ARM: Review - Amour Track Models 1/35 scale BMP Model 1966 Track Set

Kit Review: Armour Track Models 1/35 scale Kit No. TK-01; Soviet BMP APC Model 1966 Track; 592 parts (576 in black styrene, 16 in tan
resin); retail price $29.95
Advantages: solves the main problem with the DML/Zvezda and ESCI BMP kits
Disadvantages: lots of tiny end connectors; resin difficult to clean up, ejector pin mark on the face of every pad
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet and “Bemepeshka” fans
    When DML and ESCI nearly simultaneously released BMP kits more than 15 years ago, there were a lot of rumors of lawsuits over the fact the kits were nearly identical and manifested nearly the same errors. The lower hull glacis profile of both kits was identical – and wrong, as it had a double slope and bevel which the original did not, and the suspension was very poorly and incorrectly done. The drivers were provided with six arms and not the correct five, and the wheels were too thin and lacked the proper profile and bolt patterns. One of the biggest Soviet armor fans of the time, Bruce Crosby, was nearly apoplectic over the fact BOTH kits had the same errors!
    The reason later turned out to be that the same Korean milling company cut the molds for both kits, and used the same information and machine settings, ergo the same mistakes!
    Needless to say, modelers either had to accept the errors and build the kits as is, or scratchbuild their own parts.
    About eight years ago a new Korean company, Armour Track Models, began to release correction and upgrade kits as well as working track sets for a number of models which had not received this treatment from major companies like Model Kasten or Fruilmodellisimo. I knew this kit was out, but it was only yesterday that I found one in a hobby shop and picked it up.
    The good news is that the set corrects the most egregious problems of either the DML (now Zvedza production) or ESCI (producers vary) kits by providing both single link tracks of the correct shape and profile and a set of resin running gear with the correct shapes and profiles to the wheels.
    The resin parts are cleanly done, but the drivers and idlers are cast as single pieces with a large web running down between the wheel halves. This is going to be very tedious to clean up and will involve a razor saw (the “razor blade” type, not a Zona) and careful prep to avoid cracking the castings. But the wheels are “drop-in” replacements, so they are easy to mount once the cleanup is over.
    The tracks are the conventional three-piece single link variety packed with 12 pads and 24 end connectors per sprue, with the sprues set up so runs of 12 links can be assembled before the end connectors are cut free of the trees. The directions are better than some and also point out the links are “handed” in that there are a 1 - 2 cleat pattern which has to be matched up with the single cleat facing the dual cleat, and installed so that the single cleat faces up when viewing the front of the vehicle.
    However, cleanup will be tedious as there is a large injection pin mark on the inside face of each link. Replacing them with the kit tracks – which are a bit thin and perhaps too narrow – may not be a viable option, so if you use the new wheels you most likely will have to use the new tracks as well.
    Overall, if you are going to go the extra mile on a kit of a BMP based vehicle (BMP-1, BMP-1P, BMP-2, BMP-2D, or conversion to any other variant) this set is a must for the lovely wheels if nothing else.
Cookie Sewell
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