Mittelerer Zugkraftwagen 5t

Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Set No. ATL-112
Review by Terry Ashley

Bronco ModelsBronco ModelsBronco Models
The Set:
This set of replacement metal tracks from Friulmodel is designed for the Bronco Model kits of the Sd.Kfz.6 series with three kits released to date, the initial Sd.Kfz.6/3 'Diana' (kit #CB35038), the Sd.Kfz.6/2 3.7cm FlaK36 (kit #CB35043) and the just released Sd.Kfz.6 Pioneer version (kit #CB35041). The tracks can't be used with the Trumpeter Sd.Kfz.6 kits due to the undersized drive sprockets in those kits.

The set consists of 95 white metal links with separate track pads and the usual coil of 0.5mm wire to cut up for the track pins. The links are not handed which means on the left track run the cast pin bolt head will be on the outside while on the right track run the cast pin bolt head is on the inside and the wire pin hole on the outside of the track runs.

Metal parts

The actual Sd.Kfz.6 5t half track is fitted cast Zpw.55/320/160 track links with rubber pads bolted to each link to allow higher road speeds, 46 links make up each left and right side track run. The 320mm width and 160mm pitch (length) equates to 9.1mm (rounded) and 4.6mm (rounded) respectively in 1:35 scale with the metal track links matching these sizes all but perfectly, the pitch is fractionally longer resulting in only 45 links being used per side on the model instead of the actual 46.
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 on a minimum of clean-up 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 0.5mm 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 under the edge of each pad as well as a small casting bur 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.

Individual links and pads with wire cut to 7mm lengths

You firstly need to cut the 7mm track pins from the wire supplied and using the calibrations on a steel ruler as a cutting board using a #11 blade will ensure you cut the 7mm pins to the exact size every time. Note, the instructions say to cut 6mm lengths but I found 7mm to be a better length to use.

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 Fruilmodel manner by slipping one link to the next and inserting the wire pin, this is then secured with a dab of thick cyanoacrylate. I actually prefer this method which I have used in the images as there is less chance of gluing the pin as you attach the pads with the second method but it’s entirely up to the individual.

Assembly of the links as per text

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' plastic track 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.

Simply repeat either process for the 45 links required for each track run, 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.

Assembled track runs showing the details
Fruilmodel Fruilmodel

Fitting the tracks:
An issue with the Bronco Sd.Kfz.6 kits is the kit track is 10mm wide instead of the actual 9.1mm, this isn’t a lot but the road wheel spacing is also wider than it should be to accommodate the kit track and to use the Friulmodel track of the correct width the first thing you need to do is reduce the spacing of the kit road wheels.

This is fairly straightforward as shown in the images below with just some trimming of the inside wheel dish faces and reducing the length of the central axles casings by 1mm. 1. Mark with a soft pencil 1mm below the end of the axle casing. 2. Extend the notch hole a further 1mm down. 3. Trim the 1mm off the end of the casing. 4. Trim about 0.5mm plastic from inside of the wheel disc around the base of the axle casing.

On the outer wheels trim about 0.5mm plastic from inside of the wheel disc around the base of the axle stub.

Modifications to the Bronco kit road wheels as described above.

When assembling the wheels ensure the outside width of the wheels is 9mm for the outside wheel pairs to allow them to sit correctly on the metal track without overlapping the sides, you may need to trim a little more off the inside of the wheel discs and test fitting will give you the right width.

With the revised road wheel spacing done as above fitting the tracks to any of the Bronco kits is very straightforward as they fit perfectly to the Bronco kit sprockets without any alterations but you will have to adjust the position of the rear idler to get the most appropriate track sag but this doesn’t cause any problems. As mentioned the track simply can’t be used on the Trumpeter Sd.Kfz.6 kits as the kit drive sprockets are so undersized the correctly sized track just won’t fit. It is my guess Friulmodel may add a set of drive sprockets at a later date so the tracks can be used on the Trumpeter kits, but I don’t have any conformation on that.

Image showing the Friulmodel track fitted to the Bronco Sd.Kfz.6 kits
Fruilmodel Fruilmodel

This set of tracks from Fruilmodel for the Sd.Kfz.6 1t half track series are dimensionally accurate other than the very minor pitch issue with relatively easy assembly for individual link track providing a set of tracks with the correct width to replace the slightly wise Bronco kit tracks.

Rating 8.5/10

mittlerer Zugkraftwagen 5t (Sd.Kfz.6)
Schwerer Wehrmachtsschlepper

Panzer Tracks No.22-3
mZgkw 5t Sd.Hfz.6
Tank Power Vol.LVIII
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.287
ISBN: 9788372192875
Halftrack Vehicles of the
German Army 1395-1945

Schiffer Military History
ISBN: 0-88740-758-7
Thanks to Friulmodel for the review Set.

Page created July 13, 2011

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