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I simply love DS-tracks from Dragon
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 10:44 PM UTC

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I have friends in my club that despise link oand length and Magic tracks and so wanted DS. I have been happy to do a straight swap of my DS tracks for Magic tracks. Now I am ecstatic, but I wonder if my friends have opened boxes lately...... and if I still have friends..



Hurry up and build those kits before your friends come and ask for their tracks back
/ Robin



POOR DRAGON!!! They're SO CLUELESS, regarding their "DS Tracks". I wonder if they've EVEN NOTICED, (or care), that modelers are experiencing very unsatisfactory "events" with these tracks..?

Hi, ALL!

So far, I haven't experienced any problems with "DS Tracks", (these are mainly with my 1/35 US Armor and AFVs), but that's not saying that I won't! As to my German DRAGON kits, they ALL have the "MAGIC Tracks", which I had to spend A LOT time with, as far as "clean-up" was concerned. Sooo IMO, the DRAGON "MAGIC Tracks" aren't anything to write home to Grandma about, either...

As far as DRAGON kits of tracked subjects are concerned, I think the best solution, (especially the German subjects), is just to set the "DS Tracks" aside and buy A/M track sets. What the modeler does with the left-over "DS Tracks" is their business...

In any case, DRAGON has proved that they haven't paid much attention to customers' opinions, wishes or complaints, regarding ANYTHING... True, they have consulted with a few of our esteemed fellow-ARMORAMA members in relation to some kits, but as far as the "DS Tracks" versus the "MAGIC Tracks" are concerned, NIX- In fact, DRAGON has continued releasing NEW KITS which include these much-detested tracks.

I really can't agree with some of the modelers in this thread who won't ever buy DRAGON kits just because they include "DS Tracks"; you're missing out on some great subject-matter.

WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL??? Some of you will spend a small fortune, (myself included), on after-market PE and resin, or multi-media update sets, PLUS A/M TRACKS, ANYWAY!

So, just as I'VE BEEN TOLD BY MANY OF YOU GUYS when I "ladied" about US/Allied AFVs and GIs, it is now MY TURN to tell YOU:

QUIT YOUR DAMNED CRYING ABOUT "DS TRACKS" because it's already been discussed too many times, and DRAGON ISN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM!!! DEAL WITH IT!!!
Namabiiru
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 11:21 PM UTC
I've only ever used DS tracks once, and as far as I could tell they had all the drawbacks of vinyl tracks without any of the benefits of styrene or metal tracks. They have not, so far, disintegrated on the shelf, but it's still early; give them time....

RobinNilsson
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Posted: Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 11:42 PM UTC

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I have friends in my club that despise link oand length and Magic tracks and so wanted DS. I have been happy to do a straight swap of my DS tracks for Magic tracks. Now I am ecstatic, but I wonder if my friends have opened boxes lately...... and if I still have friends..



Hurry up and build those kits before your friends come and ask for their tracks back
/ Robin



POOR DRAGON!!! They're SO CLUELESS, regarding their "DS Tracks". I wonder if they've EVEN NOTICED, (or care), that modelers are experiencing very unsatisfactory "events" with these tracks..?

Hi, ALL!

...

QUIT YOUR DAMNED CRYING ABOUT "DS TRACKS" because it's already been discussed too many times, and DRAGON ISN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM!!! DEAL WITH IT!!!



It has indeed been discussed before but some warnings need to be repeated. I made my decision many moons ago but now I had the opportunity to get usable pictures disintegrated tracks still in their little bag (i.e. I had not caused the problem by using the wrong glue, solvents or paint).

If there is too much negative publicity even large companies need to take it seriously. It is all a matter of "public awareness"
What would happen if every review of a kit with DS-tracks in them mentioned that there is a significant risk of the tracks disintegrating?
Some manufacturers are re-issuing older kits and the big change is that the flexible tracks have been replaced.
If there is a market for expensive replacement tracks then it should be possible to squeeze a few extra dollars out of the customer.
The molds for Magic-Tracks exist so the difference is mostly the production cost (hard styrene vs the DS crap) and maybe some packaging and handling.

Nothign will change until it starts hurting the financial results for Dragon and public awareness might be a way of getting there.

/ Robin










Besides that I just tried to be a smart-ass
M4A1Sherman
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 01:02 AM UTC

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I have friends in my club that despise link oand length and Magic tracks and so wanted DS. I have been happy to do a straight swap of my DS tracks for Magic tracks. Now I am ecstatic, but I wonder if my friends have opened boxes lately...... and if I still have friends..



Hurry up and build those kits before your friends come and ask for their tracks back
/ Robin



POOR DRAGON!!! They're SO CLUELESS, regarding their "DS Tracks". I wonder if they've EVEN NOTICED, (or care), that modelers are experiencing very unsatisfactory "events" with these tracks..?

Hi, ALL!

...

QUIT YOUR DAMNED CRYING ABOUT "DS TRACKS" because it's already been discussed too many times, and DRAGON ISN'T GOING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM!!! DEAL WITH IT!!!



It has indeed been discussed before but some warnings need to be repeated. I made my decision many moons ago but now I had the opportunity to get usable pictures disintegrated tracks still in their little bag (i.e. I had not caused the problem by using the wrong glue, solvents or paint).

If there is too much negative publicity even large companies need to take it seriously. It is all a matter of "public awareness"
What would happen if every review of a kit with DS-tracks in them mentioned that there is a significant risk of the tracks disintegrating?
Some manufacturers are re-issuing older kits and the big change is that the flexible tracks have been replaced.
If there is a market for expensive replacement tracks then it should be possible to squeeze a few extra dollars out of the customer.
The molds for Magic-Tracks exist so the difference is mostly the production cost (hard styrene vs the DS crap) and maybe some packaging and handling.

Nothign will change until it starts hurting the financial results for Dragon and public awareness might be a way of getting there.

/ Robin










Besides that I just tried to be a smart-ass



Hi, Robin!

Just for the record, it wasn't YOU specifically that I was telling to "shut up". MANY people answered your initial post, and it was THE SAME OLD COMPLAINT from nearly EVERYONE, it seemed.

As I've said all-too-often in my complaints in favor of more "PROPER" US/Allied WWII subject matter, what MAY be needed is an "en masse", CONCERTED EFFORT by modelers to make the model manufacturers AWARE of our dissatisfaction with some of their products. HOWEVER, it is my understanding that DRAGON, like TAMIYA, is a big TOY MANUFACTURER, and that their manufacture of models is only a comparative "side-line".

As to "public awareness", I think that there are quite too many people out there that aren't even aware of which planet they live on...

In my opinion, (for what it's worth), I don't think that even if we all DID approach DRAGON "en masse" with a petition regarding their LOUSY-ASSED "DS Tracks", that they would listen, and subsequently take the stupid things out of production...

So...

Let's all curl up in our warm-and-fuzzy "bankies", sip on some luke-warm cocoa, watch cartoons on TV and have a nice day...
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 01:27 AM UTC

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...
As to "public awareness", I think that there are quite too many people out there that aren't even aware of which planet they live on...

....



Amen to that!

/ Robin
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 02:40 AM UTC
Tamiya has gotten it right, why can't Dragon?

Dragon has changed the formula of DS at least once since the roll-out but they aren't diving up on it. It's also used in their toys.

Good to see Dragon bring back a problem that was solved back in the 1970s. I had kits in the box ruined by melting track as well as tracks and tires get brittle and end up in little pieces on finished kits from the 1960s.

At least Dragon puts the track in their own little bag so they don't ruin the kit parts. But those long bags twist all over the box and DS just won't untwist from some of those pretzels.
barkingdigger
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 02:57 AM UTC

Quoted Text

Let's all curl up in our warm-and-fuzzy "bankies", sip on some luke-warm cocoa, watch cartoons on TV and have a nice day...



A generally good idea under most circumstances! (Sadly I'm sometimes forced out of my comfortable cocoon to go to work...)

My experience of DS is mixed - out of the maybe dozen sets I had one duff set straight from the factory, another few good sets that are holding up well several years after painting, and a bunch of "good" ones as yet unused. I do try to get plastic indy-link replacements if possible...

Unfortunately for us all, Dennis is right that the Lizard just isn't gonna listen to a dwindling band of aging serious modellers, when much of their toy and model trade is aimed at short-term users who aren't going to hold onto their models long enough to find out if they age well or not. Personally I factor in the cost of replacement tracks/wheels when deciding the correct amount to pay for a Dragon kit - so far my average "walk away" price is around £25. Then again, there's plenty in the stash to keep me busy if I can't find that new DML kit going cheap...
PanzerKarl
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 03:23 AM UTC
Too many people on the forums now days turning a blind eye
Bravo1102
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 03:36 AM UTC
I actually check the DS tracks in kits in the stash monthly.

And I would swear on Tamiya glueable track that the detail gets softer over time.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 04:40 AM UTC
Perhaps Robin's SALIENT POINT is worth noting: It's about Dragon's DS - NOT about whether strip / band / 1-piece tracks are better or worse then are link-sets.

I think it should be of extreme interest to those who prefer and use the 1-piece tracks, as those folks are the ones most impacted by the potential for their kit parts to waste out sooner or later - and disastrously so if on a build.

There are about 3 major versions of track-sets now available on the market in kits and AM: 1-piece flexible "band" or loop tracks, separate link sets (in styrene, resin, metal), and link-and-length (and simply molded lengths, too) sets - generally styrene.

Model companies should take heed of the oft-reported failures of the flexible band tracks. There has been a long history of issues with those things - and the issues are about the CHEMISTRY - not about having 1-piece sets, per se.

1-piece tracks are seen by many as being a money-saving route for companies - likely it IS, IMO. But the chemistry issue serves NO-ONE well.

Maybe companies should consider simply using link-and-length sets in place of the band tracks... There doesn't, least far as I can see, seem to be much benefit to supplying 1-piece bands versus molded styrene link-and-length sets in kits. Both are molded bits and using the styrene L-and-L tracks would simplify kit-packaging and production - it would be just another runner/sprue and no different chemistry or handling involved. And for modelers, it would offer convenience and simplify building and should actually appeal to those not liking the tedious fiddle of links... and L-and-L sets can look very good as moldings. (I think here about a Trumpeter T-64 kit I built with its L-and-L set - tracks came out looking straight and consistent on the build, and detailed, too (important for show modelers, at least!), they went on fast and easy, and there was zero issue with painting and weathering. And, I was able to easily bend-in the correct modest sags seen in those tracks when at rest.)

For those who like to dwell in the old band-versus-link debate: each track-format presumably serves its users and fans - as model-builders - well. Each format provides opportunities and benefits, and suffers limitations and challenges, as well.

But I cannot see how it makes ANY SENSE to use a product which is prone to catastrophic failure due to its CHEMISTRY. I wouldn't use "DS" link sets, if they were "offered", any more than I will use DS band tracks.

Perhaps model companies will take heed of these threads showing that the CHEMISTRY in their products is what is causing the out-cry and rancor seen HERE - NOT the provision of simple 1-piece tracks versus link sets. And the SIMPLE, adaptive change would be for them to simply use molded styrene runs: Eases kit production and packaging, costs no more in material nor in mold-making, and REDUCES POTENTIAL FOR KIT-BUYERS to GET ANGRY about incipient failure of the kit parts! That would be, IMHO, a WIN WIN for both companies and kit-buyers!

Just my OPINION, of course! Bob
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 04:51 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I actually check the DS tracks in kits in the stash monthly.

And I would swear on Tamiya glueable track that the detail gets softer over time.



I'll make one more comment here regarding the DS tracks-- and other manufacturers Vinyl type tracks. I really do believe these types of tracks were never intended --by any manufacturer-- to last for "years". They are an effective method of molding a difficult part inexpensively, to give the model builder something to throw on the model that looks good ( depending of course on the manufacturer-- Emhar tracks will never look good ). As such, I don't think we as modelers should expect those tracks to last in our display cases for more than a few years (say 10-20 years) without some deterioration. Before you good folks rise up and threaten to lynch me for saying this, I know there are exceptions (I have some Monogram vinyl wheels and tracks that are going on 60 years in my collection). Having said this, many modelers are content with what's in the box. And I agree, if you are not, go buy aftermarket-- there are plenty of options-- Bronco, AFV, Fruil, Panzershop, ad. infinitum. But, Dragon just continues to p--s me off. It's not just the tracks, it's the accuracy, quality, and price along with the DS BS that gets to me. The have stated in their own words they are catering more to the toy market, and have placed authentic scale models back farther on the burner. Their DS, Black Label, and several repackaged Orange Label kits fit their business model. So, I don't discount them, but before I buy any new Dragon kit, I read reviews, and look at the kit in the box (I'm lucky enough to have a LHS owner who allows that). Buyer beware-- that motto is especially true for Dragon, where it never was before.
VR, Russ
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 06:50 AM UTC
Russ mentioned something which should be "looked at with both eyes WIDE OPEN"...

It's that niggling distraction which plagues many discussions and clouds thinking - the fact that there are "exceptions" to a pattern, trend, general theme, perceived commonality among observers of a set of phenomena, etc.

Yes. There ARE "always" exceptions. People LOVE exceptions! In the matter of decaying flexible tracks, there are all those stories of sets which have remained intact - either in a box or on a build on a shelf - for many years. And these stories seem to take on some mysterious persuasiveness that leads folks to somehow believe and trust the idea that "Mine WON'T ever be the FAILURE types".

To me, to bank on those exceptions is to simply naively GAMBLE. Gamble on the lottery - your (remote) chance is to actually WIN BIG. Gambling on bad chemistry in tracks? There is NO "win" - at BEST, you can end up not suffering a BIG LOSS. The evidence seems pretty clear concerning the majority of flexible tracks - lots of them have suffered failures. Some sooner, some more than others. And to varying degree. But LOTS of failures. Not just with Dragon DS tracks, either. It's NOT the fact that these are 1-piece tracks or "rubber" tires. It's the fact that they are made out of flexible plastic compounds which share problems of CHEMICAL STABILITY. And all of these materials will break down under some range - some MIXTURE - of conditions. Maybe under many combinations of conditions... Which are virtually COMPLETELY UNKNOWN to almost everyone who builds plastic models...

It reminds me of a work experience I had many years ago... One which still lurks in my mind as I get older.

Back in the late 1970's, I worked as an environmental assessment technician, sampling polluted aquatic environments to assess effects on local wildlife. I wore a set of "super-chemically-resistant" waders while out in the waters. I trusted those waders with my skin and life. They stood up well - no discoloration, no rotting, no degradation for years. But one day, a visit to the south Chicago wetlands - very pretty and clean-looking... Fixed that. Got home that night, stowed the equipment, went to bed. Got up next day to find that my "impervious" waders had melted down. Moral of story? I had finally met the exact set of conditions (chemical exposure, in this case) that crossed the threshold of my protective suit's materials, and it decayed.

NOBODY here KNOWS what exact combination of air, temp, light, paint and plastic interactions triggered their reported melt-downs and failures. But many people have reported these events over decades. This means that there are likely LOTS of possible "conditional combinations" which will lead to failing flexible tracks (and kit "rubber" tires) - MANY MORE combos than seem to lead to failures of other kit materials and parts (which have much better records of longevity and stability).

From this, you should understand that using the flexible tracks is, at best, chancy and a gamble - a gamble that you won't somehow suddenly find that YOUR CASE is NOT that nice EXCEPTION where your tracks are "just fine, Thank You.".

If you don't want to experience the melt-down, simply use some other route for your tracks and tires. It's that or be happy with gambling to LOSE or DRAW!

Do you want to cause change in the kit makers to fix this long-standing problem? Simply DON'T BUY kits with the suspect materials. The companies (even Dragon) WANT to sell you kits.

Cheers! Bob
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 08:17 AM UTC
I'm glad I stocked up on enough Bronco AB3522 T-158LL workable track sets to replace the DS crap included in the nine M1A1/A2 SEP/SEP V2 kits in the stash.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 11:05 AM UTC
What Bob Woodman said-- I worked in a career for 25 years involving the wearing of rubber suits. Bob is right-- none of these materials (not even the rubber on tires of your family car) will last indefinitely. eventually they will crack or deteriorate as the ravages of heat, cold, humidity (or lack thereof) dry out and chemically change the polymers in flexible material. The consumer should have the right to expect it will last at least a few years. Knowing it won't, and taking the precautions to replace this junk is obviously the best remedy. But, consumers also deserve not to pay extra for this stuff, and manufacturers should take steps not to sell it when its obvious it's a failure. But it seems Dragon doesn't really care what the consumer thinks-- again, buyer beware.
VR, Russ
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 12:10 PM UTC

Quoted Text


What would happen if every review of a kit with DS-tracks in them mentioned that there is a significant risk of the tracks disintegrating?



Probably nothing, inasmuch as nearly every review already mentions the overall decline in quality, the prices, the glaring gaffes with the Black Label kits, etc., etc.



Quoted Text

Nothing will change until it starts hurting the financial results for Dragon and public awareness might be a way of getting there.



You are making a big assumption there Robin, one which the evidence to date contradicts. You are counting on them changing something because of an external stimulus. I really don't think they care.

KL
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 12:45 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I have friends in my club that despise link oand length and Magic tracks and so wanted DS. I have been happy to do a straight swap of my DS tracks for Magic tracks. Now I am ecstatic, but I wonder if my friends have opened boxes lately...... and if I still have friends..



Yes, PB, you do still have a few friends. I just checked my stash and found four kits with DS tracks, only one of which had started to break up. I also had a Tiger 1 recently, and the tracks on that one were useless as well. I'd say it's the luck of the draw unless DML have changed the formula somewhere along the way.

Of course (we can but hope) DML could always do what they did in the recent SIG33 kit, which included both DS tracks and link to link?

Regards

Rob
Tojo72
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 01:13 PM UTC
I hate link and length,I can deal with MT's,I have assembled Bronco and Meng tracks,tedious but do able.I really like metal but hate the cost,try to shop around,and have used Spade Ace which are cheaper and not bad.Lot of choices,have not tried MK or resin tracks.All in all,I prefer any indie over link and length
Pave-Hawk
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 01:25 PM UTC
My 3 year old loves DS tracks. They make great stretchy snakes for him to play with.
panzerbob01
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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2019 - 02:48 PM UTC

Quoted Text

I hate link and length,I can deal with MT's,I have assembled Bronco and Meng tracks,tedious but do able.I really like metal but hate the cost,try to shop around,and have used Spade Ace which are cheaper and not bad.Lot of choices,have not tried MK or resin tracks.All in all,I prefer any indie over link and length



And I'm mostly with you, Tony! I LOVE links. I'm in no way suggesting that styrene L-and-L tracks would be any desirable solution or alternative for link-lovers. They would, however, be a good alternative for those who prefer 1-piece (or few-piece) things over those sometimes-tedious links. That, and providing styrene links would go great lengths to improve customer relations for some kit makers (like the D...). Further, inclusion of styrene L-and-L would help your local HS and e-vendors, who currently get all sorts of rancor from folks getting DS tracks they fear or worry about without planning on it, and it would help kit resellers, too. People - even those liking the 1-piece route, would feel a lot safer, on average, if they could TRUST the product that they are selling or buying. WIN, WIN, WIN. All the way 'round!

For us link fans... getting crappy DS tracks mostly just means getting something you don't want, won't use, and would probably prefer not to pay for. At least some of us linkers (I... ) will actually use styrene L-and-L tracks occasionally, if they look good and come in the kit! NEVER that DS junk!
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 04:21 AM UTC

Quoted Text


Quoted Text


What would happen if every review of a kit with DS-tracks in them mentioned that there is a significant risk of the tracks disintegrating?



Probably nothing, inasmuch as nearly every review already mentions the overall decline in quality, the prices, the glaring gaffes with the Black Label kits, etc., etc.



Quoted Text

Nothing will change until it starts hurting the financial results for Dragon and public awareness might be a way of getting there.



You are making a big assumption there Robin, one which the evidence to date contradicts. You are counting on them changing something because of an external stimulus. I really don't think they care.

KL



The realistic side of me thinks that you are correct in your analysis of how much Dragon cares about what we think/say/write

The optimistic side of me still has a faint glimmer of a tiny hope
/ Robin
RobinNilsson
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 04:29 AM UTC
I checked through a few of the DS-infected Dragon kits and some were OK, in some boxes the DS-track had started "imprinting" itself on the plastic baggie/tube it was sealed inside, one track was beginning to show signs of deterioration.
The beginning crinkliness of the plastic bag looked the same as the really bad example I showed in the original post.
The plastic of the bags felt different, the ones were the tracks were shaping the plastic bag felt a little "oily" compared to the bag where there were no signs of trouble.

I wonder if the problems are caused by an unsuitable combination of the DS-material and the chemistry in the sealed plastic bag?

/ Robin
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 05:22 AM UTC
Everyone here realizes that Dragon has been extremely hurt as an armour brand by DS tracks and Black Series kits right. They have to have been. I have not seen any of my DS tracks disintegrate but most are still in the bag. But after all this and my experience with the T54E1 I have sworn off Dragon totally. They cannot build a kit I would buy and I have several dozen of their fancy multi media kits in the closet and a many on the shelf. I started buying dragon kits with the original T72 kit and ended with the T54e1 kit and there will be no more.
I cannot be the only one.
BravoTwoZero
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 05:28 AM UTC
I just realized that I went ahead and used the DS wheels for my Black Label Saladin build.


It's already been primed too!


I guess I'll find out if these disintegrate too.
Kevlar06
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 05:43 AM UTC

Quoted Text

I just realized that I went ahead and used the DS wheels for my Black Label Saladin build.


It's already been primed too!


I guess I'll find out if these disintegrate too.




Don’t feel bad— I have the 1/72 Dragon Apollo-Soyuz model and the entire Soyuz model is made from a lavender DS material— now why would they do that? Just another crappy Dragon cheapie way to save on injection molding and boost the price. So far so good. I’m going to try and see if I can reverse mold it in Resin.
VR, Russ
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Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 05:44 AM UTC
Have Dragon changed the formula since they were first released?I know they came out round about 2006 and I had the dragon kit for years and the tracks were fine after about 5 years.