Panther Ausf. G
Manufacturer: Revell AG.
By Michael Hatch.
Here are some shots of my kit-bashed Revell AG's late production Panther G.
This Panther is meant to represent a vehicle from some unknown unit on either the Eastern or Western fronts during the winter of 44/45. It carries factory camouflage with only the bare essential marking with no unit distinctions.
The kit was a pretty straight forward build. I got cold feet when I got to mounting the Tiger's steel wheels because I was not sure if they would match up with the Panther's tracks. I wasn't even sure if the steel wheels used on these two vehicles were one and the same (I'm still not) but after four months I figured, "what the hell" and got on with it. Other than fashioning plastic dowels to mount the outer wheels to the inner ones, it was a simple substitution of the steel for the rubber rimmed road wheels. I was very happy with the end result.
I also used the hull MG barrel and the towing shackles from Revell AG's Tiger I kit. The supplied MG34 barrel didn't impress me and the Tiger's is simply beautiful. No towing shackles were provided with the Panther. I added a seventh periscope on the commander's cupola by shaving off the rear two, repositioning them to make room and gluing on an additional one taken from the Tiger I E kit. (It looks OK but I suspect the gaps between them aren't quite right.) Extra track links were stolen from my Revell AG Panther D/A kit.
I also used some of the bits from Eduard's photoectched Panther G set. Namely; the hull spare track holders, the MG ring on the commander's cupola, engine intake grills, exhaust mounts and the side skirts. The rest struck me as being way too fiddly for my taste, so I didn't use them.
I repositioned both the kit supplied jack and barrel cleaning rod case. Extra track was mounted on the turret's sides for additional armour protection. I also added an additional periscope to the turret roof just in front of the commander's cupola. (I am unsure if this is accurate but I've seen various line drawing to suggest that some vehicles had one there. Please note that I haven't seen a photograph of this periscope but its a risk I'm willing to take.)
Handles were fashioned from soft steel wire and the lifting rings are brass rod bent to shape. The antenna is also soft steel wire. Jerry cans, the crate and ammo tins are Leva resin. The tow cables were made by using the eyelets from the kit's tow cables with thick thread dipped in Humbrol steel paint replacing the cable. The crew commander is one of the typical ESCI figures.
This is only the fourth kit I have used an airbrush on. I've been spraying free hand and I find that I get a fair amount of overspray which I touch up via hand brushing. Again, I'm happy with the results. I used the kit supplied crosses and used white outlined numbers from some other kit's decal sheet. I used a ton of decal softener on the turret numbers to get them to conform to the track links. When thoroughly dry, I hand painted the number's interior with red to help them stand out.
Weathering was accomplished with various water colour washes, pencils and pastel chalk dust.
Things that I still want to do to this model include adding a machine gun muzzle in the appropriate opening in the mantle, giving it a dusting of snow, and mounting a half dozen hearty Panzer Grenadiers on the engine deck.
All things considered, I am very happy with the finished model. Construction proceed pretty much as I thought it might and with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight I would not change the way I built this kit.
Reference included Squadron's "Panther In Action", Osprey's Vanguard #21 "The PzKpfw V Panther", AFV Profile #10 "Panzerkampfwagen V Panther" and various Concord publication on German Armoured Formations.
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