Just because I have so little to work on and because I needed some more Cavalry Brown, I came home with this newly arrived in the store Trumpeter Panther. The kit looks to be a good leap forward with a better radio stack, transformers for the radio, tracks with fewer pin marks, the demise of those horrid vinyl engine pipes and so forth. There’ll still be plenty to correct and scratch, but a lot less than there might have been.
So it looks like I now have four biggens to make, Idiot that I am.
Tracks to begin with. Shells and tracks all at the same time hmmmm.
Another epic build coming up. I really enjoy viewing your builds Bishop, with all the corrections and scratchbuilding that goes on. Thanks for making the effort with all the images amd keeping us all entertained.
The first question that was raised was whether Trumpeter had included the raise hull roof section found on the front of the G hull. No. It’s only raised 5mm on the real thing so easy to miss. This translates to 0.3mm in 1:16 so out with the razor saw and off with the details. Then the missing thickness added to the salvaged parts and it’s done.
The tracks, guide horns and track pins progress a a steady pace. They are molded for a specific side which I’m not sure is correct, makes for easy construction. Not sure about the track pins either so may investigate hat pins which are roughly the same size. We shall see. There are 8 racks of horns and pins to cut out. Two done. I have system going, cleaning up twenty shells and twenty tracks at a time, oh and one sprue of pins and horns too. Then it’s rest time.
The ones in the bags are awaiting clean up
Pins and horns
Raised roof panel
And a possible extra
This crew heater engine deck fan cover became stand on the later Gs. This one comes from my Heng Long Bergepanther makeover. I thought I’d restore it for use as anther thing we’ve noticed is that most of the parts, especially turret parts, for the late G are included in Trumpeter’s early G kit. The late will probably be their next release it is thought. I may make this one up as a late G. I even have the vehicle in mind. We shall see.
So, this is going to be a November 44 Panther, and maybe a command version. I have the larger self cleaning idlers sourced awaiting purchase, the driver’s periscope visor transferred from the Bergepanther, the crew heater cover restored and ready for proper detailing when in place and flame retardant exhausts on their way so that just about covers the basics.
Panther track guide horns are very boring. At least the late exhausts have arrived, so that just leaves the self cleaning idlers which are on their way. So that's good, but guide horns are indeed really boring.
Tracks done and are quite an engineering feat. The only trap is that there are less guide horns than pieces of track so make sure you have your 86 links of each type made before you add the remaining guide horns to the other links. There aren’t enough pins either for all the links, but more than the number of links that can be completed. Nothing like the look of a run of Panther tracks. Chopper would be pleased.
Sadly Trumpeter has done it again with some silly mistakes. The floor ducting from front to rear will be great for their D/ A variants, but not for the G. Four pipes, 5mm thick in 1:16 make their way from the front to the rear bringing cool air to the disk brakes and transmission. Not a big problem, but the floor braces have to have the holes for the wide ducting filled and holes for the pipes added. Bending 5mm tubing in plastic, or anything really, into shape is hopeless... unless you have wire running along inside it that will keep its shape. Hence this solution
3.2 solder fits perfectly into 5mm evergreen and holds its shape very nicely allowing for just the mildest heating to maintain its shape permanently. I still have to work out where the holes need to go in the braces and firewall, plus where the pipes need to attach to the floor on the first place, but all will be well.
In the middle of forcing myself to do Tiger ii shell racks so this is going slow, but I've filled in the gaps in the floor braces where the D/ A air ducting would have run and am now ready to lay the G cooling pipes and measure up where the holes will have to be added. I've also partly made the two transformers for the turret radios. An easy copy from one of the three waiting to be installed in the JagdTiger. Photos to follow
The late idlers have arrived and have been grafted onto the kit swing arms. The IR equipment box is also under construction. Yet another Heng Long stowage box has been sacrificed. Made quite a few of these now.
Just sorting the air ducting for a late G so the hull floor is covered with pen.
As I’m waiting for shell racks for the Tigers I’m getting the new pipe work and flooring in for the Panther. And here it is. A few mysteries still to solve, but this is close enough as it’s all hidden anyway.
Making shocks and cleaning torsion bars today. Nice to move forward. There is some debate on Facebook about whether Jentz and Doyle’s info re the Oct 44 deletion of the rear shocks actually ended up being a reality so though I’ve blocked the area off for now it may be opened up again if I go with the four. Made them all in case.
Steering brakes constructed, but still needing their spring and rod mounts to be added. I’ve put these in and adjusted the transmission so it will fit with them in place so that I could adjust and finish their cooling pipes. As this will be all red oxide I need to get various things in place before I spray. Some things like the shocks will need to be sprayed before installation as they will be added while the torsion bars are being fitted, but the torsion bars need to be painted before installation so it’s the usual complicated process. I will get fairly close to bringing the Panther up to the speed with the Tigers soon. I’ll get another shot at the HL 230, but this one has better piping so will be easier. I won’t add all the details I did with the others... maybe.
Lots of good research is coming to light on the Trumpeter Panther build Facebook page. This has allowed me to check measurements and redo the oil cooling lines on the floor. These run across the floor in the Panther rather than along the right hand wall in the Tiger ii. They run from the transmission up to the engine and reservoir in the engine bay. Pipes everywhere now, but the will plug in when everything is done.
While I wait for the Tiger shell racks in the post I’m pushing on with the Panther. The Torsion bars are all in. I’ll hand paint them once the red oxide is in. I just need to work out the spring mounts for the brakes as per the Tigers and make the cover for the radio operator shock. She’s a busy floor.
As I’m familiar with the engine bay and cooling system set up I’m now going to push on with that rather than the rest of the drive train as I need to do more research on the transmission to see what I have to add to it. The cooling system set up is actually correct in this kit, unlike the Tigers, so it will just be a matter of tarting things up.
This last one shows the plug for the dropped rear shock now welded in place on the firewall
Amateur plastic surgeon!
The following user(s) said Thank You: shaunfletcher
The air ducts are wrong for the G Panther. Yet again I have to make new ducts. This time, however I’ve been able to adjust the kit parts to do the job. The fans are also wrong so I’ve done them as 8 fin fans.