DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf.G Early Production - Smart Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2008||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf.G Early Production Pz.Rgt.26 Italian Front - Smart Kit||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6267||Primary Media||732 parts (513 in grey styrene; 170 "Magic Link" tracks; 15 etched brass; 14 clear styrene; 12 pre-bent brass wire; 6 turned brass; 2 twisted steel wire)|
|Pros||Provides another low-production rare "niche" variant of this popular vehicle; minimal amount of brass parts||Cons||Large number and variants of Panther kits offered by DML and on the market has caused some disappointment and confusion|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$45.00|
I am slowly tumbling to the system DML and its affiliate partner cyber-hobby.com are using to market kits. If the kit is destined for wide distribution it comes in a "Green" box with DML's name first and cyber-hobby.com elsewhere, as well as relatively normal prices; if it is a cyber-hobby.com kit, the model is in a "White" box with their name first and, as they are limited run kits, the price will be whatever somebody figures the market will bear. When I get a review sample, please note that I do not get a recommended retail price with it and have to search it out; I was a bit shocked recently to find the cyber-hobby.com StuG III Ausf. G with Ausf. M deep wading muffler - which added two sprues to the standard StuG III kit – did not go for a retail price of US$45 as I thought but US$67.
This kit is apparently another requested variant of the Panther, this time an early production Ausf. G serving in Italy whose claim to fame is a layer of spaced applique armor on the roof of the turret. As a result, DML has provided the nearly complete Ausf. G Late Production "Smart Kit" (No. 6268) but with some minor changes. The kit does not provide the separate idler mounts (Sprue N) of the latter and adds a new sheet of etched brass with the space armor for the roof, six turned brass studs for stand-off, and twelve pre-formed wire spare track hangers.
The base kit remains as astounding from a technical point of view. It makes more use of "slide molding" than any previous DML kit, such as the vents, torsion bar connector ends, and other fine detail items. The lower hull is a one-piece "slide mold" part with all of the torsion bars complete and separate parts. Fine details such as "bump stops", "pin knockers" and braces are all separate. The kit provides the rubber tired road wheels, but as it is an early model the two sets of "steel" road wheels for the last road wheel station on each side should probably head to the parts box.
On the hull top braces, locks and handles are provided for the "flip up" style of crew hatches. The engine deck is very complete, with radiators, radiator fans, screens, louvers and a large number of separate access ports and lids provided. All grilles replicate full castings and are separate parts as well. No engine or interior are provided with the kit, but the interior is set up for relatively easy installation of an after-market set.
The hull side trim is all plastic, but comes with "slide molded" mounts and access holes for pins or attachment in order to permit track links to be hung in a prototypical fashion on their racks. The same goes for the tools and OVM.
While the turret comes with either the early (rounded) or late ("chin") mantelet with a one-piece plastic barrel and a three piece muzzle brake, the rounded one is the only one that can be used with this variant. The gun does have a minimal breech assembly but no other interior parts are provided except for the self-defense weapon (mine thrower) in the turret roof. The commander's cupola comes with clear vision blocks and two interior sections that fit inside the "slide molded" cupola to give it the right thickness.
One finishing option is provided – Panzer Regiment 26, Italy 1944 (three color scheme with red numbers; red 222 is the one given in the directions but a short "number jungle" is provided for other vehicles.)
Overall, by at least being a DML dominant variant the price of this kit should be within normal limits and slanted more towards the builder than the kit collector.
Thanks to DML for the review sample.
- A 52x2 Engine deck details and fine details
- A 3 Hull and engine hatches
- B 55 Turret
- C 55 Hull details and sponsons
- D 27 Radiators and hull rear details
- E 47x4 Road wheels, torsion bars, individual "wrap" track links, wingnuts
- F 4 Mantelet
- G 37 Drivers, final drives, steel wheel sets
- H 1 Commander's cupola
- J 8 MG-34 bow gun
- K 30 Tools and OVM
- L 14 clear styrene
- R 1 twisted steel wire
- S 1 twisted steel wire
- X 1 Lower hull
- Y 170 "Magic Track" links
- M 7 Etched brass
- MB 8 Etched brass
- MC 12 Pre-bent brass wire
- MC 6 Turned brass pins