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"Red Panther"

Germany, February-March 


by  Pablo Scordo


On September 1944, Tank building facilities received the order from the Waffenamt (designing department for armored vehicles, in the armament and materials department), to stop the application of the antimagnetic zimmerit protection in order to accelerate the delivery of the new tanks, because it was taking up to six days to dry completely.

There were some versions saying that the zimmerit caught fire when the tanks were hit with different kinds of ammo, although they proved to be false through tests made on testing vehicles. In fact, the real reason for the decision was that the units were badly needed in the front line.

By the end of October, of that same year, there was a new order interrupting the use of the dark yellow as a base color (ral 7028).

They used a soldering torch (to "burn" the surface), or a simple brush, to apply dark yellow and olive green (Ral 6003), over the raw surface, following the common camouflage pattern at that time (ambush type).

The continuing bombing raids, along with the lack of raw materials and labor, were the cause for the factories sending the units as fast as possible, without the normal finishing on the units. Some of them were delivered with the antirust paint, while others went out even with some parts without any painting at all, and it was for the crews to "finish" the vehicles with the proper camouflage patterns, if they had the time and the resources to do it. These kind on "painting" was done according to the standards and with their own designs. On December 1944, the nazi army implemented the green shade as a base color; this measure wasn't applied except for some finished Tiger II models, or in building process.

Our model depicts a Panther Ausf "G", built after 1944; assigned to the LVI Panzer Corps, operating in the sector near the German locality of Küstrin, about 40 miles east of Berlin. (You can see several Panther tanks showing this camouflage, in the book "Panzer Truppen" by Thomas Jentz, page 223).

Kit building

I used the Tamiya kit #35176, which allows us to build the "Panther ausf G Late version", because it has the mantlet with the straight lower part, cylindrical exhaust tube, and the heating system for the crew (part C-59), over the left blower. I used some of the "not to be used" parts in the kit, such as the traditional exhausts, in order to make some combinations with the idea of building a model of the "intermediate" production.

The quality and detail in the parts is typical of Tamiya, I think I don't have to say anything else, so the building came out without any problems.
The only weak point, perhaps, could be the side skirts (parts C-28, and C-54) which are made in a single piece, and with a thickness out of scale.
I consider the lack of louvers over the radiators, as well as the fans, the radiators, and the fuel tanks under the rear cover, not only as the weak points, but also as very important omissions.

In spite of the kit's good quality, I've added a few improvements and/or some modifications, in order to get more realism. For instance, I built the "texture" in the shell and turret surfaces with the aid of a Dremel and liquid cement, in order to give the assembly the aspect of armored laminated plates.

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I made the weld lines with stretched sprue and put it in the appropriate parts along the model. I've made all the handles with copper wire. Tool were detailed, or replaced, with plastic tubing and copper wire. Clasps for the tool and extra tracks were detailed with copper wire, plastic, and lead plate.

Other details or modifications added to the kit...

Rear Hull

I've replaced the rear exhaust tubes with aluminum tubing, and detailed the clamps.
Protections made out of bronze sheet.
I've detailed the distance light and its electric connection.
Cats eye and its support.

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I've detailed the front mudguards and engraved the flaps.
I've detailed the Bosch searchlight, and its mounting and electric wiring.

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Engine covers and radiators

For the radiators, fans, and gas tanks, I used the resin kit (#1203) from Verlinden.

I've added wire mesh over the radiators and the fans.

I Used metal tubing for the ventilation system, as well as the gas tank spill. I replaced the towing cables in the kit, with 1mm meshed steel wire, and added plastic ends.

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Side skirts

For the side skirts I used the Aber 35 a 28/ 35 a 24, PE parts.


I made the periscopes for the commander's cupola with clear plastic, as well as the hatch retaining system, and locking guides.
I thinned the protection over the mantlet, and the water deviator over the gun sight, with lead paper.
I've mace the retaining clamps for the mantlet movement, with metal tubing.
I've added the stops for the cannon movement, located in the mantlet base
I've also detailed the cannon barrel.

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Although the ones in the kit are very good, I decided to use one of the aftermarket kits with separate links. I drilled the guide teeth with a 1mm drill, in order to obtain more realism.

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In order to represent the antirust finish, I applied Model Master rust color (#1785) with an airbrush, and after that I dry brushed with Humbrol's wine red (#73), and finished with pastels to simulate the wearing in the appropriate parts.
The yeellow bands (Model Master 1943 panzer dunkelgelb #2095), and green (Tamiya XF -58), were painted with an airbrush.
All the washes, sopts, and general filthiness, were made with Rotring inks and water colors.


Achtung panzer IV
Panther in action (squadron n·11)
Panther vol. 1 a7 press
German WW II tanks in world museum- Tamiya news
Panzer truppen- schiffer- Tom Jentz
Panther , Concord Publications- 7006
Panzer colors 1,2,3 Squadron
Panther variants 1942/45- new vanguard- Osprey


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