanks and then spread to other facilities. These had 500mm width, cast or stamped and were used on T-34/76, T-34/85 and SU-100 tank destroyers.


T-34 is a very popular subject (most popular Soviet tank amongst modellers?) and there are several kits available from major manufacturers like DML or AFV club together with older generation kits from Tamiya, Maquette and Zvezda. Many modellers prefer to have metal tracks on their models and MasterClub’s new offering (MTL35023) might be of interest here.

As with other sets of white metal tracks from MasterClub these come packed into plastic container together with small sheet of paper with information. Inside there are 2 zip-lock bags of resin track pins and 2 bags of metal tracks – with and without guide horn. One of the track pins has round pin head and it should be on the inner side of the track link (I put it wrong side on the model for the review). This is due to a lack of cotter keys on the T-34 tracks and the track pins that were falling out during movement were put back into their position by a special lip on the top of the drive sprocket mount. The casting is rather clean, however small clean up with hobby knife or any other hard object is required in the contact area of track links to facilitate assembly. The guide horn is hollow on the outside and the wafer pattern is nicely done with fine details. The track links with horn have casting numbers on them while the ones without have round holes that were used for ice spurs. When placed next to Dragon’s magic tracks the finesse of white metal offering from MasterClub is obvious, they simply look more to scale in terms of thickness of all elements and of course do not require fighting with ejector pin marks.

For assembly you would need only small tweezers, no CA glue is required. This is achieved due to tight fit of resin track pins into openings on the track links. It is important not to use too much force during pin insertion as they might break, so it is better to spend time on alignment of links before inserting the pin then rather playing around with fit when you already have the pin inside. After the assembly the chain articulates without problem and fits the sprocket and idler of Dragon kit T-34/76 mod. 1943. (information from PMMS says they fit AFV club too). Just keep in mind that the light coloured resin track pin with round head should be on the inner side of the track link (closer to hull) and not on the outer as on my image.

One minor issue is the number of tracks required per side – 74 instead of 72 as per T-34 manual. It is true that early tracks also had 74, but not the “wafer” patterned once. Of course this absolutely unnoticeable on the model unless someone would really count the number of tracks you have on it. But I feel it is important information to keep in mind. Otherwise they have correct width (14,3mm – equivalent to 500mm of the real thing)
Highs: Nicely cast, fully articulated white metal tracks with track pin detail.
Lows: Smaller track pitch then it should be on the real tank.
Verdict: Highly recommended.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: MTL35023
  Suggested Retail: 40 USD
  PUBLISHED: Dec 30, 2013

About Roman (Bizarre)

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


Oh I know, but this thing ( LINK ) has been a shelf queen for far too long and I was hoping this new product post would give it salvation (not like it will win any IPMS or AMPS contest). But it does have a nice cozy space in my display case waiting whenever it gets done. Cheers
DEC 30, 2013 - 01:00 PM
Build finished. See some images of my T-34 with MasterClub tracks here LINK
JAN 24, 2014 - 12:22 AM
Very nice, Roman. I have the Friuls with my kit, but the Master Club ones look smashing.
JAN 24, 2014 - 03:22 AM
Thanks, Bill.
JAN 24, 2014 - 09:33 AM
I tested blackening and rusting of these tracks and it goes very good with pins in.
FEB 16, 2014 - 09:49 AM
The set I ordered finally came in direct from the Ukraine. However when reading the review it says you get to different set of pins. Looks like I got 2 bags with the same set of pins (light coloured ones). What is the difference between the 2 pins and would it really be noticed at 1/35 scale ? I also hope they send extra pins. So far I had one take the tweezer plink to the ether and I broke one by pushing to hard. Sure is tedious. Cheers
FEB 17, 2014 - 12:52 AM
The beige coloured pins have heads, grey colored have no heads. Heads should be towards the tank hull on the track.
FEB 17, 2014 - 01:03 AM
Could I achieve the same result by sanding/cutting the heads off the pins on the outer side of the tracks? Also if I do that will I have a problem of pins falling out later ? Cheers
FEB 17, 2014 - 01:18 AM
I assume you could do that. They are not supposed to fall out.
FEB 17, 2014 - 02:59 AM

Click image to enlarge
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