Category: Panthers


Dragons Panther Ausf A Late (6168)

Painted and Weathered for Adding to a Diorama

I wasn’t so pleased with the paint job and found out that one assembly wasn’t right and I went ahead and replaced the barrel cleaning tool that went with the kit. So I replaced it with the Aber R23 Cleaning Rod & Spare Aerial Cannister.

After that final check, I went ahead with the camo painting process. I Primarily used Vallejo Paints for the primer,basecoat and camo. Sprayed Glosscoat Clear Acrylic afterwards and let dry 24 hours.

The next day I then used the MIG Enamel Washes. Let Dry 24 hours and sprayed it with matte acrylic clear coat.

The next day, did some light panel traffic wear with MIG Abeitlung Oils. Did some chipping and dry brushing with Testors Enamel Model Master Paint.
And finally finishing it off  using MIG Pigmets for the final step.

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Dragons Panther Ausf A Late (6168)
Paint/Wash/Track Fitting

Construction completed to the point where the painting was neccesary. I used Vallejo Acrylic Black Primer,Then sprayed the Dark Yellow Primer. I did some modulation painting,then I proceded with the tri-camo usingTestor’s Acrylic Panzer Olivgrun 1943 and Rotbraun RAL 8012, and Vallejo Gloss Satin for the wash which consisted of MIG Productions Dark Enamel Wash,Brown Enamel Wash,and Enamel Light Rust Wash.

I then fitted the Master Club Modeling Accessories Tracks. So the next steps for me is the painting of the tools,some touch up where needed,some pin washing.

The chipping process would be next followed up by applying the flat clear acyrlic coat to seal it up. I would then fit the tracks,after being primed,painted,applying the wash,and clear coated.

 

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks2

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks3

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks4

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks5

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks6

 

 

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks8

 

Painted,Washed,Fitting Tracks9

Dragon’s Panther Ausf A (6168)

Dragons Panther Ausf A Late (6168)

The Build

This kit was released as DML #6168 during 2003.The kit comes with a number of sprues from the earlier D model kit (B, C, D, E, G and H) and G model kits (sprue F) as well as 55 new parts on the A and M sprues. These cover the new upper hull and turret, back plate, glacis, and other fittings which separate a late model A from an early D model. The new parts also cover the mantlet, three-pipe exhaust, and numerous small detail fittings.

The tracks consist of 192 individual links , I opted to go for workable metal tracks with resin pins. Master Club,a company in Russia,they truly are the real deal .

The upper hull features very nice surface details with engraved panel lines, there is also bolt head detail around the turret race ring that you don’t see when the turret is in place.

I decided to go with Zimmerit, so I went ahead and bought the Atak Zimmerit Sheets,they are very thinand easy to work with. I applied them with “Gator Glue”,an acyrlic adhesive. I used Squadron white putty to work the Zimmerit Sheets together.

The kit came with no rear engine deck PE grills, So I went ahead and used Alliance Panther A / D Grill Mesh for Dragon kits.

Also included is a small decal sheet and side Schuerzen (soft steel skirts) included as pre-cut thin plastic card, a nice touch. They just didn’t do anything for me so I am going to use Voyager Models,side steel skirts.

The turret also features very nice surface details with separate commander’s cupola, rear plate which in turn has a separate circular hatch.

The loader’s periscope is also a separate piece as are all the other items on the turret roof. I went ahead and used the clear German AFV Periscope Set, from FineMolds,from Japan.

I subsituted the two piece Barrel for a Jordio Rubio one that I had in my stash,I didn’t have the muzzle break,so I used the one off the plastic barrel.

Overall, it’s a nice kit with nice details everywhere and correctly shows the features of an late Ausf.A Panther. Not bad for 2003.

Closeup Rear Deck Build

Front Build

Left Front Build

Left Side Build

Master Club Tracks

Dragons Panther Ausf A Late (6168)
The Background

The Panther I Ausf A was the second production version of the Panther medium tank, and was very similar to late production Ausf Ds. No good reason can be found for the order of model letters used on the Panther. Most of the changes made to the Ausf A were designed to improve the poor reliability of the early Panthers. Amongst these changes were the introduction of a stronger running gear and drive train and better cooling for the engine exhausts. The number of bolts holding the wheels together was also increased

The most visible change was to the commander’s cupola, where the simple drum cupola of the Ausf D was replaced with a hemispherical (curved top) cupola, with armoured covers for seven periscopes around the top. A ring to carry an anti-aircraft machinegun was carried above the periscopes. The turret also featured an improved traversing mechanism, which could operate at two different speeds.

The turret had many modifications. In addition to the new cast commander´s cupola with seven periscopes, an episcope for the loader was provided on the right side of the turett roof. The small ammunition-loading hatch in the left side was eliminated, and during the production run, the turett side pistol ports were eliminated in December 1943 in favour of the roof mounted “Nahverteidigungswaffe” (close defense weapon), which wasn´t intoduced before March 1944, due to shortages and production faults. Many Ausf. As assembled in February and March had a circular plate held by four bolts to cover the hole in the turett roof for the missing Nahverteidigungswaffe. The seals behind the gun mantlet and the seals for the turret race were redesigned, the elevating gear for the gun was simplified, and a variable speed turret traverse drive based on the engine speed was introduced. Furthermore an improved “Rohrausblasevorrichtung” (bore evacuator) was introduced for clearing powder gases out of the gun. Another visible change on the Ausf A was the introduction of a ball mounted machine gun in the hull front. The mounting itself was protected by a circular bulge on the front of the armour.

 

 Undergoing Construction,Pics. Soon

Box Cover

Box Cover

Zweda’s 1/35 Panther Ausf D

 

Zweda’s 1/35 Panther Ausf D
Review/Build

Once again we were delighted with the Russian Zvezda great imaginary and the developed model. It is clearly a new model of the new tools that certainly ranks among the best in terms of quality and accuracy.

The entire kit comes in the standard package of two boxes, external to the illustration and the necessary information about the model and manufacturer and the inner, larger, which are very safe complex Bases in all 698 parts.

The bed of the fuselage was expelled from unanimity work and comes as a separate part. In the box are the nine frames with parts in yellow/tan and one frame with eight parts in clear. All parts are precisely cast with a minimal appearance of the remains of casting (“flash”), no broken parts, ie removing access. connection parts with frames is quite good and promises easy removal of the smallest parts without damage.

Details are made very well, without visible flash on them. Pin Marks are present in small numbers, and will not make trouble during assembly. Instruction guide is printed in b/w , 24 steps on five pages, easy readable.

Construction starts with turret and it will include nine steps to build it. Good thing is that Zvezda models provided interior details for it. “Ring” floor, chairs for crew, inside details for main gun, machine gun, air filters, etc are some of details inside. Commanders and loaders hatch can be built as open or closed. I was not to thrilled with the smoothness of the turret gun mantlet,so to get that rough cast look, I used “Mr. Surfacer 1000,and that worked quite well.

Tracks are made link by link that connects with extra plastic part and can be built as workable. Also there is a few tracks molded as one part (like Italeri makes for their Tiger tanks) and can`t be built as workable. Details on tracks are made very nice, but I had some issues with that connecting part,so I just went to my safe and pulled out a set of Dragon’s Magic Link Tracks,they fitted nicely around the Drive Sprocket. Also the kit had one piece molded plastic skirts for each side, so fortunately I had a set of aftermarket skirts,which fitted nicely.

The kit is great – easy assembly, minimum imperfections, good plastic, great fit, high fun factor, and as far as I could gather, rather accurate for an early D.

It does require attention to avoid swapping parts, and the gap at the glacis plate join requires some elbow grese, but for 1/3 of DML’s kit price, it’s a real steal I can’t actually complain about, can I? Great work, Zvezda!

I used AK interactive Acrylic German War Colors (1937-44),Vallejo Acrylic Black Primer,AK interactive Acrylic Dark Yellow Primer for the base coat.Vallejo Model Air Panzer Colors,Mig Productions 502 abteilung oils for filters and wear,and also their pigments. So I can say that I finished my first Zweda Kit. Not Bad.

Front Shot

Left Front Angle Shot

Left Angle Rear Shot

Right Rear Shot

Rear

Rear Two Shot

 

Zweda’s 1/35 Panther Ausf D

History

The Panther was a German medium tank deployed during World War II from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. It was intended as a counter to the Soviet T-34, and as a replacement for the Panzer III and Panzer IV. While never replacing the latter, it served alongside it and the heavier Tiger I until the end of the war. While the Panther is considered one of the best tanks of World War II due to its excellent firepower and protection, it was less impressive in terms of mobility, reliability, and cost.

It was developed by the company MAN in 1941 and 1942 and was intended to become the Wehrmacht’s primary tank. According to German classification, the Panther was considered a medium tank.
After the outbreak of war with the Soviet Union, German troops encountered the new Soviet T-34 and KV tanks, which were superior to all of the Wehrmacht’s available models.

After examining the strengths and weaknesses of the Soviet tanks, German engineers added sloping armor and a new chassis with large rollers and wide treads to the project.

The delivery orders were rushed, asking for a first batch by December.However the specialized tooling for this new model was far from ready and designed in haste. The order for 1000 to be delivered in early 1943 proved over-optimistic.

The flaws of the Panther design was the weak final drive, which became the reason for many mechanical failures, and the turret mantlet design, which created a shot trap exploited by many Allied tankers to destroy it by deflecting the shell into the weak top armor of the Panther.

The Panther was first issued to the Eastern Front, arming the 51st and 52nd Tank Battalions, which presented many mechanical problems of the Panther. Despite these issues, the Panther was deemed critical in the Battle of Kursk in Operation Citadel, Hitler delayed the operation in order for sufficient amount of Panthers to reach the front. 200 Panthers were ready in June 1943, but its combat debut was quite embarrassing due to existing mechanical issues, two were lost to motor fires after disembarking from trains.

The V12 Maybach HL 210 P30 Engine was compact, with a seven disc crankshaft, and the two series of cylinders were not offset. However, this tight connecting rods space caused teething problems, like blown head gaskets, and the bearings failed early on.

It’s pros was, it was very fast,and had excellent long-range capabilities.The Panther soon proved itself as a defensive weapon during the Soviet offensives that followed the battle of Kursk. Here its thick armour and powerful gun made it a very effective weapon, and it would be in this role, during the two years of defensive battles that followed Kursk, that the Panther would earn its reputation.

 

 

Box Art

 

Backside Cover Box

Dragon 1/35th Panther A Late “Black Knight” (Kit# 6524)

 

Painted and Weathered

In these last pages,they show the three camo pattern. I used all sorts of mediums,but primarily after the red primer was applied I used Vallejo Acrylics. For the basecoat I used Sand Yellow (#009) for the basecoat and modulation process. For the two other colors for the tri-camo I used Calvary Brown (#137) for Rotbraun. And for Olivgrün I used German Camo Dark Green (#097). The airbrush paint process came out exceptionally well,especially that I was using my brand new Iwata “Ninja Jet” Compressor. I used Testors Dullcote and Glosscote for the clearcoats needed for the “wash” process,and for the final matt look. I used Testor’s Model Master Enamels for the pioneer tools. I used a small pinpoint brush for the chipping,and used MIG 502 Abteilung Oils for the highlights and heavy traffic areas. MIG Pigments was used nicely for the lower hull,tracks and wheel assemblies.These were the primary mediums that I used.

Footnote

I had trouble with the application of the Archer 1/35 medium tall numbers black & white turret transfers (#AR35040B). During the application they were accidently torn,now I had to re-order them and will download up to date pictures,when it’s do      12

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Dragon 1/35th Panther A Late “Black Knight” (Kit# 6524)

History

The Panther I Ausf A was the second production version of the Panther medium tank, and was very similar to late production Ausf Ds. No good reason can be found for the order of model letters used on the Panther. Most of the changes made to the Ausf A were designed to improve the poor reliability of the early Panthers. Amongst these changes were the introduction of a stronger running gear and drive train and better cooling for the engine exhausts. The number of bolts holding the wheels together was also increased

The most visible change was to the commander’s cupola, where the simple drum cupola of the Ausf D was replaced with a hemispherical (curved top) cupola, with armoured covers for seven periscopes around the top. A ring to carry an anti-aircraft machinegun was carried above the periscopes. The turret also featured an improved traversing mechanism, which could operate at two different speeds.

The turret had many modifications. In addition to the new cast commander´s cupola with seven periscopes, an episcope for the loader was provided on the right side of the turett roof. The small ammunition-loading hatch in the left side was eliminated, and during the production run, the turett side pistol ports were eliminated in December 1943 in favour of the roof mounted “Nahverteidigungswaffe” (close defense weapon), which wasn´t intoduced before March 1944, due to shortages and production faults. Many Ausf. As assembled in February and March had a circular plate held by four bolts to cover the hole in the turett roof for the missing Nahverteidigungswaffe. The seals behind the gun mantlet and the seals for the turret race were redesigned, the elevating gear for the gun was simplified, and a variable speed turret traverse drive based on the engine speed was introduced. Furthermore an improved “Rohrausblasevorrichtung” (bore evacuator) was introduced for clearing powder gases out of the gun. Another visible change on the Ausf A was the introduction of a ball mounted machine gun in the hull front. The mounting itself was protected by a circular bulge on the front of the armour.

Problems were experienced with blown head gaskets. As advised by Dr Ferdinand Porsche, this was corrected by installing copper rings pressed into grooves to seal the heads of Maybach HL 230 P30 motors starting with serial number 8321466 in September 1943. Other modifications were introduced at the same time including improoved coolant circulation inside the motor and a reinforced membrane spring installed in the fuel pump. In November 1943, starting with Maybach HL230 P30 motor number 8322575, the governor was already set at the factory for a maximum speed of 2500 rpm under full load and the motors were outfitted with a hand operated temperature control on the oil cooler.

The Ausf A began to reach the eastern front soon after the battle of Kursk. It operated alongside the Ausf D and later Ausf G in every theatre of the war. It dominated the Panzer forces in the middle of 1944, and most of the Panther detachments in Normandy were equipped with the A model to meet the Allied invasion of France in mid 1944 and many of them were still in service at the end of the war. About 2,200 Panther Ausf.A were produced by MAN in Fgst. Nr. series 210254-210899 (645), by Daimler-Benz in Fgst. Nr. series 121900-152575 (675), by Demag in Fgst. Nr series 158100-158150 (50), and MNH in Fgst.Nr. series 154800-155630 (830).

“Barkmann’s Corner”

In late 1943, Ernst Barkmann was promoted to the rank of SS-Unterscharfuhrer. In early 1944, the entire division was transferred to Bordeaux area in southern France for rest and refitting as a panzer division. Following the D-Day (June 6 of 1944), 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich was ordered to move northwards and was committed to battle.

In early July of 1944, Das Reich was moved to Saint Lo to halt the advance of the US Army’s 9th and 30th Infantry Divisions and the 3rd Armored Division. On July 8th, Barkmann’s Kompanie was a spearhead of Regiment’s attack on the advancing American units. On this day, Ernst Barkmann knocked out his first Allied Sherman tank near St.Lo. On July 12th, he destroyed two more Shermans while disabling the third one. During that engagement Barkmann moved his camouflaged Panther to ambush position and awaited for more Allied armor, knocking out three Shermans. After that Ernst Barkmann’s tank was hit by an anti-tank gun which caused fire. He decided to abandon his burning Panther and along with his crew he quickly put out the fire. After that engagement his Panther ended up in the workshop for repairs. After a day of rest, in morning of July 14th, Barkmann was ordered to recover four Panthers that had been cut off behind enemy lines. He succeeded in his task and added three more Shermans to his score. On the same day at noon, Ernst Barkmann was ordered by the Regimental Commander SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Tychsen to recover wounded German soldiers from their American captors. Once again he succeeded and in the evening his own Panther was returned to him from the workshop. On July 26th, Barkmann’s Panther suffered from engine problem and was sent to field workshop.When mechanics were working on it, field workshop was attacked by Allied fighter-bombers and Barkmann’s Panther was hit in the engine compartment. By the dawn of July 27th, his Panther was repaired but he was cut off from the rest of the Kompanie and was on his way to rejoin it. On his way back, near the village of Le Lorey, Barkmann was stopped by the retreating German infantrymen who reported that Americans were closing in. Ernst Barkmann decided to send two of his men to verify that report. They soon returned with news of American column made up of some 15 Shermans and other vehicles approaching. Then Barkmann moved his tank up the road to the crossroad where he positioned his Panther in the surrounding oak trees, awaiting the enemy. When the American column approached, Ernst Barkmann opened fire, knocking out two leading tanks and then tanker truck.Two Shermans tried to go around burning wreckage that blocked the road and one of them was knocked out followed by the other one.In the response, Americans retreated and called up the tactical fighter support and Barkmann’s Panther was damaged and some of the crew members were wounded. Using the element of suprise two Shermans attacked “wounded” Panther but were also knocked out.Barkmann and his crew repaired their Panther and knocked out single Sherman while leaving.His driver managed to moved their damaged Panther to the safety of nearby village of Neufbourg. During that brave engagement often called “Barkmann’s Corner”, Ernst Barkmann destroyed approximately nine Sherman tanks and many other various vehicles.

The Kit

“Die Erzählung des Schwarzen Ritters”, translated as The Story of the Black Knights, is a popular comic book series set in WWII. The series follows Oberleutnant Ernst von Bauer and his 8th Tank Company known as the Black Knights. The series begins in the fall of 1943 on the Eastern Front, and follows the unit through the end of the war as they change vehicles several times (the unit uses Panthers, Panzer IVs, StuG IIIs, and even Jadgpanzers). The Panther A enters the story early on, after the unit loses their Panzer IV’s in a battle with the Soviets. By luck, they find several Panther A’s and fight back, repelling the “Reds”.

Each box has special comic inspired art work and includes a limited edition figure of the Oberleutnant for the commander’s copula, as well as a second full figure. The full figures can be joined together to make up the Black Knight tank commanders being inspected by the Oberleutnant. The kit itself is the Dragon premium edition of the Panther A, including photo-etch, DS tracks, and stamped aluminum side skirts. The construction of the kit went without issue. I will caution that some of the PE parts are very delicate and not easy to work with. The fitting of the major panels,tub,upper hull, and turret went very smoothly. It has very beautiful detail. For Ernst Barkmann’s Panther I added Atak Zimmerit – Panther A Late Type (35019 ). For the turret numbers I ordered Archer Fine Transfers German Turret Numbers (Black w/White Outline) for the 2nd SS Panzer Division Das Reich (AFT-035038B). And now that my compressor went out ,I am only going to have to spray Red Oxide Primer “Rattle Can” Style”. Bye for now

 

 

Cover Art

 

 

 

 

 

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Because of its many advanced and innovative features, the World War II German Panzerkampfwagen V, known as the “Panther” tank, is still considered by many ordnance experts as a weaponry masterpiece. The development of the Panther came about due to the successes generated by the Russian T-34, which has become a serious threat to the German forces during the mid part of the conflict. Mass production of the Panther began during the spring of 1943, and with its sophisticated mechanics and powerful Type 42 L70, 70mm main gun, the Panther tank demonstrated its formidable strength during front line action shortly after its introduction. Several improvements were suggested following its initial employment, resulting in the Panther Type G, which began to appear in spring 1944. Major improvements consisted of additional side armor slope angles and simplified assembly refinements for mass production. The powerplant of the Type G Panther was a Maybach HL230-P30, V-12 cylinder, watercooled engine producing 700 horsepower. In order to further enhance productivity and compensate for the lack of raw materials, a handful of trial production Panthers were mounted with steelwheels for testing pruposes. Steel-rimmed silent block wheels, which saved on dwindling supplies of rubber, were introduced in very limited number of O-series vehicles from September 1944 onwards. They were insulated from the hubs by two rubber rings clamped between disc-shaped pressings. The steel-wheeled Panther Type G’s were very rarely seen during combat.I had built this kit in 1997 and was the first time as I recall that I used extra detail sets for it. I used the Verlinden Panther Detail Set,Modelkasten individual track links, and zimmerit from Cavalier. It took me awhile because I was still new to the application of photo etched details,and was still awkward with the small parts,such as the tool clamps. I believe the star antenna was from a Dragon antenna set,I could be wrong.Also this was the first time I used pre manufactured resin zimmerit. I always was using the old putty method.The Cavalier resin zimmerit made it go easy. I believe I used Testors enamel paint. I also hand painted the numbers and the balken crosses.  For weathering I used Hudson and Allen red clay for the dust effect and used Winsor and Newton oils for wash and drybrushing. Boy times have changed.

 

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