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In-Box Review
135
M2/M3 Half-Track Suspension
M2/M3 Half-Track Suspension Upgrade Set for Dragon 1/35 M2/M3 Half-Track kits
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by: Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]


_ORGINPUB:
Armorama

introduction
I was browsing Lucky Model's website basking in the glow of the compliments I received on my review of Dragon's M4 81mm Mortar Carrier and then I saw the K59 suspension upgrade set. Did I miss some horrible problem with the kit suspension? I just had to find out so I ordered a set. There are 13 very cleanly molded parts to this set. There are 2 outer drive sprockets, 2 outer idler wheels, 2 bogie mounts, 2 Idler springs, 2 idler spring rods, 2 volute spring/return roller mounts, and 1 exhaust pipe mount. While these are resin parts, most have such small gates (except for the exhaust pipe mount) that they look more like injected plastic. I haven't seen any sink holes, pin marks, or air bubbles. There is some flash as well as small mold seams on some parts that will require clean-up.

Review
The K59 sprockets and idlers have finer rib detail then the kit parts. Note that the K59 set only comes with the wheels that face outward. This may bother those who insist on having the finest detail even though it won't be seen but I appreciate K59's effort to keep parts count and price down.

The K59 bogie mount is a bit more detailed than the kit piece (D21) as it includes the holes on the sides. The K59 replacement for part D34 has finer return roller brackets and shows the bolt heads used to attach them. The idler springs are the nicest thing about this set since the Dragon kit has it as one part (A21/22) but K59 has the coil spring separate from the inner rod and produces a much nicer 3D effect.

The K59 set includes an exhaust pipe mount, something the Dragon kit does not include so it is nice to have it, although scratch building one wouldn't be a chore.

Conclusion
I'm not a rivet counter and I don't even own a micrometer so the only draw for someone like me with this set would be the idler springs. However, if you are a stickler for details, this kit will do up the suspension nicely. However, most of the missing details fixed by this kit could be added with a minimum of modeling and scratch-building skills. The finer ribs on the wheels are nice but I wouldn't miss them.
SUMMARY
Highs: Nice idler springs. Very cleanly molded parts. Exhaust pipe holder.
Lows: Details not all that much better than kit parts and most could be added to the kit parts with a minimum of modeling skills.
Verdict: If you want to detail up the suspension without putting out any extra effort, this is the set for you. If you are willing to do a little work, you will not need this.
Percentage Rating
50%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: C008
  Suggested Retail: $16.99 USD
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Feb 25, 2008
  NATIONALITY: United States
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.30%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 50.00%

About Gary Kato (GaryKato)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

.After long thought, I am just a kit assembler, not a true modeler. I build with what the kit provides; no after market parts. I am also a builder rather than a painter. I don't bother if a color is too green or too blue. Currently, I am just trying to finish up the kits I've started, mostly ...

Copyright 2019 text by Gary Kato [ GARYKATO ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of Model Shipwrights. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice review Gary. I agree about the point you make regarding the question of whether or not this set is necessary. While the drain holes in the suspension basement arms are nice, like you said, they're easy enough to scratch build. The 3-D effect of the springs is nice as well, but they are called DUAL idler springs for a good reason, why not cast the inner spring as well ? there was more than just a rod in there ! The rib detail on the sprockets is very nice and in my opinion, it's the sets strongest point, almost making it worth while to me . . . . almost. The exhaust bracket is OK, but like the drain holes, easy enough to make. To top it off, they produce this set to replace the Dragon kit parts and still forget to put the rivets on the bogie arms. I don't see a picture in this review, but just looking at this kit on Perth for example shows the outer surface of the bogie arms which are clearly missing this detail. Whats the point of making a set to correct things for all the rivet counters and forget the rivets in the process? I'll detail the kit parts myself .
FEB 25, 2008 - 02:00 PM
Great review, Gary. I agree with you and Lamont, fairly easy fixes without this set.
FEB 25, 2008 - 06:47 PM
Thanks for the support, guys. I was a bit nervous about writing that.
FEB 26, 2008 - 01:36 AM
   

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