Dragon 1/35 Panther ausf D v2
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The German Panther was one of the best tanks to see service in WWII, representing an ideal balance of firepower, mobility and protection. Two companies – Daimler-Benz and MAN – submitted design proposals for the new tank type, with the latter’s platform eventually being selected. Two final pre-production prototypes were delivered in November 1942 (V1 and V2), and series production of the sleek-looking Panther tank soon commenced. These had a number of differences compared to the first series production Panther Ausf.D variant, including a 650hp engine (instead of the later 700hp), a 60mm-thick glacis and a ball-shaped muzzle brake.
The kit is based on Dragon’s existing Panther family kits, but there are many new parts incorporated into it to reflect the characteristics of this early prototype. These differences include the turret (with curved sides), upper hull, engine deck and road wheels (with 18 rim bolts instead of the later 16). Another example of its differences was that there were no interlocking armor plates on the hull.
All of this is accounted for in new sprues so you will have spares. I do not think you can build a standard ausf D from this kit unless you get new road wheels and a new turret at the very least. Considering the low parts count ('only' about 200 pieces), this one should be a fairly rapid build. Of course, much of what helps in that low parts count are the very nice DS tracks that are part of the kit.
The majority of the parts work will be in assembling the suspension as the Panther did have quite a few interlocking road wheels. THere are parts that will need to be adjusted, mostly by removing bits with some filling required. One is the gun barrel which will require the removal of the standard muzzle brake and the new one attached. There is no interior nor any breech detail so unless one wishes to stick a figure in the commander's hatch, the kit is designed to be built with all there closed.
Instructions are an interesting combination of standard drawings and 3D illustrations. Since only one v2 prototype was built, all the markings options are spurious and include tanks in overall red-brown primer, panzer tan, panzer grey and tan with green stripes as shown on the box art. The small decal sheet only includes insignia.
As more and more variants get kitted, model companies like Dragon are increasingly looking towards prototypes and paper projects to fill their catalogues. This is one such example. While it may be difficult for diorama fans to incorporate such kits into their work, those who have an attachment to a specific type of vehicle should be quite pleased to see these subjects kitted. This is a very nice kit and its relatively low parts count is a real boon to those who are not die-hard armor modelers. It makes for a perfect subject for those of us who like to dabble outside our comfort zone.
February 2016 Copyright ModelingMadness.com Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. This one should be at your local retailer so go pick it up. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Back to the Main Page Back to the Previews Index Page
Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. This one should be at your local retailer so go pick it up.
If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the
Back to the Main Page
Back to the Previews Index Page