Moulded in the usual light beige plastic the kit has 179 parts plus the die-cast lower hull tub and a couple of poly caps and screws for attaching the upper and lower hull parts and a length of thin twine for the tow cables.
The standard of moulding is typical Tamiya with clean crisp mouldings and nice surface details but there are a few pin marks to contend with while some parts lack detail which is quite noticeable as we will get too shortly, also all the grab handles on the hatches are raised plastic and will need to be replaced by thin wire for a better look.
There are a few options in the kit which allow you to build a Mid or Late production Ausf.G although a few details are applicable to the Late model only. The options include alternate gun mantlets, exhausts, left side engine intake/heater cover, engine grate louvers and small fittings on the turret roof and driver’s periscope.
This is the now standard die-cast tub which is severely lacking in details with basic underside panel details, cast on axles that lack definition between the axle and hull which is most noticeable on the idler axles. There are no shock absorber attachment bolts, no track pin push back plate on the hull side, no weld block on the side of the front hull and there is a large gap to be filled between the separate plastic front hull extensions and the die-cast hull but we should be used to these detail compromises on the metal tub by now.
Additional plastic parts are the side hull extensions as mentioned, the lower front hull plate with top weld details as well as a separate rear hull panel with the fit of these parts to the metal tub being quite good.
The final drive housings are also separate parts but totally lacking in any detail with the large attachment bolts being very conspicuous by their absence while the drive sprockets only have detail on the outer faces with the inner face totally bare as well as having some large pin marks. The outer detail is very crisp and nicely detailed and the two poly caps are trapped between the inner and outer sprocket halves for fitting to the axle.
The road wheels again have nice details on one side only with the 24 outer rim bolts but no details on the inside of the wheels, this is not noticeable on the inside pair of wheels as they fit closely together but is more noticeable on the other pairs of wheels.
The track is moulded in plastic link and length sections with nice outer link details but pin marks on the inside of the links and no lightening holes in the guide teeth. The long sections of track are for the top and bottom track runs with shorter sections for around the sprockets and idler wheels. To ensued the track is aligned correctly there is a small pin on the inside of the idler wheels that fits between the guide teeth on the track sections as they go around the wheel and this ensures the track lines up when it reaches the sprockets.
The upper hull is a single large moulding with separate sponson overhang fillers to eliminate the hollow look as well as separate side fender strip while the separate full length Schuerzen is in one piece and quite thick for this scale. No doubt one or more of the AM etched set makers will rectify that minor issue. The front fenders are also included in the hull moulding and again are a little on the thick side and you can thin the edges yourself or wait for the inevitable etched replacements.
Openings are included in the hull for the separate engine fan covers, central engine deck that covers the screw point, the front crew hatches and bow MG dome again to cover the front hull screw attachment point.
Detail on the hull is quite good overall but there are no flush screws around the crew hatch panel but the front periscope covers are open and the engine deck grates are also moulded open with the correct profile. You may want to use some plastic card to blank off inside the grates as you easily see down into the void through these.
The rear hull panel has the inspection plate covers moulded in place as are the two side storage boxes with the towing pintle and tow shackles as separate parts plus a nice three part jack that does have the mounting brackets attached.
As mentioned you get alternate exhaust pipes both with the welded lower covers for the Ausf.G and include the mid twin pipes with sheet metal covers which again are a little thick for the scale and lack the small square cut-out for the early style muffler supports. The other is the later type with flame dampeners and these have the small fan blades at the top nicely represented although the bottom opening to fit the pipes leaves a large gap when viewed from below after assembly.
The engine deck fan covers are separate parts so you can fit the two low round covers or add the raised heater cover on the left intake for the late model. The details on the covers are nicely rendered and the raised heater cover has a separate upper fan to add a bit more definition, these fit perfectly to the engine deck.
For the intake grates you get the louvers that were fitted over them on the later models which are moulded quite thin and look okay again giving you opportunity to use these are required.
The separate central engine hatch fits very snugly to the deck cut-out and will hold in place without glue so you can easily add or remove this for painting or when screwing the upper and lower hatch together, just remember not to glue this in place before you have screw the hull tubs together. Added to the door are separate ventilator covers again for good definition and there are additional top hatch doors for the storage boxes to give a bit more definition to these other than the smooth boxes as they come.
At the front is the separate MG ball mount coaming which has a separate inner part for the gun mount and also adds the second bullet splash ridge applicable to the late type ball mount and again the fit of this to the hull is spot on but as with the engine hatch don’t glue before screwing the hull together.
The front head lights have separate faces with open light slit and the side mounted barrel cleaning rod containers have separate ends for better definition but the tools are moulded with the tool mounting brackets on the hull sides with just the tow clevis and fire extinguisher as separate parts. The two crew hatches fit very well into the openings and have internal latch details included but again as there is no interior you will probably glue these closed.
The barrel travel lock is in two parts so you can fix this raised or lowered but you are only given the late square style central vent cover and not the round early style and there is also the late sun shade for the Driver’s periscope although the periscope itself is fixed and can’t be rotated as per the original.
The spare track carried on the rear flank is moulded in one piece and is quick and easy to fit while on the right side are separate jack block, steel cable reel and additional tool rack again with the tools moulded in place.
This has the main shell in one piece depicting the later type with 30mm roof and three small crane fittings with a separate rear panel and lower turret ring with the fit of the rear panel being so good it will hold in place between the side overhang without glue. This in turn has a separate rear escape hatch that can be positioned open or closed but as there is not turret interior at all you would be best gluing this closed.
After choosing your preferred mantlet for the early style or the later chin style this is trapped over the gun mounting when glued to the inner gun mount (part B5) which fits into the outer mounting (part B15) with two poly caps. The barrel is in two parts split vertically and includes the muzzle brake and these fitted together well leaving only a very small join seam to be eliminated. The mantlets are missing the two lifting pins fitted on the upper sides on the Ausf.G but these will be easy to add from plastic rod.
The cupola is a separate part and has very subtle cast texture included as well as open periscope openings but no “glass” as well as a separate MG race and swivel hatch that again will need the grab handle replaced with this wire. A separate AA MG mount is also included along with the finely moulded MG34 to use as required.
There are a few locating holes that need to be opened up in the turret roof for the close-in weapons aperture and two small fittings for the late model, the small IR mounting bracket in front of the cupola and a small central fitting.
The front ventilator cover is also a separate part as are the three small lifting eyes and grab handle over the rear escape hatch and a separate mantlet cover plate with all these helping to give a nice level of detail on the turret.
Theses are the usual Tamiya fair of nicely printed markings with thickish carrier film and provide turret numbers and balkenkreuz for four Panthers.
Overall another nice inclusion to the growing 1:48 range but there are areas where the detail is lacking and others leaving plenty of scope for added detail but will build into a nice representation of the Late Panther G.
Just watch the details for whichever version you are making as you are given choices for most but with just the late style front ventilator cover and hull ball mount. If you choose to add the Schuerzen this will partly cover the lack of detail on the inside of the drive sprockets and on the final drives.
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Panzer Tracts No.5-3
Thomas L. Jentz
and Hilary Louis Doyle
& Its Variants
Walter J. Spielberger
The Quest for Combat Supremacy
Thomas L. Jentz
Jagdpanther & Brummbar
Achtung Panzer No.4
Osprey New Vanguard No 22
Concord Armor at War series No.7006
Tanks in Detail No.3
Walter J. Spielberger
Hilary L. Doyle
Kit courtesy of my Credit Card and the excellent service from Rainbow Ten.
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Page created November 12, 2005