Reference number: 6493
Price: around £31.00 GBP (Sep 2012)
Review by Bill Curtis
The Panther is probably one of the most elegant tank designs ever conceived and it has been created in model form by every manufacturer in nearly all scales. This is a collaboration between Italeri and Dragon with the later supplying the hull top and the tracks and the former with parts for the turret, wheels and upper hull.
Checked against my plans the model seems to be within acceptable limits to make an acceptably good model of the Panther.
The kit is moulded in grey plastic; the Dragon sprues are a bit crisper than the Italeri ones and also the latter has more flash. None of this is insurmountable to produce a credible model with a little work with sanding sticks, files wet and dry paper and a modelling knife to scrape the minimal parting lines. On the upper hull are moulded some stiffeners which help to stop warping and a dry run of both parts of the hull show that Italeri have done a good job as the fit is very good. The track links have an injector mark on each which has to be filled and sanded as it will show on the finished track. The other fault with the tracks is that the guide horns are moulded as solid items, which means one either has to drill each one out and carve it to shape with a scalpel or replace them.
The instructions come in the form of a booklet A4 sized being 12 pages long consisting of a brief history, parts tree drawings, 19-stage exploded views for assembly and three painting guides. The booklet is printed black on white and follows a logical sequence with clear instructions including the measurements for the parts for the etch brass items on the engine deck. One of the painting guides is not very clear but the side of the box lid has colour views of the vehicles of the 26th Pz Division in Italy April 1945.
The decal sheet is printed in two colours (black and white) and consists of three numbers for each of two vehicles with two small Balkan crosses. The decals look to be very thin and are in good register.
Well as usual the box art is probably the one thing that always lets Italeri kits down as the contents far exceed the impression given by it. Overall this is a good kit that should build into a great model of the Panther with the exception of the tracks, but this can be overcome with the use of Bronco or other aftermarket items. As said the wheel moulding is on the soft side and a little on the thin side, but with careful painting and with the tracks fitted this will become less apparent. The etch set included in the kit is only right for one unit that served in Italy in the closing stages of the war but should make for a distinctive vehicle to add to ones collection. I like the look of this model and look forward to building it in the future.
|FEATURE||STAR RATING (out of five)|
|Quality of moulding||****|