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Zvezda 1/72 Panther Ausf.D


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This is the first Panther kit I've built since, oh, 1983 or so. As the box says, this is a snap-fit kit, but it is certainly not simplified: Almost 100 parts, despite each track being molded as a single piece of hard plastic, and the inner banks of road wheels molded as single parts, as some manufacturers are wont to do in this scale. This subject has the very early style of bow MG housing, correct (I assume) for an Ausf.D model at Kursk, which is what the kit represents.

 

DSC01283_dr_020.jpg

 

I've already start on this. The real detail is in the suspension. Like the Panzer III, Tiger and Tiger II (but not Panzer IV), the Panther had a complex torsion-bar suspension, with the road wheels being staggered, those on the right side being ahead of those on the left*. The Zvezda reproduction of this is way ahead of the Revell kit, IMHO, with each road wheel arm being a separate part.

 

*Not the other way around, which I had assumed, as that is the norm.

 

DSC01284_dr_015.jpg

 

DSC01285_dr_015.jpg

 

The next step is to paint all the wheels, lower hull and tracks. The tracks are designed to attach in such as way as to reproduce the "sag".

Edited by klr
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  • 2 weeks later...

After a hiatus for my Airfix Sea Kings, I'm back to report (some) progress. The hull and turret are straightforward enough:

DSC01338_dre_020.jpg

 

I drilled out the front of the muzzle brake, which might well be the only alteration required:

DSC01348_dre_040.jpg

 

I realised I should have painted the exhausts before attach them to the back of the hull. No problem, as I had not glued it - the snap-fit comes to the rescue! Remove, paint it, snap it back in:

DSC01339_dre_020.jpg

 

These double wheel bank parts simplify assembly, but complicate painting:

DSC01340_dre_015.jpg

 

The "hard" tracks are easy to paint ... well, a lot easier that flexible tracks anyway:

DSC01349_dr_020.jpg

 

Each track will be attached to the road wheels assemblies at four points, no glue required:

DSC01350_dre_030.jpg

 

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I have ... good news, and not so good news. The good news is that the running gear and tracks on the right side are in place, but not without a huge struggle:

DSC01366_dre_020.jpg

 

Note that the sag is not quite correct. There would need to be another attachment point between the track upper point of the second bank of road wheels. I could glue it into the correct position, although it may not matter once the side skirt is attached. Also, I had to remove some teeth from the sprocket, which is so thin that it was easily damaged. Again, it can be repaired. Finally, the idler wheel is currently "free", as in not attached to the hull. The attachment arm was sheared off, but I still have it.

 

DSC01367_dre_030.jpg

 

The bad news? The left-hand side - which I tried to attach first - suffered severe shearing at several points. I see considerable toil ahead to (hopefully) fix it.

 

The moral of the story is that trying to follow the instructions (almost) to the letter didn't really work. Maybe if and when I build the Jagdpanther, I'll apply my hard-earned experience, and do it better.

 

 

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I don't know what the intended purpose is for these miniature clothes pegs, but they make excellent mini-sized clamps ... and have other uses. The sag is now fixed on the right side, still much more work to do though.

DSC01368_dr_020.jpg

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I have one of these in the stash but it was past the 25% point.

 

I've been put off by the roadwheels and track - looks like it was for good reason.

 

I hope you manage to wrestle it into submission 

 

All the best 

Ben

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  • 2 months later...
On 10/26/2020 at 10:12 PM, badger said:

I have one of these in the stash but it was past the 25% point.

 

I've been put off by the roadwheels and track - looks like it was for good reason.

 

I hope you manage to wrestle it into submission 

 

All the best 

Ben

Unfortunately not, not in time for the GB "close of play" anyway. While the right-hand side looks OK, more or less:

IMG_20210117_153641_dre_020.jpg

 

... the left-hand side will require heroic reconstruction. Parts of the suspension arms have been sheared right off, and part of the outer sprocket wheel has been lost. These pictures don't fully convey the extent of the damage.

IMG_20210117_153555_dre_020.jpg

 

IMG_20210117_153610_dr_025.jpg

 

While the kit can probably be salvaged, it's definitely not a straightforward task. As least we know the kit can be built, thanks to @PlaStix - see the build thread here:

 

However, all is not lost for me in this GB ... watch out for a new thread!

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Bad luck mate. I only occasionally venture into tanks, as much for nostalgia as anything. I built the [expensive!] Dragon Tiger E a couple of years ago and it languishes in a box because the tracks didn't really work.  I just wish manufacturers would provide track options: bands, and 'link and length  for instance. It's got to be a minimal extra cost/effort and it gives us a second chance, and the ability to follow the path we are happiest with.

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