The Panther is one of the most recognizable tanks of WWII, right up there with the slow and boxy but feared Tiger I. With ~6,000 examples per Wikipedia the Panther is the third most produced tracked German AFV after the Stug III (9,408 built), and the workhorse of Panzerwaffe, the Pz IV (8,298 made).
No wonder that number of kits on the market follows closely the other 2 vehicles. Naturally there are various renditions of the vehicle and its details, with the tracks varying from flat to highly detailed. Below are a few examples from 6 different kits:
There was only ever one E-100 chassis built, but this project for super heavy armored vehicle continues to capture modeller minds across the world in all scales. Years ago the only 1/72 kit was the Dragon one, which went missing for nearly a decade. When re-released it disappeared from the market in 2 (two days).
Then along come Trumpeter and Modelcollect, and here we are with two more competitively priced 1/72 kits.
What’s common for all 3 of them? The tracks are far from good. Negative experience with DS tracks and the underwhelming releases from the younger competitors drove my interest to, well, OKB, and their E-100 resin track set.
The “King Tiger” tiger needs no introduction, and there’s hardly a company that has not issued a kit of it. While the angles and sizes of various armor plates would rarely be the subject of scrutiny in 1/72 (and even less often are corrected on models), tracks remain an important detail of the kits.
There are several types, including multiple patterns of the wider “combat” and narrower “transport” ones – a situation similar to the first generation of Tiger tanks.
The WWII Panther tank has become a legend mostly based on its looks and long gun rather than its combat record. This has prevented no manufacturer ever from producing a kit of it, and as a result the modeller today has a vast choice of kits to build. Other than the (generally) horrendous tracks the detail that gets your attention the most is the commander’s cupola. Renditions vary, but they are usually molded closed, in soft detail, and with vision blocks having see-thru effect.
Georgi from OKB Grigorov is offering a solution to those problems for your Panther fleets: 2 separate sets of 4 commander cupolas each for the Ausf D and the Ausf A/G, respectively.
This build is special for me. The kit was purchased, started and completed in just one month, which is a first for the past 20 years or so. I wanted to postpone the clash with it, but I could not resist.
The first thing you should know is that you need to forget most of the modelling stuff you’ve learned over the years. Since the model is a fast build/snap kit:
– DO NOT DRY FIT PARTS, or keep it to a minimum. Fit’s so tight on some parts you won’t be able to disassemble what you put together.
Well it’s finally out. After two years of promises and a lot of online desperation on modellers’ end it’s in the shops and tonight it reaches my bench.
Two sprues of sand-colored plastic, a black sprue for the threads (total part count is 97) and a small decal sheet plus instructions and safety precautions for $8. Let’s see what’s in.
I am impressed! Part of the roadwheels are molded as a single detail, however the suspension arms are separate parts, as are the OVM tools! I am sure modellers will find something else to complain about, however before I actually start building the kit I will only comment on the way this kit is molded and so far it looks rather good to me.
The last pic in the previous post shows I forgot to add the PE plate between the upper hull and add-on armor, so I had to add it and paint it separately. Hatches and and some small details were added next. I then proceeded to spray the brown spots using diluted Revell brown under very low pressure. MM Burnt Metal was used to detail paint the S-hooks, tank jack, etc.
The decals were fixed using Mr. Mark Softer.
The wheels were added next, then the right side track run was superglued on. To my horror it turned too short, so I had to stretch it with most of it already stuck on the model. It ain’t a particularly pretty sight.
Oh yes, you knew that was coming as it’s a patter of the way I’ve been publishing recently. I feel it’s only logical that the articles are presented in this sequence despite my modelling not following it exactly as there are always multiple projects on the bench.
This one is bit odd, as I started separating pieces from the sprues the moment I set the camera aside. I knew it should take me a minimal time to build the little tank and deliver a hopefully useful review to Armorama, who kindly supplied the kit.
Alright, so kits of various Pz Kpfw III “marks” have been around for quite some time, including several versions by Revell, whose releases were (and still are) regarded as the finest depictions of the tank in the scale.
As the Revell kits have gradually became less and less available, Dragon have stepped up with a new-tool Ausf. L (the subject here), M and the N infantry support tank with the 75mm gun, fitted to early marks of the Pz. IV. As you’d gather DML would milk the molds as much as it can, hence the commonality.