ARM: Review - DML 1/72 scale Panther Ausf. D Early Production

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Scale Armor Pro Series Kit No. 7494; Sd.Kfz. 171 Panther Ausf. D Early Production; 88 parts (86 in
grey styrene, 2 DS Plastic track runs); pre-order price US$19.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: totally new kit shares nothing with past DML 1/72 Panthers; no more screw holes!
Disadvantages: not etched brass parts will disappoint some modelers
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German fans, especially those who hate putting on zimmerit
    After a pause of several years, DML has now returned to 1/72 scale Panthers with this totally new effort for an early production D model. It comes with skirts and most of the details German armor fans associate with early model Panthers such as the gun port in the glacis vice the machine gun ball mount and the stepped hull side profile.
    The hull consists of three parts - upper, lower and stern plate. The road wheel arms are premolded into the lower hull and like past DML Panthers the intermediate road wheels are linked together to speed assembly and ensure accurate fitting to the model. The idler wheel consists of three parts (two castings and an outer ring).
    The tracks now come as with all recent DML 1/72 scale kits with an indicator that the tracks are to be 182mm in overall length. These measured out right on the money (the “overlap” is noted as not counting for length so it is measured from link to link).
    All side details are separate but the pioneer tools and OVM come “bundled” into assemblies for simpler installation.
    The hull hatches are molded in place and while the “dustbin” turret cupola consists of two parts, it is obvious that it was not designed to be opened so anyone wanting a figure in the hatch has some work on his hands to make changes. Ditto the rear access/emergency hatch.
    As there are no etched brass parts modelers wanting them will have to either borrow from an earlier DML kit or seek aftermarket parts.
    Technical assistance was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
    Five finishing options are provided: Pz.Abt. 52, Pz.Rgt. 39, Kursk 1943 (tricolor stripes, black 521); Pz.Rgt. 15, 11th Panzer Division, Ukraine 1943 (tricolor, black 101); 4./Pz.Rgt. Grossdeutschland, Karachev 1943 (green over sand, black 445 with panther outline); 8./ Pz.Abt.52, Pz.Rgt. 39, Kursk 1943(tricolor, black 824); 7/Pz.Abt. 52, Pz.Rgt. 39, Kursk 1943 (green over sand, black 745 – the old Aurora tank markings). A nice if busy sheet of Cartograf decals covers the lot.
    Overall it is nice to see this “Gen 2" Panther kit from DML in this scale, borrowing the good points of past kits but correcting some of the shortcuts from diecast models.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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