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Flak Panther Ausf.D - s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653

DML 1/35 Flak Panther Ausf.D - s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653 - Smart Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review January 2010 Manufacturer DML
Subject Flak Panther Ausf.D - s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653 - Smart Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6626 Primary Media 664 parts (551 in grey styrene, 83 etched brass, 14 clear styrene, 12 etched nickel, 2 turned brass, 2 DS plastic track runs)
Pros Another unique subject Cons Another one off mode
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $52.50

First Look

DML’s affiliate has released another “boutique” kit of a one-off vehicle conversion - a Panther Ausf. D converted to a self-propelled flak gun by adding a 2 cm Flakviering mount in place of the original’s turret. I have no information on this conversion other than what I have seen on the Internet websites, and the only argument seems to have been whether or not this vehicle was converted from a Panther Ausf. D or a D which had already been converted into a Bergepanther.

This kit is not so much based on the 2006 issue kit of the D (a “Premium Edition”) as it is the later Panther A and G kits with some other bits mixed in. The result is a pretty good representation of the D but as such there is no zimmerit or any other interim finish applied (what I have on it says most Ds were built before they began to applying it so not a problem).

The kit uses some bits from other kits – mostly the older D/A kit and the G “Smart Kit” variants - with a set of etched brass from Kit No. 6340 which I have no record of being released; this has some 101 fewer etched brass bits than the standard fret for Panthers.

The complete Flakvierling assembly from the Sd.Kfz. 7/1 kit is provided along with a set of brass for this gun as well. As whichever hull is correct for the vehicle (D or Bergepanther) most of the “gun tank” fittings are left off so it is a much cleaner looking vehicle when complete.

This model comes with the DS plastic tracks so modelers tired of dealing with single links will be grateful. Three-piece single links are included for the spare track racks on the hull.

Research and technical assistance are credited to Notger Schlegtendal, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

As this was a one-off vehicle only one finishing option is included, s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653, Russia 1944 (tricolor with unit markings and crosses) and a small Cartograf sheet is provided.

Overall, this is another one-off for the fan of oddities, but a nicely done effort.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layout:

  • A 23 D/A upper hull
  • A 52 7/1 Flakvierling carriage and details
  • B 41 D/A - sponson floors, hull tools and details
  • C 1 Lower hull
  • C 2 Inner braces for gun mount attachment
  • D 43x2 D/A gun and details
  • D 15 D/A - glacis and details
  • E 47x4 G - road wheels and torsion bars, spare track links
  • E 33 D/A mantelet and back plate
  • G 26x2 Sd.Kfz. 7/1 Flakvierling - 2 x 2 cm Flak 38 and ammo clips
  • H 4 Sd.Kfz. 7/1 Flakvierling shields
  • L 8 D /A - commander’s hatch, details
  • L 14 D/A clear styrene
  • P 20x2 D/A suspension arms
  • Z 2 DS plastic track runs
  • CG 4 German jack
  • WC 4 MG-34
  • MA 58 Etched brass
  • MB 25 Etched brass
  • MC 12 Etched nickel
  • MD 2 Turned brass