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PostPosted: Wed 28 Jul 2010 02:14 am 
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realthing wrote:
I've always been a sceptic of the idea of a grey Panther but just picked up a copy of a French magazine dealing with the Panther (Batailles et Blindes, hors serie no 13 'Panther au combat) which shows a vehicle that is clearly an early Ausf D (pistol ports, communication hatch, wheel bolts, smoke dischargers, etc) and that is captioned as belonging to Pz Abt 51, attached to Grossdeutschland. It looks to be in a garage area of a permanent barracks and the personnel standing around are in overalls. It's definitely NOT yellow and the caption suggests it could be in Panzer grey! Other pics of early Panthers really don't seem to be dark enough for Panzer grey. Perhaps this vehicle is an early production example released to the unit for training/familisarisation purposes and not typical even of early Ausf Ds?


Without seeing it, and without knowing the date of the photo it's hard to say what this might be.  The only scenario that I can think of that would yield a Panther D in grey would be one that was damaged, recovered and repaired in a workshop that had no other paints available at all.  Possible but unlikely, I would think.  If it's actually a dark paint it might be an overall treatment of red-brown, which became the base colour for camouflage in late 1944, but then you wouldn't expect to see a Panther D at all by that date.  Strange no matter how you slice it.

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec 2010 14:34 pm 
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Actually managed to do some work on the Panther over the last few months  :oops:  Here's a few update photos. Still need to add a few more details (gun has actually been finished but temporarily misplaced) and the tracks.

Most of the stowage has been added, tow ropes still to come

Image

The other side. Hull MG to follow; the big gap on the side is left by moving the barrel cleaning rod container to the rear hull, a crew modification that was done to stop damage to the container.

Image

The back view to show the late war style exhausts with the flame supressors and the armoured housings on the hull rear. The brackets on the either side are retaining points for the tow ropes. Scratchbuilt jack.

Image

May be over by Xmas? :deer:


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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec 2010 14:47 pm 
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That is looking truly excellent!  Over the last few months I have collected a bunch of 1/76 Panthers and Jagdpanthers (Airfix, Fujimi, Matchbox and even the Revell 1/72 Jagdpanther, which dimensionally is closer to 1/76), as well as some reference materials, and I plan to start work soon on some cross-kitting and scratch-building and see what I come up with. :)  If they look half as good as what you've done here I would be well-satisfied!

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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec 2010 18:42 pm 
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Many thanks, Bruce.

The only way to build a decent 1/76 Panther is going to be a combination of cross-kitting and some more serious conversion/scratchbuilding. Don't think any of the available models are much good. The Matchbox one is reasonably accurately dimensionally, I think, but lacks detail and has a funny mix of features from both Ausf As and Gs. I know that this perhaps could be true to life but it's a bit odd as it stands. The Nitto/Fujimi one is terrible and the Airfix one....?  :)

Good luck with the project - do keep the Forum posted on your progress

Can't help thinking that there's an opportunity for Airfix if it wants to play in the 1/76 armour scene with some new models


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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec 2010 19:44 pm 
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Awesome work - I for one would be happy if I was able to do just a jack looking that good if nothing else!


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PostPosted: Fri 03 Dec 2010 20:04 pm 
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I just want to echo Bruce's comments - a truly inspirational build, Realthing.

Having just built an Airfix one OOB as it were , I'm really surprised that none of the manufacturers have produced a credible kit in 1:76. It's a shame that Revell have never re-released the Matchbox Panther, it's not perfect but came with a nice diorama and they're difficult to find on ebay these days.

Happily, Revell have just re-released their '1:72' Jagdpanther, so we won't be short of spares for our 1:76 upgrades. I think it's a tad too long for my taste (though an excellent build) and I intend to build a MB Jagdpanther with Revell tooling to create one with a bit more beef - nice and squat like a beef tomato.

I'm interested that you've put the cleaning rod holder at the back, this seems to be a feature of the later Panthers. I understand that Jagdpanther crews got fed up with their pioneer tools being ripped off when they were moving (reversing?) at speed through the Ardennes. Did they abandon them altogether or stick them on the rear (if so, where, as the space is already taken up with the container boxes, exhaust and jack)?

Maybe a tool-less Panther isn't so minimalist after all?

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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec 2010 22:47 pm 
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Many thanks, agent ZigZag - sorry not to have replied earlier but missed the post for some reason.

I agree that it's amazing that nobody does a decent 1/76 Panther. As you say, Mbox is probably the best (but not perfect) but is nearly unobtainable. I reckon it would make an excellent subject for Airfix if they're planning on staying in 1/76 armour. Must have real sales potential.

The cleaning rod container on the back was apparently a crew mod, not a production feature and you see it on Ausf As as well. I did it to make the model look different!

On the subject of Jagdpanthers, I've just started building the Mbox version as well. It's a bit of a hybrid but seems to represent a late production (G2) in so far as things like the engine decking are concerned. I plan to model it as such - changing the exhausts and stripping the hull sides of tools. This, apparently was a feature of the later Jagdpanthers.

It seems that one unit at least - PzJg Abt 654 - advocated moving tools off the side of the vehicle and photos of early Jagdpanthers show this; at least one vehicle crew moved the cleaning rod container to the rear engine decking. The unit also added an additional stowage box on the rear upper hull (left of the main hatch). They were doing this in the summer of 44, so before the Ardennes but they fought in Normandy and the close terrain there may have had the effect on the stowage you describe.

I've not found a definitive list of where the tools ended up but as far as I can tell, at least on the G2 the jack block stayed on the hull side (right, about where Mbox have the dubious jerry cans), a spade was attached to the rear upper hull to the right of the hatch along with the fire extinguisher (?), towing hooks to the hull rear plate, along with the starting handle and crowbar. A hammer was located on the rear engine deck (on the Mbox kit). Towing cables remained on the hull sides, as did the spare tracks. Can't swear to the accuracy of this - sadly not detailed in any of my refs.

Probably a bit off topic but hopefully be forgiven - it's all Pantheresque stuff


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PostPosted: Tue 14 Dec 2010 23:56 pm 
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Nearly finished construction so here are the final pics before fitting the tracks and the headlight on the front mudguard. And anything else I notice I've forgotten. Pics are self-explanatory - the splash guard above the mantlet was made from aluminium from a disposable baking tray.

Image

Image

Image

The outer roadwheels have been fitted in position as I'm going to have to glue the tracks down. Hopefully fit the tracks and undercoat in a few days if work permits.


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Dec 2010 01:29 am 
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Now that is something else! Panther wise!
Stu :wink:


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PostPosted: Wed 15 Dec 2010 02:19 am 
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Outstanding modelling Stu!  :notworthy:

There is still plenty of scope for Airfix to produce an accurate Ausf D, A or even G in 1/72 scale, not just 1/76.....Only the Dragon Ausf G is any good and even those are very far from state of the art!  :?

FWIW & All the best
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PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec 2010 14:54 pm 
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Good to see this getting there. That is magnificent work RT. 8-)

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PostPosted: Thu 16 Dec 2010 15:43 pm 
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Stunning work,amazing detail for such a small scale. Love it!!

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PostPosted: Fri 17 Dec 2010 21:48 pm 
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Here it is with tracks and lamp fitted - still awaiting priming  :oops:

Image

Image


Last edited by realthing on Sat 12 Mar 2011 22:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri 17 Dec 2010 22:41 pm 
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Nice Panther RT :thumb:

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec 2010 18:20 pm 
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Thanks Corricon. As bad weather is still stopping spraying al fresco. Will post further pics of the Ausf G asp.

To keep this in synch, the following pics of the undercoated tank have been inserted in edit mode. Painting will follow later.

Image

Image

Image


Last edited by realthing on Mon 21 Mar 2011 17:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec 2010 18:37 pm 
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Panther Ausf D

Unable to continue with the G, decided to make a start with the final model in the planned trio, an Ausfuhrung D the first production variant of the Panther that made it's combat debut at Kursk in 1943.

The main distinguishing characteristics of the D are the stepped lower rear hull sponsons (same as the Ausf A), 'letter box' hull MG port instead of a ball mount, early 'dustbin'-style cupola, roadwheels with fewer bolts, alongside various detail changes.

In addition, the various problems with the kit already identified need to be sorted.

Once again, I plan to incorporate parts from the Matchbox (Revell reissue) Jagdpanther along with original Airfix parts.


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PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec 2010 19:07 pm 
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Started this a few days ago, so the next couple of posts will describe work to date.

First, here are the basic changes to the hull (the grey bits are Matchbox):

Image

The lower hull sides have been extended and will fit flush against the inside of the upper hull. This is the method used for the Ausf A and allows the upper hull to be set at the right height and angle.

(The hull bottom has a couple of weights attached - I often do that when using soft tracks to give a bit more substance to the finished model)

The upper hull has been modified as follows:

1) Sides are trimmed so that the bottom edges are parallel to the top edges, no longer sloping down toward the rear as the kit part does (the Ausf G style)
2) The ball mount is removed from the glacis plate and the resulting hole filled. Also removed the driver's vision port as it was poorly moulded in my example (will replace it with a new scratchbuilt part).
3) The Ausf D (and A) had more gently sloped side armour than the Airfix kit (Ausf G style). When I built the A, I ignored this initially and then had to correct it the hard way after the hull had been assembled. This time I adjusted the angle of the hull sides before assembly (see next picture)
4) The glacis plate angle is wrong in the kit and has been reangled here. The white plasticard inserts were glued in place and sanded to shape to fill the resulting gaps.
5) The glacis plate is too short as a result of raising the hull to correct the error in the kit. A piece of 30 thou plasticard has been cut to fit the front edge of the lower hull. It will be trimmed and glued in place during assembly.

The rear plate is from the Airfix kit. It has been extended at the bottom (will be trimmed to fit once in place) and the upper edges have also been modified to fit the new hull upper angle.

The second picture shows the inside of the upper hull to show the plasticard inserts used to set the hull side and glacis plate angles. I used an Olfa P-cutter to scribe the inside of the hull to make it easier to adjust the hull angles.

Image

Resetting the hull sides may seem like serious rivet counting but as I found with the Ausf A, it is really important that the hull sides come out far enough to reach the outer edges of the tracks. This is only possible if the hull geometry is right. Doing it this way (as opposed to building up the hull with plasticard laminations as I did with the Ausf A) is quite straightforward. Of course, not needed if you build an Ausf G as the hull sides are correct for the later Panthers.


Last edited by realthing on Tue 28 Dec 2010 09:32 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec 2010 19:42 pm 
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Next step was the turret. I thought it might be helpful for anyone who decides to have a go at this project if I included more photos on how the turret mods were done (these apply to the other Panther variants too).

As it is, the Airfix turret is too low, too short and the wrong shape at the back (in fact more critiques are possible but these are the main ones). To fix this:

1)remove all detail from the turret sides and rear. File the turret rear sides flush with the turret rear plate.

2) add a base plate (40 thou) to raise the overall height of the turret and to extend the turret rear. Allow plenty of overlap so that the plate can be sanded to fit.

3) add a piece of plasticard to the turret rear. I used 60 thou in this case. Again, allow plenty of overlap to allow the plate to be filed flat.

Image

4) File the new plates flush with the turret. Then taper the rear plate from bottom to top as shown in the illustration below:

Image

(the photo also shows the assembled hull)

5) Next, add a piece of plasticard (30 thou) to each of the turret rear sides. Prior to fitting, these need to be cut to represent the distinctive overhang at the turret rear. Eleswhere, just allow enough overlap to make it possible to file everything flush. See the next photo:

Image

6) Finally, file and sand the new turret rear to shape, comparing to a suitable plan to get the shape correct (more or less)  

Image

In the last photo I've filled in the opening for the cupola. This isn't necessary if using the kit cupola but I have to scratchbuild a new one for the Ausf D and decided it would be easier if I could ignore the exising hole!

Also shown in the second photo (sand coloured part) is the D-style cupola from the Revell 1/72 Panther kit found in my spares box. I had hoped to be able to use it on this model but it's clearly too big for 1/76. Also, it seems to be slightly conical which makes it look even larger. Curses, foiled again.

Making my own was the only option, described in the next post. The photo here shows the main part under construction, made from three laminations of plasticard, the central one having cutouts to simulate the vision slits. The bolt is used to hold the assembly in a drill chuck which allows it to be turned while sanding - sort of mini-lathe.


Last edited by realthing on Tue 28 Dec 2010 09:41 am, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec 2010 19:47 pm 
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Final photo of the day shows the new cupola under construction.

It was made from laminations of plasticard discs, one of which has cutouts to create the effect of the vision slits. To get a reasonably circular shape, these were glued together, drilled through the centre and held in a drill bit using a long bolt (see previous photo). This was then sanded to shape whilst turning in the drill.

The result is shown below. I've not yet glued all the bits together nor added the hatch detail but hopefully the method and overall results are clear:

Image

Off to one side is the kit cupola - appropriate for an Ausf A or G but not for the D series.


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PostPosted: Mon 27 Dec 2010 20:20 pm 
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This is coming out great.

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