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:
The BMPT (marketing callsign “Terminator”) is a Russian fighting vehicle, based off a T-72/T-90 chassis with a 5-man crew. It is intended as an urban warfare vehicle supporting main battle tanks and infantry. Armament consists of
4 Ataka ATGMs on the turret sides (up to 6km range),
two 30 mm 2A42 cannons (known from the BMP-2) in the center,
and a PKTM machine gun (7,62x54mm) at the top.
Two AGS-17 grenade launchers in the front sponsons further add to the firepower.
The machine is clad into reactive and bar armor from all sides, and the kit represents that very well. Not everyone “gets” the vehicle (even the Russian MoD hasn’t ordered any), so the only customer to date is Kazakhstan. Since I am tired of seeing the same 2 examples in reports from arms expos and the thing looks a bit too post-apocaliptic – I devised a scheme of my own. Markings come from Dragon Humvee set and a Space Marine set.
2 years later than the actual completion date I am finally uploading a gallery of my rendition. It was an absolute joy to build bar the tracks which can be easily broken when trying to bend them around the wheels.
The kit is built mostly OOB except
OKB Grigorov’s T-90 tracks,
copper cable for the lower rims of the fuel drums on the back,
decals from New Penguin’s Airborne Combat Vehicles Markings set 72002,
and 0,3mm brass rod antenna, which I bent numerous times during the first week. I got so angry I placed the model in a box so I don’t do it again.
The T-72 main battle tank is one of the most recognizable combat machines very much thanks to the mass of real-time broadcast conflicts it’s participated in during the past 3 decades. A lot of companies have released model kits, including in 1/72 scale.
Two types of roadwheels have been used during the 72’s production run: the “8-hole” (early) and the “6-hole” (late) types. They were identical in diameter and rim width – 750mm and 190mm respectively. This scales down to approx. 10,4 and 2,6mm in 1/72.
Strictly following the beaten path of releasing two opposing sets each time, Zvezda has provided a VVS ground crew to match the Luftwaffe set 6188.
There’s a reason the review is uploaded after the German crew – the kit has something special in it. Figures are made after the characters from the Soviet movie “Only Old Men Are Going to Battle” – a fragment is shown below:
Just have a look at these two (esp. the one on the left):
and you will understand what I mean.
Now… “Old men” is rather used for experienced ones rather than aged. In war where life expectancy on the battlefield was measured in hours and medals were presented for surviving 20 combat flights you could consider such a veteran the squadron’s old man. But I digress.
In recent years Zvezda has released multiple snap-fit aircraft kits in 1/72 scale that include excellent pilot figures. They have now “gone full circle” by releasing ground crews to accompany these kits. First off – the Luftwaffe crew.
As shown on the now-standard box – there are 5 figures, a bomb trolley with a bomb, a fuel drum and a jerry can included. As with some other sets you can either use a single base for all the guys, or use individual ones.
Typical for the Art of tactic game series the plastic is light gray, parts are on 2 sprues.
T-90 has been in the fantasies of a lot of Braille scale folk in the recent years. There was the ACE kit, then more recently the Revell cast and welded turret models. Tracks on all were on the underdetailed side. This set from OKB Grigorov solves the problem.
Now with the Zvezda T-90 out you’d imagine we have the definitive kit with great tracks. Alas, although Zvezda did create an impressive kit, the tracks supplied are extremely tense, and the entire running gear can be snapped away trying to put the track runs on.
The Soviet union started the war with the F-22 and USV divisional guns as the mainstays of its artillery. In 1942 they were replaced by the lighter, faster-firing and more modern ZIS-3 design that was more suited to war time production and maintenance capabilities of the vast country. Over 45,000 guns were built during war years; many were towed, some served on anti-tank SPGs like the SU-76 and SU-76M.
Italeri and UM have already produced kits of the subject, the first one even included crew in winter uniform. My personal opinion is that either kit suffer from oversimplification, so the kit from Zvezda is a welcome addition to the market despite positioned as the wargaming piece that the Italeri rendition is.
Italeri, Heller, and more recently Roden and Dragon have released PAK-40 in 1/72. There have also been wargaming models in the scale.
Italeri’s crew are softer plastic than I like, Dragon’s “bundle” with the PAK-36 and 5 crewfigures is excellent, but hard to find and expensive. Preiser’s 5-member gun crew is similarly elusive, but tops all of them.
The cons above – along with aggressive pricing of about $3 – puts Zvezda’s new set at a very competitive position, despite the crew consisting of just 3 figures. The two sprues are molded in grey and reasonably well-detailed.