AFV Club 1/35
M1A1&A2 Track (Workable)
review by Scott Taylor
192 links for M1A1 and M1A2 MBTs
AFV3512, Injection-moulded plastic tracks
Most Abrams in service today drive on a variation of the T158 "Bigfoot" track. Although versions of this track are included in most current kits (DML, Italeri, Trumpeter, and the latest Tamiya M1A1/M1A2), these are either link and length or rubber band tracks.
One of AFV Club's earlier releases is this set of individual link tracks for any M1A1/M1A2 kit. Moulded in black plastic, each link consists of three pieces: the track blocks and centerguides are moulded together, with separate end connectors. The mouldings are well-detailed, with virtually no flash but a prominent raised ejector pin mark on the inner surface of each track block. The links are well-engineered and fit together well. They are also a good fit for the DML, Tamiya, and Trumpeter Abrams kits, although a bit of sanding down of the centerguides that go around the sprockets may be necessary on the DML and Tamiya kits.
Since the T158 is a double-pin track design, the tracks have separate end connectors for each side of each link. In order to make these tracks workable (and more accurate), AFV Club has moulded the end connectors as separate pieces which can be attached to a run of links while still on their sprues. Unlike the link and length T158 tracks, the end connectors will accurately articulate when the track bends around sprockets and wheels. Unfortunately, however, AFV Club did not mould the centerguides as separate pieces, presumably to ease assembly. This means, however, that the centerguides do not articulate as the end connectors do, which gives an unrealistic appearance on the outside of the track as it goes around the sprocket and idler. There are a couple of potential solutions to this. First, you could cut out the centerguides for the appropriate links and reposition them - not a terribly simple task. Alternately, you could file down the outsides of the centerguides of the relevant links after they are attached to the vehicle so that at least the outside surfaces of the centerguides are aligned with the end connectors . Finally, one could ignore it and accept the inaccuracy as not worth the effort.
Overall, this is a good set of tracks that will enhance any M1A1/M1A2 kit, but they will still require some work to remove those pesky ejector pin marks and more still to accurately articulate around the sprockets, idlers, and roadwheels.
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