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Fruilmodel 1/35 White Metal Working Track Sets


S u m m a r y

Stock Number, Contents, Media and Price: Set Number ATL-34; JS-3 Stalin, Includes JS-1 and JS-2; 190 links in white metal and a length of light steel wire for fastening; price $30
Set Number ATL-74; BT-7; 160 links plus two white metal drive wheels with white metal pivot pins, and a length of light steel wire for fastening; price $30
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Best tracks overall for use in situations regarding "Dead" or sagging track; working system is highly flexible and eases installation
Disadvantages: Some modelers do not like time-consuming construction method; BT-7 tracks may be difficult to get working correctly due to small size of shoes
Recommendation: Highly Recommended for all BT-7 and IS tank fans, and their related vehicles


Reviewed by Cookie Sewell

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F i r s t   L o o k


I have received a number of Fruilmodel sets and must say that I am amazed at their casting quality, and how they seem to improve with each set. These two are typical of their recent products.

The JS-3 (IS) track is very nicely done and matches the main type of track used for Soviet heavy tanks from 1944 up to the IS-3M IS-85/IS-1, IS-122/IS-2. IS-2m, IS-2M, IS-3, IS-3M,
ISU-122/ISU-122S, ISU-152, ISU-152K, ISU-152M, and SCUD A and B launchers. That covers all of the DML, Zvezda, Tamiya and Trumpeter kits, plus the coming resin ones from Poland. It is very nicely and cleanly molded, and matches the most common pattern teeth on every link, and a pair of back- to-back trapezoid cleats on the face.

The BT-7 tracks are designed for either drop-fitting on the Eastern Express kits or replacing the incorrect BT-5 type provided on the Zvezda kit. They are the correct "Short Pitch" type track (to use the Russian description of them) and are nicely done. The hinges are small (as they were on the originals) so these will need some care in their assembly. The "kink and push" method bending the wire before insertion so it stays in place by friction and tension is not going to work as well on these, so each link may require a tiny dot of ACC or epoxy to keep the hinge pin in place.

Overall, for ease of installation and appearance it is hard to beat Fruilmodel for use in situations requiring "dead" tracks. This is due to the natural sag of the metal links and its natural fit to the model.

The term "dead track" refers to the fact that the links are simply hinged together and have no resistance to movement one way or the other. Most Soviet tanks up to the T-64 used "dead" tracks, such as the BT, T-34, T-54, IS-2/3, T-10, and T-62. A "live" track is engineered to want to curl inward on itself, and thus assists in keeping tension on the track when installed and operating. Most US tanks use this system, plus the late model Soviet tanks T-64, T-72, T-80 and T-90.

The track sets are distributed by Chesapeake Model Designs, PO Box 393, Monkton, MD 21111.

Thanks to Bill Miley of Chesapeake Model Designs for the review set.

Cookie Sewell

Review Copyright 2002 by Cookie Sewell
Page Created 06 September, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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