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Saturday, May 5, 2012

Total System Scenic Train Tracks

Back when I posted my Battlefront Train Tracks review, I lamented the lack of curved pieces.  I really liked the Battle Front offering, but have trouble seeing myself using them much without the curved option!  I contacted several alternative manufacturers, and Total System Scenic responded with a sampling of their tracks!

Included in the review pack were a 12" straight section, a 7" curve, a 6" damaged piece, and a "right hand point".  All of the pieces are cast resin and come pre-painted.
My initial concerns were that resin tracks would be too prone to breaking, but these are surprisingly sturdy.  I think they can easily stand up to gaming wear and tear- maybe not a sharp fall, but short of any accidents these will last.  Color me impressed!
The damaged section includes the track to keep the rails intact if you desire.
I don't really have any complaints- I think the level of pre-painting is just right (leaves plenty of room to add flock to match your table if you desire), the tracks themselves look very good, and the scale is just right.

One minor complaint on the "right hand point" piece is that the tracks don't quite line up...

It's minor, but enough to kick my OCD into overdrive.

But the tracks fit the armored train perfectly!

And wow- a curve!  Clearly the available options give you a great variety to build the exact track you want.

Price wise, the 12" straight piece is 4 pounds (which is about US $6.50 at time of writing) while the Battlefront set comes 8 for $45 or about US $5.60.  Of course, we can't compare the curve pieces, and for the variety available alone, the Total System Scenic offering cannot be ignored!
In all, I am impressed, and will likely grab a slew of TSS tracks in the future.  I do like the Battlefront offering a whole lot, but I suppose I won't be holding my breath for them to come out with curves of their own!

15/18 Panzerwagon Flatbed Cars


WehrWulf said...

These look great. I'll probably never buy or play a train in a game, but tracks and embankments were frequently the focal point of a fight. Nothing cuts a strategic supply line like owning the territory the train runs through! Great review!

SandWyrm said...

Heh, I've been using Plastic Thomas The Tank Engine tracks myself. :)

Anatoli said...

Battlefront really messed up with the train tracks and the rules for them. I mean you have rules about track placement in Blitzkrieg that are pretty much obsolete now with the "straight only" rule. It also makes it a bit more boring and predictable how to place the train tracks - which I can agree is a time consuming chore if you want to do it in a tournament (done that myself) without messing up the placed terrain.

Quite frustrating because if you want to use the train efficiently and scare the opponent you want to be able to at some point move into his deployment or block the table. Having straight only tracks further reduces the tactical advantage you might get from moving around on the table in a more irregular pattern.

About the TSS tracks themselves. I've seen them IRL as I'm friends with a store owner who used to carry the TSS range. Sadly most of what he ordered over the 2 years he carried their range arrived somewhat broken. His last shipment of the tracks had every single track piece damaged and chipped in one way or the other - really frustrating. I also noted the “Y section” trouble that you guys mention, it doesn’t completely fit together.

I myself was at one time ready to buy the TSS tracks but beside the damaged pieces during shipment I found that the tracks were very thin and would be very delicate and prone to breaking during transport or use (the trains is a very heavy model and if you slide it around instead of picking it up and placing it down again for movement you will mess up your TSS tracks).

The tracks that were not damaged looked really good though. However I would, is possible, stick to buying the TSS tracks on conventions or elsewhere when you can inspect them IRL before paying to ensure you get undamaged stuff.

It’s hard to love the Battlefront tracks due to the straight only pieces, but at least they are durable as hell and won’t ever break from use or accidents.

Lee Hadley said...

Great review of an alternative product. Considering buying these myself now!

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