Jens 1/35 Meng Panther Ausf. A - Panther GB 2018

Jens Andrée

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#1
Well, it was a tossup between the Meng and the Takom Panther A and it was only down to who released it first - and since Meng released their Panther A today I didn't hang about and placed my order on hobbyeasy.com and scored the early release version with metal barrel! :D

Meng Panther A Late (1).JPG

Meng Panther A Late (37).JPG

I've also added working tracks and zimmerit type D (roll of the dice to choose which zimmerit) to make this as detailed as possible.

Meng Panther A Late (44).JPG
Meng Panther A Late (45).JPG

The current plan is to paint it in ambush camo, a.k.a. disc camo - but this is subject to change obviously ;)
I also might try to recreate an existing Panther A, but I'm really keen on attempting the disc camo so it might just be a fictive one...

At least I've decided which kit to build - and I suspect I won't be alone in the GB to build the Meng Panther Ausf. A?!

2018 is going to be a busy year with regards to modelling! :D
 

Jens Andrée

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#2
Here's the decal sheet, variant D.

SPS-053 German Medium Tank Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf.A Late Production Zimmerit Decal 1.jpg

I hope it's a better one than the Tamiya decal sheet for the Elefant, because that was a dodgy one to apply and to make stick in the long run...

The tracks also comes with a different torsion suspension to make it all working so there are no excuses for making a wonky build :p

I've looked at hi-res photos of all the sprues and there are plenty of extras like logs, buckets, jerry cans (two variants!) etc and the surface texture is top notch by the looks of things! :smiling3:
I've not built many Meng kits so far but the ones I've done have been great quality and the plastic is of equal - or better(?) - quality than Tamiya.
When you add things up we're talking about similar money but if you only want to build a basic kit without all the extras it's a lot cheaper than Tamiya so there's good value for money.

Now it's a tossup which GB to start first? This? The AA Gun? I'm going to do my "Stop the pigeon" GB last because I need to source/cut/print parts first and that'll take time...

Eager to see what the rest of you are going to build!
 

Jens Andrée

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#7
Good choice Jens, I'm doing the same kit for the GB. :smiling3:
Excellent choice Bob!!! :D

Takom has been so quiet about their upcoming Panther and after looking at hi-res photos of the Meng sprues I didn't need many second to make a decision because this Panther must be the most well made to date!
All surfaces has realistic textures and it comes with a lot more detail than I'm used to, and I'm fed up with Dragon models with all the broken parts in the box from really poor packaging so I will probably be doing more Meng models in the future for sure!

Are you doing zimmerit as well? Proper zimmerit or the vinyl sheets?
If the sheet I've ordered is similar to the Tamiya Elefant one I won't use it, but this I won't know until it arrives in a couple of weeks...

Anyhow, it's great that we're more than one who's building the same kit because then we can support each other if needed, or take inspiration!
I don't know if I'm going to make use of the working suspension or not because I haven't built one from Meng before... In fact I haven't really planned this GB yet so I better start thinking and do some planning.
I don't think the kit comes with any figures so that has to be added too perhaps?

I was also going to build a Jagdpanther 2 for this GB as my second entry but I couldn't wait so I've already built it ;)
With Friulmodel tracks and all the extras. Just need a lick of paint.

What are the rest of you building for the Panther GB?
 

Mr Bowcat

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#8
I did also look at the Takom version, but to be honest I have built 2 Meng kits (King Tiger & Bradley) and they were both so well engineered and built so well that it just had to be Meng again. I've also orderd the Meng Gepard for the AA GB. :D

Zimmerit yes, although havent decided whther to buy one of the 4 available sheets or have a go at doing it myself. At the moment I am leaning toward doing it the hard way, purely because I like to challenge myself to something new on every build. :smiling3:
 
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Jens Andrée

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#9
I'm not cheating and starting anything so don't worry, but I got an express delivery today from Hong Kong with my Panther A and I thought I'd take a closer look at the Zimmerit sheet and report back so others can make a decision based on my findings.

I was disappointed about the Tamiya Elefant vinyl decal sheet and it's something I won't use again, but I decided to at least buy a sheet for the Meng Panther to evaluate.
When ordering not much was written about the zimmerit so I didn't know anything about it, and it's just turned out to be something completely different to what I though?

It's not a vinyl sheet - it's a "structured" water slide decal sheet!

IMG_20171207_004355.jpg

IMG_20171207_004428.jpg

What's even more worrying is the bottom text on the "instruction" that it came with: "you can use glue to further secure them..."???

The zimmerit pattern isn't deep at all and right now I feel tricked for buying it because it won't look anything like real zimmerit because it hasn't got enough depth :sad:

So I'm posting this here for you others current and future Meng Panther Ausf. A builders so you're aware what you're buying!

My (random) choice of decal sheet D is a bit more compact and more even in thickness than the more traditional one so I might get away with it, but I expected it to be thicker, at least as thick as the Tamiya zimmerit sheet.
 

Jens Andrée

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#10
So here we go! My first GB will be the Panther Ausf.A Late version and here's the obligatory sprue shots before opening.

I've not yet decided which tank I'm going to build but my son's voted for no. 534, 5th Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Panzer Regiment, SS Division Wiking, Kovel, Volyn, Ukraine, summer 1944 but this is subject to change.

It's an OOB apart from metal barrel and working tracks & suspension. There might also be some scratch built parts and I will try to present it on a base.

IMG_20180102_184938.jpg
IMG_20180102_184619_01.jpg
IMG_20180102_185118.jpg
IMG_20180102_185143.jpg

This is my first Meng kit apart from a few Tank Toons so I'm really looking forward to begin tonight!

Cheers,
Jens
 

Polux

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#12
Well...seems that one will be really interesting. :hungry:
Thanks for join in Jens.
 

col68

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#13
Nice looking kit Jen's may have to add that to my wishlist
 

Jens Andrée

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#14
Kids have now gone to bed so I've started and I begun with a small fudge on my part - but I blame it on the less than great instruction for the upgraded suspension because it wasn't clear exactly where to cut in to the normal instruction...
It was easily fixed though but it's hard whenever you build a kit from a new manufacturer and it takes some time getting used to their style of instructions.
It's super easy though so this kit will be built in max 2-3 sessions, plus one for the tracks. You have to glue the two guide horns onto every track link and that'll take some time I think... Not gluing but cutting and sanding :tongue-out3:
Still, much simpler than the Friulmodel tracks I've used a handful times now.

I will post a couple of pictures when I end this session so you can see the progress!

I have to decide which specific tank I'm building within the next hour or so in order to build the correct accessories and tools, but I'm leaning towards the one I mentioned in the previous post and I might just stick to that one.
I was initially thinking about a totally different tank, not included in this kit, but the stencils I ordered in early November are still missing in action and I ordered them at the same time as I ordered the figures for my Mk.IV vignette - that's still obviously missing, and if they don't turn up this week I'm going to have to order new ones...

If you want to build a well made and highly detailed Panther Ausf.A but don't want a ultra complex Takom "full interior" build then this is the one for you!
If you're undisturbed and in the mood this kit can probably be built in 8-10 hours.

The tiny bit of putty I had to use for a minute gap has hopefully dried now so I can get back to modelling! ;)
 
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Jens Andrée

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#15
Lower hull and road wheels are done - yippee, but I've spotted something not as cheerful...

The drive sprockets, both inner and outer cogs, have a hole in one tooth... :sad:
See pictures and it's in the top tooth on both drive sprockets.

IMG_20180103_220130.jpg
IMG_20180103_220143.jpg

Being on both inner and outer - and no signs of poor injection on the sprues, makes me think this was done on purpose?
I've never seen a Panther drive sprocket with these holes in real life.
Have you?

Easily done with putty but I have to investigate this properly first if it's meant to be like this?

Please let me know if you know the answer!
 

Jens Andrée

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#19
Jens, Google Images found this:
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Huge thanks for the find!!! :smiling: :thumb2:
None of the reference photos I've got have got such a hole in it, but this one clearly has!

I've got a scanned Panther manual somewhere and I'm going to have a read in that one tonight to see if I can find any references to this hole?
It's not in great resolution sadly since it was scanned many years ago, nor is my German exactly native but I usually scrape by.

It could be a timing mark but I'm clueless at the moment. Perhaps an indicator of sorts for putting the tracks on in the field? Like I said, I'm clueless...

Many thanks Peter!
 

monica

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#20
looks an interesting build Jens.,
do like the detail parts will be interested in the tracks and running gear,