Duckbills for M4 Sherman Tank. 1/35th-scale styrene detail accessory. Contains 168 styrene parts and instruction leaflet. Price: $14.95 USD.
Along with reviving the M4 Sherman track molds formerly belonging to RHPS, Panda Plastics has also released the set for what are called Duckbills, or extended end connectors (EECs). These came in several configurations and were added to the outside of a track run to provide decreased ground pressure and therefore better floatation over soft ground for any M4-based AFV.
Packed inside a plastic bag are 42 small sprues, each containing four Duckbills for a total of 168 parts. This will allow enough parts for one complete model to have a full set of Duckbills fitted; this includes the longer M4A4 (Sherman Mk.V). For vehicles with the widened E6 VVSS suspension, two sets will be needed. Each part is extremely delicately-molded and relatively small. Extra care will be needed to remove the parts from the sprue, or they can be easily damaged. In addition, when gluing the EECs to the track, it is almost inevitable that cement will leak onto the track links and their end connectors, causing them to lose their semi-workable characteristics. Therefore it is recommended that they are not added until the tracks are on the model and have been properly tensioned.
Modelers who wish to combine a specific track link pattern with EECs are now afforded quite a bit of flexibility. In addition, each set will allow for a complete model to be so-outfitted, something that cannot be achieved with some other after-market styrene EEC offerings. Finally, as an economy measure, Panda Plastics has informed me that the EECs will also be available as bundled sets with track links for a reduced price; the modeler should contact them for further details.
Frank V. Curley 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: email@example.com.
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