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M4 Original VVSS Suspension (Late) + T51 DS Track

DML 1/35 M4 Original VVSS Suspension (Late) + T51 DS Track First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review February 2009 Manufacturer DML (
Subject M4 Original VVSS Suspension (Late) + T51 DS Track Scale 1/35
Kit Number 3869 Primary Media 78 parts (76 in grey styrene, 2 tan DS Plastic tracks)
Pros An alternative M3-style VVSS suspension as a separate kit permits upgrades or completions to older kits or projects; one-piece T51 tracks make it very worthwhile Cons May not be readily available
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $19.95

First Look

This is the alternative to the other (DML) upgrade kit for M3 and early M4 medium tank suspensions.

The kit provides a later variation of the VVSS suspension with lateral ribbing bogie carriers, “sculpted” bogies, top-mounted return rollers, five-spoked welded wheels, and welded idlers; no drivers are included with this set. A set of hull adapter plates are provided to fit them to either any DML or Italeri hull, or with trimming to any other manufacturer’s M3 or M4 hull.

The common T51 tracks are included – these being the non-reversible rubber pad tracks as opposed to the older and reversible T41 type – from DS plastic, and most modelers have been relatively enthusiastic about them as single link US medium tank tracks made from three to five parts per link are exceedingly tedious to assemble, and as the medium tanks used “live” tracks which rarely sagged of little advantage.

This set permits upgrading older kits such as Tamiya M3 and M4 Early kits as well as Academy M3 kits (if you did not get the “upgrade” sprue from Academy with the correct size bogie carriers), or an alternative suspension for an older DML M4A1 cast hull. Detail is good, and the set costs two-thirds of the Tasca set with relatively identical details, plus the T51 tracks as a bonus.

Overall this set is again a very good deal and a nice way to get modern results from older kits.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • D 28x2 M4 DV suspension parts
  • T 6x2 Late VVSS top mounted roller front sections
  • S 4x2 Hull adapter plates
  • 2 T51 DS plastic track runs