T-48 Rubber Chevron Track for M4 Sherman Tank. 1/35th-scale styrene individual link, semi-workable track links. Contains 520 styrene parts and instruction leaflet. Price: $21.95 USD, plus shipping.
The second track type to be released by Panda Plastics is the T-48 Rubber Chevron track, which was often seen on the M4 medium tank as well as its variants such as the M7, M10, M12, M32, M36 and M4 High Speed Tractor. The type seems to have been favored by US units, but can also be seen on British/Commonwealth vehicles as well as those of other Allies.
In an identical fashion to other sets from this manufacturer, the parts consist of 174 links and 348 end connectors, with six of the former and twelve of the latter per sprue. Each part is cut from the sprue and if care is used with the knife, very little extra clean-up will be required. The end connectors press fit to each link, joining them together in a very sturdy yet flexible fashion. This is essentially why they are described as being semi-workable; the modeler wont be able to run his tank across the rug with these guys! Naturally, since there are many parts and the assembly requires continual repetition, a jig will be of great help, such as the one Steve Zaloga uses. It is made of Evergreen stock and a description can be found in some of his books and articles related to the Sherman tank.
Molding of the medium grey styrene parts are quite crisp; clever design of the sprues eliminates any ejector pin marks such as are seen on similar products from manufacturers like AFV Club. The track shoes are rather thick, yet my sample set showed only the faintest hint of shrinkage and that only on the occasional link. This indicates that quality control is quite good.
I have fitted a length of this track to drive sprockets from Tasca, DML, Tamiya, Italeri and Academy; there was no problem with any brand except Academy. Naturally, the modeler is encouraged to test fit the parts and the instruction leaflet provides information on how to modify drive sprockets for proper fit.
The tracks are wrapped around a Tasca drive sprocket. From left to right other available drive sprockey=ts are Tasca, Italeri, DML, Tamiya and Academy.
The sets are reasonably priced and are cheaper than most commercially available individual-link track sets, except those offered by AFV Club. These are also probably the easiest to clean and assemble individual VVSS Sherman track sets on the market. Thats quite a fine balance!
Frank V. Curly Stooge De Sisto
Panda Plastics can be contacted at: P.O. Box 2371, Northbrook, Illinois 60065-2371, USA. Phone: 847-205-9573. E-mail Paul Decker at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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