Tankraft has a new line of 3D printed tracks for 1/35 kits and their first reference, PT-001, is a set for the T-34/76 of 1942-1943 production by the Chelyabinsk Kirov Factory (ChKZ). These tracks had two different types of track links that alternated.
They come on a rigid cardboard box measuring 17x11cm with top opening. The top has a large sticker with the details of the product.
The box seems very strong and resistant to crush so it should correctly protect the contents during transport. Additionally, inside there are two foam layers, above and below the parts.
On the inner lid there is another sticker with building instructions, including tips and a drawing showing how to assemble the tracks and the direction of movement, making easier to correctly position the track links.
The contents are three zip bags marked:
- RL (Links type 1)
- RL (Links type 2)
- HS (Pins)
All in all, very good packaging for protection and presentation.
Printing quality is excellent, there are no defects nor banding, and the pins are thin and straight. All parts come clean and ready to use, without visible marks of the printing trees. One type of the track links has the foundry markings like the original, which are really small.
The color is a medium grey and the resin is rigid and strong, but not brittle.
There are 180 track links in the box, and each track is 72 track links so there is a good surplus to use as spare tracks or replace if any gets damaged while building.
Assembly is really simple and straightforward: put two track links together and insert the pin. Like the real thing but without the hammer. Just need to check the correct orientation of the track links and insert the pins from the correct (hull) side. The pins enter smoothly but tight without effort, showing the high precision of printing.
For the section of track I built, all pins went through the holes without previously drilling them. There is a small rib that helps keeping it in place, however the instructions recommend a tiny drop of CA glue. While this will obviously ensure a permanent fix of the pin (the track remains workable), on the part of the track I assembled as a test it was not really needed, pins stayed in place even when moving the track.
During my test build, not a single track link or pin were damaged. In case needed it can be disassembled (as long as it was not glued) pushing the pin back with the flat end of a thin drill bit. The ribs on the pin will no longer work and it should be glued, or replaced -which is not a problem thanks to the number of spares provided.
The weight of the track is like a plastic one, not causing any stress to the suspension of the kit. It remains perfectly workable to adapt to terrain and suspension.
An excellent set of tracks, with high quality printing and ready to assemble. All parts come clean and free from trees, so assembly is really simple and does not take long.
Track remains workable and there are plenty of spares, so I find hard to beat the easiness and quality of these tracks compared to traditional kit tracks, either plastic, resin or metal.