kit was released in January 2016 and consists of 82 parts (including
the two DS tracks) from five separate sprues. According to the instructions,
10 parts will not be used.
is well detailed and I didn't encounter any damage or flash on the
tracks are also well detailed (but aftermarket resin tracks are better).
The decals are for two tank markings from an "Unidentified Unit,
etched parts are provided for this kit.
as accuracy of this model kit is concerned, there are several flaws.
By now, you probably think this kit is just another Panther Ausf.D.
Guess what?? YES!!! you are correct. The sprues even show "1/72
Panther D". What happened, Dragon? That's really bad, in my opinion,
but I don't mind doing some changes.
The following paragraphs are for the Panther technical gurus out there
that like to spend a lot attention to details and modifications.
If you're not one of those people, you might find this information
with the top hull, the radial reinforcements for the air outlet grilles
meet the central hub at an angle (which is only correct for the Ausf.
D carried that). The Ausf. A had straight lines (similar to the Ausf.G).
Note. The new design (with the straight lines) was introduced late
in the Ausf. D production run (May 1943), according to Panzer Tracts.
are based on this Japanese reference book I have, "Achtung Panzer
No.4 Panther" which covers a lot of details in line drawings
and photos of the Ausf.A. In my opinion, the book seems accurate enough.)
flaw, the cooling air inlet grilles are horizontally lined up straight
instead of in a horizontal wavy line. (The wavy line goes horizontally
side-to-side, not in a vertical line pointing from the front hull
to the muffler).
the engine deck is molded in one piece and this can be a problem if
someone considers modification on the grilles or the entire deck.
right!!! There is NO ball-mount for the front hull machine gun. Keep
in mind, this kit depicts the early production Ausf.A and according
to the "Achtung Panzer" book, the ball-mount started to
appear in 11/1943.
The Ausf.A early production were deployed in 09/1943 and this means
that the kit is correct for the front hull including its vertically-rectangular-shape
machine gun viewport (which also appears on the Ausf.D).
The travel clamp (that secures the main gun) is molded in one piece
with the retainer and it's in the up position. You will have to saw
or cut the clamp and retainer apart to have it in the release/down
position. This requires a lot of skills to do because of its small
As for the road wheels, all wheels (except for the outer ones which
are separate) are molded in one piece for easy assembly. All road
wheels are the correct 24-bolt pattern version.
The drive sprocket wheels is somewhat correct as the Ausf.D early
production used those types but its similar on the Ausf.A. The only
difference is the center cap of the wheel. It's recessed (Ausf.D center
caps were recessed vs. Ausf.A filled).
Note: According to Panzer Tracts, the type of hubcap for
the drive sprocket in the kit was still used, in parallel with the
newer type up to March 1944.
wheels are correct for an Ausf.A.
The side skirts are molded in one piece. (Aftermarket photo etched
separate skirts are better).
The gun turret is somewhat correct for an Ausf.A early production.
Here are the flaws:
First, the cupola is wrong. As mentioned before, the kit is a copy
of an Ausf.D kit.
Ausf.A cupolas were very similar like those on the Ausf.G.
According to Panzer Tracts,
the only difference between an Ausf.D and an Ausf.A was the way
the turret was assembled. Changes were subtle, but one visible feature
is that the Ausf.D had dovetailed side armor plates on the top side
of the turret while they were square cut on the Ausf. A. The kit
has square cut sides, so it is technically correct on that point.
(Incidentally, the Ausf.D kit from Dragon has the same turret, making
Other changes were implemented incrementally and (according to the
same reference) a few early Ausf. A were still delivered with the
Ausf. D cupola, but this doesn't apply to the vehicles in the marking
options seen here
the two handles on top of the turret will have to be drilled open
or, alternatively, removed and new ones scratchbuilt with a thin wire.
includes smoke dischargers for the side of the turret.
Most of the actual photos of the Ausf.A don't appear to carry these
smoke dischargers. That's pretty much all for the errors. Everything
else from the tools, mufflers, etc. are correct for the Ausf.A early
Last but not least we have the decals. Most likely the two markings
from the kit belonged to the 16.Panzer-Division since that unit was
in Italy in 1943/44. Please check out this website (Panther44.de)
for Panther production figures and Panther allocations to units. This
website can help you figure out what units received the Ausf.A early
Note: The marking options
are the same as in the 1/35 kit, but Dragon didn't copy the paint
schemes and went for "unknown units" in Italy, which is
incorrect, and they should have known from the research they did
for the 1/35 kit.
221 was a vehicle from I./Pz.Rgt. 4 (which got its first
Panthers in December 1943) near Anzio, Italy in 1944 with Zimmerit
(which the kit does not provide). This
regiment belonged to 13 Panzer Division at the time but was
detached from the parent unit.
701 belonged to Pz.Rgt.23
of 23.Pz.Div. in Southern Russia in the winter of 1943/44. It didn't
carry Zimmerit, which makes it
a very rare Ausf.A. (Remember that Ausf. A production started in
September 1943, which is the time that Zimmerit started to be applied.)
It was camouflaged with temporary white paint.
(Thanks to Timothy Lau for the extra input.)
I am not disappointed with the model kit due to the fact that I like
to scratchbuild and modify model kits in my own preference.
model can be purchased from