Is Panda Plastics defunct?

About ten days ago I placed an order with Panda Plastics - the U.S.-based manufacturer of Sherman tracks who took over the molds from RHPS, not the Chinese kit manufacturer that’s gone out of business - and they’ve neither accepted the payment nor sent me a confirmation email. They haven’t responded to emails, either. Their website is up and running and doesn’t show anything amiss.

Does anyone know whether they’re still operational? Thanks!

Good question.
There are good 3D alternatives out there.

I ordered from them after reading your post it seemed to go through. maybe try again could be system was down

Yeah, mine seemed to go through, too - hopefully, they’ll get back to us soon and all will be well. :crossed_fingers:

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Thanks, Dan, I tried one of the 3D sets and they were really brittle, so brittle that I broke off too many pins to have enough to do both sides, or maybe it was just me. :grin:

If Panda doesn’t work, I might try another brand, though - the combination I need (T54E1 steel chevron tracks with duckbills) is years out of production in other media and impossible to find.

Was it a Trex 3D printed track set?

One of our club members bought a couple of sets of Trex tracks that first got brittle, then started disintegrating. Total crap.

Plenty of extended end connectors to be had in the AFV Club T48 and T51 track sets, especially if you know someone who built a couple of those without going to the trouble of fitting them. Of course, they only come in one style, which may not be the one you need.

Yes, at least as of Feb it was. I received my order then.

I have a set of Heavy Hobby Sherman track and am happy with them.

Hi Wade, the company was Panzerwerk design, T48 rubber chevron tracks with duckbills - they look great, but like I said too many pins were breaking off, which might well have been my fault:

I actually have had pretty good luck with T-Rex stuff, but I have only used their single-pin Tiger and Panther tracks.

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Hi Jakko, I have a lot of duckbills from my two Meng kits (M4A3(76)W and M4A3E2 Jumbo) but they’re basically impossible to glue onto another manufacturer’s tracks and keep straight, but maybe other combinations will work, thanks.

Thanks, Ryan, that’s great news, maybe a couple of key employees are sick, that can shut down one of these little companies for a week or two.

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Dan, thanks for the recommendation, I’ve had my eye on those and might pull the trigger if the Panda ones don’t work out.

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Thanks again to everyone for their help!

I know for my order they mentioned waiting for the mold accuracy to be checked as they wear out. Maybe it’s a similar deal with your order. :man_shrugging:

Who has time for that? Where is Tony Engelhardt when you need him? :rofl:

So you know, Panda Plastics duckbills are also separate parts that you need to glue to the normal end connectors, just like in AFV Club’s Sherman track sets and the Meng parts. (I should probably add here I didn’t realise Meng also includes them, but checking the Victory Kiss kit I have, I see now that the sprues do have them.) I bought a set of Panda duckbills, expecting extended end connectors as a single part which would replace half the end connectors from a normal Panda track set — but no, what you actually get this:

I don’t see much difference between these and Meng’s, if I’m honest, though admittedly, I have not built either of them.

Hi Jakko, thanks for the heads-up and the pic - I was thinking if the normal and the extended end connectors (i.e. the duckbills) were made by the same company, they would be molded to fit and it wouldn’t be so difficult to align properly.

As it turned out, I decided to follow Dan’s recommendation and go for the Heavy Hobby T54E1s and duckbills. The tracks are the only thing holding up that project and I can get the HH ones much faster from Super-Hobby in Poland (I live in Germany) - as a matter of fact, they’ve already been shipped.

Also, what you expected the Panda ones to be - extended end connectors as a single part which would replace half the end connectors - is the case with the HH set.

Thanks, Ryan, that’s certainly a valid reason to delay an order, though I’d have appreciated it if they’d told me…

In any case, like I said above, I’ve pulled the trigger on the Heavy Hobby T54E1s plus duckbills. If Panda is still in business (as they seem to be), I’ll order from them some other time for another project.

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You could be correct, but as I haven’t built them, I don’t know for sure. What I do know is I was disappointed in this set because it means a ton of extra work to fit extended end connectors to a model, when I had expected end connector and extension as a single part to just slide onto the track blocks.