Panda Plastic Worn T-48 Tracks

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Panda Plastic Worn T-48 Tracks

Post  sharkmouth on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:29 am

Panda Plastics is the company who took over an established and well received line of injection molded polystyrene tracks formerly sold by RHPS Models over a year ago. In rapid succession, the first seven products from the RHPS catalog have been released and now, a new product has been added. These were released at the 2009 AMPS Nationals which I was unable to attend.

The package contains separate sprues for the track pads and end connectors in a long thick clear plastic bag to which a double printed heavy paper header is stapled on. The double printing is because the inside of the header serves as an instruction sheet, a carry over from the RHPS header. Even the logo is identical with only the brand name and contact information being separate.


This set is to represent the worn T-48 rubber chevron tracks. In the bag were 29 track pad sprues (each containing six pads for a total of 174 links) to which the end connector (on 29 sprues with a dozen pieces on each) are added. These are enough track links for any variant of the M3 or M4 medium tank and also suitable for the M4 series High Speed Tractor as sold by Hobby Boss. FYI, the normal track length Shermans used 79 links per side, the longer track base (M4A4 & M4A6) used 83 links while the HST used 65 links per side.

Assembly is not fool proof as the track pads fit either way so always use photographs of your subject to determine the direction of the chevrons on the outside face. A jig, as offered by some companies or seen in Steve Zaloga’s Sherman Modelling books from Osprey Publishing, makes assembly easier. A few of the end connectors may need the track pin holes reamed out with a drill bit but one must be careful not to eliminate the friction fit. This ‘friction fit’ is what makes the tracks semi-workable. If an end connector fits loosely, slightly crimping the pin (just enough to deform it yet fit inside the end connector‘s hole and be hidden) will restore the friction fit.

I found it easiest to cut the sprues on the end connectors allowing my to get closer with my Xuron shears.





After placing on the model, it is recommended to run thin cement along the end connector to track pad joints to ensure none come apart later. Remember that these tracks are ‘live’ and tend to curl inwards so no track sag should be seen. This ‘curling’ effect should be taken into consideration if one wishes to model the tracks partially or completely off the vehicle. Another thing to consider is the placement of the idler so that a complete run without any sag can be used. Modification of the idler mount may be required or one can use the replacement items as sold by Formations Models and TMD.

Two pads connected.




As for accuracy, these tracks do indeed display a worn outer pads and different patterns of wear are replicated on the sprue. This makes them easy to mix and match the half dozen pads and simulate completely random wear. The measurements are also quite good meaning that their fit to most kit drive sprockets (AFV Club, Dragon, Italeri, and Tasca) is acceptable with only the Academy kit being an exception. The instructions indicate to thin the teeth to allow for a 0.375 inch (9.5mm) space between the sprocket rings. I find it easier to just place a shim in between the two sprocket wheel halves of the kit. About the only thing I wish were better are the retaining bolts on each of the end connectors.


In this photo, I have used the same one from my T-51 review to show the fit. The left two sprockets are those from Academy’s M4A2 Late and the upper right photo is of Tasca’s Mid Production M4A1. Both are likely candidates for the T-48. The lower right shows the tracks on the Hobby Boss sprocket from their HST kits.

The reappearance of these molds at this time is a fortuitous one as there are now several new kits which can use them. Now with new products being developed, we Allied modelers can rejoice at the choice. Being polystyrene plastic, it can be assembled and painted in the same manner as the other kit items.

My thanks go to Panda Plastics for the review samples. Order directly from them by sending an e-mail to shermantracks@comcast.net. Visit their web site, Panda Plastics, for more information on the complete line. The tracks are also available through Formations Models.


Last edited by sharkmouth on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:46 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : converting from HTML to BBC code.)

sharkmouth
General
General

Posts : 594
Join date : 2008-11-19
Age : 51
Location Location : The mountains of South East New York

http://www.track-link.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Panda Plastic Worn T-48 Tracks

Post  tedhodson on Tue Apr 21, 2009 6:37 am

Thanks for the review and the tips. I'll try some out on my next Sherman.

tedhodson
seasoned veteran
seasoned veteran

Posts : 209
Join date : 2009-03-23
Age : 47
Location Location : Victoria BC Canada

Back to top Go down

Re: Panda Plastic Worn T-48 Tracks

Post  Jenny Ryan on Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:00 am

Excellent review Saul Very Happy , I will get some of the worn links when I do one of the HST's , I hope they will fit them too ?

Jenny flower

Jenny Ryan
Supreme commander
Supreme commander

Posts : 6598
Join date : 2008-11-17
Location Location : NSW Australia

http://tanksandthings.niceboard.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Panda Plastic Worn T-48 Tracks

Post  sharkmouth on Tue Apr 21, 2009 7:01 am

Hey Jenny, look at the bottom right corner of the last photo, it is of the Hobby Boss HST. Wink

Regards,
Saúl

sharkmouth
General
General

Posts : 594
Join date : 2008-11-19
Age : 51
Location Location : The mountains of South East New York

http://www.track-link.net

Back to top Go down

Re: Panda Plastic Worn T-48 Tracks

Post  Sponsored content Today at 2:14 am


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top

- Similar topics

 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum