Towards the end of World War II the Allies had gained complete air superiority in the skies over Europe. This allowed for relentless air to ground attacks making any sort of movement by the Germans during the day virtually impossible. In earnest, the Germans developed a night fighting solution called the FG 1250. There are two configurations for this equipment. The first, which is modeled in this set from ET Model ER35-034, is a configuration which features the search light and scope mounted and aligned with an MG 42 mounted to the rotating ring on the commander’s cupola of the Panther Ausf. G (I have seen photographic evidence of this setup also mounted on a special variant of the Sd.Kfz. 251 Ausf. D Halftrack). This equipment allowed the machine gunner to see human targets up to 400 Meters away at night. The other configuration, modeled in the ET Model set ER35-035, mounts to the roof of the Panther Ausf. G and is connected and calibrated to the Panther’s main gun, the75mm KwK 42 L/70.
The set is packaged in a plastic sleeve, the PE parts taped to black card stock and the photo etch parts in small zip lock bags. The instructions are printed on a single green sheet, front and back. The package is labeleled ER35-034 WWII German Infrared Night-Vision Devices Infrarot-Scheinwerfer Type 1. Through my research I determined this to be the FG 1250 infrared system for us with AFV Mounted MG 42.
The set includes the FG 1250 infrared searchlight and scope, the MG 42 and all the appropriate brackets and mounting hardware. The searchlight and scope are cast in a cream colored resin with no blemishes or bubbles. The lenses are clear plastic and unfortunately the instructions have the lenses numbered incorrectly, the searchlight lens with screen mesh is part 02, and the lens for the scope is 01. It will be very obvious which one goes where as the lens for the scope is smaller than the lens for the searchlight. The various brackets and clamps are on the brass photo etch fret. You will have to provide 0.4mm ABS rod cut to 1.5mm lengths for connecting the link arms. Small holes must be drilled on the scope assembly to accommodate the wiring. You will have to provide the wire yourself and there are no guidelines as to the thickness or length of the wires so consult your reference photos and estimate as best you can. Small PE butterfly nuts complete the detail of the PE straps which holds the scope to the mount. The MG 42 is well cast and includes a photo etch ammunition belt.
Panthers equipped with the night fighting equipment had an armored storage bin mounted to the right rear hull plate in place of the typical storage bin. This armored bin houses the two batteries for the Infrared system along with other tools and equipment. The batteries are formed by simply folding the parts into their box shape. The storage bin is formed by folding the large PE piece to shape and then securing the access door with the PE hinges and butterfly nuts. The hinges feature small tabs which are to be rolled to shape and connected by pins which you will have to make from 0.3mm ABS rod cut to 1.7mm lengths.
This is a great set from ET Model for those who wish to model a late war Panther with the FG1250 implementation on the MG 42. The quality of the resin and photo etch parts is great. You will need to provide 0.3mm and 0.4mm ABS rod and some thin wire to complete the assembly. As you can see from the ET Model photos this set looks stunning and will add a lot of detail and interest to your completed build. This set is highly recommended.
Review sample graciously provided by ET Model http://www.etmodeller.com
ET Model is based in Shanghai China and produces aftermarket photoetch and resin detail and upgrade sets.
Germany’s Panther Tank: The Quest for Combat Supremacy by Thomas L. Jentz
Strange Vehicles of Pre-War Germany & The Third Reich 1928-1945
Scott Espin – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com