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PT-76 Workable Track Links for PT-76/BTR-50

Trumpeter 1/35 PT-76 Workable Track Links for PT-76/BTR-50 First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review May 2012 Manufacturer Trumpeter
Subject PT-76 Workable Track Links for PT-76/BTR-50 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 2047 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Correct track links for any Article 740 based vehicle or conversion as well as Chinese variants Cons Separate guide teeth (two per link) are tedious to install
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $33.95

First Look

The Soviet PT-76 tank was one of the last designs of a tank to come out of the Chelyabinsk Kirov tank plan in the late 1940s, entering full service in 1951 and continuing to this day. Plans are available showing that the Russians are offering to upgrade existing tanks with a new version of the 57mm S-60 gun for heavy fire support/counter light vehicle operations.

Over the years there have been three kits of this tank produced: one in nominal 1/32 scale by Ideal in 1958 (as well as a BTR-50 and FROG-2 launcher), one by Eastern Express of a basic PT-76, and three different kits (Model 1951, Model 1956 and Polish) by Trumpeter as well as a BTR-50PK kit. But while the Eastern Express kit came with single link tracks, the Trumpeter one only offered one-piece black vinyl ones.

Now Trumpeter has released a nice new set of snap-together links to replace them or to upgrade your Eastern Express kit (alas, the old ITC/Ringo kits are pretty much a lost cause).

The kit comes with 180 links in the now-standard Trumpeter brown plastic with 360 individual guide teeth on separate sprues (20 per sprue). Having worked on the single guide teeth to be fitted to their BMP-3 kit, this is a long and tedious process, but it results in a spot-on track set when done. The reason is that Trumpeter got the shape of the tracks right (hollow on the outside, angular on the inside) and it is unlikely even with slide molding this could have come out right.

Since you need 84 for a single run for a PT-76, these tracks also give you 12 extras for spare which is a nice touch.

This set is apropos for any PT-76 variant, BTR-50 variant, or 2Pxx “Mars/Luna” rocket launcher. It is not suitable for MT-LB variants or GM-575 chassis variants (e.g. ZSU-23-4, SA-6).

Overall this is a nice idea but many modelers may be put off by the “donkey work” required for assembly.