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In-Box Review
135
Bergepanther Ausf. G
Production Bergepanther Ausf. G
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by: Mark [ D111298PW ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The Bergepanther Ausf. G used the Panther Ausf. G hull. All the rest of the vehicle was carried over from the Ausf. A. Only Demag produced the Ausf. G variant. Production switched from the Ausf. A to the Ausf. G in October 1944. Between October 1944 and March 1945, 94 Ausf. G’s were produced. No records have been found that show production numbers, if any, for April 1945.

The other major changes were the incorporation of the flame suppressor exhaust muffler, the jib crane mounts moved to the rear deck and the hull MG ball mount.

What’s in the Box

This kit is from Takom and released in 2019. This is a large box, measuring 15in x 9.5in x 5in (38cm x 24cm x 12.7cm). The kit has just over 1300 parts. What’s in the box:
28 sprues molded in grey
1 upper hull molded in grey
2 track assembly jigs
1 brass PE fret
2 metal cables
2 metal chains
1 nylon string
1 decal sheet
1 30 page Instruction manual with painting guide

Looking at the Kit

Instructions – Standard Takom format, consisting of 30 pages of computer graphics. The dark color of the graphics can make it difficult to see details. Assembly is broken down into 52 steps. Many of the steps have multiple sub-steps.

Sprues – The quality of the styrene is clean and crisp. There is little to no flash on any of the parts. Any ejector pin marks are located such that they shouldn’t be seen once built. Sprues have their identification letter stenciled making them easy to identify.

PE – One brass fret is provided. This fret contains only the radiator grills. The grills are nicely rendered and look the part.

Let’s Look at the Build Process

Assembly begins with the lower hull plate. This is a multi-part hull instead of a bathtub style. Steps 1-2 add floor structural parts and plumbing.
Here Takom has the entire transmission assembly as a sub-step for Step 2. This makes no sense at all. One, this should be its own complete step (it consists of 32 separate parts). Two, it doesn’t actually get installed until Step 4. Either make this Step 3, or a sub-step of Step 4.

Step 3 has two halves. One half installs additional floor structure. The other half begins assembly of the right side hull part.

Step 4 is again split into two halves. One half installs the transmission assembly from Step 2. The other half addresses the left side hull part.

Steps 5 and 6 install the torsion bar suspension to each hull side. You will then have to be careful inserting the side assembly through the floor structural supports. All of the holes and bars will have to line up as well as line up with the other hull side. Step 6 also assembles the steering linkage assembly.

Step 7 installs the external suspension parts and swing-arms.

Step 8 has no reason to exist. The track jigs double as a jig to make sure all the swing-arms are aligned. This should be part of Step 7, when you actually install the swing-arms.

Step 9 installs all the roadwheels and the drive sprocket cover. No poly-caps are used, so I would recommend leaving these off to be painted separately and install at the end of the build. They are also molded as one piece, so the rubber portion will need to be painted separately.

Step 10 deals with several subassemblies for the driver and radio operator’s seats. You also assemble the instrument and distribution panel. Once this is painted, don’t forget to add the decals. These are not identified in the step, but, only in the painting guide at the end of the manual.

Steps 11 to 12 begins installing the assemblies from Step 10 along with the rear firewall.

Step 13 to 14 installs the left and right side engine compartment dividers, along with a few items in the main compartment. You also add the idler wheel shafts.


Steps 15-17 deal with assembling the tracks. It has you assemble the drive sprockets and idler wheels. Insert these into the jig. Then slowly add the link and length track sections. The jig should make keeping everything lined up easier. You do not install the lower track section until after the assembly has been fitted to the kit. That way you will have flexibility to get the track lined up with the roadwheels. (DO NOT GLUE ANY PARTS TO THE JIG)

The tracks require you to install the guide horns separately. Fortunately, Trumpeter has grouped the guide horns on a sub-sprue. You remove them by groups that match the lengths of track. Glue them into position, paying attention to their orientation. Once the glue has dried, you cut away the sprue, clean-up the attach points, and you are ready to go.

Steps 18-19 assembles the 40t winch. The kit includes string for the cable. The instructions do not tell you how long the cable should be. The Meng Ausf. A kit calls out the cable to be 150mm in length. All of the rotating parts are left unglued so that the winch is operational, in theory.

Step 20-21 assembles the left and right panniers and attaches them to the lower hull.

Step 22 adds the right side radiator and some hull structural supports.

Step 23 installs the forward bulkhead and winch assembly.

Steps 24-26 assemble the engine. There are lots of small and delicate parts here. Just be careful when removing them from the sprues.

Step 27 installs the engine.

Step 28 adds the cooling lines. A rear view would have been nice to have to clarify part locations.

Step 29 adds the coolant and fuel filler tanks. You are provided a view from the rear showing the positioning of the lines.

Steps 30 adds the left radiator assembly.

Steps 31 assembles the rear hull panel. This is only the access plates and exhaust mufflers. You are provided with multiple exhaust configurations. You have the single pipes with both styles of armor covers. You also have the flame suppressor mufflers with the two styles of armored covers.

Step 32 begins assembly of the upper hull by adding the radiator exhaust fan hatches and the equipment and spare track racks for the left side Leave the tools off for now for separate painting.

Step 33 The sub-step assembles the radiator inlets with PE grills. You also add more tooling

Steps 34-35 adds the engine deck cover and hatch. You also add all of the equipment racks and tooling to the right side.

Steps 36 assembles the ball MG and the driver’s periscope.

Step 37 adds the radio rack.

Step 38 adds the armored covers for the MG and the rain cover for the driver’s periscope.

Step 39 assembles the front fenders and attaches the upper hull to the lower hull.

Steps 40-41 adds the schurzen. This is molded as one piece. If you want to display with panels missing, you will need to cut it into sections. You also add the reinforced tow coupling and the roller support for the winch cable on the rear hull.

Step 42 assembles and attaches the spade.

Steps 43-45 adds the tow bars. You can display the tow bars stored on the engine deck, or assembled for use. You also add the tow cables.

Steps 46-47 assembles the wooden superstructure. You have the choice of the rain cover extended or retracted. You can have the jib crane in the stowed position. You also add the unditching beam.

Steps 48-49 shows the options for installing the superstructure in its various configurations.

Steps 50-52 assembles the jib crane and installs it on the right side of the hull. No option is provided to install it on the left side.

Painting: Paint call-outs are only for Ammo-Mig products. A 2 page guide is incorporated within the manual for painting the interior. It would be much better if this were a separate guide. No color callouts are provided in the instructions.

The interior paint guide is correct for a late 1944 vehicle. The interiors were all left in RAL 8012, Red Oxide Primer. They were not painted RAL 1001, Elfenbein (Ivory) starting from August 1944. Interior components were left in whatever color they were received from the supplier.

Two additional color pages provide paint schemes along with weathering suggestions.

Decals –These are printed in China. They lack the crispness, and clarity, of those you see from Cartograf. Options are provided for four vehicles:
s.H.Pz.Abt. 507, Ellierode, Germany April 1945
s.H.Pz.Abt. 512, Iserlohn, Germany April 1945
19th Panzer Div., Bolatice, Czechoslovakia, April 1945
503e RCC, Mourmelon, France, May, 1951

Reference Books

1. Panzer Tracts No.16: Bergepanzerwagen - Bergepanzer 38 to Bergepanther
2. Panzer Tracts No.16-1: Bergepanther Ausf.D, A, G
SUMMARY
Highs: A very detailed interior is represented. Suggested weathering steps are provided with the included paint schemes. Jigs are provided for assembling the tracks.
Lows: Very little to dislike with this kit.
Verdict: The kit is not for beginners. This is a beautifully detailed kit of the G variant.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 2107
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 03, 2019
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.05%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.67%

About Mark (d111298pw)
FROM: OKLAHOMA, UNITED STATES

I'm from the US, but have lived most of my adult life around the world due to my work. I started building models when I was 6. Took a 30 break as other priorities took hold (work,family, etc..). Got back into it a number of years back building F1 kits (Ferrari only). When I got to India, the modell...

Copyright ©2020 text by Mark [ D111298PW ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I do wish Takom had indicated "parts not to be used" in their instructions. I always appreciate a kit that feeds the spares box but in this case there seems to be tons of parts intended for other similar vehicles not to be used, possibly causing some confusion.
MAY 31, 2020 - 03:09 AM
First night's productivity: (Hit a minor snag with the winch so moved on to the transmission and floor pan.)
JUN 01, 2020 - 12:13 AM
Anybody else notice that the rear winch crossbar support beam (Part W2-3 in step 19) is not properly keyed to attach to the winch assembly? The winch has a large rectangular key and the beam itself has a small triangular tapered keyway slot. I don't think I am missing anything here am I? Just ask'n.
JUN 01, 2020 - 02:07 PM
Some additional progress on the Berge lower portion: So far this seems like a very well made kit and the fit is right on the money! I suggest that until you have both tub sidewalls in place that you just let the torsion bar assemblies "float" without gluing them. This makes it easier to get them to line up with the end mounting holes when installing the sides. Later if they rattle or have any noticeable play in them a small drop of glue will lock them down. p.s. I know those two central cross members look crooked to a slight degree but that is correct for the Panther G. Those cross members do actually zig-zag just slightly to clear the torsion bar mounts and torsion bar gear end boxes.
JUN 17, 2020 - 09:15 AM
G'day Michael I can only agree about your method of installing the torsion bars - the method suggested by Takom is next to impossible. If you haven't glued the engine in place yet, I would recommend not doing so or installation of the drive shaft will be very difficult. I agree with your installation of the engine before the side walls - otherwise it's a VERY tight fit. Have fun. Regards Rob
JUN 17, 2020 - 11:13 AM
You are right on target! The engine will be extremely tight. For now my engine is only snapped into its' mounts and even that is a very tight fit! Thanks for your feedback and your interest.
JUN 18, 2020 - 01:47 AM
I have to admit it kills me with every step, that I must cover up so much detail that I had just previously installed.
JUN 26, 2020 - 03:14 PM
That's really frustrating. At least you have all the photos.
JUN 26, 2020 - 03:42 PM
Yes and no - because I am the kind of nut that will build details into a model that, in the end only I will know are there. (No explanation for this malady!) Also one of the many reasons I joined the Patton Restoration Group was to learn "what's on the inside" so a kit like this answers those questions for me in detail. Going to try and keep the winch removable so I might expose some of that lost detail from time to time. Also the upper body of the Berge, for right now, seems to want to just snap on/snap off so that MAY remain removable as well! Thanks for your response and your interest.
JUN 27, 2020 - 02:17 AM
   

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