by: Dave O'Meara [ ]
The first of the resin front wheels for the M2/M3 half-tracks from DML have been released and this review will compare three different sets of wheels: 2 new sets from Trakz for the DML kit and an older set from Tank Workshop originally designed for the Tamiya kits.
Trakz Set #TX 0128
The first Trakz set is more commonly known as the tractor tread. These are directional and the set contains two wheels to mount on the model and two to use as carried spares. See Photos 1 and 2.
Photo 1 shows the outside details which are acceptably cast and should paint up well. Photo 2 shows the inside and it appears that they designed as a direct replacement for the Dragon wheels. Closer examination shows many tiny pinholes lying just below the surface and any sanding of the surfaces will bring these out. Cleaning up the bolt hole on the spare will require care as again this area has air holes lying below the surface. There are no sidewall markings or logos. The sidewalls may need a little sanding as they appear a little rough in some places. They are round and measure 28mm in diameter. I do not know if this will affect the sit of the model or if any adjustment to the rear section of the suspension will be required. This set arrived with the pour blocks already removed and retails for around $12.00 USD.
Trakz Set #TX 0129
The next set we will look at is Trakz TX 0129- these are the more commonly recognized non-directional, lugged tire we are used to seeing on most military kits. I feel my example was slightly better molded than the tractor type tires and these came with the pour plugs attached. Closer examination shows fewer pinholes or air bubbles below the surface. Again these appear to be a drop fit for the Dragon parts except one wheel seems to have a blemish that will need to be removed from the inside surface. Again there are no sidewall markings or logos and the sidewalls appear smoother than the tractor type tires. They are also round and 28mm in diameter. Being Non-directional there is only one spare and this set also retails for around $12.00 USD. See Photo 3 and 4.
Tank Workshop Set #0057
Last up Iíll toss in the Tank Workshop set # 0057 in the mix for comparison. Molded in a gray resin, these have fine detail and I could find no air bubble or pin holes under the surface. These arrived with out the pour plugs. The set I have are for the Tamyia kit, but these look as though they can be easily be fitted to the Dragon kit with a little extra work. They have a nicely molded "Firestone" on the sidewalls and in my opinion much better bolt detail than the Trakz wheels. Tank Workshop has released a set for the Dragon kit, #0058, which Iím pretty sure are the same as these with a modified back to make them a drop fit for the Dragon kit. The Tank Workshop wheels measure 27mm in diameter and include NO spare. The 1 mm difference may bother some but it also may not affect the sit of the model as much as the 28mm Trakz wheels. Retail was $3.00 a set. See Photos 5 and 6.
Photos 7 and 8 show the Dragon M2 Half Track kit wheels.
Photos 9 and 10 show the three sets of resin wheels along side the kit wheels, both front and rear. You the readers can decide which you like and which set fills your needs better.
I'd like to thank Squadron for their usual fast shipping and my bank for it's even faster paying.