The Panther has always been a popular subject with modellers, and has seen many reference works dealing with it published over the years. In recent years there has been a steady increase in previously unpublished period photographs, many of much better quality than we have been used to. Ongoing research has also resulted in more photos being correctly attributed, leading to more kits being modelled after actual vehicles. To translate such photos into a life like model is always a challenge, and this is where this new volume in the Osprey series “Modelling the ” lends a helping hand. Following Osprey’s familiar layout of clear photos and easy reading text, Steve van Beveren shows the reader how to build, detail, paint and weather various versions of the Panther.
Let’s look inside
The book starts with a basic introduction to and history of the Panther. This being a modelling book this is kept very brief, and this information will be familiar to those with more than a passing interest in Panthers. Steve has cleverly combined the chronological development of the Panther with the available kits to model these variants, thus making this a handy little reference to check which kit represents which version best. In the next chapter Steve shows some of the tools he uses to create his masterpieces, ranging from two-part epoxy putty to a small cordless soldering iron.
After this brief introduction the book dives straight in, starting with an ‘Intermediate’ classed build of the Panther Ausf A. through to a ‘Master’ class Panther Ausf. G. Each build chapter follows the same formula, starting with a list of the kit and aftermarket items used, followed by a very brief introduction of the modelled vehicle, after which in turn the construction of lower hull and running gear, upper hull and turret, application of Zimmerit (Ausf. A only), painting and weathering are described in great detail.
Each chapter puts an emphasis on a specific subject, such as weathering or the use and soldering of Photo-etch, which in turn are also applicable to the other builds. Referring back to these detailed sections in the other builds avoids the chapters becoming repetitive, and leaves more room to go into detail on those items that are unique to each model. In three chapters Steve builds the following models:
Panther Ausf. A Early, I. Abteillung/Panzer Regiment 4
An intermediate level built, in which the author uses DML kit 6160 with various AM kits to detail the exterior. This particular chapter concentrates heavily on painting and weathering the finished model, and also shows and explains one way to replicate Zimmerit with putty.
Panther Ausf. D, 4th Company of the 51st Panzer Abteillung.
This Chapter uses another DML Panther, this time the Ausf. D , kit no. 6164. Classed as ’Advanced’, a large number of AM items is used together with a number of scratch build parts to create a replica of a Panther serving at Kursk. This build touches virtually every part of the kit, addressing both inaccuracies and missing items. One section in this chapter explains in detail how to cast copies of the scratch build items.
Panther Ausf. G Late, March/April 1945 MAN production vehicle.
This one is classed at ‘Master’ skill level, and not with out reason. Using Tamiya’s Panther G Late (35176), Steve pulls out all the stops and creates a true masterpiece. Aftermarket resin and Photo-etch combined with homemade etched ammo racks and numerous scratched parts result in a fully detailed interior topped of with a superb paint job. This chapter has me looking at my Panther kits in the stash every time I read it.
Bergepanther and Pantherturm
The Bergepanther is a conversion of the DML Panther Ausf. A and as such concentrates mostly on the winch and spade construction, and includes the creation of a small vignette base, which includes one figure. The Pantherturm is by comparison a simple exercise, using the DML turret that was left over from the Bergepanther and a scratch build lower structure.
The last section of the book contains a five page Gallery showing some other superb Panthers, including a Bergepanther and a destroyed Panther, a list of museums and collections, a full list of all the currently available kits and after-market detail and accessories, and a list of publications and websites for further reading and reference. Unfortunately a well known web site is absent from this list, an error which I’m sure will be corrected in future editions. The last page is made of thicker card than the ordinary pages and is a colour and Zimmerit pattern reference chart, with a little siccors symbol indicating that you could cut it out.
Another excellent addition to the increasing list of volumes in this Osprey series, this book is a very helpful guide for those building a Panther. Although it only deals with the Panther, most building techniques can be used for other subjects, and the painting and weathering techniques are universally applicable. This is a book that would be a valuable addition to every German AFV modeller. Perhaps a little too advanced for the less experienced modeller, it will never the less be an inspiration for all. Highly recommended.
Many thanks to Osprey for this review sample.
This new volume in the Osprey line deals with the ever popular Panther, but is a valuable addition to every modellers library.