Italeri 1/35 Sd.Kfz.179 Bergepanther Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||March 2007||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||0285||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Interesting vehicle||Cons||No figures and kit is currently out of production|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||Out of Production|
The Bergepanther was based upon the Panther tank. It was developed to furnish tank units with a powerful armored vehicle to recover heavy tanks damaged in combat or having mechanical failures. Furthermore, it was equipped with a heavy duty winch, which was useful for front line field too shop operations. Most of the Bergepanthers were built on the Ausf.D chassis.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The kit contains three light tan sprues of parts, vinyl rubber-band type tracks, the decal sheet and the instructions. Parts are all loose and not cello-bagged.
The instructions consist of a large single sheet that accordion folds out into ten pages.
Page one begins with the history of the vehicle in ten languages, including English. The bottom of the page gives decal application instructions.
Page two begins with “attention – useful advice”, again in the same ten languages. This is followed by parts tree illustrations of two of the three parts trees and the vinyl tracks.
Page three begins with the third parts tree illustration and a couple of international assembly symbol explanations. This is followed by a list of Model Master brand paint colors suggested for use in painting and camouflaging the model. The bottom of the page gives the first two assembly steps.
Pages four through the top of page ten give the balance of a total of 31 assembly steps. The bottom of page ten gives a lone 4-view marking and painting illustration of a Bergepanther in overall tan paint scheme with the German cross on the hull sides and small white number “02” on the right rear fender. The decal sheet gives very small German crosses and small white numerals 0 through 9. No division or tactical signs are given.
The ground anchor spade, at the rear of the Bergepanther and the V-shaped towing bar can be shown deployed or stored - your choice. A plastic cable (part no. 139b) and the cables molded into the winch drum would be better replaced with some string that looks like cable in 1/35th scale.
Large letter A tree holds: the hull bottom tub, suspension arms, road wheels, Idler wheels, drive sprockets, some tools, the 20mm gun, final transfer covers, tow rings, engine deck hatch, grab handles etc. (126 parts). Six of these parts are Xed out on the part tree drawing as being excess and not needed to complete the kit.
Large letter B tree holds: the fenders, 20mm shield, winch parts, hull top, ground anchor spade parts etc. (43 parts). Four of these parts are Xed out as excess.
Large letter C tree holds: exhaust pipes, rear hull plate, hoist parts, central winch compartment walls and floor, storage bins, wood fold-down panels for the winch compartment etc. (77 parts).
There are no crew figures provided.
There are two identical trees of steel colored vinyl treads. There are two lengths of tracks & six spares per tree. These are of the type of vinyl treads that have to be welded with a hot screwdriver. They are not of the newer glueable vinyl tracks seen in some kits. You will have to do four welds per track to put them together, and then hope the welds will hold. I have found, in the past, that just one weld per track run sometimes parts company later. Modelers will probably want to invest in some after-market individual tracks for this kit. On the plus side, detail on the inside and outside of these vinyl tracks is very good.
I started to assemble this kit and then set it on the back burner for a couple of years. Cannot remember what distracted me, but I am going to get back to it and finish it.
Because I have partially assembled this model, you will see voids in the pictures of the parts trees. I apologize for that.