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Panther A Accessories


 

 

TRAKZ
Armor Products
(A Division of the VLS Corporation)

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue No., Description & Price Item TX 0011 - Panther A Detail Set @ USD$22.95
Item TX 0012 - Panther A Late Exhaust @ USD$9.95
Item TX 0013 - Panther A Intake Screens @ USD$8.95
Contents and Media: See Text
Scale: 1/35
Review Type: FirstLook
Advantages: Worthwhile donor kit; sensible additions; high quality production; simple replacement grilles; handy late exhausts for conversion of early Panther A.
Disadvantages: Detail set instructions a little sketchy (small diagrams); fabrication of a few small details required.
Recommendation: Recommended 

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

Armour modellers have waited a long time for an accurate, high quality Panther Ausf. A in 1/35 scale, but Dragon has finally answered their requests with their release earlier this year.

Dragon's 1/35 scale Panther A, Early Type, had some modellers scratching their heads about the combination of the late-style cupola and 24 bolt wheels with the early, narrow machine gun flap on the hull front, and the twin single exhausts. Although this is a legitimate variant, it is not the "classic" Panther A that was expected with the ball bow machine gun and triple exhausts on the rear left side.

TRAKZ has been quick to deliver a small range of accessories for this excellent new kit.


 

TX 0011 - Panther A Detail Set

The first accessory is a large, 7.75" x 4.25" photo-etched metal sheet. The material appears to be a very thin copper. All parts are sharply produced with relief detail and recessed fold lines.

Around half of the sheet is taken up with metal side skirts and replacement front mudguards.

The Dragon kit supplies die-cut sheet plastic side skirts, but these metal items offer a few advantages. First, they will be easier to authentically damage (ie, fragmentation penetration, bent corners etc), and the hanger insert detail is crisper and more even than the kit supplied parts. New hangers for the kit hull are also supplied. These are much thinner, and therefore more accurately in scale, than the kit parts. This will be especially noticeable if you are planning to leave any of the skirt sections off the vehicle.

The front mudguards are also valuable because they include the lower sections. Although the lower sections were frequently damaged or removed early in the vehicle's life, there are many photos showing them in place. Dragon did not supply these additional sections of the mudguards. The kit mudguards are moulded as part of the sponsons and are a little understated, detail-wise. The TRAKZ replacements might be a little fiddly to bend into position, but they will be in scale and impressive with a little effort.

Most of the remainder of the set is devoted to stowage. All the tool racks and the spare track hanging racks are supplied; as are the clasps and mounts. Some of the other items include a replacement brace for the exhausts and detailed lifting hooks for the hull hatch deck.


 

TX 0012 - Panther A Late Exhaust

For modellers who just can't wait for Dragon to release the late Panther A, TRAKZ has addressed the most eluisive conversion item. This set supplies the "classic" Panther A exhausts with the tripe pipe on the left side.

Three pipes are supplied in resin. A new resin jack block and towing pintle are also provided (the late Panther A had the jack relocated vertically, and hence the new towing pintle). The resin parts are well cast. They are supported by a small fret of photo-etched metal with mounting brackets and braces for the new exhausts, plus a detailed face for the pintle.

The jack block is especially nice, with fine woodgrain texture and a carry handle on one edge.


 

TX 0013 - Panther A Intake Screens

This is a single, simple fret of photo-etched metal to add mesh screens to the engine deck grilles. The fit seems to be perfect for the kit parts.


 

These three accessories will enhance Dragon's excellent Panther A without necessarily "guilding the lily".

Recommended.

Thanks to VLS for the review samples


These and other VLS products may be viewed at the VLS Website



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Review Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 20 July, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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