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135
Italeri Panther D

the turret
Part 1 of this build will focus on the turret. Part 2 will cover the hull/chassis and finish. I do not claim to be an expert on German Armor, nor an authority on Panthers, or a Master Modeller/Scratchbuilder. I am only attempting to portray a Panther Ausf. D from the April 1943 production batch and after reading my references and studying pictures, this article details the corrections I felt needed to be done. I am sure that there will be those “in the know” that could blast holes in this article and my build.

I picked up the Italeri Panther D kit for basically free, a $10.00 coupon and it being on sale at Hobby Town USA in OKC. Knowing that it had “issues” I picked up aftermarket bits and pieces over the last 3 years to hopefully bring it up to standards. Some people will ask why I didn’t just buy a Dragon kit? Simple. They didn’t have one three years ago and I wanted to expand my scratch building skills anyway. Using two great reference books; ACHTUNG Panzer No.4 and Thomas L. Jentz’s Germany’s Panther Tank’ the quest for combat supremacy, I made a list of corrections to be made.

First the manlet; I installed a styrene tube “sleeve” to ensure the Aber barrel fit snugly. IMHO Aber has topped all challengers with their new line of turned barrels with multi piece brass muzzle breaks. It took an hour to assemble due to the need for careful filing to get the pieces to make an exact fit. With a $20.00 price tag I wanted to ensure I made no mistakes here. The long barrel and brass muzzle break are extremely heavy so I added 24 BBs to the inside rear of the turret as a counter balance. I did this so it does not rest on and scratch the muzzle break in the interim while I complete the hull. I then filled in the coaxial MG port and re-drilled it to a more centerline position on the manlet with two different sized drill bits and backed the sight ports with sheet for that “set in/stepped” look.

The sides of the manlet/gun mount were cut off with a razor saw and miter box. This was to correct the profile of the “Bulge”, which should be the negative or opposite of the molded kit part. The kit more represents the type used on the Panther A&G. The weld seams were added with milliput, a new No. 11 blade, dental tool and good old spit. To correct the dovetail weld seam on the turret side and one of my slips with a sharp blade, I replaced the turret front plate with sheet and puttied the molded side seams with milliput. When dry, I used a very small burr in my moto tool and re-scribed the correct pattern seam and finished as before with milliput and a sharp blade. Don’t forget the spit too.
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About the Author

About Lauren A. Blakley, ATC, U (Chief)
FROM: WASHINGTON, UNITED STATES

I started modelling when I was 6 and with a few short breaks here and there due to the Navy, I pretty much havn't stopped. Started with cars, ships, aircraft and then armor. Can't say which is my favorite. Spend most of my time in the navy in the Reconnaissance "Shadow War" business and am looking f...


Comments

Chief, That is a fine looking panther you have created. Great work on improving the base kit and very nicely written article. Best regards, Robert
JUN 25, 2005 - 08:02 AM
Thats great! Very inspiring. I'd never been in to scratchbuilding and all that, but I'm really inspired. Thanks for sharing
JUN 25, 2005 - 09:08 AM
Good Article. I think if you're prepared to put the work in Italeri kits are a bargain. They sometimes score over Dragon in detail as well.
JUN 30, 2005 - 10:17 AM