Monday, January 12

Construction Review: Masterclub's 1/35th IS/ISU (after 1945) workable track linlks

Our friend Thomas from Scale Plastic Aircraft Modeller has sent us these in action shots of the much talked about new workable tracks from Masterclub. These come well recommended by some modellers we have talked to so what better then to get a decent review of them? Let's have a look at what  the quality is like...
Construction Review: 
IS-, ISU- tracks after 1945
1/35 scale
Type: resin and white metal
Price: about Euro 30.00 from Masterclub’s distributors

I guess many modellers out there suffer from a similar disease: with a new kit or project on the way we cannot resist to look out for aftermarket stuff we absolutely need… This is how I got aware of MasterClub´s resin and white metal tracks for Russian build IS and ISU tanks.
MasterClub are from Russia so I suppose they have the best access to the real McCoy when doing the masters for their products. Indeed those tracks look the part when compared to pictures on the Net. The product is packed in a small but sturdy plastic package, with the track links and resin pins being comprised in a re-sealable plastic bag each. No instructions are given in the package aside from a single sheet of paper stating that 200 track links and 400 resin pins are given. Also stated is the diameter of the holes for the pins: 0.6 millimetres. I was surprised to read that no glue will be required to assemble the tracks.
I first had a closer look at the white metal track pieces. There is an immediate resemblance to the known Fruilmodel tracks; I would not be surprised to see that the white metal links are done by Fruilmodel, they look and feel exactly the same.
Two small re-sealable bags comprising the resin track pins are provided. There are two types of track pins given: one bag of pins with a flat head with the other bag providing pins with a domed shape. Now, that was new to me! Having had assembled IS/ISU tracks from Fruilmodel before all you get is some wire to assemble the links, so they all look the same. But these MasterClub tracks will look different: they are handed!

Track pin flat variety
Track pin domed shape
Pictures on the Net confirm MasterClub´s attention to this detail:The tracks from the front..
...And from the side

All white metal track links are perfectly cast with sharp-edged detail and no imperfections. Here and there a quick wipe with a blade got rid of tiny mould gates, but that´s nothing really to worry about. The resin track pins also are perfectly cast with no mould gate or any other imperfection on any of them.

Given the high quality of the parts assembly of those MasterClub tracks is also a  breeze. So far have assembled two handed sections of tracks in no time. Due to the ready to use resin pins I have the impression that assembly goes faster than ever. Just take care of which pin to stick in which side of the track links! As said earlier: those tracks are handed!
The resin track pins fit into the respective opening by simply pushing it in with your fingers so that they fit tightly up to the last millimeter. Make use of the side of a screw driver to fully press the pin in to fit. The resin pins have thickening short of the head so minimal that you only see it under a magnifying lamp! This thickening makes the pin to stick in the track link without the need to apply some glue here. Fascinating precision work and casting by MasterClub!
Here they are assembled from the inside - a very clean construction
This set of tracks is my first one from MasterClub. But looking at the quality and ease of assembly I will look out for more products from MasterClub in future. I only wished their website to be in English, too.
I wasn´t about to do a review of this set but getting more and more glowing about it during assembly I decided to share some of my modelling fun with you!

Thomas Mayer

These and other items are available through MasterClub's Distributors worldwide.
 Thanks to our friends at Scale Plastic Aircraft Modeller for letting us show you these tracks built up for review – you can go to their site to join in if you like a friendly place where modelling is the most important thing.