The Pz.Kpfw. V Panther, is considered by many to be one of the best tanks of World War II. It had an excellent combination of features which gave it good mobility, excellent protection (almost invulnerable at the front) and a powerful punch at ranges much greater than enemy tanks it faced. One distinctive feature of the Panther is the torsion bar suspension with interleaved road wheels. This design gave the Panther excellent mobility a smooth ride and good weight distribution. Many different road wheels were developed and experimented with; mostly in response to weaknesses with the 16 bolt wheels which mounted on the original Panther Ausf. D. The Panther Ausf. A and later Ausf. G, which came after the Ausf. D, are typically equipped with 24 bolt wheels, as represented by the wheels in this set. I have seen photographic evidence of repaired Panther Ausf. D tanks with mixed sets of 16, 24 and 32 (16 bolts alternating with 16 rivets) configurations so it wouldn’t be a stretch to use these when modelling ageing Ausf. D.
The resin road wheels and hubs are packaged in a small zip lock bag secured with tape to sheet of black card stock. Four small photo etch frets labelled G, protected by a thin plastic film on both sides, are also secured to the black card stock with tape. Instructions consist of a single page printed on green paper. The entire set is packaged in a plastic sleeve with the folded paper tag staple to the top.
The set includes eight damaged road wheels, two for each of the different inner and outer wheels of the interleaved wheel and torsion bar setup. The castings are crisp and clean with no visible bubbles or blemishes. The casting blocks, which must be removed, taper down a bit where they attach to the wheels. I recommend cutting the blocks off a bit away from the surface of the wheels and then sanding the nub down with a sanding stick being sure not to accidentally damage the thin rims or form a flat spot. The delicate wheel castings are crisp and correctly capture the fine details. The wheels are cast with the rubber damaged and worn around the rims. Photo etch rings are used for the rims on the inner set of road wheels. There are four resin wheel hubs for modelling your Panther with missing outer wheels giving you all sorts of options for modelling a damage Panther. Twenty photo etch brackets with twin bolt heads provide the detail for the hubs, with four parts to spare. As an added bonus, each photo etch fret includes a crescent and adjustable wrench, each formed by folding the two halves together. As you can see in the photos the etched detail is excellent!
This is another great set from ET Model with the quality we’ve come to expect from them. Other than a misspelling in the title of the word Damaged as “Demeged” the instructions are excellent. These wheel and hub assemblies are direct replacements for the plastic kit parts and are highly recommended.
Review sample graciously provided by ET Model http://www.etmodeller.com
ET Model is based in Shanghai China and produces aftermarket photo etch and resin detail upgrade sets.
Scott Espin – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com