Academy 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.V Panther Ausf.G Final Production Kit First Look
|Date of Review||January 2019||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Subject||Pz.Kpfw.V Panther Ausf.G Final Production||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||13523||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-etch|
|Pros||New tooling||Cons||See text|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$52.00|
In 1944, production of the Panther tank shifted to the G version (Ausf.G) which incorporated a number of design changes learned from combat experience. The most notable differences include a wedge of steel welded to the bottom of the gun mantlet to eliminate a shot trap where rounds would deflect off the lower portion of the rounded mantlet down through the thin upper armor of the hull; elimination of the driver's vision port replaced by a periscope overhead, and simplification of the hull's armor plates.
Academy has released this completely new-tool kit of the Panther incorporating all of the various design changes that were in effect by war's end. This kit is actually Academy's first Panther kit in 1/35 scale (you might remember their older tooling of the Panther in 1/25th). The kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on eight parts trees plus four trees in black styrene and one fret of photo-etched parts.
Among the features and options:
- Lower hull is a multipart assembly with internal bulkheads for strength and alignment
- Detailed suspension arms
- Detailed road wheels and drive sprocket
- Link and length track
- Detailed rear hull with late-style exhaust
- Nice selection of stowage and pioneering tools on the hull
- Photo-etched grilles for the engine deck
- Optional side skirts
- Detailed commander's cupola
- Tiny grab iren rings/steps for turret sides
- Choice of rounded mantlet or wedge-bottom mantlet
The instructions are the usual nice CAD-type illustrations to show how everything goes together. They also include six five-view color profiles of late-model Panther Gs, each with a different and distinctive camouflage pattern.
While I'm not certain how easy all of those turret grab irons will come off the sprue trees, the instructions also show an option for drilling out the grab iron holes in the turret, likely to use wire instead (not included).
Also not included are the clear periscopes that are present on the driver's station, commander's cupola, and gunner's station. You can use white glue or other similar solutions for creating the periscope lenses after you're finished painting and weathering this model.
This is a nice-looking kit that should build up into a great model of the late Panther series. While there are many Panther kits 'out there', many of them are over-engineered and may be too complex for the average modeler to enjoy. This kit strikes a nice balance between detail and ease of assembly, so you can get on with the painting, weathering, and enjoyment of this project.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!