Accessory, Panda Plastics, Canadian Dry Pin tracks
December 11 2011 at 1:23 PM
(Login zappa93) Missing-Lynx members from IP address 126.96.36.199
Canadian Dry Pin Tracks, for M4 Sherman-based VVSS suspension. 1/35th-scale styrene and resin accessory set. Contains 216 styrene parts, four resin parts and an instruction leaflet.
Just about every type of track as seen on VVSS-equipped M4-series AFVs has been provided for by after-market product manufacturers. Chief amongst those manufacturers was RHPS, now known as Panda Plastics.
Panda has now released the so-called CDP, or Canadian Dry Pin tracks in styrene. 36 sprues come securely packed in a small, stout cardboard box. Each sprue holds six slide-molded individual links. A small Zip-Lock bag, securely fixed to a large sheet of bubble-wrap, contains two resin drive sprockets as well as two final drive axles; the final item in the box is a single-sided, illustrated instruction leaflet.
Each link has three sprue attachment points which must be carefully cleaned away. The sprue contains the ejector-pin marks, so the links themselves are completely devoid of them. This considerably eases the clean-up process. Being from a slide mold, both the shoe faces as well as the tracks sides are quite crisply-rendered. After removal from the sprues and clean-up, the links click together in a fairly positive manner. However, the nubs are rather delicate and completed lengths of track will not bear any serious handling; glue will be needed to keep everything in place. Thus the tracks should not be considered workable. I assembled several groups of six links and the fit, once clean-up is complete, is fine.
CDP tracks, most often seen on the Canadian-produced Grizzly (M4A1 75mm VVSS) and the 25-Pdr. Ram/Sexton SPG, required a unique, dedicated drive sprocket tooth ring. Therefore, Panda provides a pair of resin drive sprockets. Each sprocket is molded as a complete unit, as opposed to being assembled from an inner and outer half as a conventionally-molded styrene drive sprocket would be. The backs of the sprockets must be drilled out, as per the instructions, in order to accept an axle. The area in question is dished to help center the drill bit. A pair of separate axle parts is provided for adaptation to various kits. The resin drive sprockets fit the tracks perfectly; they are well cast, with minimal pour plugs and no flash, bubbles or distortion. The area where the pour plug enters the drive sprocket will require extra care in clean-up so as not to harm the guide teeth
The illustrated instructions, although brief, tell the modeler all he needs to know to make best use of this accessory. In addition, the modeler is informed that this accessory was developed with the help of noted ML denizens Mike Canaday and Rob Ervin; a third person, with whom I am not familiar, named Emil Orenick is also listed as part of the team.
This is a fine product and yet another gap filler in the field of Sherman accessories. The inclusion of resin drive sprockets means that the set is ready-for-use, as is, provided a suitable host kit is procured. In fact, that is probably the only detraction related to this accessory, and certainly not the fault of Panda! Panda has taken a bold step with the release of an accessory that is bound to have only relatively limited use for modelers. Nevertheless, fans of Canadian AFVs should rejoice at the advent of this release; hopefully, their appreciation will be felt at Panda Plastics.
Frank V. De Sisto
Panda Plastics products can be obtained direct at: www.shermantracks.com, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.