Sd Kfz 171 Panther Ausf A Early Production

Published: October 7th, 2016     
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Reviewed by: Tom Moon - IPMS# 43192
Scale: 1/72
Company: Dragon Models
Price: $24.99
Product / Stock #: DRA 7499
Product provided by: Dragon Models USA

This is a single media kit comprised of 85+ styrene parts, DS tracks, no photo etched parts fret, and a standard set of instructions, they need to be reviewed very carefully before gluing any parts together.

  • Step 1. This step builds the road wheels. The road wheel arms are molded in place on the hull. However, it does not allow for articulated road wheels for diorama purposes, unless you do a lot of work to remove them and rebuild them in a different configuration. For the road wheels Dragon has come up with a solution to the dozens of wheels that are interleaved and cause great problems getting them installed and lined up. Instead of individual parts, there are 3 sets of wheels linked together by a small loop that is completely hidden when the wheels are installed. You slide the first set (D24) onto the hull with the last wheel going on the last arm nearest the rear. The next two sets (D25 and D26) are glued together and slipped onto the second arm from the rear. The next set (D23) are glued together and slipped onto the first arm from the rear (same arm as D24). It sounds complicated, but dry fit them and you will see that it actually works and the connecting loops are not visible. I painted all the wheels before.
  • Step 2. This finishes the drive sprocket and the idler wheel. Be careful about the idler wheel the axle and be weakened by the glue so go light.
  • Step 3. This finishes the rear plate with the mufflers and wheel jack.
  • Step 4. This step adds various items to the front and right side of the hull. The headlight A8 should be added as late as possible as it will likely be broken off during handling and painting.
  • Step 5. This step adds the barrel travel lock and the various items to the left side.
  • Step 6. This step builds the turret. There are several molded on items that need to be removed.
  • Step 7. Adds the turret to the hull, the rear plate to the chassis and the hull to the chassis. The tracks are added in step 8. I actually added the DS tracks here and added the hull to the chassis in step 8. The DS tracks are glueable. After I connected the ends together and let them dry I painted and weathered them. At this stage the tracks are in a big circle. If you are careful after you have mounted them onto the road wheels, you can glue them down to the road wheels to get the sag that is very visible if the side skirts are not installed.

Molding

I found the molding to be clean, with no sink marks and few ejector pin marks on the sprues. The mold seams were easily removed and I saw no flash. Dragon makes extensive use of the pin nodes to keep ejector pin marks on the parts to a minimum. However, you will need to handle the removal and clean up of the parts with care.

Instructions

As with all Dragon's instructions, read them carefully and plan what you want to do ahead of construction. Check the fit over and over and over again to make sure that all items fit together. Also, check the number of the part being called out - or lack thereof.

Painting and Decals

The color call outs are for Testors Model Master enamel and Gunze paints. There are 2 paint schemes depicted in the instructions. And there are decals for two different tanks. The decals are by Cartograf and are up to their usual high standards.

Conclusion

This is a very nice model and is easy to put together. It is also easy to paint since it's all one color. I can recommend this model to any World War II German armor fan and small scale modelers.

References consulted included:

  1. PanzerKampfwagen Panther Ausf A; Panzer Tracts No. 5-2, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle. ISBN 0-9744862-1-3.
  2. Panther Its Variants; Schiffer Publishing Ltd by Walter Spielberger ISBN:0-88740-397-2.

Thanks to Dragon and Dragon Models USA for the review sample, and IPMS/USA for the review space.

  • Instruction Page
    Instruction Page
  • Kit Features
    Kit Features
  • Finished Model Left
    Finished Model Left
  • Finished Model Left Rear
    Finished Model Left Rear
  • Finished Model Right Rear
    Finished Model Right Rear
  • Finished Model Right Front
    Finished Model Right Front

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