Howdy all, I’m looking for suggestions from those who have used aftermarket tracks (metal or plastic). I’m looking for some for a 1/35 type 97 chi-ha and a type 1 Ho-ni. Been looking around and can already tell Japanese stuff is harder to find, so figured I’d differ to the experienced builders for suggestions or adivce. Southern US based if it matters
Since Fruil is shutting down, you may or may not be able to find metal tracks from them for those tanks. If not, try looking at Modelkasten tracks for plastic tracks.
Try Vision Models. They have some nice details and aren’t that expensive.
They have been pop for a while so may take some tracking down. Try hlj.com or 1999.co.jp first.
The Type 97 Chi-Ha and Type 1 Ho-Ni both use the same track. Individual link track has been produced by Friulmodel (OOP), Spade Ace (OOP), Modelkasten (available), Vision (available), and FC Modeltrend (NOT recommended). You might still be able to find the Friul tracks on EBay. The Modelkasten tracks are pretty common.
IJA track is hard to replicate since the teeth are hollow. No metal or plastic track has ever replicated this properly except for Modelkasten, since they mold the teeth as individual parts. All the others (Fruil, Spade Ace, Vision) mold the links in one piece so the teeth are molded solid with some indents to try and replicate the hollow nature.
3D printing has finally allowed IJA tracks to be produced with the correct hollow teeth relatively easily. Other then the ones from FC Modeltrend noted above, 3D printed Type 97 tracks are available from Fat Frog, ET Model and ROCHM Model. All of these are available from Hobby Easy. I can’t comment on the FC Modetrend ones, but I have all the sets from ET, ROCHM and Fat Frog, and detailwise they are pretty much all comparable. The Fat Frog and ROCHM tracks clip together whereas the ET ones use pins. If I had to pick one it would be ROCHM for ease of assembly. The Fat Frog ones are quite tight clipping them together, whereas the ET 3D printed pins are fragile and difficult to insert, so both sets result in breakage of links and/or pins.
Between all three of these companies, plus Chino Model and Minor, they make 3D sets for virtually every IJA vehicle now - Type 95, Type 97, Type 4 Chi-To, Type 4 Kat-Su, Type 2 Ka-Mi, Type 92, Type 89, O-I Heavy Tank, etc. I have them all and can attest that they all have better detail then any of the metal or plastic options, except for perhaps Modelkasten.
Out of curiosity, why not the Modeltrend?
Thanks for that breakdown and the insight, will be checking those out. Already tired of rubber tracks
Thanks all for the insight, given me some things to look for. Found the ones made by Vision on hlj and they look good, just out of stock with no return ETA. Keeping my eyes open and scanning ebay. Did see some Fruilmodel ones but they had a hefty price tag. Side note, has anyone heard of R Model? Theres a couple sets of those on ebay
Update- found vision model ones on eBay for a decent price so ordered those. Will be a month or so before they arrive, but think it’ll be worth it
FC Modeltrend look great in CAD but are of very poor print quality. I’ve ordered from them before and everything from them went straight into the bin. Don’t get stung!
I wasn’t aware that R Model did IJA tracks. Yes, R Model are exceptionally good metal tracks. I have several sets for other tanks. Buy with confidence.