DS tracks in Dragon M1A2 SEP kits--any good?

I’ve had a couple of Dragon’s M1A2 SEP kits in the stash for a while (possibly about a decade :face_with_open_eyes_and_hand_over_mouth:). Just took one out today because I am considering using the DS tracks for my current build, a Tamiya M1A2 TUSK II. They looked fine, but then I remembered hearing a while back that the DS tracks could crumble and basically melt. Am I safe using them, or should I look elsewhere?

Just be prepared to see those DS tracks turn to (literal) dust. You could go with aftermarket tracks, like T-Rex Studio Bigfoot tracks.



I have used a few sets of DS tracks on other kits (M48s mostly). Out of the 3-4 sets, one started leaching an oily substance from them onto the shelf. I replaced them with an indi-link set. The others have been fine so far and its been a few years.

There are quite a few sets of cheaper, plastic T158LL tracks. Just about any of them will work.

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You could get lucky or you could get unlucky.
The problems seem totally random but there is probably something
which decides whether the DS-parts will be OK or not.
I have experienced crumbling tracks for Pz III/IV and others have been OK.
Three sets of front wheels for Sd.Kfz. 7, two of them look like dried out donuts
and the third bag is perfectly OK.

I don’t want to have that uncertainty nagging at me so I replace all the DS that
I somehow or other can replace. The same applies to the soft parts from other

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Thanks, guys! I hate gambling, so I’m not keen on rolling the dice with the DS tracks, That said, does the fact that they look fine after, in one case, 15 years in the box mean anything one way or the other? Or is it a problem that only manifests itself after painting the tracks? I ask because I also hate waste.

One dried and cracked,one got greasy,another five or so were fine so its a crap shoot with them.

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Sorry for the obtuse response but it depends.

I have this kit & so far, the DS tracks are ok. Having said that, I have a Dragon Pz III & Sexton with DS tracks & both are shite. So…


The decay has usually started inside the plastic bag they are packaged in.
After 15 years in the box the decay-in-the-bag should have been noticeable by now.
You could also get lucky/unlucky depending on which type of paint you use to paint them.
There is no (to my knowledge) empiric evidence on safe/unsafe combinations.

I would replace them but it’s your kit and your cash …
Place the bets and roll the dice …

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My experience with polyvinyl tracks is much like what others here have described. Having just checked the display cases with 1/35 models, three with Dragon Styrene tracks, one Dragon Pak 40 with polyvinyl tires, and two very old Tamiya models with polyvinyl tracks continue to age well.

Polyvinyl is chemically unstable and I expect all those tracks and tires to eventually fail. In the display case with 1/72 scale models, the Dragon Styrene tracks on one Tiger tank weep such that it must rest on a cardboard panel. Over the years, at least two other 1/72 scale models lost their polyvinyl tracks but I cannot remember which companies made them.

So far, every model in my closet with Dragon Strene tracks and some degree of construction seems fine. I have no clue what awaits in unopened boxes including an M1A2 SEP like yours.

Last year, when this subject came up, I decided to stop using polyvinyl tracks and replace the ones on models in the display cases. Building a high end model requires a ton of effort. It makes me sad when one fails in my lifetime.


Thanks again, guys. You’ve all convinced me, I’ll be getting AM tracks for the build.