Friday, March 22, 2019

Zvezda 1/100 Panther

     Wrapping up my sweep through my pile of unbuilt Zvezda kits we now are going to consider the Panther kit. Everything that I said about the last three kits goes equally well for this model. The design is innovative and elegant, the detail and quality of casting are unparalleled. Frankly I am running out of glorifying adjectives to use on these models. This kit is cast in a hard, pale gray plastic and shows no sign of flash and you can only find the faintest of mold lines after a thorough examination. This kit again pushes the envelope for snap-tight kits with an innovative approach and an exacting attention to detail. 

      This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

back of the box

contents of the bnox

the sprues

just look at the wealth of detail 
and remember that you could hide four of these under a dollar bill

the turret was simple; the grenade-launchers clicked into place on the side  and the main gun pushed through the mantlet which clipped firmly into place on the front of the one-piece turret 

I confess I had my doubts that this crazy system of assembly would really work

mudguards and hull sides, 
again I cannot stress enough how important it is that you carefully remove every trace of casting burrs and sprue points before starting assembly

step one, installing the framework 
these provide the attachment points for the exterior panels 

step two, the sides of the hull click into place

step three, the outer side plates click up under the panel

step four, the upper hull panel drops into place, all of these parts snapped firmly into place without any difficulty and the alignment was perfect, I went back and glued them all because I'm like that

the lower hull and track assemblies
notice the torsion bar suspension details all perfectly rendered

but first, the frame gets installed onto the lower hull

then the lower hull sides are pressed into place
this required a careful application of force

conversely the tracks popped into place without difficulty 

by this point I had gotten overconfident and went ahead and snapped the rear of the hull into place,
 I should have waited until the upper hull assembly had been attached to the lower hull

lower hull and tracks ready for final assembly

the upper hull snapped tightly into place and the turret  dropped onto its guide post

stunning detail, superb fit and finish, easy assembly

it certainly captures the lethal-looking bulk of the original

the host of fine detail is remarkable

I can barely wait for the weather to break so I can get started on painting this kit,
the hard part will be doing justice the the fine level of detail

 top-shot, I have no words to add to this, it speaks for itself

     As I said when I reviewed the Jagdpanther, if the other kit manufacturers aren't running scared in the face of this sort of quality they should be! Zvezda has brought us unmatched quality and a very affordable price, I only wish that they had a broader selection of models.

        Recommended without hesitation!


  1. Nice kit. The only problem it is a "D" not a G. The early production model are D's with the small round hatch on the side of the turret. That was for throwing out the spent case. Overall I agree it is a nice basic model.

  2. Yep. Definitely a D version. Hull MG slit, driver's vision port, hulls sides are not straight, D cupola and previously mentioned shell port. Smoke launchers. No hull driver rotating periscopes, D exhausts, Binocular gun sights, No gun mantlet lip (G models were made without it) no turret roof grenade/smoke launcher. Suspect the headlight arrangement changed on G model. G could or could not have heater. This model doesn't. Pretty sure (and this shows the detail) the number of bolts on the road wheels is the wrong number for a G. You have to love it. The color box picture is a Panther A model.

  3. I'm not enough of an authority on the permutations of German tanks to know the difference; thanks Gary and Tankguy1

    I was just impressed that a snap-tight kit went together better and had fewer/smaller gaps than an expensive "precision-modelling" kit.

    It just looked like a Panther to me!

  4. Anton. Don't worry. I have seen photos of D hulls with A turrets and D Panthers in action in 1944. They didn't throw them away just because a newer version came out. At least one reference I have states they were looking for D versions in 1945 because they could put in a IR scope for the gunner and driver. This is the IR Battlefront has on their plastic G model. Problem is no front hull driver hatch and you need the gun mantlet with the binocular sight - both on the D but replaced "during production" on the A model.

  5. I am no treadhead but this is a great looking model. Nicely put together too!

  6. Wow, this may be the best Panther kit yet.