|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Includes crew figures and photo etch parts.|
The Panther was a tank fielded by Germany in World War II that served from mid-1943 to the end of the European war in 1945. It was intended as a counter to the T-34, and to replace the Panzer IV and III, though it served along with them and the heavy tanks until the end of the war. The Panther's excellent combination of firepower, mobility, and protection served as a benchmark for other nations' late war and immediate post-war tank designs and it is frequently regarded (along with the Soviet T-34 Tank) as the best tank design of World War II.
Until 1944 it was designated as the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther and had the Ordnance inventory designation of Sd.Kfz. 171. On 27 February 1944,Hitler ordered that the Roman numeral V be deleted from the tank's designation.
Despite being technically superior in most aspects to the tanks of other nations, the over burdened automotive portion of the design and lack of general reliability lessened its impact on the battlefield. Combine that with the low production rate compared to the Sherman and T-34 and one can easily see that numbers will end up winning the day. Of all the Panthers lost in combat, some estimates suggest that nearly half were due to mechanical breakdowns.
This is another of Dragon's newer kits. This time it is a zimmerit encrusted Panther G along with a four figure crew. The subtitle of the kit is "achtung-jabo" and the crew members are all looking to the sky for an enemy plane.
In addition to the superb detail that we have come to expect from Dragon, this kit includes a photo etch fret for engine cooling screens and some hold down items. The superb once piece 'Deformable Styrene' tracks are part of this kit and are very nicely done. A section of steel wire is also provided for a tow cable. The four man crew figures are as detailed as those in their 1/35 sets and have multiple pieces for arms, legs, heads and such.
Compared to their Sherman and a few other tanks, the Panther seems to be a simpler construct. It just seems to be a cleaner looking tank with most of its various tools and such placed tight to the hull. The kit also includes one piece side skirts, though one could easily trim a few off if it was felt that it was needed. The zimmerit casting is very nicely done and adds some additional detail to the tank that should really stand out with some additional painting work.
Instructions are in full color and well printed. Gunze and Model Master paint references are provided. I'm sure there is a numbering glitch in the instructions as one pretty much expects it. Careful double checking should eliminate any problems in this area. Markings are all Panzer Yellow with blotches in various shades and patterns . Four options are given. The box art vehicle from Panzer Regiment 27 in Warsaw during 1944. A Panzer Regiment 12 vehicle with green mirror wave camo in the Ardennes during 1944. A green outlined brown patch camo from Panzer Regiment 1 in Normandy during 1944 and a white blotched vehicle from the Herman Goering Division in East Prussia during 1945. The small decal sheet is well printed and should provide good service.
Another superlative offering from Dragon. This one with the bonus of figures and an interesting subject. Plus you won't have to mortgage the house to get it!
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local hobby shop or ask them to order it for you. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors. Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page