ARM: Review - 1/35 scale US Track Sets

Kit Review: (Dragon Models Limited) 1/35 scale Upgrade
Sets for US Track
Kit No. 3863; DS Track for Sherman (T80); 178 parts (176 in grey
styrene, 2 track runs in tan DS plastic); retail price US$8.95
Kit No. 3864; DS Track for Sherman (T54E1); 2 track runs in tan DS
plastic; retail price US$8.95
Kit No. 3866; DS Track for Sherman (T48); 2 track runs in tan DS
plastic; retail price US$8.95
Kit No. 3867; DS Track for Sherman (T48 w/EEC); 2 track runs in tan
DS plastic; retail price US$8.95
Advantages: permits upgrading older DML or other M3 or M4 kits with
modern, state-of-the-art single piece track runs
Disadvantages: may require =93tightening=94 to get a good fit
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all American M3 and M4 fans
There is an old saying =96 =93be careful what you wish for.=94 Many
modelers groused for years about wanting single-link track sets for
1/35 scale armor models, as this was the =93state of the art=94 in
aftermarket kits from Japan in plastic or Europe in resin. Dragon was
the first major manufacturer to listen to their requests, and honor
But like Daffy Duck yelling =93Let me have it!=94 and the last thing he
sees is the 16 ton Acme anvil coming down on top of him, so it was
with the DML single link tracks. Each VVSS set for DML M4 medium tank
kits consisted of three separate parts - a pad and two end connectors
=96 and was among the most onerous and tedious task to clean up and
assemble, and if not done right the tracks were very, very fragile.
Their HVSS sets were not much better =96 single link pads but requiring
all of the center guides to be trimmed up and cemented to the edge of
the link center connector, also tedious and prone to being popped off
if not careful.
Later, when DML developed its very handy =93DS=94 plastic which combined
the ease of assembly of styrene and the detail quality of vinyl or
resin, they began to offer these tracks with their kits. But due to
the misery of the early tracks (as seen on more than a few websites
and also in modeling reviews and articles) many DML kits wound up
sitting on shelves.
Now DML=92s affiliate is offering the track sets as a
regularly available aftermarket purchase item. These sets permit the
upgrading of older kits with modern tracks; since many of their older
kits are still reasonably good, it permits simplifying the assembly
and thus move kits off shelves in boxes to sit on shelves or in
dioramas as completed kits.
The kits provide three VVSS (e.g. single bogie wheel) sets =96 the T48
or =93rubber chevron=94 tracks, the T48 with extended end connectors
(=93duckbills=94), or the T54E1 cast steel chevron patterns. Each one is
beautifully done and offers a much better looking (and easier!) option
than the kit=92s original track sets.
The other kit provides the HVSS (twin bogie wheel) set of T80 cast
steel chevron tracks. These still require cementing the center guide
in place =96 but the center guides are now =93slide molded=94 parts
requiring minimal cleanup and assembly is actually much easier as the
track runs are in one piece.
All sets come rolled inside the boxes for protection and to prevent
Overall these are reasonably priced and very handy to have, either
for upgrading older DML kits or use to =93mix and match=94 on M4 series
tanks to get the =93right=94 tracks.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review samples.
Cookie Sewell
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