T-55 Track

Modelkasten 1:35 set #SK-59
Review by Terry Ashley

Just released from ModelKasten is this set of workable track for the T-55 Medium Tank.

Designed primarily for the Tamiya T-55 the tracks will also fit the Skif T-55 with a few modifications to the drive sprockets and also the Esci T-55 kits.

The set consists of about 100 small sprues with two track links and four track pins on each and as only 88 links are needed per side that leaves quite a few left over. There are also four extra sprues with small fittings for the Skif drive sprockets and brackets for spare track links on the kit fenders and two track assembly jigs.

Track link sprues
The moulding quality is superb with the only cleanup needed is the one track/sprue attachment point on each link which only takes a few seconds with a shape model knife to fix and there are no pin ejector marks to be seen.

The big news here is the tracks and pins are handed with different pins for the inside and outside of the left and right track lengths. (See images below).


Assembly is as easy as it gets with a jig supplied to lay the links onto and just push the pins into place, a simple twist will snap off the pin and that’s it. A small dab of liquid cement will hold them in place but the fit is so tight this may not be needed and the paint applied would probably be enough.
Track lengths around the Tamiya drive sprockets showing the different pins on the
inside and outside of the track links
Modelkasten Modelkasten
The tracks articulate freely when assembled and fit precisely around the Tamiya drive sprockets and will produce a very natural sag on the finished kit.

Notes on fitting the tracks to the Tamiya T-55 kit;
The Modelkasten instructions say there should be 87-88 links per side, I found that 88 would be the right number but some adjustment of the Tamiya idler axle is required to get the best sag on the tracks. When assembling the Tamiya suspension don't glue the idler axles (parts A11) in place until fitting the Modelkasten tracks.
Assemble the Modelkasten tracks taking care to get the pins #2 on the outside of both track lengths, meaning you reverse the side pin #2 goes into for left and right tracks.
Slip the tracks around the Tamiya suspension (fit the tracks over the drive sprockets while off the axle and then slip onto the axle) and then adjust the pitch of the front idler wheel axle until the correct sag is obtained, the track should just be off the first and fifth road wheel and sit flush along the middle three road wheels in a smooth arch without noticeable sag between the wheels. When you have the correct sag apply some liquid cement to the idler axles to fix in place.
To remove the tracks later simply slip the drive sprocket of the axle (you have to love those poly caps).

The fit around the Ecsi drive sprocket is a little tight but will fit without modification while the fit around the Skif sprockets is okay once the modifications to reduce the width are done as shown in the instructions, but quite frankly it will take more than a set of tracks to rescue that kit.

A nice clear instruction sheet shows the assembly sequence of the tracks, the spare tracks and the alterations needed for the Skif drive sprocket.

Highly recommended.

Page Created 16 April 2003
Page updated 19 April 2003

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