I've been making a concerted effort as of late to get the "been started"
pile finished. So far, I have 8 at the wash and paint stage. Enough of
that though, back to the topic at hand.
Yesterday I started working on my 1/35th DML Panther F, that's been in my
stash at least 5 years if not more. In fact, I'm pretty sure I bought this
kit when it first came out. When I started on it, I noticed that the sprues
are made out of what looks like 2 different kinds of plastic. The upper
hull, turret assembly, steel road wheels, track links, and rear hull plate
all seem to be made with a light gray plastic that looks like it is harder
and more brittle. It pretty much looks like the same styrene they used for
the earlier kits, like the Hetzer.
On the other hand, the "A" sprue, which includes the lower hull, suspension
arms, drive spockets, idler wheels, rubber road wheels, and many detail
parts are made out of a darker gray plastic that feels soft and seems to
have some give to it.
Has anyone else noticed this?
I believe the early DML Panther F, used the lower parts from the Italeri
Panther kit, mixed with new DML parts. That explains the difference in the
look and quality of the parts trees. DML's "Imperial" 9000-series kits were
a mixture of DML parts mixed with parts from other manufacturer's kits.
Nope, not in this case. DML's Panther Gs and Jagdpanthers were ex-Gunze
kits, but the Panther F, kit 9008, used the Italeri hull. The hull sprue in
the DML kit has the marking "270A" on it. Italeri's 1/35 Panther A kit is
I can confirm that as well, as I thought that it was odd seeing "270A" on
the hull sprue. Plus, this sprue had the engine access hatch, and the same
engine hose as the Italeri kit. Since that kit had a partial engine
compartment. The upper hull of the Panther F has the same engine access
hatch molded as part of the upper hull.
I didn't notice any difference in my kit's plastic. But be forewarned
that the Dragon turret is wrong in its angles and dimensions--the
cupola doesn't even have the right number of periscopes. I had to
completely rebuild mine. In retrospect, it would have been easier to
buy a resin turret and mate it to a Tamiya or Dragon Panther G and give
this kit a pass completely. Still if you have it in hand, consider
using the kit's rubber tired wheels, as previous experience had shown
the steel wheels were incompatible with the standard pattern tracks,
causing many breakages on the center guides. The called-for redesign of
the Panther track never came about due to the war situation. Also,
there are several changes needed to the Dragon upper hull-- the joint
on the front roof armor needs to be moved further back, and the hinges
for the drivers' hatches need to be eliminated-the F model hatches
lifted completely out.
If you want accurate drawings in 1/35th scale, the Thomas Jentz book on
the Panther published by Schiffer has superb ones covering all Panther
I'm mainly just building this to get it out of my been started que. This
thing is mainly just for having a sample, and something to practice my
airbrushing on, as somewhere along the line I've lost my touch. I figure a
good 6 to 8 kits, mostly old DML with all the ejector pin marks in bad
places, needing paint would be a good start.
Well I got this dog to the wash and paint stage. Must say that DML's
implementation of the exhaust brackets left a lot to be desired. They were
PE parts, which I had no problems with on the Pz IVJ and the initial version
of the Pz IV L/70. Anyway, the first bracket broke at the weak point
created by one of the placement holes. After some test fitting of the steel
wheels, I decided to take Gerald's advice and use the rubber tired road
wheels. But sense this is all part of my attempt to regain my airbrushing
touch, and the fact it was in my stash it will serve it's purpose. Having
said that, I won't buy another copy of this kit. Instead I buy a resin
turret and a Tamiya Panther G.
Is there an actual surviving Panther F, in a museum somewhere?
: said that, I won't buy another copy of this kit. Instead I buy a resin
: turret and a Tamiya Panther G.
And and all of the DML "Imperial Series" kits must be
approached with caution.
That being said, the DML Panther kits are very nice kits.
And, if you are looking for a "D" or an "A" model, DML is really
the only option (the Italieri kit is soooo bungled).
Don't let the "F" kit sour your to their other kits, but
do take heed the next time you consider a 9000 series kit.
The T-34's are gems. The "Panther F" is really not all that bad....it is a
"fun" kit to build; if you are not too concerned about historical accuracy.
Given that the actual vehicle was kind of on the border-line between
"historical", and "hypothetical"; I would not be overly concerned about its
accuracy. It has its place...as the aforementioned "fun" kit. And
comparing it to Dragon's earliest kits...it is not all that bad. Need we
mention the Dragon T-72 kits? Or the ridiculously over-engineered BMP
I haven't bought any of the new DML kits. I haven't bought very many kits
period lately other than the Tamiya T-55, and the Marder III. The latter
because I thought it was the one I had a gun barrel for. Has DML fixed the
little problem of ejector pin marks on the detail side of kit parts? For
example the Hetzer had the ejector pin marks on the top side of the fenders.
Since the fenders have the raised ribs on them, I'm not going to bother with
Anyway, I'm trying different paints as well, so it's all going to be a good
The sole surviving Panther F turret was located almost 30 years ago on
a British Army firing range at Larkhill, where it was propped on top of
a Conqueror hull and used as a target. The Bovington museum recovered
it, and enough of it survived for Hilary Louis Doyle (and probably
others as well) to get accurate dimensions for drawings. Last I heard,
it was not on public display.
Unfortunately, Dragon used inaccurate drawings dating from before the
turret was discovered. No F hulls survive, but factory drawings and
photos do. See the Thomas Jentz book on the Panther published by
Schiffer for accurate drawings. At least four F hulls were on the
assembly line outside of Berlin in April 1945, but the delivery records
show only G models being issued, except for the final four days before
the factory shut down, when no records were kept. However, it doesn't
appear any F turrets were onhand (the Carl Zeiss coincidence
rangefinders, the Schmal turret's raison d'etre, were never delivered).