1⁄35Friul or Modelkasten?
Friul or Modelkasten?Often the question asked in the forums is “What’s better, the Friul tracks or the Modelkasten ones?” This isn’t that easy to answer but I will try to explain the advantages and disadvantages here. The metal tracks (from Friul) are very easy to assemble, just like the modelkasten plastic ones. However, the main differences are that the Friul tracks are connected to each with a wire in much the same way as real ones, and the Modelkasten ones are glued together using two end connectors. I will try to explain now how I assemble the metal Friuls.
assembly1. First it is necessary to check all the links. Note: The left and the right tracks links are in two separate plastic bags. 2. The links need to be checked for flash (which is very rare) and this can be removed with a hobby knife. Sometimes it is necessary to drill out the holes the wire goes through, I usually use a 0.5 mm drill to do the job. You only have to do it on one side because it isn’t necessary to drill out the whole link. This is the reason why the left and right tracks are separated. 3. Wash the tracks in a warm water with a bit of cleaning detergent, as sometimes they may have some mould release agent left over. 4. Cut the wire into pieces a few mm' longer than the links themselves (use eye protection for this, I cannot stress this enough!), so that when you put them through the links they will extend a few mm outside the edges. 5. Put a small drop of superglue on the end of the connectors. Once this is dry you can remove the remainder of the wire. 6. Repeat steps 4 & 5 until you have the desired length of track. On the metal tracks there is very rarely any flash, but once you’ve connected the links to each other you may find some. What I usually do when the tracks are finished is sand the flash with a file or such to give them a rougher surface, making it easier for paint to stick.
Advantages and DisadvantagesI will try to point out advantages and disadvantages, but these are a matter of personal taste. Other people will always have their own personal preferences. Weight: The main difference is the fact that the Modelkasten are made from plastic, and the Friuls from white metal. I see it as a big advantage that the Friuls have a natural sag because of their weight. The Modelkasten tracks, being made from plastic, weigh a lot less, so they need to have the sag imparted to them, also you must be careful with the Modelkasten tracks, as I’ve found that if you put too much glue on the end connectors, they may not bend properly. Applying washes: In my experience with Modelkasten, I have found that if I put too much wash (oil based) on them, the tracks can become very fragile indeed, in other words, the tracks can break up and become useless. This does not happen with the Friul ones because of their metal construction. Price: The price of aftermarket tracks are actually very close to each other despite the different materials used to construct them. The Friuls cost approximately 29.75 euros and Modelkasten prices are vary between 24 and 34 euros, depending on size and quantity in the pack.
Personal ChoiceMy preference is firmly with the Friuls, mainly because they are less fragile than the Modelkasten ones, at least as far as applying washes go, but also because of their solidness and their weight. Sometimes there are also two drive sprockets provided to replace the original kit parts due to fit issues. I really would recommend that you try out both aftermarket producers at some time, just to form your own personal opinion. Have fun!
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