Just Plane Stuff

1:35 Set #JPS020
Review by Terry Ashley

Just Plane Stuff
Just Plane Stuff have specialised in aircraft update/detail sets but Dave from JPS has always had a longing for armour modelling and has now been drawn back from the dark side with this first armour release of a 1:35th Pantherturn I turret on a concrete base which is quite a project for first up.

The Panterturm I and II turrets was basically Panther turrets mounted on fixed concrete and wooden bases with a series of underground tunnels for entry and linking to other sites with the low silhouette allowing good concealment. There were two types of Panterturm turrets, those produced from new or re-manufactured Panther D/A turrets and those specifically built for the purpose and that is the type represented in this kit from Just Plane Stuff.

The specifically built Panterturm I turret had a simplified turret hatch with rotating periscope and a thicker 65mm roof than the normal Panther turret which resulted in a stepped ridge around the roof where it was welded to the side walls and this is depicted on the JPS turret.

The set from JPS has a solid cast turret in cream resin which is well cast without any noticeable blemishes and only minor cleanup needed around the lower turret edges and a little excess resin around the hatch join line. The turret has good details with nice weld seams for the side panel joins and around the roof and hatch joins with a very subtle cast texture on the side and roof surfaces.

Unfortunately there are a couple of minor dimensional issues with the top hatch being about 1mm too far back and the hinge is quite undersized while the small close defensive weapon fitting is situated too far forward when compared to photos and 1:35 plans in the new Panzer Tracts No.21-2 Pantherturm I and II book.
It would be easy enough to change the position of the close defensive weapon and enlarge the hatch hinge if you wished but the hatch position is another thing, but at the end of the day these are only minor issues and once built and cam net or other camouflage added in a diorama situation they probably won’t be that noticeable.

The resin mantlet, metal barrel and resin muzzle brake is provided from the CMK Hot Barrels set #HB007 and is included as is with the JPS set. The fit of the CMK mantlet to the JPS turret gun mounting is very good and does not require any trimming other than the usual cleanup of the CMK resin parts. The metal barrel fits precisely into the mantlet but the muzzle brake will take considerable work as the holes are almost completely filled with excess resin which is not JPSs fault but will take some work to clean up.

Also included in the set are lengths of brass wire to make the three distinctive round lifting hooks on the turret roof and thinner wire for the rear hatch and roof sill grab handles and you get far more wire than is needed so the left overs will come in handy for other projects.

The large Styrofoam resin base is actually quite light for its size and has the concrete turret base on a sloping hillside which is typical of their placement in open ground and there are two addition parts for the lifting brackets attached to the base sides.

The fit of the resin turret to the Styrofoam base required the ring in the base to be enlarged a bit for the turret to fit but as the material was quite soft this was easily done by running a sharp blade around the outside of the base ring till a good fit was achieved with the usual test fitting along the way.

The base can obviously be finished with additional ground work or foliage as you wish with the painting being fairly straightforward as you would for any base and could also be incorporated into a larger scene if you wanted to get more creative or add additional vehicles to the diorama.

Overall a simple yet unusual set that will offer something different with good quality casting and just a couple of minor dimensional issues and will make an interesting subject on its own or as part of a larger diorama.

Recommended for those interested in the unusual.

Resin foam base, measures 227mm x 152mm (9" x 6")
Just Plane Stuff
Views of Turret casting
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Minor dimensional descrepancies with the hatch and close defensive weapon.
Black lines overlay from plans in Panzer Tracts Pantherturm book.
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Resin lifting brackets and brass wire
Just Plane Stuff
CMK Hot Barrels mantlet, metal barrel and resin muzzle brake
Just Plane Stuff
book Panzer Tracts No.21-2
Pantherturn I und II
Panther Turrets on Steel, Concrete and Wood Stands

Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle
ISBN 0-9744862-8-0

Published by Panzer Tracts

Includes extensive data, wartime images and 1:35 plans of all types of Pantherturms with Panther D/A and special built turrets as well as drawings and 1:35 plans of the different stands used.

book PzKpfw V Panther Vol.6
Waldemar Trojca
Published by AJ-PRESS

Includes some info and images of Pantherturm turrets

book Panther Variants 1942-45
Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle
Osprey New Vanguard No.22
ISBN 1 85532 476 8

Includes some info and images of Pantherturm turrets but most of the information has been superseded by the later research included in the Panzer Tracks book.

Thanks to Dave from Just Plane Stuff for the review set.

Page created 30 April 2005

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