Miniart
T-55 RMSh Early Type Workable Track Links
Miniart 1:35 Scale Kit #37050
Review by Terry Ashley


Introduction:
Miniart continue their line of track link sets with this release of fully workable T-55 early style RMSh track links applicable to the initial models of the T-55 tank series.

The kit:
The set has 16 sprue runners with 12 track links and 24 separate track pins on each sprue moulded in light grey plastic for a total of 192 track links and 384 track pins. Each track run uses 91 i.e. 182 in total so you have a few spare links to use as you wish.

Track parts
Miniart

The standard of moulding is excellent with clean crisp details and zero flash or pin marks to be seen, with each link having 3 sprue attachment points this being the only clean-up needed. The track pins come attached to small 'handles' (for want of a better word) and you cut these away from the sprue runners to make fitting the pins easier.

Track links and pins before and after clean-up and removal from the sprue runners.
Miniart
Miniart

Details of the links is nicely done subtle casting texture as well as small cast numbers on each link while the pins have the hex bolt outline on the outer head which will appear after you have fitted the pins, the pin holes in the outer link are all cleanly open with no drilling required.

Image of kit track link showing the nicely represented cast details with reference image of the actual link casting data. (Ref image: scalemodels.ru)
MiniartMiniart
Note; the image above if a late type link while the early links had more rounded outer edges as on the kit link.
Miniart

Track Assembly:
No assembly jig is provided but you don't really need one, just a nice flat surface to work on. With the links trimmed of the attachment bur you just fit a few links together with the fit being very snug and then slip the pin into place, you should hear or feel a small 'click' as the pin seats home. A few pins didn't want to slip fully into the links and if this happens just move the links to make sure the holes line up perfectly. With the pins added to one side you should add a small dab of liquid cement to hold the pins in place but be very sparing with the glue, you only need enough to hold it in place and too much could seep though to get on the other link so less is better. I used the original Tamiya 'Extra Fine' cement (with darker green cap) as this has less capillary action than the newer Tamiya 'quick-setting Extra Fine' cement (with lighter green cap).

I then added the pins to other side and glued these as well, I prefer with this type of track assembly to work with a short run of about ten links and set aside for the glue to fully dry while assembling the next group of ten links, these groups can be joined later to form the full track runs. Test each pin after a short time to make sure it has enough glue to hold and leave to dry fully.

It's important the glue has fully dried before trimming the 'handle' off the pins, also use a very sharp blade and firmly cut in a slicing motion so the 'handle' comes away cleanly not leaving any final trimming to do, once cut off the pin bolt head will remain for good detail definition. Repeat the process until you have full track run of 91 links assembled ready to fit to the model, the tracks articulated freely after assembly to give a natural sag of the top run once fitted.

Track assembly as described above
Miniart
Miniart
Miniart
Miniart

Fitting the Track:
I test fitted the assembled track run to the applicable Miniart and Takom T-55 kit RMSh sprockets and found they fitted each without any problems. One thing to note is the RMSh track fitted to the 14 tooth sprockets doesn't seat the track extension snuggly between the drive teeth as they do on most other types of track but sit slightly unevenly to the eye, this can be a little disconcerting when you first see it but I've added some reference images below of the actual tracks on the sprockets to show this.


All my other T-55 kits have the OMSh track/sprocket so can't show other example sorry but I'm assuming if the kit sprocket is correct then the Miniart track will also fit okay?

The assembled track run test fitted to the Miniart and Takom T-55 kit sprockets.
Note, the track appears not to sit tightly between the sprocket teeth as other track types do but this is correct for the RMSh track on the 14 tooth sprocket as the images below will show.
Also Note, the Miniart kit sprocket has been temporarily fitted to the previously assembled Takom running gear so you see the Takom road wheels and hull in both set of images.

MiniartMiniart
MiniartMiniart
Reference images showing the fit of the tracks around the 14 tooth sprocket as depicted above.
Miniart Miniart
MiniartMiniart

Conclusion:
This is a nicely detailed set of workable T-55 RMSh track with nice detail on the link faces and minimal clean-up of the sprue attachment burs only. Assembly is relatively quick and easy for individual link track and provides an economical upgrade to fully workable tracks if that's your preference?

Rating 9/10

Footnote: The Takom kit I used here was the Finnish ItPsv 90 Marksman SPAAG (kit 2043) which I'd just put in the stash after purchase and on opening the box found there was no track links in the kit. So, this set of Miniart tracks has found a new home and solved a problem I didn't know I had in a classic 'two birds with one stone' scenario.

Instructions:
Assembly instructions printed on the back of the box are clear and precise.
Miniart

References:
T-54/55 Variants in detail
Present Vehicle Line No.7
Wings & Wheels Publications.
Book
 

Thanks to Miniart for the review kit.

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Page created 5 September, 2018



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