DML 1/35 Pz.Befwg. Panther Ausf.G Command Tank Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||February 2007||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Pz.Befwg. Panther Ausf.G Command Tank||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||9046||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Popular subject||Cons||Older generation DML kit with less after market type stuff in it. Poor single marking offered on decal sheet|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$20.00|
The Panther is widely considered to be one of the best tanks of WWII. Designed by the Germans to combat the Soviet T-34 tanks – which were out-classing the Pz.Kpfw.IV on the Eastern Front in early 1942. The Panther fulfilled the requirement for a tank with a powerful gun, good mobility and good protection. MAN completed the first production models in September 1942.
The early versions suffered from mechanical problems, particularly at the Battle of Kursk in July 1943, borne from a lack of proper testing. However, once the problems were ironed out, the Panther saw action in all theatres and proved to be very effective. Over 4500 were built up to early 1945. They continued to see service with the French Army in the immediate post-war period.
The Befelswagen version of the Ausf.G was a command version with extra radios and antenna (subject of this kit).
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. Inside the box are 22 medium gray parts trees in eight cello bags, a single hull bottom part, a small decal sheet and the instructions.
The instructions consist of a single large sheet that accordion folds out into eight pages.
Page one begins with a black and white repeat of the box art. This is followed by the parts tree drawings. Many, many of these parts in these drawings are shaded in blue, indicating that they are excess and not needed to complete the model. You are going to really end up with a ton of spare pieces for your parts bin!!
Page two begins with “Cautions” about the kit, in six languages including English. This is followed by international assembly symbol explanations and a paint listing (calling out both Gunze and Italeri paint colors). The bottom of the page gives the first assembly step.
Pages three through seven gives a balance of a total of 20 assembly steps.
Page eight gives a single 4-view camouflage and marking illustration. This scheme is very generic and only holds the German national crosses. Bad move DML. You surely could have given us more here!! This is followed by decal application instructions in six languages again.
Large letter A parts tree holds: final transfer covers, tools, tow cable ends, suspension arms, shackles, tow rings, a machine-gun appature, gun cleaning rod storage tube, rear storage bins, drive sprockets, idler wheels, fender inserts etc. (51 parts) 24 of these parts are shaded in blue, on the parts drawings, as being excess.
Large letter B parts tree holds: turret parts, hull top, rear hull plate, headlights etc. (16 parts). six of these parts are excess.
There are three different variants of a letter C parts tree. The first of these has four identical trees of individual links (48 links per tree). The second variant also has four identical trees of road wheels etc. (14 parts per tree) six of these parts are excess. The 3rd variant has two identical trees and they hold: return rollers, a grab handle, muffler parts and a long rectangular panel etc. (10 parts per tree) Only three muffler parts are used for this kit, the rest are excess.
There is no letter D parts tree.
There are two identical medium sized letter E parts trees. These hold a main gun barrel, drive sprockets, idler wheels, hatch lids, tow hooks etc. (25 parts per tree). seven of these parts are excess.
Medium sized letter F parts tree holds: main gun mantle piece, raise air intake grills, an axe, fender ends, final transfer covers, a jack etc. (41 parts) 16 of these are excess.
Small letter G tree holds four parts that make up into a “Crow’s foot” type radio antenna.
Letter H is the single hull bottom part.
There is no letter I parts tree.
There are four small identical letter J parts trees. These hold wheel centers (6 parts per tree).
Lettering now jumps to large letter M parts tree. It holds: a main gun barrel, it’s mantle, the commander’s cupola parts, gun travel lock, anti-aircraft machine-gun and it’s mounts, hatches, grab handles, tools etc. (36 parts). Only one of these is excess. This tree is co-joined to letter N tree.
Small letter N tree is co-joined to letter M tree. It holds some more tools (9 parts) six parts of these are excess.
The small decal sheet is labeled as having come from DML’s other kit of the Sd.Kfz.138/1 Ausf.H “Grille” (kit no. 4004). Although this sheet has tactical markings, division markings, and a “35” red turret number, only the German national crosses are indicated to be used on the one lonely paint scheme depicted in the kit’s instructions. Bad move DML! Surely you could have put a dedicated decal in this kit for the Panther and a few alternate markings at that.
This kit is dated 1997, so it is not one of the super-detailed moldings of armor kits that DML is currently marketing with the PE, turned aluminum barrels and slide molding. However, it is nicely detailed with what is there and should make up decently.