Raupen Modell is a new firm whose first releases center on providing workable track sets for the 1/35th scale Tamiya JGSDF Type 90 Main Battle Tank. The accessory kit under review in this article covers the set that includes rubber pads for the metal tracks. A second, lower priced set covers tracks without the rubber pads.
The kit’s contents come in a stout plain white cardboard box with a simple adhesive sticker label, and consist of approximately 45 small injection molded plastic sprues of a steel gray color. Each sprue consists of four track links worth of parts, each track link having four parts to it. There are enough sprues to provide for the 76 links per side required for a Tamiya Type 90 kit, with some left over for spares or to cover any parts breakage during assembly.
Also included within the kit box is a small one sided instruction sheet measuring 5.5 by 8 inches, and printed in black and white. Almost all the printing on the instruction sheet is in Japanese, though there is enough English, together with good diagrams, to allow you to successfully build up and correctly paint the track units. If one is very careful with the application of glue, these tracks articulate fully.
As one would expect with dozens of identical track units, clean up of the sprue attachment points and construction can be a bit tedious. However, by spreading construction over a couple of weeks while working on other projects, each full length of track was easily built up. I did not attach all the rubber pads (Part 5) on the track lengths as the top section of track cannot be seen on a Type 90 MBT due to its side skirts. As one can see from the accompanying photos, the tracks fit the Tamiya kit’s road wheels and drive sprocket perfectly. I built up each set of tracks completely, including the track pads, and then painted them with rattle can Tamiya Fine Gray primer. I then airbrushed a mixture of Tamiya XF-84 Dark Iron and Tamiya XF-64 Red Brown thinned with Gunze Self Leveling Lacquer Thinner to get a nice rusty track color. The individual track pads were then picked out with a paint brush and Vallejo acrylic Black Gray. Additionally a “wash” of black oil paint thinned with odorless mineral spirits was applied to the rust colored areas of the track, followed by another rust colored “wash”.
The quality of this accessory kit is extremely high, and quite easy to put together. If one is careful, you end up with a fully articulating set of tracks that are a major improvement over the “rubber band” tracks that come in the Tamiya kit. And when completed, they fit the Tamiya kit perfectly. Thus I recommend them most highly to anyone who has the Tamiya kit, and wants to see a major improvement to the look of the running gear on their model.
My sincere thanks to DragonModelsUSA for providing IPMS USA with the review sample.