T-34/76 Track
from November 1941/42/43

Friulmodel 1:35 Scale Track Set No. ATL-124
Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
There have been many aftermarket track sets released over the years for the Russian T-34 series with this set of Friulmodel track for the T-34-76 labelled "T-34/76 from November 1941/42/43" and actually represents a variant of the 500mm wide "Stalingrad type" track produced at the STZ Factory from late 1941 until tank production ceased at that factory in late 1942. Characteristics of the these tracks include just a single growser bolt hole on the alternate flat link as opposed to the usual two grouser bolts holes and also cast detail on the inside face of the same flat link. The tooth link has a distinctive arrow shaped rib on the face casting only seen on these tracks and similar "Ural type" 500mm tracks also produced during 1942.

It should be noted to avoid confusion that the Airconnection "T-34 Mythical Weapon" book listed below states on page 472 that these are 550mm wide track but that is incorrect unfortunately and the links were only produced as 500mm wide track as shown correctly in the other books listed. I have only listed the reference books that have specific sections dealing in detail with the various T-34 track types and not the myriad of available books on the T-34 in general.

The set has 155 links divided equally between the cast link with guide tooth and the cast flat link without the guide tooth with a length of 4mm brass wire to cut up for the track pins plus a small generic type instruction sheet.

Metal parts

The actual 500mm wide track equals 14.3mm in 1:35 scale and these links match that well give or take a fraction with the links cleanly cast with just a couple of small casting burs to be removed, this does vary between links with some having less cleanup required than others. In common with other Friul track sets the link pin holes are mostly open but you will need to use a 0.4mm drill to check all are clear of any obstruction before assembly with the wire cut up into 13.5mm segments required for each pin.

Detail on the links is very well done and matches reference images of the links precisely including the cast details on the inside of the links, the links have one track pin cast with the links and the other side open for the wire pin, this means on the left side track run the cast pin bolt head will face the outside but on the right track run with be on the inside with the wire pin facing the outside due to the links not being handed. This shouldn't be a problem as the T-34 links didn't have prominent extended track pins like on the KV series tracks and filling the pin hole with dab of thicker cyanoacrylate will result in an acceptable appearance once fitted to the kit.

Images showing the links before and after cleanup as well as the cut 13.5mm wire pins.
Fruilmodel Fruilmodel
The drill bit set in the pinvise to the exact depth required to avoid drilling
right through the link during cleanup.


After cleanup of the links and cutting of the track pins which is best done using a steel ruler as a cutting board so you cut (using a #11 blade) each pin to the exact 13.5mm required using the ruler graduations as a cutting guide prior to the link assembly.

Assembly is very straightforward in the usual manner by fitting one link into the next and inserting the precut wire pin, one thing to note with thinner 4mm wire is it can bend very easily while inserting the wire and to avoid this problem use a pair of tweezers to grab the wire a couple of millimetres out from the link and feed the pin into the link repositioning the tweezer as you go. This way if the wire catches on a miss-aligned hole it won't bend and you can apply a bit of pressure to force the wire through the link holes without fear of damaged pins.

Repeat the procedure for the required 74 links for each track run and secure the pins with a dab of thicker cyanoacrylate in each pin hole to make sure they don't go anywhere after assembly, the assembly was quite quick and easy compared to some track sets I've assembled in the past.

Link assembly
Use tweezers to 'feed' the wire pin into the links to avoid them bending if hitting an obstruction.

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. The links can be used on any of the applicable T-34-76 kits for the appropriate period but the DML STZ kits are the obvious candidate, I have test fitted the tracks to both the AFV Club and DML 1942 T-34 kits here and the only thing to watch is you need to reposition the idler axle appropriately to get the correct track tension but other than that the fit was good with nice natural sit around the sprockets, idlers and top track run.

Assembled tracks fitted to the AFV Club and DML 1942 T-34 kits.

This is an excellent set of replacement tracks from Friulmodel for the T-34-76 giving the unique STZ style links for a nice variation for the many standard type links available for anyone producing aftermarket tracks. This does mean they are specific for the late 1941-1942 period and on the STZ produced vehicles which may limit their use but otherwise are a nicely detailed and easily assembled set of tracks with an excellent appearance when fitted.

Rating 9/10

T-34 Mythical Weapon
by Robert Michulec
Published by AirConnection
T-34 In Combat
Model Fan Encyclopaedia #6
ISBN: 83-914521-5-8
T-34 vol.III
Tank Power Vol.XLIII
Thanks to Friulmodel for the review Set.

Page created June 26, 2012

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