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First Look Review
Video Review included
135
Panther F
Pz.Kpfw.V Ausf.F Sd.Kfz.171 Panther F Prototype & Production type

by: Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction
For many the allure of paper panzers is very strong. The Germans certainly had more than their fair share of prototype tanks and vehicles. And many of them are somewhat shrouded in mystery and whether or not they were used in combat is unknown. Such is the case with this tank, the Panther F variant. The Panther F shares many similar parts to the Panther G, and (according to Actung Panzer) sports a Schmalturm (narrow) turret (designed by Rheinmetall in November of 1944 and to be produced by Daimler-Benz). Schmalturm was to mount either a 75mm KwK 42/1 or Skoda's 75mm KwK 44/1 L/70 gun in a "saukopf" mantlet.

There were only 8 hulls and a few partially completed turrets completed by the wars end according to most sources. Other sources say that Daimler-Benz was able to complete and deliver a few Panther F models before the war ended. In the end we may never know if this is truly a paper panzer or one that actually saw limited combat in the closing days of the war in Europe. Either way it's a very rare subject and one that would make a fine addition to any Panther collection.

the kit
This kit was commissioned by Cyber-Hobby and produced by Dragon (their big brother). The kit is basically a Smart Kit equivalent as it uses as it's core the DML Panther G which was the first Smart Kit released last year. The kit can be built in one of two configurations (making it a 2-in-1). Either you can make it using the full G top and lower hull as many of the prototype pictures depict the known subject matter, or you can make the production version with the top F hull and lower G hull. The turret of course is the Schmalturm F turret with I believe the L70 gun. The kit includes steel wheels for the internal(?) roadwheels as this was what was spec for the production type. The kit also includes the rubber rimmed road wheels as well for the prototype.

The barrels come in both plastic and aluminum versions. I noted that the aluminum barrel was a several millimeters longer on my kit than the plastic barrel. However they both look very nice indeed. One day someone will explain to me the need to include the plastic barrel when a metal one is there.

Ample photo-etch is included and the larger sheet is clearly designated as "Panther F". The smaller grill covers are the same as those from the G. MagicTrack is also included of course for the tracks.

instructions and decals
The instructions are broken up into 18 steps. And some steps are repeated depending on whether you are building the prototype or production version. All in all (not having built the kit) the instructions do look easy enough to follow. There are 3 paint and camo schemes shown. One single color version for the prototype and 2 hypothetical versions in 3-color camo schemes. The decal sheet includes a jumble of numbers and markings to give the builder a range of unit designations to choose from.

conclusions
From all appearances another great effort from Cyber-Hobby/DML and one that will certainly please a lot of the Panther and German armor fans out there. I have obviously avoided making and critical remarks on this kit as I am no expert on it. However we do hope to have this kit in the hands of Herbert Ackermans very soon and hopefully we will see a review based on his experience in assembling it. It should prove interesting as he recently scratch-built an F I believe.

credits
The kit had technical assistance from Steven Van Beveran, Tom Cockle, and Gary Edmundson. Thanks to them and Dragon/Cyber-Hobby for making this advanced preview available to Armorama.

SUMMARY
A preview review of the Panther F 2in1 kit by Cyber-Hobby/Dragon. It can be built as either the prototype or the production type.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6382
  Suggested Retail: $44.95 USD
  Related Link: Info at Cyber-hobby.com
  PUBLISHED: Feb 15, 2007
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.91%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.43%

Our Thanks to Dragon Models!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)
FROM: NEW HAMPSHIRE, UNITED STATES

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...

Copyright 2019 text by Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

Nice review! One question I have though, why advertise steel wheels only to pack plastic wheels like any other kit? I think everyone knows that the "real thing" has steel wheels. Oh well, still nice review and now I might pick one up.
FEB 15, 2007 - 09:26 AM
I have already been informed that the "steel wheels" I was talking about in the video were in fact the rubber wheels. The only roadwheels I see that don't look like they have a rubber surround are the 8 (4 per side) center wheels. I have added a photo of the instruction page for the roadwheels if anyone would like to see it. Thanks, Jim
FEB 15, 2007 - 12:08 PM
Well, Jentz and Doyle have dug up a German document from 1944 that suspended the use of steel wheels on Panthers because they caused too many breakages of the centerguide teeth. It was intended that they be reintroduced after a beefed-up track with a single centerguide on alternating links was designed, but this never happened. For a vehicle that might have been assembled in the early summer of 1945, the kit would be fine. In the longer term (a "1946" vehicle), steel wheels arranged in staggered pairs (not interleaved) with a new track design would theoretically be correct, though the exact appearance of the track is anyone's guess.
FEB 15, 2007 - 03:50 PM
Oh I got you. Thanks for clearing that up for me guys! Jim
FEB 15, 2007 - 06:45 PM
Great review, Jim. I really like that video part and the poll asking if the review was helpful or not. Neat little interactive things like that make the review in my opinion. Cant wait to get my Cyber-Hobby Panther Ausf F ! Has anyone else gotten theirs yet ? or recieved the illusive email confirmation from Dragon USA Online yet ? "Paperpanzer" or not, this kit looks awesome. I liked it enough to order 2 kits Cheers !! Robert
FEB 15, 2007 - 08:23 PM
Gerald, do you think this new configuration would have been similar to the E50, or to the Panther II layout? Regards from the Swamp Eth
FEB 16, 2007 - 12:44 AM
The intended wheel layout (though not necessarily the spacing) would have resembled that of the Panther II prototype or the Tiger II. The E-50 was a paper project, so it's difficult to say what a finished vehicle would have looked like.
FEB 16, 2007 - 05:27 AM
Awesome The video reviews are a good direction -but please get a macro lens for the camera... Maybe complete builds could be done like this...
FEB 16, 2007 - 07:37 AM
How did you paint this? I've been struggling with the distictive Daimler Benz standar paint.
NOV 12, 2014 - 03:11 AM
   

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