May 08, 2013

A short review of Zvezda's 1/72 Panther Ausf D

Ever since I build Zvezda’s excellent T-34 snap kit, I’ve been looking forward for their next releases in 1/72 scale: a Panther Ausf D and an IS-2. While the IS-2 launching was postponed several times, the Panther finally arrived in late 2012. Dragon released its own Panther Ausf D in 2012, marketed also as “early”, but it seems it is a mix of early and late Ausf D features. Though Dragon offers a really nice and highly detailed kit, it seems Zvezda’s Panther is a more accurate early D version. And, much more cheaper!

Inside the box there are two sand coloured sprues with kit parts, a separate black sprue with the tracks, a decal sheet and instructions. All hatches are closed, so I’m sure some modelers will complain, but personally I don’t mind. Instead, I welcome a few really nice touches, as the weld seams, separate OVM tools and tow cables, and very good molded gun so there will be no need for an after-market one.

The track runs are one-piece with grooves molded-in that will help bending the tracks around the idlers and driver wheels. Again, the details on the tracks is very good.

The kit doesn’t provide the mesh screens for the engine deck, but this can be solved with a photo-etched set.
Decals are well printed and provide two marking options – both from the battle of Kursk.

Instructions are clear and concise and are offered both in Russian and English. In conclusion, this is a very good and accurate kit. It should be recommended also for its highly competitive price. I will probably buy a PE set from Part and with other few minor improvements I’m sure it will turn out into a fine looking model.


Stephen Beat said...

I was impressed with their T-34, they have made a kit that is accessible - not too complex - but authentic enough. My only niggle is the pricing as my T-34 wasn't far off the pricing of a Dragon model. As you say it is a really good base for a detailing project, I wish Airfix would re-release some of it's older models at this same quality.

Florin David said...

In Romania there are a couple of Zvezda importers, and Russia is not that far away, so prices are quite good. This Panther costed me around 7 Euro, which I consider a real bargain.

kootong said...

Hi , David.
Try Trumpeter , one of a good detail kits.
If u cant find them in Romania
May i suggest my favorite online shop from Japan and Hongkong.

See ya !

Florin David said...

Thanks for the tip!

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