M4 HVSS Track Links
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
AFV Club has gone out of its way to corner the market in injection molded styrene, and these two sets would appear to be "in your face" efforts aimed at Model-Kasten. They are absolutely superb reproductions of the very unique versions of the T80 steel tracks and T84 rubber chevron tracks which were used by M4 series vehicles with HVSS suspensions at the end of WWII and in the post-war era.
Each link consists of four parts: a link with two bars and four pins connecting it together; two end connectors; and a hollow (yes, hollow) center guide with the right shape and openings. Note that AFV Club is NOT heartless; if you leave the end connectors on the sprue and take care, as shown on the back of the box in the directions, you can make strips of 24 links at a crack with only minor difficulties. You will have to pop the center guide into place, and even though they are accurate they are quite small. This is not recommended for anyone with the onset of arthritis, as it is extremely tiny and requires a good grip with the fingertips or tweezers.
While the links each have two ejector pin marks on the inside face of the link, both are of the "proud" type and can quickly be sanded off. I realize this is an annoyance to many modelers, but it does result in a clean "pull" and minimum disruption. Considering the way AFV Club designed the sprue layout, they could not use the side-by-side ejector system DML used on its "Elefant" tracks to get the same results.
Contrary to AFV Club's assertions, however, these are NOT the correct tracks for anything other than an M4 HVSS related chassis. The T26 (M26), M46 and M47, and their related vehicles, all used a modified version of the T80 and T84 tracks with a "claw" shaped center guide and not the "light bulb" shaped one found on the M4 HVSS series tracks.
Still, they are outstanding, and each kit will provide two track runs of up to 96 links each, which is more than enough for all but a T28 super-heavy tank.
Cookie Sewell AMPS
Review Copyright © 2000 by Cookie