56cm Winterketten tracks
(1944-1945 period)

Kit #: AC7310b Preview by Rob Haelterman

After the first encounters with the Russian climate (and its effect on the road conditions), Germany developped wider tracks for their Panzer III and Panzer IV (and their derivatives). Two types saw service: Winterketten and Ostketten. The former (which appeared first, in the Winter of 1942/43) was basically a standard track with extensions (similar to "duckbills" for Sherman tracks), while the later was a wider, more uniform track.

This set of Winterketten is based on a late type track (with chevrons), which is the reason for the "1944-45" label. I am not quite sure how common this was, as I always believed that Winterketten would have been supplanted by Ostketten by that time.

The parts are well cast, with discrete sprue gates and minor amounts of flash. Some extensions are not completely formed, however. Admittedly, these extensions easily got damaged, but that would probably have taken off the whole extension (which, of course can be achieved with minor surgery). Unfortunately, I feel that one stretch of tracks has a little bit too much of a good thing, but a solution can be found by removing some extensions elsewhere and grafting them on the offending part.
Pitch is spot on for 1/72, but width is closer to 605mm, instead of 560mm.

While the instruction leaflet shows the parts that you should get, and where they should go, there is no indication how to get them to take the shape that they are supposed to take. I have heard this is best tackled using a hair dryer but I will need to see how this works out.

If the highest level of detail is what you are after (or if you want a specific track type) this set is for you. You will pay for it with a higher retail price and a higher (and technically more demanding) workload, however.


Preview sample kindly provided by Armory.



This model can be purchased from Tracks & Troops

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Article Last Updated: 01 September 2016