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Broken Down in Italy

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The base kit for this diorama is the Dragon (#6358) Panther Ausf A late version. My objective when I started this model was to create a scene showing a tank in Italy undergoing some maintenance work in a field setting. As my references I used several books dedicated to the Panther tank from Concord, Spiel Berger, Osprey and Panzer Tracts, as well as my own experience in the US Army as a tanker. To the base kit I added the engine from the Tamiya Tank Engine Maintenance Crew set that I had in the box and combined that with a couple of Verlinden resin pieces and Friul model Tracks.

The Verlinden pieces I had were a full engine kit and a full interior kit that I had put in an older Panther kit; I cannibalized these for this project since I wasn’t happy with the way the older project had turned out. But instead of using all of the Verlinden interior and the full engine kit like I did in the older Panther, I used the radiators/fan in conjunction with the Tamiya engine; then I added the Verlinden resin turret interior along with most of the resin interior from around the driver and radio operator to fill up the empty spaces you would normally see with open hatches.

I built the model straight from the box and then added the engine, metal tracks and resin parts to create an accurate tank that is undergoing some repair work at a field maintenance site. I tried to show this tank with moderate wear and tear; chipped paint, dried dirt, dust, and wear on the drive sprocket and corresponding road wheels. Since mechanics are bigger pack-rats than tankers, the scene is set with loads of extras including empty shell casings, fuel and water cans, tool chests with extra tools, pioneering tools, empty cardboard box, extra track links, track connector pins, extra road wheels, boxes, crates and other pieces from the spare parts box. The extras for this diorama come from Tamiya, AFV, Evergreen, Verlinden, and Warrior. I tried to put in as many tools and parts as I could since when work is being done in the field on any armored vehicle, the site usually becomes quite chaotic.

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About the Author

About Kevin Potts (ElCapitan)

I started to build models at the age of 6 and somewhere in my teens I took a long break. Then a couple of years ago I returned to the hobby and got back into it, so now I try something different on each vehicle in an attempt to push myself.


Very nice. Excellent modeling, and a great attention to detailing.
JAN 24, 2011 - 04:54 AM
wonderfull work ! ! congratulations ! 1 I hope your kits get into the hobby too !!
JAN 27, 2011 - 12:53 AM
Thanks. I work steadily at it but both boys come and go into the hobby which is fine. When I was much younger I did the same thing. Take care and thanks.
FEB 02, 2011 - 02:29 PM
Thanks for the complement. After 20 years of being in the military, that experience comes in handy when modeling. Thanks.
FEB 02, 2011 - 02:32 PM
Kevin, A hardy welcome to Armorama and your return to modeling! This Feature almost got by me. You've done an outstanding job with your build. I really like the setting and ground work. I have yet to build a Panther and I hope that mine will turn out at least half as good as yours or at least a little ways decent. I don't know that I will be able to achieve the realistic ground work that you have. That dead tree adds so much to the dio! I could almost hear one of the crew members shouting out with some frustration 'Why'd we have to park it hear next to that old dead tree it's giving us bad luck!' Thanks for posting and sharing your build. Hoping your kids will follow your lead and do some modeling too! Nice photographs. -Eddy
FEB 19, 2011 - 10:01 AM
nice scene, looks realistic....lovely job cheers
FEB 19, 2011 - 03:28 PM
Thanks everyone for the complements. It really gives me the desire and determination to try new things. Thanks again and have fun building. Kevin
FEB 21, 2011 - 01:15 AM
Another great build Kevin! Realistic groundwork and all the extra tools, etc. was a nice touch. Great attention to detail. Thanks for sharing!
FEB 27, 2011 - 08:41 AM
Outstanding Dio !!!!!!! milvehfan
DEC 20, 2011 - 02:40 PM
Nice piece of work, good to see a panther in it's natural environment.... Al
DEC 20, 2011 - 10:45 PM