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Italeri T-136 Tracks for M108 / M109

For many years, Italeri’s M108 and M109 series were the only kits available of this vehicle. Last year, Tamiya released the Italeri kit under their name so now, Italeri have released a track set for their own series, while Friul Models has two sets designed for the Italeri kit series but are of later designs. Recently, both AFV Club and Kinetic Models released variants under their names. AFV Club has released a set of tracks for their model while Skunk Models have released a set for Kinetic Models.

Within a side opening box, we find a bag with four identical sprues and an instruction sheet. The sprues include tracks and a jig on each. In my sample, three of the jigs came loose in transit but were within the bag. The rear of the box shows the Italeri variants to which these tracks apply.

Looking at the instructions, they cover assembling the tracks but nothing about what must be done to the base kit to adjust the tracks for best fit. The plastic is soft and easily cut, filed and cemented. I highly recommend using a thicker glue, such as Testors Model Master in the hypodermic dispenser, for assembly.

Hotter glues may cement the tracks to the jig. The tracks are in both link and lengths. The links must be assembled to articulate around the drive sprockets and idlers.

The jigs are designed to slide into each other, I glued them together instead. This allowed me to place the track pad sides first, then the track pins. Care must be taken as both sides of the track pin end connectors are not the same. I had a length of the track to help me orient the pins as I worked. Assembly was quick after sanding off the sprue attachment points. This was easy due to the soft plastic used.

I no longer have any of the Italeri kits and never bought the Kinetic Model kit so I tested it on the only M109 I have which is from AFV Club. The fit was very good but I noted that the tracks were getting stiff as though the glue went onto the pins even though I was careful.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
This is a nice and simple track whose vices are the soft plastic used and the missing details form the edges of the end connectors. I have considered making a jig to use with my beading tool but really am not looking forward to it.

I do prefer plastic and resin tracks over metal so these will be used on my kit since it does correct something I did not like about the tracks on the AFV Club kit. The vinyl M109 tracks have raised ridges on the inner face which would make for an uncomfortable ride for the crew.
See comparison photos above.

References on line
1. ISO Group which manufacturers track shoes for the M109.
2. 2. M108/M109 Walkaround by David Doyle, Squadron Publications.

Saul Garcia
Saul Garcia
I have been building models for most of my life. Suffering from terminal AMS, I have not been able to build OOB until my son's birth and his room's ceiling seemed empty.
  • George Collazo

    I love your picture with my childhood villain. From Darth Vader to Thulsa Doom in Conan the Barbarian. And this is just 2 humble example because his filmography is quite extensive.

  • George Collazo

    Thanks so much for sending in this review Saúl. Very informative. I’m not too familiarized with AM tracks (yet). Thanks for the heads up on the proper cement for this set.

    I’ve built my share of 1/48 Tamiya Armor and although the supplied tracks are made of the same styrene as the rest of the kit, the tracks don’t seem to join as they should using Tamiya Ultra Thin Cement. For the tracks on Tamiya’s 1/48 armor subjects, I’m getting great results with Ambroid Pro Weld Cement.

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