Fruilmodel
Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1t
(Sd.Kfz.10-10/1-10/2-10/3-10/4-10/5) Demag

Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Set No. ATL-110
Review by Terry Ashley

ItaleriItaleriItaleriItaleriItaleri
The Set:
This new set of individual link workable track from Friulmodel is designed for the Sd.Kfz.10 1t half track series of vehicles which at this point in time are only available from Italeri who have released kits for the Sd.Kfz.10 Demag, Sd.Kfz.10/4 2cm FlaK30, Sd.Kfz.10/5 2cm FlaK38 as well as Sd.Kfz.10 with the 15cm Nebelwerfer 41 and also with the 5cm PaK38.

The set is a re-issue of the previous set ATL-50 for the Sd.Kfz.250 leichter Schuetzenpanzerwagen with additional links for the longer running gear of the Sd.Kfz.10 1t half track. The set consists of 90 white metal links and the usual coil of wire to cut up for the track pins as well as replacement metal drive sprockets.

Metal parts
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The actual Sd.Kfz.10 1t half track is fitted with cast Zpw.51/240/160 track links with rubber pads bolted to each link to allow higher road speeds, 41 links made up each left and right side track run.
The 240mm width and 160mm pitch (length) equates to 6.85mm (rounded) and 4.6mm (rounded)  respectively in 1:35 scale with the metal track links matching these sizes all but perfectly other than the pitch which is fractionally longer resulting in only 39-40 links being used per side(depending on the model) instead of the actual 41.
 
Each track link is made up of two segments, the larger cast link with well defined details and the separate rubber pad (in metal of course) with only a minimum of cleanup required with a couple of small pour burs and some fine metal flash about the links which is easily removed with a sharp #11 blade.

The track pin holes are mostly open but you will need to use a 0.4mm drill bit to check all are clear of any obstruction and again only a small portion of the links required actual re-drilling of some holes. 

Take care with the smaller rubber pads as there are four bolts heads on each corner and just a single small casting bur on one side between the bolts, so make sure you only remove the bur and not the small bolt heads that should be there.  Also the edges of the pads are 'as new' being pronounced and a quick pass with a fine file to round off a little will depict used track nicely.

The drive sprockets are in two halves each and have what looks like great chunks of flash on one side but this comes away very easily as do the casting burs ready for the halves to be fitted together, note these are marked left  (L) and right (R) on the back of the inner sprocket half to indicate the correct side of the hull to fit the sprockets.

This is due to the offset drive rollers (teeth) on all German half track drive sprockets and these from Friulmodel have this feature correctly depicted. Another nice detail is the cast on directional L and R arrow on the sprocket disc which was actually present on the real sprockets to also ensure the crews fitted these correctly, so it's not just modellers who needed reminding of these things.

Images showing the basic links prior to cleanup (left) and setting the drill bit length for drilling the pin holes (right)
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Drive sprockets before and after cleanup
Fruilmodel

Assembly:
You firstly need to cut the 6mm track pins from the wire supplied and using the calibrations on a steel ruler as a cutting board using a #11 blade to ensure you cut the 6mm pins to the exact size every time.

There are a couple of assembly methods that can be used depending on your preference, the first is to glue the rubber pads to the track links first and then assemble the links in the usual Fruil manner by slipping one link to the next and inserting the wire pin, this is then secured with a dab of thick cyanoacrylate.

Link assembly method 1.
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The second method is to first insert the wire pins into the links and secure with a dab of thicker cyanoacrylate and the links then fit together in the 'conventional' manner for German half track links by fitting the pin from one link into the trough in the next and attach the rubber pad to secure the links. If the link join is bent to a V shape it forces the pin to the lowest point of the trough making it easier to apply small dabs of thicker cyanoacrylate to the join surfaces clear of the pin and then carefully using tweezers place the pad in position.

Link assembly method 2.
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Simply repeat either process for the 39 links required for each track run, note the links are not handed so on one side the wire pins will be the outside and on the other the cast on bolt pin, not a big deal once the links are painted. The assembled track runs are very robust as you would expect being metal but be careful as you can "pop" the rubber pads off if handled a little too roughly.

The drive sprocket halves fit together easily, just ensure the teeth on each sprocket disc are aligned evenly and it's best to use a thicker cyanoacrylate as this allows a few seconds for adjustment before curing.

Fitting to kit:
As mentioned there is only one game in town for these tracks at this time, that being any of the Italeri Sd.Kfz.10 based kits but due to a number of issues with the suspension on these kits it's not a straightforward process. Unless of course you overlook these issues and just add the tracks to the kit as it comes, it's up to the individual.

Starting with the kit drive sprockets, the diameter is okay but they are way too narrow but the metal sprockets will bypass this in any case so we'll move on to the main issue. The main issue is the position of the road wheel axles with those on the left side of the hull not being staggered for the torsion bar suspension as they should be and are level with right side axles. This effect can easily be seen in photos of the 1t Half tracks as the first road wheel on the left side doesn't overlap the drive sprocket while the first road wheel on the right side does overlap the drive sprocket a little due to the torsion bar offset with the left side axles being further back than those on the right side.

Also the axles are positioned too high on the hull side resulting in the top track run not having the proper sag as they should do, so we can kill two birds at once by repositioning the axle both 1mm down and 1mm further back on the left hull side, on the right side the axles only need to be lowered as their position is correct. If you have the Panzer Tracks book No.22-1 on the 1t half tracks you can use the 1:35 plans to mark the correct position for the axles after cutting off the moulded on axles.

You will also need to reposition the idler axle 1mm further forward as the original position makes 39 link too tight and 40 links too loose but after repositioning the axle the 39 link track run fits nicely with the appropriate top run sag.

I drilled 2mm holes in the new axle positions and used lengths of 2mm plastic rod for the new axles fitted to the hull sides with thick cyanoacrylate, this is better than plastic cement in this instance as it lets you instantly proceed without having to wait for the plastic cement to dry.

Fruilmodel

Once the axles are repositioned correctly you can fit the road wheels and idler as per instructions but not the drive sprocket or the outer first road wheel half on the right side at this point, it's easier to join the track ends before fitting to the kit as it's really painful trying to fit the ends together once fitted to the suspension.

To add the track to the kit firstly fit the track around the drive sprocket while it's still separate from the kit and then slip the track around the idler and then fit the drive sprocket to its axle stub, all very easy and then fit the right side outer first road wheel as this has to overlap the sprocket a little.

With the revised axle positions and the new metal drive sprocket the tracks give a marked improvement in appearance over the poorly done kit tracks.

Fruilmodel
Fruilmodel Fruilmodel

Conclusion:
This set of tracks and sprockets from Friulmodel for the Sd.Kfz.10 1t half track series are dimensionally accurate other than the minor pitch issue with relatively easy assembly for individual link track providing a marked improvement in appearance over the target kit tracks.

The biggest issue isn't with the track set but the work needed to correctly position the axles on the Italeri kits to get the best result for the new tracks and sprockets.

With the imminent release of the new DML Sd.Kfz.10/5 fur 2cm FlaK 38 (kit #6676) it will be interesting to see if this track set can be used to improve that kits appearance. If the newly tooled drive sprockets from the recent DML Sd.Kfz.250/1 Neu (kit #6427) and Sd.Kfz.250/8 7.5cm (kit #6425) are used it will as the sprockets in these kits are too small in diameter and the roller 'teeth' too big, the front wheels are also 1.5mm too small in diameter for that matter also but time will tell on these issues.

Friulmodel track set rating 8.5/10

References:
Leichter Zugkraftwagen 1t
(Sd.kfz.10) Ausf.A and B and Variants
development and production from 1935 to 1945
Panzer Tracts No.22-1
ISBN 0-9815382-5-8
Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle
Book
Sd.Kfz.10 Demag in detail
Wings & Wheels Publications R 057
ISBN 978-80-86416-92-2
book
Sd.Kfz.10/4
Wydawnictwo Militaria 172
book


Thanks to Friulmodel for the review Set.


Page created January 26, 2011



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