Kettenkraftrad Upgrade Sets
T-Rex Studio, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
T-Rex Studio has released three 3D printed resin upgrade sets for Tamiya's new-generation 1:35 scale Tamiya Kettenkraftrad, Kit No. 35377.
TR85059 - Kettenkfraftrad Tracks w/Sprockets, Wheels Type 1
The first of these is a set of fully workable individual links that will be a simple replacement for Tamiya's link and length tracks.
The set also supplies a new set of drive sprockets, the front wheel and two replacement wheels for the trailer.
All the parts are 3d printed in salmon-coloured resin.
90 individual track links are included. These are ready to assemble straight from the box.
Assembly is fast and easy. Simply insert one side of the link with the recessed locating hole over the locating pin, then twist to click over the other side.
I assembled around 20 links to see how they worked. I broke one link due to my own ham-fistedness but once I had joined a few links and got the hang of it, assembly went very quickly.
The completed run is fabulously workable, and once assembled the track links stayed together nicely.
These are some of the easiest individual link tracks I have ever used.
Also in the set is three wheels - one for the front fork and two for the kit-supplied trailer.
These are also ready to use without any further clean-up or preparation. Detail is crisp and the tread pattern looks great.
The final piece of the package is a pair of replacement drive sprockets. These have presumably been designed specifically to fit T-Rex's new track links.
The sprockets are presented as conventional 3D printed items with the sprockets mounted on many fine strips that taper even thinner at the actual attachment points.
These will be easy to remove.
TR85060 - Kettenkfraftrad Tracks w/Sprockets, Wheels Type 2 (Winterketten)
Next up is a set of Winterketten tracks for the new Tamiya Kettenkraftrad.
The links are handed left and right. They are packed into separate ziplock bags.
These links featured rectangular metal extensions with a raised tread pattern - they'd be called duckbills if they were fitted to a Sherman - to assist traversing snowy terrain.
The extensions are cast directly onto the standard link, so it is still only one part per link.
I assembled a full run of the Winterketten tracks and I actually found them even easier than the standard tracks. The Winterkette track extension acts as a handle, making it easier to assemble the small links.
As with the standard link set, T-Rex Studio has supplied three wheels labelled Type 2.
These are different to Type 1 with a subtly distinct tread pattern.
The drive sprockets are the same in both sets.
TR35098 - Kettenkfraftrad Front Fork
The final upgrade is a set of front forks for Tamiya's new 1/35 scale Kettenkraftrad.
This set comprises the fork assembly, a Notek light and the fork pin. The forks, handlebars, mudguard, headlight housing and springs are all printed as one very impressive part. The hollow springs are just stunning.
The fork assembly is delivered inside an intimidating-looking cage of salmon-coloured resin.
The instructions on the back of the box recommend that the 3D printing supports should be removed with an ultrasonic cutter (hey, don't they use those on Star Trek?), with the second best option being a sharp hobby blade, but that side cutters should be avoided.
Unfortunately I only read the instructions after I had freed the 3D resin parts.
I used my trusty side cutters to first cut away the large supports on each corner of the printing base, which revealed the finer supports inside.
At this point the Notek light and fork pin fell out of the cage onto my workspace.
The fine supports were now located and carefully cut away. This process was repeated until the fork was completely freed.
I expected that I would have to do a bit of additional cleaning up but there was not a single sliver of scrap resin on the fork after the supports had been cut away. Amazing.
The only casualties were the front mudguard braces, which I must have broken off with my side cutters. I will replace these with fine Evergreen plastic rod.
In future, I will follow the instructions and use a new hobby blade for clean-up. I might even buy myself an ultrasonic cutter
(Ouch, I just saw the price! Maybe I won't buy an ultrasonic cutter just yet...)
These T-Rex Studio replacement track and fork sets will give the Tamiya 1:35 scale Kettenkraftrad a genuinely luxurious lift.
Thanks to T-Rex Studio for the samples www.t-rex-studio.com
Text and Images by Brett Green