Panda Plastics
Sherman T49 Three Bar Cleat Track
Panda Plastics 1:35 Track Set No. T49

Review by Terry Ashley

Panda Plastics are a new company from the US which has basically taken up where RHPS left off and will be releasing a series of individual link Sherman Tracks using the same moulds and materials as the RHPS track sets so those familiar with those sets will know what to expect here.

The Set:
This review will look at the T49 Three Bar Cleat track set which was seen on USMC M4A2s in the Pacific and British Army Shermans in Italy and Sicily as well as on special vehicles such as the M32 ARV as well as others as applicable.

The set consists of 30 sprues with 6 track links each for a total of 180 links and 30 sprues with 12 standard end connectors moulded in a light grey plastic, the moulding is very clean without any flash or other blemishes with just the two sprue attachment points to clean up.

Individual plastic links
Panda Plastics
Panda Plastics

Care will be needed when removing the end connectors as the sprue attachments are next to the pin locating holes which is the weakest point and a few were damaged while cutting from the sprue.

The detail on the tack links and end connectors is well done overall with the retaining bolt on the end connector included as a small “notch” and could be replaced with a small hex bolt head for better definition if you wanted to go that far. Being separate links there is the actual gap between the links for good definition as well as for the individual end connectors.

Once the links and end connectors have been cut from the sprue and cleaned up assembly is very straightforward by simply joining two links with an end connector and then fitting each link in turn alternating adding the end connector from one side to the other.

Assembling the track links
Panda Plastics
Panda Plastics

The end connectors were a tight fit to most of the pins allowing the pins to mostly stay in place with friction allowing full articulation. It would be advisable though to run some liquid cement (such as Tamiya Extra Thin) over the end connector once the tracks have been fitted around the kit drive sprockets and idlers to ensure they don’t come loose at any stage.

I test fitted the assembled tracks to the Dragon/Italeri and Tamiya Sherman sprockets and they fitted perfectly in both width and tooth pitch without any modifications for a quick and easy update.

As there is no track sag on Sherman tracks so fitting is easy and as mentioned running thin liquid cement along the end connectors after fitting to the kit will ensure everything stays in place.

Tracks fitted to Dragon M4A2 Tarawa kit
Panda Plastics

RHPS Sherman track sets are well known amongst Shermanholics and these tracks from Panda Plastics pick up where they left off.

The tracks are relatively easy to assemble compared to some other workable Sherman track sets and add a degree of detail definition not usually seen on standard kit track.

Recommended for Sherman fans. 7.5/10

See the Sherman Subjects page for other Sherman related reviews.

Thanks to Panda Plastics for the review set:

Page created April 6, 2008

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