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Sd.Kfz.171 Panther G Late Production Upgrade and Conversion

DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.171 Panther G Late Production Upgrade and Conversion Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review August 2006 Manufacturer DML (
Subject Sd.Kfz.171 Panther G Late Production Upgrade and Conversion Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 3833 Primary Media 145 parts (133 etched brass, 10 etched nickel, 1 turned aluminum, 1 brass tube)
Pros Provides nice metal parts for the new Panther G kit from DML Cons Based on the "Smart Kit" premise seems to be self-defeating
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $16.98 or $10.98 with kit purchase via Dragon sources

First Look

No matter what happens and how things go in this world, there is always somebody who is not happy with things. It's the guy who gets a banana split for 25 cents and then gripes because it came without a cherry on top. The guy who wins a brand new Corvette in the lottery and gripes because it's not in his favorite color. The guy who gets a 1599 on his college boards and gripes because he didn't get 1600.

The same surprisingly happened when Dragon Models Limited released their first "Smart Kit," an injection-molded plastic kit designed to provide the highest degree of detail possible in a kit and keep it as close to all plastic as possible. Right away the grousers were out on the internet, complaining that it did not have this bit or that bit, the barrel was not turned aluminum, there were no skirts (even though photos show most Gs lost theirs in a matter of days once they went into action) and other things were "wrong" with the kit.

Now, DML's "boutique" affiliate, has come out with a new kit for detailing the new Panther with the details that these people complained about. Here are the etched brass parts that the grousers wanted – a brass barrel lock like that which recently came with the Panther Ausf.D "Premium Edition," track hangers from etched brass, and various brackets and covers, plus a complete brass cleaning brush case for the left side of the hull. The skirts are now provided from etched nickel, and a custom-fitted turned aluminum barrel is provided for the main gun as a "drop fit."

The directions are the same mediocre effort that has come with all of the add-on kits, namely "stick here" ones that do not key to the original directions nor provide information on some of the replacement bits. There is also another nice new supplementary decal sheet and two more recommended paint schemes, but again without a unit or location.

Overall it's a nicely done upgrade and should quiet many of the carpers, but considering the concept behind the "Smart Kit" it seems to be self-defeating.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.