Miniarm T-64 Workable Track Set
for SKIF (B35020)
by Cookie Sewell
168 parts in tan resin; price US $32.00 (via Chesapeake Model Designs)
Advantages: fixes another major flaw with SKIF kits; if assembled correctly,
tracks DO work
Disadvantages: no directions; some track links still have either mold
or resin in the pin pockets for the joining pins
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Soviet and Russian/Ukranian tank fans
In conjunction with the T-64B turret I recently reviewed, I also received
a set of working resin track for the T-64 series tank kits by SKIF.
Without a doubt, my personal choice for overall worst set of tracks on
a contemporary model are those which came with the SKIF T-64 kits. First
off, the designer didn't know the difference between T-64 tracks (double
pin with a hole in each plate section of the link) and T-80 track (double
pin with a solid plate section on each side of the link.) So, he split
the difference, alternating them in the single piece vinyl runs. Secondly,
the tracks are so flexible and soft they have no concept of the word "rigid"
and are totally useless to install.
SKIF did try and fix it by offering a set of styrene single link tracks
which are not too bad. But again, SKIF managed to snatch defeat from the
jaws of victory: based on the geometry of the tracks, it takes 168 links
to do up a T-64 series tank, but SKIF only provides 160 in the kit! (For
argument's sake, we'll ignore the fact that according to the manual the
tank is only supposed to use 78 links per side or 156 total.)
Miniarm provides 168 cleanly cast resin links with two cone-shaped pins
on the hinge faces of the narrow section of the hinge. With some care
they are easy to simply pop together – I did five as a test last
night in less than two minutes. But some of the links either have resin
in the hole for the pin or mold element stuck there, so plan on having
a Dremel Mini handy with a tiny burr to clean out the receiver for the
Some directions would be good, however, warning how many are needed and
also some ideas of the easiest way to snap them together. They are not
Overall, these are brilliantly done and the price is competitive with
Model-Kasten or Fruil track, and they are beautifully finished with all
of the subtleties not seen on the SKIF styrene links. This, and one of
the turrets, fix about 90% of the problems with the SKIF T-64 kits.
Thanks to Bill Miley of CMD for the review sample.