Atelier Infinite has released what they call a Panther II 88mm L71 armed Turret, or Panther II (88mm KW.K.43 L/71) Panther-Schmalturm Turret. This turret is also suitable for installation on a Late War Panther G or on a Panther F as well.The kit seems to be designed after the Krupp drawing Hln 130 Dated October 1944 in the book "Germany's Panther Tank The Quest For Combat Supremacy" by Thomas L. Jentz, page 116 and 117.
The kit comes packaged in a white cardboard box with 4 smaller zip-loc bags holding the items required to produce this turret. There is an instruction sheet included as well. The contents of the 4 bags are: 1. Barrel
2. Turret shell and ring
3. Large parts
4. Small parts
The instructions are in Japanese, but include clear color photos. There are a small number of parts shown that are not included, but are included if you purchase there new Panther II armed with an 88 mm resin kit (there is a disclaimer on there website page about this as well).
The parts are cast in a white resin with only a slight odor to them. There is heavy flash to be trimmed and sanded off from the Turret shell and ring and some of the larger parts (commander's cupola, gun mantlet, what I call the "trunnion bulge", etc). The smaller parts have flash as well, but not as heavy.
The main part of the kit for me is the barrel. It does seem to be straight and there is a plug to be sanded off the base to allow it to fit the gun mantlet. I would have liked to have seen a turned aluminum barrel, but the resin one does look well cast and clean, and fits the bill nicely.
Overall a very nice product of a subject that never was, but would most likely have been. The resin is of excellent quality, no visible air bubbles and finely cast detail on the smaller parts. The barrel is straight, which in this case would be the center piece of this kit. A turned aluminum barrel would have been a nice addition to the kit, but the resin one provided is excellent and does work well. For a comparison, the only other company that makes this turret configuration is Cromwell Models.
This turret can be used on a Panther G, Panther F, possibly a Panther II, E-50 as well as an E-75.
Highs: Casting is detailed and crisp.Separate barrel and mantlet.Lows: Large plugs to be trimmed and sanded.Verdict: Overall an interesting subject, well executed in resin.