by: Darren Baker [ ]
Bronco Models has released a set of workable track links for the M48, M60 Main Battle Tanks and for the M88 Armoured Recovery Vehicle, and this release is hitting the market at an ideal time for anyone who has purchased or is thinking of purchasing the Dragon Models M48 as that kit is supplied with Dragon styrene tracks.
The box has enough part 184 track links which are supplied on eight sprues containing the track links and separate guide horns, there is also fifteen sprues each containing 12 pairs of track pins and end connectors.
Starting with the packaging the box shows a section of what the track should look like on the front along with basic images of the three vehicles the tracks are suitable for. On the rear of the box is a construction guide for the tracks and also a painting guide. The moulding is typical Bronco Models being of a very high standard and cleanly moulded. I did not see any issues in areas that would be seen after the tracks links are assembled, the moulded detail is crisp and appears accurate to me.
It is when it comes to assembly of the tracks that you will have to decide if this option is for you or not. I say this as assembly will take a considerable amount of time and great care is needed if you are to retain the workability of the tracks. Firstly you need to take the time to clean up the areas where the parts were attached to the sprue, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of taking the time to clean the parts up.
Once the parts have been cleaned up it is now that you gain the benefit of getting this right as it makes assembly so much easier. Firstly I attached the guide horns to the track pins and end caps, this is easy enough to do and lining them up is easily done by using tweezers. I advise that you leave these sub-assemblies to cure completely before continuing with assembly, and this provides time to clean up the track pads.
The track pads that would touch the road surface are sided but the ones that are in contact with the road wheels are not. I suggest assembling short lengths at a time; in my case I put together 11 links at a time as it makes for ease of handling. Now that the guide horns are securely attached its time to add the track pads; there is an offset pin that is nearest to the guide horns and I added a very small amount of liguid polly to the pin and then laid the track pins in the grooves and then trapped them with the other half of the track pad. This does all take time but at the end you will have a fully workable set of tracks if you were careful.
These tracks from Bronco Models build up into what I believe are some of best tracks out there. I took a quick look at the Friulís which are good but the design means that each end cap does not move as they are attached to each link. These tracks articulate in all of the places that the real track links do and it is for this reason alone I believe these tracks should be considered for your build. I will not kid you as these do take a lot of time to clean up and assemble, and if you are not careful with the glue they will not be workable but that time and effort can result in an excellent looking set of tracks.