ARM: Review - Trumpeter 1/35 scale PT-76 Working Tracks

Kit Review: Trumpeter 1/35 scale Accessory TK-17 (Kit Number 02047);
PT-76 Workable Track Links for PT-76/BTR-50; 540 parts; retail price US
$33.99
Advantages: correct track links for any Article 740 based vehicle or
conversion as well as Chinese variants
Disadvantages: separate guide teeth (two per link) are tedious to
install
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet light tank fans and those serving in
foreign armies
The Soviet PT-76 tank was one of the last designs of a tank to come
out of the Chelyabinsk Kirov tank plan in the late 1940s, entering
full service in 1951 and continuing to this day. Plans are available
showing that the Russians are offering to upgrade existing tanks with
a new version of the 57mm S-60 gun for heavy fire support/counter
light vehicle operations.
Over the years there have been three kits of this tank produced: one
in nominal 1/32 scale by Ideal in 1958 (as well as a BTR-50 and FROG-2
launcher), one by Eastern Express of a basic PT-76, and three
different kits (Model 1951, Model 1956 and Polish) by Trumpeter as
well as a BTR-50PK kit. But while the Eastern Express kit came with
single link tracks, the Trumpeter one only offered one-piece black
vinyl ones.
Now Trumpeter has released a nice new set of snap-together links to
replace them or to upgrade your Eastern Express kit (alas, the old ITC/
Ringo kits are pretty much a lost cause).
The kit comes with 180 links in the now-standard Trumpeter brown
plastic with 360 individual guide teeth on separate sprues (20 per
sprue). Having worked on the single guide teeth to be fitted to their
BMP-3 kit, this is a long and tedious process, but it results in a
spot-on track set when done. The reason is that Trumpeter got the
shape of the tracks right (hollow on the outside, angular on the
inside) and it is unlikely even with slide molding this could have
come out right.
Since you need 84 for a single run for a PT-76, these tracks also
give you 12 extras for spare which is a nice touch.
This set is apropos for any PT-76 variant, BTR-50 variant, or 2Pxx
=93Mars/Luna=94 rocket launcher. It is not suitable for MT-LB variants or
GM-575 chassis variants (e.g. ZSU-23-4, SA-6).
Overall this is a nice idea but many modelers may be put off by the
=93donkey work=94 required for assembly.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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