This review is a logical continuation of the previous one (KV-1 700mm split tracks) where I was mentioning the development of the KV series and appearance of split tracks as one of the measures to reduce the total weight of the Soviet heavy tanks; a link to that review can be found at the end of this review. The observed set (ref 35028) provides the next step in that development Ė 650mm lightweight tracks that were used from KV-1s to IS-2/IS-3 tanks and vehicles based on their chassis. Such lightweight tracks had every second track link with a guide tooth while others were split into halves and had no teeth at all. 650mm lightweight tracks were made of stamped steel and there are numerous images depicting them on KV-1s, KV-85, IS-2, IS-3 and tank destroyers ISU-122, ISU-152. However, one should be careful as some of these heavy machines were often equipped with tracks that had guide teeth on every link (Masterclub
MTL35029). If you are interested in a timeline of different tracks used on IS tanks I recommend reading the article linked at the end of this review.
In miniature there are several sets already available on the market including metal from Friul model and Spade Ace (these are really split!); styrene Modelcasten and resin Masterclub
and Miniarm. While you may ask why would one need another set of 650mm KV-1s/IS-2/IS-3 tracks I donít see any problem here as all the above mentioned sets have some issues and competition has never been harmful for the aftermarket industry. Letís see what we have here.
Tracks (ref MTL35028) come in a regular Masterclub
package Ė clear plastic box with a paper tray and clear plastic bags with parts inside. Overall there are 200 links (100 split and 100 regular) plus 400 track pins (one bag with flat pin head and one with large bolt, 200 each).
Many of the Masterclub
tracks are based on their resin sets, and having read at PMMS that resin offering MC135028W were a bit over the scale I wanted to check whether this issue was solved now. The metal track link measured 18,5mm sharp (equivalent to 650mm) and has pitch of 4,5mm which is also equivalent to original 160mm; meaning that the tracks from set MTL35028 are dimensionally accurate!
The assembly is rather straightforward with tracks being aligned on a firm surface and pins inserted from the side without any problem as the holes are already bored out. Some of the tracks from my set had left overs of white metal in the gaps but these can be easily scrapped off with a sharp knife, otherwise they are easily pressed into each other removing any small burrs. The track pins are made of resin and the one with flat head should be used on the inner side of the track while pin with a large head should be placed on the outer side. The overall appearance of the track links is carefully reproduced in metal with only critique being that the split links are not actually split and cast as one part.
To test the fit I used the recent Trumpeter Object 704 kit which has incorrect 700mm tracks included. Masterclub
ís metal tracks fit the drive sprocket perfectly and articulate freely after assembly. Here I put 86 track links per side as the manual says and got quite a lot of sag, but this will be further covered in upcoming Object 704 build review. Unfortunately I donít have other kits of Soviet heavy tanks that used this type of tracks but knowing that these tracks have correct distance between the openings for sprocketís teeth they should fit the available styrene kits.
I think this is a great set of workable tracks if you prefer having metal tracks on your models. Accurate detail and realistic track pins being the absolute highlights of this set.
KV-1 700mm split tracks
Timeline of different tracks used on IS tanks
Object 704 build log
"This item was provided by the manufacturer for the purposes of a review direct to the author.Ē