Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Set No. ATL-120
Review by Terry Ashley
The set of E-100 track from Friulmodel consists of 420 white metal links divied up into four track link sections, three assembly jig segments and the usual coil of 0.5mm brass wire to cut up for the track pins. The track set is supposedly designed for either the Dragon E-100 (kit #6011x) or the Trumeter E-100 (kit #00384) although it doesn't state on the box the actual target kit. I should start by aplogising as I don't actually have either of these kits so can't test fit the track to the kit drive sprockets, therefore the review will confine itself to the accuracy and details of the track links and the assembly. The review comments are based on the only reference I would trust for such a conceptual vehicle given some of the speculation we see about the place, that being the Panzer Tracts Maus and E-100 book No.6-3.
The actual E-100 combat tracks are made up of one large 1000mm wide main link with a three segment connecting link with a pitch of 150mm (the pitch is the distance between the track pin centre lines on each link). The 1000mm equals 28.6mm in 1:35 scale and the 150mm pitch equals 4.3mm in 1:35 scale with the Friulmodel track links matching those dimensions precisely give or take a fraction of a millimetre.
Each track link is nicely cast with a solid guide horn on the main link and nicely done link details, the only cleanup required is a few small pour burs on each link, the link details match nicely to the photo of the actual combat track in the Panzer Tracts book (page 6-3-64). The track pin holes are mostly open but you will need to use a 0.5mm drill to check all are clear of any obstruction and again only a small portion of the links required actual re-drilling of some holes with the wire cut up into 24.5mm segments ready for assembly.
There is one thing to watch with the small end sections of the three segment connecting link, one has the track pin bolts cast solid and the other has holes for the wire track pin and you should ensure the ones with the holes are on the inside on the track runs when fitted to the model with the solid bolts on the outside, other than this the links aren't handed in the true sense.
also the small end connecting links with and without the wire pin holes.
Included with the set are three assembly jig sections that fit together to form a longer jig and each track segment has the main large link, the three smaller connecting links and the wire pin as shown below. To assembly the links sit two larger links and the smaller connecting links onto the jig and insert the wire pin through the link holes, this does require a bit of care due to the number of holes on the links that all have to line up perfectly and as there is very little clearance for inserting the pins any slight misalignment of the holes can cause problems. If you have previously checked that all the pin holes are fully drilled don't force the pin if it hits an obstruction, just move the links about a little in the jig until the holes line up and the pin slips though, once in place a small dab of Cyanoacrylate on the open pin hole end will hold the pin in place.
The assembled track runs are extremely robust being metal and articulate freely allowing you to get a very natural track sag when fitting to the kits which is a big plus for the metal Friulmodel tracks.
But the resulting track runs are very robust with excellent detail and will provide additional detail over the kit tracks.
Maus and E-100
Panzer Tracts No.6-3
Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle