ARM: Review - 1/35 scale German Track Upgrade Sets

Kit Review: (Dragon Models Limited) 1/35 scale Upgrade
Sets for German Track
Kit No. 3852; Magic Track for Panther Ausf. A/D (Kgs 64/660/150); 170
links in dark grey styrene; retail price US$19.95
Kit No. 3853; Magic Track for Panther Ausf. F/G (Kgs 64/660/150); 170
links in light grey styrene; retail price US$19.95
Kit No. 3854; Magic Track for 38(t); 240 links in grey styrene;
retail price US$19.95
Kit No. 3856; Magic Track for Pz. II Variants (Kgs 67/300/90); 200
links in grey styrene; retail price US$19.95
Kit No. 3857; Magic Track for StuG III, Ausf. C-G/Pz. IV Ausf. F-H
(40 cm wide); 216 links in grey styrene; retail price US$19.95
Kit No, 3861; DS Track for Tiger I (Kgs 63/725/130); retail price US
Advantages: modern track sets permit upgrading older kits or different
options for current kits
Disadvantages: single link track construction not as popular as first
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for anyone with older German vehicle kits or those
from other manufacturers needing an upgrade
As previously noted in other reviews, for years modelers complained
about the lousy tracks in armor model kits. They were at first simple
=93rubber bands=94 designed to hold up under the strain of motorized kits,
then one-sided vinyl, and then two-sided vinyl. But even these =96 while
much better =96 tended to be simplified and also suffered from =93bowing=94=
e.g. being sucked inward as they were not sufficiently stiff enough to
wrap around drive wheels without being pulled into the empty space
between drive teeth. They were too thin, too thick, too soft, too
stiff, and a few were completely wrong just to make assembly easier.
Modelers began to request single link styrene track, and about 15
years ago the manufacturers began to respond. Results were uneven, but
it did not take long for most modelers to find out be careful what you
wish for. Single link tracks came with anything between one and five
parts per link, and with a tank requiring between 170-210 links of
track this became downright tedious. Some manufacturers then switched
to =93link and length=94 in which the tracks now came in about 40 parts =96
the bulk being in runs of 4-6 to 20-25 links in one section and single
links for =93wrapping=94 around the idlers and drivers.
DML=92s initial solution to complaints was =93Magic Track=94 =96 styrene
single link track produced using =93slide molding=94 and press-fit
assembly (which then permitted use of a liquid cement for final
assembly. These could be draped anyway the modeler wanted, and since
there was absolute minimal cleanup (the most some links needed was a
few strokes of a file or sanding stick to remove the =93teat=94 where they
were injected) went together in an evening rather than a week. Later,
they moved to DS Plastic =96 a cross between vinyl and styrene with the
ability to be assembled with normal plastic cement, flex like vinyl,
and hold detail like resin.
DML=92s affiliate is releasing many components from DML kits now as
=93Upgrade=94 sets and these six track sets for German vehicles are very
good choices.
The two sets for Panthers cover the early model tracks (A and D) and
the late model with ice cleats cast into the face of the track. The
one for Panzer 38(t) series vehicles (Praga THN series tanks) is among
the most detailed with individual casting numbers on each link. The
Panzer II set covers all basic and modified Panzer II chassis
vehicles. The Panzer III/IV set is for the standardized late model 40
cm wide link track without ice cleats.
While most of the DML kits produced over the last 5 years come with
these tracks, making them available as separate sets gives an
opportunity to =93fix=94 an older kit or one from another company with
modern, state-of-the-art single link tracks. Note that you may have to
modify the drive wheels on a recipient kit as most of them have teeth
which are too wide for scale tracks (another drawback to the older
vinyl tracks of other companies).
They are also releasing the DML Tiger I DS track as a separate
accessory. These tracks are packed rolled up to protect the hollow
guide teeth and have so far proven very popular with modelers due to
the ease of use and assembly. They can be used to upgrade one of the
other Tiger I kits on the market with a more modeler-friendly approach
to tracks.
Overall, these sets should be well received =96 they are competitively
priced and while not self-assembling do reduce a lot of the
preparation time for a set of attractive tracks.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review samples.
Cookie Sewell
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=94 =96 styrene
Hey there Cookie.
The Panther tracks could be used as supplemental armour on some of the Shermans. All I need to do is figure out which variety of Panther track I'll need.
Thanks from Peter
Reply to
/660/150); 170
/660/150); 170
ck=94 =96 styrene
e competitively
Either one should do but the track without the ice cleats may fit better (flatter surface on the "ground" side).
Cookie Sewell
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