Spade Ace Models
KV-1S Track
Spade Ace Models 1:35 Scale Track Sets # SAT-35024
Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
Spade Ace Models have released this set of individual track links labelled KV/1S with the set consisting of about 270 links in white metal and a coil of 0.65mm steel wire to cut up for the track pins, there are no instructions or other notes included with the set. The links have 90 full width links that include the central guide horn with the 180 split links actually in two halves just like the real spilt link track, hence the name 'split link'.

Metal parts
Spade Ace Models

The actual light weight split link track used on the KV-1S and SU-152 is about 650mm wide which is 18.5mm in 1:35 scale and the set tracks measure out at exactly 18.5mm (give or take a fraction). The track links are quite cleanly cast with nicely done link details although the hole on the opposite side of the guide horn is quite shallow compared to the actual track. The amount of clean-up varies with some links not requiring any clean-up while on others there is quite a bit of excess metal to be removed with the track pin holes fully hollowed out with no drilling required before assembly.

The steel wire included for the track pins is extremely hard steel and cutting to the 17mm pin lengths is very difficult and requires heavy duty clippers or some form of power tool? This doesn't make cutting the pins precisely to the required 17mm an easy task at all, added to this is the need to file the sharp burs created by the clipping process from the ends of the pins to stop them digging into the insides of the link holes and again filing the hard steel a time consuming task. I also tried annealing the wire through a flame but while this made it a little more pliable cutting the wire was till extremely difficult.

The actual KV tracks have very prominent track pins that are flat on the inner end with a large securing bolt on the outer side of the track and the use of the wire simply does not give a good representation of the KV track pins lacking in any detail at all to compound the difficulty cutting the wire.

Link details prior to cleanup, some links required very little cleanup while others had more metal 'flash' to be removed.
Spade Ace Models

After cutting and filing the track pins which is the most time consuming part of the operation the actual link assembly is fairly straightforward, you simply slip the two half links into the full link and insert the wire pin securing with a small dab of cyanoacrylate and then repeat this process for the alternate full and half links.

I actually only assembled six links for this exercise due to the time taken to cut the pins and poor appearance of the end track pins after assembly and honestly didn't want to spend any more time due to this. It is unfortunate the wire creates such a poor appearance on links where the track pin is quite large and prominent, on some other track links where the pin is smaller and less obvious this wouldn't be such a problem.

Link assembly
Spade Ace Models
Assembled track links
Spade Ace Models
Details of the tracks showing nice link detail but poor representations of
track pins due to the wire and an image of the actual link showing the large track pin bolts.

Spade Ace ModelsSpade Ace Models

Aftermarket for aftermarket:
So what to do as the links themselves are quite well done with the separate split links giving a very good appearance and it would be a shame to waste the set due to this, thankfully I had a spare set of different style resin KV tracks from Masterclub that have resin pins to hold the links together and these pins were the exact same width as the wire in the Space Ace set. If you have a set of Modelkasten KV tracks or the newer Trumpeter KV tracks that also join by way of plastic pins these could be used also but you would need to enlarge the holes in the Space Ace tracks as the pins are slightly larger in diameter than the Space Ace wire.

Yes it does seem a bit excessive to use an aftermarket track set to fix up another aftermarket track set but I had already bought the sets previously and I do realise not everyone has spare sets of links just laying about, but it did seem a way of salvaging something from the Space Ace set. Another way would be to use larger hex bolts from any available bolt head set and just glue these to the Space Ace track ends, while the bolts may not be exact they would look better than the bare pins as they come.

And so to using the Masterclub resin pins on the Space Ace track, 1. Cut short lengths of wire and file the ends smooth. 2. Insert the short pin to hold the middle of the links together using a longer pin to push the short pin into the links. 3. Fit the resin Masterclub pins to secure the links, 4. A small dab of cyanoacrylate to hold the pins in place, repeat for all 87-88 links per track run.

Spade Ace Models
Spade Ace Models
Assembled links using the Masterclub pins to improve the appearance.
Spade Ace Models

This set of metal tracks from Spade Ace Models is nicely detailed with good track link definition with the separate two small split links giving a very good appearance with little cleanup required for the links prior to assembly but the hard steel wire provided for the track pins is extremely difficult to work with and the resulting asppearance for the large track pin is very poor indeed.

There are a couple of ways to improve the appearance as above if you wish but as mentioned the pin wire lets down a set that has quite nicely done track links.

Rating 7.5/10

See the comparison summation of the available track sets HERE.

KV Techical History and Variants
by Neil Stokes
Published by AirConnection, Canada
ISBN 978–0–9781091–2–7
Tank Power Vol.XCI
Wydawnictwo Militaria No.332
ISBN: 9788372193322
Thanks to my credit card and Hobbyeasy for the review set.

Page created June 2, 2012

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