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Built Review
135
PZ III/IV Tracks
Workable Track Links Set for Panzer III/IV Early Type
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]

Introduction

MiniArt has produced a small number of workable track sets, but I rarely see them utilised. I recently started a build review/feature of a Dragon Models Stug Ausf A, I found the Dragon Styrene tracks in the box had to be stretched to fit the wheels of the model and so did not look right to my eye. A quick search of the internet brought this track set to my attention as a cost effective solution to my issue. Please read on to see how I got on.

Review

The product arrived in an end opening card box; not my favourite due to how easily it can be crushed in the postage system that said it did arrive in good order. On the front of the carton is an image of the tracks and how they are assembled; also present is an image of a panzer III, Stug and Panzer IV. On the rear of the box is a list of the suitable vehicles for these tracks are for and are as follows:
Panzer III Ausf A, B, C and D 96 98 links per side
Stug III Ausf A, E and F 94 links per side
Panzer IV Ausf A, B, C, D and E 101 links per side
The rear of the carton is also where the instructions for assembly of the track is located.

Inside you will find 20 sprues that contain the track links and that give you 240 track links. There are 5 sprues that contain the pins for securing the tracks together and these are sided and provide 255 inner and outer pins. Finally there is a jig for assembling the tracks 8 links at a time. An examination of the contents reveals no major issues such as ejector pin marks, but there is some flash present on a few of the track links nothing excessive though. I also like that there are plenty of spare links and pins that can be used if you lose some or more likely as added armour on your build.

The links have 5 gates which is something I am not keen on as it requires a lot of clean up, that said this high number has insured good moulding quality and so is a chore worth undertaking. The pins have been moulded perfectly spaced to insert into the pre moulded holes in the track links and so making assembly easier than it might have otherwise been. Other than remembering to add the pins on the correct side you should not need to worry about any other aspect.

The fit of these tracks to the Dragon Models drive wheel indicates to me that MiniArt must have got the scale and measurements spot on or both companies would need to be out by exactly the same degree. The result can be seen in the last photograph that I hopes relays the look of the product in place.

Conclusion

These tracks from MiniArt are very well detailed and go together easily, the only downside I can see is the amount of clean up required. In all other respects this is a well priced product costing me 12.99 and free postage. The detail on the track links matches that which I have found in my reference, but I cannot guarantee the suitability of the tracks for all the versions mentioned on the packaging. I very highly recommend this product to you and I have only removed 5% from the percentage rating is due to the clean up work.
SUMMARY
Highs: An easy to assemble product that does not test your ability in order to retain functionality.
Lows: Clean up of the track links where the gates were takes a lot of time, but it is worth the effort.
Verdict: Possibly the easiest to use track links I have come across in plastic and a good price.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35235
  Suggested Retail: 12.99
  PUBLISHED: Oct 05, 2017
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 85.89%

About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright 2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Ummmm, Darren? One of the numbers in this text must be incorrect (or something else is unclear): "Inside you will find 20 sprues that contain the track links and that give you 240 track links. There are 5 sprues that contain the pins for securing the tracks together and these are sided and provide 153 inner and outer pins. " There is a significant difference between the number of pins (153 inner + 153 outer) and the number of links. Should '153' possibly be 253 instead? Edit: should be 255, see below. Thanks for the review! I have a number of DS-tracks that I want to replace so a bulk purchase of these is definitely tempting / Robin Edit: I counted the pins on the sprue image: 6 rows per sprue, 17 pins in in each row (3 rows marked O(uter), 3 rows marked I(nner). This makes 51 + 51 pins or 51 pairs. With 5 sprues we get 255 pairs which gives us a few spares since there are 240 links. If the number of links per vehicle is correct I would need 202 links for a Pz IV, this would give me 38 spare links (+ a few extra pins). Some will probably be used for the spare links hanging on a tank so I might get 25 or 26 leftovers per Pz/StuG. After 5 completed models I would have a "bonus" set for a Pz IV
OCT 05, 2017 - 08:03 PM
There's good choice for Panther/Tiger tracks already. Bronco makes nice Panther tracks, while AFV makes Tiger tracks. Both are in the 15E price range, so not too far away from ~10E for Miniart. I would spend extra 5E for less cleanup on ~240 parts...
OCT 05, 2017 - 08:13 PM
I see the monotonous cleanup of track links as a sort of meditation. Hard to get paid 5 Euros for meditation anywhere else Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container. Aummmmm, remove one more link from sprue, file, polish, inspect, put in small container.
OCT 05, 2017 - 08:20 PM
I agree with you on meditation part of the build, but only as long, as cleanup is on reasonably accessible parts. If for example details and plastic are soft, or gates are on awkward locations, then cleanup becomes ART. And art does not come in numbers! Darren, how is the plastic in these tracks? How robust are assembled tracks?
OCT 05, 2017 - 08:47 PM
I'm just thrilled that anyone makes early panzer 3/4 tracks to replace the despised and reviled DS tracks that Dragon's otherwise great Pz 3A kit comes with!
OCT 06, 2017 - 02:14 AM
The plastic is as good as any other I have used and removal is easy. Clean up does take time but it is easy to avoid damage to areas of detail and connection points, but I did use a very good set of cutters that mean very little waste plastic is left on the parts. the parts also go together easily and resulted in no loses in my case. Rob: my bad you are correct it should be 255 pins. I see no good reason not to buy and use these track links and I hope MiniArt release many more examples of the same quality.
OCT 06, 2017 - 07:44 AM
The only question I need to sort out is how MANY of them I need / Robin
OCT 06, 2017 - 08:03 AM
The Pz III Ausf A through D all have 96 links per side, 36 cm wide tracks. The Pz IV Ausf A through E all have 99 links per side, 38 cm wide tracks. Therefore, they did not use the same width tracks. And the box shows the wrong number for the Pz. IV.
OCT 06, 2017 - 09:27 PM
The difference is 20 mm which comes to 0.57 mm in 1/35. The measurement on each side of a track link is off by 0.57/2 = 0.286 mm. Depending on which kit the tracks are used for there could be other measurements which are off by larger amounts and maybe more visible. LINK Pz IV A : Kgs. 6110/380/120 track shoe: 36cm, pin 38cm Pz IV B-E : Kgs. 6111/380/120 track shoe: 36cm, pin 38cm Pz IV F1-J: Kgs. 61/400/120 track shoe: 38cm, pin 40cm This discussion thread might be of some interest: LINK LINK A real 1:1 scale link sold some time ago. The type number is Kgs. 6110/380/120. Some intelligence reports said 38 cm because they measured the track link without the pin, adding the pin and pin-heads gives another 10 mm on each side of the link for a total of 38 cm. Since the running gear on the Pz III and IV were related it makes no sense at all to complicate logistics by having a 20 mm difference in track width. The Pz III may have been a little lighter but the track footprint on the ground was shorter so there was no point in trying to save 20 mm on the width of the track. / Robin
OCT 06, 2017 - 11:03 PM
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