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In-Box Review
135
Panther II
Panzerkampfwagen Panther II
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by: Charles Reading [ CREADING ]

introduction

Considered a ‘paper panzer’ because it was never put into production, the Panther Ausf. F (Sd.Kfz171) was the next model in line for production when the war came to an end.
Although there were numerous improvements in design over the ‘G’ model, the most noticeable were the Schmalturm, or redesigned turret, and lack of a muzzle brake on the gun.

review

This kit is one of Cyber-Hobby’s “orange value pack” series. The kit consists of the original molding Panther II released by Dragon some years ago. The kit hasn’t been re-tooled or upgraded with an aluminum barrel and includes minimal photo-etch. What they do include in the kit is an early release figure kit “German Volkssturm” and a sprue of new pioneer tools. The pioneer tools have the brackets molded onto them, however the detail is very nice and considerably easier that making them out of photo-etch. The photo-etch fret included in the kit has the vent covers and screens.

Sprue A: drive wheels and idler wheels, storage boxes, misc. hull parts and original kit pioneer tools
Sprue B: Hull top, rear hull, misc. smaller hull pieces
Sprue C X4: steel road wheels Sprue C X2: exhaust components, side rail, and unused parts
Sprue D: Schmalturm, barrel pieces
Sprue E: X4: individual track links
Sprue F: lower hull
Sprue K: New molded pioneer tools
MA : photo-etched vents and screens
Z: a 140mm length of nylon string for the tow cable

The decals are generic since no complete Panther II ever saw battle. The decal sheet has an ample amount of numerals; red with white outline. Various ‘kill’ markings and barrel victory rings and three white German crosses.

If there is any improvement to this kit it has to be the instruction sheet/booklet. Maybe it’s that the original kit was far simpler but the assembly instructions are 12 steps and all are easy to read and understand, unlike some of the newer kit instructions. The instruction sheet also contains the painting guide for the tank in typical shades of grey and pale blue with a key for Master Model Colors and a color rendering for the German Volkssturm. Ironically there is no breakdown of the figure parts, although their assembly should be somewhat self explanatory.

I’ve always liked the Volkssturm figures for their greatcoats and interesting poses. A simple switch of the heads with Hornet heads and these figures are very nice. Oh, a pair of photo-etch glasses come with the figure set.

conclusion

Since the newer kits are in the $50-60 range the price is pretty reasonable. You can still make a nice kit of this OOB if you are willing to overlook some of the deficiencies with the original kit. If you are willing to spend some of the money saved buying the ‘value pack’ you can add more detail and make the kit as accurate as possible.
SUMMARY
Highs: They give you a lot with the figures etc. and this is a fairly unique subject.
Lows: Old molding with all the original inaccuracies.
Verdict: For what this is being marketed as, this isn’t a bad kit.
Percentage Rating
88%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 9103
  Suggested Retail: $34.90
  PUBLISHED: Apr 19, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.80%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.43%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Charles Reading (CReading)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I live in the mountains north of Santa Cruz California. I have been building now since the early 1990's when I rediscovered modeling. Most of my kits are built with dioramas in mind. I took a "creative block" hiatis for a couple years - 2011 to 2013. I wasn't active in the modeling world. During tha...

Copyright ©2019 text by Charles Reading [ CREADING ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I wonder if the spare hull top that came with the CH Panther F would fit this kits lower hull?
APR 19, 2009 - 02:01 AM
ff you build this kit, remember to blank off the nasty open space beneath mantlet there--you can even see it on the box art! Use a decent-sized plastic tube, cut in a "pie slice" -shaped piece, and glue under themantlet so that you don't se "air" when looking at he mantlet/barrel join in profile. Great kit, otherwise! I have one built up from years ago. I think I'll do another with the correct late-G turret on it though, as it exists in Fort Knox.
APR 19, 2009 - 02:19 AM
If it does, it might make an interesting model along the lines of Herbert Ackerman's beliefs concerning the Panther Fs with "staggered pairs" of wheels. I have the old Panther II kit unbuilt in the garage. I should pull it out and see if the hulls fit...
APR 19, 2009 - 07:01 AM
It wouldn't really help if it did, as there were substantial differences between the Panther I and II upper hulls. Dragon correctly includes the rotating periscopes for the driver and radio operator, but incorrectly gives a Panther G engine deck (or speculates that a "production" Panther II would have adopted those parts, just as they have speculated that the Schmalturm would have been adopted). The prototype used Tiger II grills and radiator fan covers. One could cannibalize those parts from a derelict King Tiger kit (even one of the very old ones), but a lot of surgery would be required to remove the molded on grills from the Dragon upper hull. The turret is the dismal, old, misproportioned Panther F Schmalturm, which has not been replaced with the better dimensioned part from the all-new Panther F kits. Again, this would be a speculative choice anyway, as the Panther II was scheduled to receive a very different turret (as shown in plan form in the relevant Panzer Tracts book published last year). It really comes down to the individual modeler to decide how much correction to do to improve this kit (a really accurate Panther II would probably have to be scratchbuilt). A new turret would help (or one could depict the cast iron test weight as found on the chassis at capture), and new engine deck parts. The Doyle plans could be used to tweak the hull dimensions, too. One could try to fix everything, but it's probably a case of diminishing returns trying to shim and saw and sand everything to fit the plans, though I am sure there are dedicated souls out there who will do so.
APR 19, 2009 - 01:13 PM
How does the Accurate Armour resin kit measure up anyway?
APR 21, 2009 - 02:20 PM
Excellent review, thanks!
APR 22, 2009 - 05:11 AM
Guys... This kit has NOTHING to do with the Panther Ausführung F. It is DML's horrible attempt at a Panther-II. And the Schmalturm has NOTHING to do with the Panther-II either. It is really sad that still a kit like this, even in a re-issue is still marketed, it continues the erroneous myth of the Panther-II with a Schmalturm, thank you Walther J Spielberger. Apart from that, the turret is incredibly BAD. It is too short and too wide. The chassis also fails on a lot of points being dimensionally in-accurate and sporting an Ausf. G/F engine deck. It's not a kit worth the price back than and it isn't worth it right now. That is, unless you don't care one bit about dimensional accuracy and don't give a hoot about historical accuracy.
APR 24, 2009 - 12:15 PM
What turret (if any) was planned for use on the Panther II then?
APR 25, 2009 - 12:09 AM
Turm mit schmale Blende. And apart from that, 2 design drawings are known but nothing of a definitive Panhter-II turret had ever been designed. Angles and armour thickness plus the turret ring diameter. The gun would still be the KwK42 75mm L/71 gun from the Panther-D.
APR 25, 2009 - 07:38 AM
   

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