The Tamiya 1/48th scale Panther Ausf.G, kit number 32520, whilst held in high regard, is limited in terms of accuracy, by the process of injection moulding. No injection moulded part can be made fine enough, especially in this scale to represent parts such as grills, fenders and brackets etc. In this scale Aber should excel.
The set consists of two photo etched frets, one large and one small, in Aber's usual highly polished brass. Rather confusingly, the instructions are labeled as a 1/35th scale update set for the Tamiya Panther G, which just adds to the complications of the already complicated Aber instructions!
The instructions run to three sides, and a anybody familiar with Aber instructions will attest to, they're complicated instructions. This set looks less complicated than usual, which is probably due to the scale, although as is usual also with Aber, everything that needs to be replaced to bring the Panther up to show standard, is replaced.
The set begins by replacing various tiny fittings on the hull deck with photo etch, such as various brackets and lifting hooks. These are obviously better represented by photo etch, purely in terms of scale thickness, but the complicated tool holding bracket that replaces the moulded part on the side of the hull is beautiful in it's complexity at this scale. Not only do we get the complete bracket, but also the tiny clamps that hold the tools are provided, and you'll be sorry to learn that those difficult to build three part Aber clamps, are exactly reproduced here, even smaller! I would have liked to have seen them somewhat simplified at this scale, since I have trouble with them in 1/35th scale! There are even tiny photo etched retaining pins and chains for the tools, which.........if you manage to install them correctly.....will look magnificent!
The same holds true for the brackets that hold the spare track links on the side walls at the rear of the tank. Full brackets, retaining pins and chains, all in miniature glory! The barrel cleaning case is in for the same treatment, with new brackets to support it, and hasps for the ends. The jacking block receives a completely new bracket, as does the fire extinguisher.
Two new circular exhaust fan cover meshes are supplied, with extremely fine detail, and there's also a new mesh for the snorkel fitting and a new assembly for the crew heating fan over the left exhaust fan, that can be displayed open or closed, and is constructed of multiple layers. The intake fans are also catered for, with new louvre's and mesh. Completely new exhaust brackets are supplied, and these are very complete indeed, including the shroud and fittings for both types of exhaust that could be seen on an Ausf. G, along with other fittings for the rear wall such as a new convoy light, reflector, parts to upgrade the jack itself, as well as the brackets holding it.
Moving onto the turret, we get a new rain shield for the mantlet, and many small fittings and fixtures to add to the kit that are not represented by Tamiya, but will look superb once installed, for example a sight for the MG42, upgraded parts for it's mount, and even small triangular welded fillets for the lifting points, although these will need a powerful magnifying lens to even see them, never mind install them!
The fenders can be entirely replaced with photo etch, each side being constructed of multiple sections, and therefore battle damage should be very easy to replicate, since the joining strips are even provided as separate items. There's even a tiny upgrade provided for the Bosch headlight consisting of the bracket at it's rear that allowed it to be tilted. lastly, there is a star antennae provided should the particular vehicle you're modelling call for it.
Although at first glance, this set looks tiny and fairly simple, the scale is deceptive. there is an awful lot in this set, and if you manage to use it all you'll be well on the way to producing a show-stopper! Highly recommended!
Aber make very complicated sets, that few people can realise the full potential of. You should try with this one, which includes some beautifully etched parts that will go together to produce a show-stopper.