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sharkmouth

Panther D Workable Track Links for German VK1602 Leopard

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When Trumpeter announced a series of 'workable' (articulating) track links, I thought that this would be a nice alternative as I had high hopes for the track sets included in their kits.  With that in mind, I ordered two track sets, this one and the PT-76.  When I ordered the Panther track, they were described as Panther G Late Workable Track Links.  This was an error which has been corrected by the distributor.  What I got were tracks labeled "Panther D Workable Track Links" with "for German VK1602 Leopard" underneath in a font 1/4th the size of the one above.

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In a rather large box which is subdivided within, we find two separately bagged sets of sprues.  Seventy sprues, marked T, provide the track links themselves.  These have sliding pin molded indentations to which the pins on the next link would click.  The other bag has fourteen sprues marked T3.  Each sprue holds twenty teeth.
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The rear of the box has a suggested assembly which I did not follow.  They would have you attach the teeth prior to assembling the track.  I prefer to assemble the track first.  After removing the track links from the three attachment points, I cleaned them up and found that they did snap positively together.
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They articulated freely and now was the time to add the teeth.  These have one sprue attachment point and two pins on the bottom which fit into two shallow indentions on the inner side of each track link.  The instructions would have you cut the teeth off the sprue and attach.
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Instead, I cut the sprue with the teeth so I could use the sprue as a handle.  A thicker liquid cement, like Testors Model Master, is best here.  I placed a drop on a pane of glass and dipped the tooth (while holding by the sprue) into the cement and placed them as best as I could on each track link.  This was not so easy as there was some slight mold shift which meant that the pins did not fit easily in the indentations.  
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After allowing it to cure overnight, I looked over my progress and noted that some of the teeth were not properly aligned vertically (easy to fix) or horizontally.  The latter meant using a hotter glue, Tamiya's Extra Thin Cement in my case, to soften up the joint and allow me to correct the alignment.
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However, the worst was to come.  While tedious, the tracks do look very good but they will only make 140 links with no spares (not even extra teeth).  This means that they are thirty two track links too short for a standard Panther chassis and useless for my stash as I don't have, nor intend to get, the Hobby Boss VK1602 Leopard kit.
In conclusion, I am disappointed.  Three strikes against this set - price, not enough links, and not handed.  The price, the same as a set of ModelKasten Panther tracks,  is a bit high since not enouth links are included for a full chassis (let alone one with the needed spare tracks to hang).  The test fit to my Dragon sprocket was fine but I would only be able to complete one run and both sides seem to have the same pin on each track link so they obviously are not handed.  I can't recommend this set.  Upon opening my Dragon Premium D kit, which comes with non handed tracks (the reason to pick up this track set), I found that I had bought a set of Masterclub 'workable' tracks.
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sharkmouth
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