MTLB & 2S1 Gvozdika
Wheel & Track Set

1:35 Scale Set #B35011

Review by Terry Ashley


Skif have released a number of kits of the MTLB amphibious APC and derivatives such as the SA-13 Gopher and 2S1 Gvozdika SPG which uses a stretched chassis with an extra road wheel per side.

The Skif kits are average but with a bit of work can be made into reasonable models with probably the worst aspect being the road wheels which have the completely wrong profile and the basic vinyl track. This is where this update set from Miniarm comes in with 14 cleanly cast road wheels with the correct pattern wheel faces and hub details plus a set of detailed workable late style track links.

The road wheels are cleanly cast with just the usual casting blocks to be removed leaving just a small scar which is easy to sand smooth or you can position this at ground contact to hide completely.

Resin track links and road wheels
Assembled Miniarm track run and road wheels with Skif vinyl tracks and road wheels

The 14 wheels included allow you to use them on the standard MTLB chassis with 12 wheels or the stretched 2S1 chassis with the only work required is to drill out the axle locating holes slightly to fit the kit axles.

A full set of workable track links is included which have extremely fine details including the small lightening holes on the outer edge and nice end pin details as well as the correct profile on the guide teeth that match photos very well.

The finesse and scale accuracy of the links is also their achilles heal as the outer lightening hole weakens the links considerably and there were a few in the pack already with the end pin section broken off and this was also a problem during assembly. Most of the lightening holes are fully formed with only a few requiring light drilling opening then up fully.

Some very minor cleanup was needed on each link to remove the remnants of the casting block on one side but this was very easy to deal with using light sanding or a pass with the X=Acto #11.

As with all resin tracks these days using the pin locating system you simply fit on link over one pin and clip the other pin into place on each link to form the track runs.

Extreme care is needed when assembling these links due to the finesse as you have to slightly flex the outer pin section of each link to gently clip over the locating pin on the next and if you flex this a little too much it will break off and not enough will beak off the locating pin making these some of the trickiest links I’ve put together.

I damaged a few links assembling the short run for this review and hopefully there are enough links in the set to allow for any attrition as there is no indication how many links are required per side.

But using extreme care will result in a superb looking set of tracks with excellent ribbing on the links and end pin details and they also articulate very freely for natural track sag.

The track runs were a little tight around the Skif drive sprockets and trimming the teeth slightly thinner will help get a better track sit around the sprocket.

Assembly sequence
Track lengths around the Skif drive sprockets

A superbly detailed set of resin tracks but as mentioned extreme care is needed during assembly to avoid damage to the links but the end result along with the new road wheels will add considerable detail definition to which ever kit they are used on.

Highly recommended.

Thanks to Miniarm for the review set.
Miniarm sets are available from Model Point US.

Page Created 6 August 2005

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