The T48 track
featured the distinctive rubber chevron that is sometimes confused
with the T54E1 that had a narrower steel chevron (standard in Tamiya
Sherman kits). The chevrons helped improve cross-country traction
over the earlier plain-faced T41 and T51 rubber blocks.
AFV Club's set
is notable for its inclusion of duckbill end connectors, which were
designed to give the tank greater "floatation" and disperse
the vehicle's ground pressure. Unfortunately, there are not enough
duckbills for a full run of track. In reality, these often broke
off from the track through use and abuse. But if you want to represent
a complete run, you'll need to buy a second set of tracks.
I've built both
this set and the T51 tracks, and I offer this word of caution: not
all drive sprockets are created equal. Meaning, the track as completed
may not sit properly on the particular vehicle you're building.
It's best to put together a run of 10 to 15 links to make sure they
will situate themselves between the spokes of the sprocket. If you
have problems, you will either need to resort to an alternative
sprocket or different tracks.
pretty simple, if tedious. There are ejector pin marks on the flat
side of the tracks that need some scraping. I do this while the
parts are still on the sprue to make them easier to handle. You
may need to clean up the tracks some more after they are removed
from the sprue.
use jigs to keep the tracks in place while attaching the end connectors.
I prefer to just assemble them freehand, about 10 at a time. The
connectors fit on the pins with only an occasional end connector
needing to be opened more to accept a pin. While ostensibly "workable,"
there is not much of a friction fit so the links easily fall apart.
A simple solution is to place a dab of white glue onto each pin
(or dip the pins into a small puddle of glue). The glue gives enough
adhesion to keep the track together; even after drying, they can
be worked around the suspension with some care.
are glued to the center of the small end connectors, the duckbills
should be installed after the track is in place on the suspension,
since you will invariably get some model glue onto the pins and
"weld" them in place. You don't want to use white glue
on these since you won't have the secure bond you need to keep the
duckbills from popping off. Paint and weather them as you would
rubber band tracks.
Indy links were
borne out of one of those "be care of what you wish for"
situations, when they were at the top of modelers' lists of wants
in the last decades of the previous century. When Dragon started
producing kits with nothing but 400+ piece tracks, the novelty quickly
wore off. They still make sense on German and Soviet tanks, with
their distinctive sagging tracks. But on U.S.-made tanks, there
was no sag and indy links should not vary much in overall look from
rubber band tracks found in Tamiya, Academy, or AFV Club kits. To
really show these indy link tracks off best, one needs articulated
suspensions, such as those on Shermans from Tasca or, to a more
limited extent, Italeri. Or, if you want to display a tank that
has thrown its track or has been damaged.
But if you want
to go this route, these tracks from AFV Club are easier to assemble
than Dragon's (which have shorter pins) and considerably less expensive
than Model Kasten or Friulmodelissimo. And they'll provide hours
of mindless activity while listening to a ball game or your favorite