First we start with what tracks I compared!
The contestants are: Friul, WW2 Productions, Tristar, DML Magic Tracks, Modelkasten and the Tamiya Vinyl Tracks!
Width: compared from the width all but Friul have the same size with Friul being wider than the others!
Length: All share the same length!
Casting numbers: Are visible on all tracks but Tamiya, Modelkasten and Tristar! The Magic Tracks have some kind of casting numbers but one has to look very carefully to recognize them! making WW2 and Friul those with the best details!
The guide horns: On all links they are beautifully reproduced and in the correct shape for later Panzer38(t) tracks! The distance between the guide horns is the widest with the Friul offering and the narrowest with Tamiya and WW2 Production!
The assembly of the tracks:
Stability: The most stable and best connection is provided with the Friul offering, followed by Modelkasten, WW2 Productions and Tristar being those who better should be glued together although they are thought to be just clicked together and thus taking the last place! DML Magic Tracks are out of competition in this category as they have to be glued and are not meant to be workable!
Cleaning up: DML needs no work here, some Friul links need some cleaning and WW2 Productions links demand the resin typical cleaning work. Tristar links need to be cut away from the sprue at two attachment points while Modelkasten challenges the nerves of the modeller with four attachment points!
Assembly: While DML allows you to go straight on, the glueing and lining up takes some time and needs attention, the Friul tracks are self aligning due to the wire connection. The WW2 Productions tracks are easily and most quickly to assemble with a little bit of attention and care with the pins. Tristar - as mentioned - are better glued instead of just clicked together for the benefit of nerves and temper. ]Most mind numbing tracks on the market are the Modelkasten Tracks with two pins to glue in each of the links - a meditating experience that pays off in the end when done correctly!
Fit: All tracks but the Friul fit the Tamiya, Tristar and DML sprockets snugly but Friul provides metal sprockets within their ATL-13 set. If you have the old Maquette or Italeri kits Modelkasten offers spacers for their tracks to fit the sprockets - if the others fit those kits I can't tell as I don't have them!
Spare links: All different tracks but Modelkasten have enough spare links for a relaxed assembly without cold sweat. Modelkasten is most unforgivingly as the links provided are calculated very narrow! if you work with them you better make no mistake! WW2 Productions leave you a lot of room as there are plenty of links left in the bag after assembly what means that after the third or fourth panzer38(t) you have enough links left for another kit to be fitted out with workable tracks!
Conclusion: All tracks - even the Tamiya vinyl offering - reproduce the Panzer38(t) tracks beautifully. The lack of casting numbers are disadvantages of Modelkasten, Tristar and Tamiya, while the size problems of the Friuls are their big minus. The best overall appearance make DML and WW2 Productions! For those who don't like the DML Magic Tracks, Modelkasten and WW2 Productions are the deal with WW2 Productions being those who are the easiest to work with AND with delicate details! In total the WW2 Productions tracks are the most complete offering in the market and I cannot but very highly recommend them to everybody building any kind of Panzer38(t) variant!
If you have the Tristar Panzer38(t) Ausf. B there's no alternative to WW2 Productions as they are the only ones who deliver the market with early pattern Panzer38(t) tracks with solid guide horns!
Some comparison shots of the contestants:
I am not connected in any way to any of the manufacturers mentioned! I tried my very best to bring an objective comparison review to you!