SEARCH FINESCALE.COM

Enter keywords or a search phrase below:

Dragon 1/35 scale Panther G Late "Smart Kit"

RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR | MILITARY
Kit: No. 6268
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Dragon, from Dragon Models USA, 626-968-0322, www.dragonmodelsusa.com
Price: 42.98
Comments: Injection-molded, 643 parts (2 wire, 13 photoetched metal), decals
Pros: Excellent fit and detail
Cons: Spare tracks don't fit
Smart Kit, what will the 21st century bring us next? Dragon's new range of kits (starting with the Panther G) promises to bring exciting improvements to modelers.
Dragon's late-production SdKfz 171 Panther G is an all-new kit. The kit is designed with high-quality plastic parts and a small number of photoetched parts so kit builders can produce a superior out-of- the-box model.
A quick check of the contents revealed top-notch flash-free plastic parts molded neutral gray. A small photoetched fret is included. Optional parts abound for late Panther G tanks, but no figures are included.
After studying the instructions I started cleaning up and assembling the bogie wheels. Note that in the first step an alternate part decision is need. The kit features the steel-rimmed wheels used in the last position of some final-production Panther Gs.
Next was the installation of the torsion bars. Dragon has really gone all-out here. There's no comparison to Dragon's Panther A, which has the suspension arms molded to the chassis. The new kit features articulated torsion bars and even captures subtle difference between the different stations. If you decided to use the steel-rimmed wheels, you'll need to match them with their specific torsion bar parts.
The hull's interior parts are limited to the bow machine gun and the radiator/fan housings. The machine gun construction captures the complex nature of the real thing. The radiator modules are a nice touch but are invisible once the engine-deck screens and grilles are added.
There are alternate parts for the top and bottom of the hull and you'll need to look closely to see the differences. Consult a good reference to decide which ones to use.
Only one type of exhaust is included in the kit, the cylindrical, flame-surpressing version.
The turret was one of my favorite parts of the kit. Dragon printed marking locations on the turret sides for the foliage loops. Wow! The late G model configuration is captured very well and I believe for the first time. The commander' cupola has excellent detail and includes periscopes molded in clear plastic. The rear access hatch is hinged and works like the real thing. The barrel, less the muzzle break, is provided as a one-piece molding, but unfortunately, my kit's barrel was slightly bowed! This is one time I wish Dragon would have included an optional metal barrel.
Dragon's patented Magic Tracks are included and this was my first experience with them. My initial reaction was relief, in that I didn't have to cut the track parts from the sprue! I found the detail to be excellent; they're one-piece links with hollow guide horns. Different tracks (with separate guide horns) are given to go around the drive sprockets. As with most German link-to-link track installations, you would be wise to keep the idler wheel loose until all the links are joined. Take note that while the tracks click together, they are not workable, and will need to be glued.
I did have a problem with the tracks when I tried to install some spare track links on the hull rack. They just would not attach! The rack is either too thick, or the holes in the tracks are too small.
Wire is provided for the tow cables, but I thought they were unusable. They were not very pliable. I would suggest finding better aftermarket products to replace them.
I painted my Panther with Tamiya's acrylics and spray-lacquer paints Decals are given for three tanks.
I completed my Panther G in 30 hours and was happy with the outcome. Having built or reviewed every new 1/35 scale Panther kit since the 1987 Gunze Sangyo kit, I would have to say this new one is my favorite.
- Jim Zeske

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Read and share your comments on this article
COMMENT ON THIS ARTICLE

Want to leave a comment?

Only registered members of FineScale.com are allowed to leave comments. Registration is FREE and only takes a couple minutes.

Login or Register now.
0
SUBSCRIBER-ONLY CONTENT

FREE GUIDE DOWNLOAD

Easy, inexpensive techniques for realistic seas.
FREE NEWSLETTER