Dragon 1/35 Panther ausf F w/7.5cm KWK 42 L/100

KIT #: 6799
PRICE: $76.00
DECALS: one option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


Panther is the common name of a medium tank deployed by Nazi Germany in 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 tanks until the end of the war. The Panther is considered one of the best tanks of World War II due to its excellent firepower and protection. Flaws included mediocre mobility, unreliability, high upkeep and time consuming manufacture.

The Panther tank arrived in 1943 at a crucial phase in World War II for Germany. It was rushed into combat at the Battle of Kursk with its initial problems uncorrected, which resulted in a high breakdown rate. Its success as a battlefield weapon was nullified by Germany's generally declining position in the war, the loss of air superiority by the Luftwaffe, the loss of fuel and training space and the declining quality of tank crews. Nevertheless, the Panther tank commanded respect from the Allies, and its qualities, with the Tiger I, led to the introduction of heavier Allied tanks such as the Soviet IS-2 and the American M26 Pershing into the war and the development of the British Centurion tank, even though the latter appeared too late to participate in World War II.


As some of you may have guessed, the Panther F was never built, though it was to be a follow-on to the Panther II, which basically died a quiet death. This is the third prototype/whiffer tank that Dragon has produced as they slowly run out of variants of mainstay German armor.

The kit is very much up to Dragon's current standards with photo etch parts and their excellent DS tracks.As you might guess, most of the kit is similar to their earlier Panther offerings, however, this one has the addition of the longer L/100 gun barrel that would have been the standard armament on this tank had it entered production.

You get three photo etch frets that are basically engine screens and grilles. Wire towing cables are also included in the kit. In line with earlier Panther kits, there is a complete torsion bar suspension. A full load of pioneer tools are also included. There are optional engine fans, exhaust covers, positionable drivers and gunners hatches and other details. You can also build either the 'prototype' or production vehicle and the instructions give you specific construction guidance based on your choice. 

Instructions are well done and provide a lot of detail drawings. They are also rather crowded so you will need to build with care to be sure you do not miss anything. Three camouflage options are provided, with a basic insignia decal sheet. As this is strictly a 'whiffer', you can pretty much paint it as you'd like.  


This is a nice addition to Dragon's growing collection of prototype and 'what if' armor projects. This one is particularly cool thanks to the very long gun. A nice kit and one that will add interest to your collection.



January 2015

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can get yours today at your favorite retailer.

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