Intrigue of Cats, litter of Panthers

Reynier, I say go for it.

The only thing I really obliterated were the L hooks for the rear track links which were very thin. Easy to replace with wire or styrene rod,

I broke the two items:

  1. shovel handle snipping the trees away but that was an easy super glue back together

  2. pry bar by snipping too close. It shatter where I snipped. Had to patch the middle of the bar with part of a tree and super glue, then file back to shape.

With today’s little bit of experience, I’ imagine I’ll probably only break one item next time around. Razor saw might have been a better choice than DSPIAE nippers but being on the road all I had were the DSPIAE nippers & Xuron nippers (The Sledgehammer).

The Xuron’s were great for removing the 3D printed box around the parts but no suitable to nip around the parts etc.


FWIW - the Heavy Hobby parts easily cut ~20 hours off the build time for this project for me. That’s basically a week of build time for me!

But it “feels” like a “cheat” because it was so incredibly easy compared to going old school on the tools. It looks better than my old school too. However, there some missing "build/crafting satisfaction that goes with taking the “cheat” and easy way out on this build.

In hindsight, this morning I’m wishing I hadn’t used the Heavy-Hobby parts and had dug up an extra set of Tamiya Panther G tools and slapped those on the Italeri Panther old school style. I’m thinking I’ve compromised the enjoyment of this idiotic build to some degree…or maybe that’s the beer :beer: talking.

Cheers :beers:


So far this thread has focused on older Panther kits like Dragon’s Panther D from 2002, Tamiya’s Panther G from 1994 & Italeri’s Panther A from 1993.

Hope to do several of the new Panther kits (Takom, Meng, RFM & ICM) and some where along the way work in the 1967 1/35 God Father of AFV models:

Purchased today


I liked the old Tamiya kits with the 70s porn movie title font like this.

Of course this is the vaunted motorized version…


You gotta build it in the running condition.


i built one of those old kits back in the day to practice some of my weathering skills, decided to just leave as-is. Not a horrible kit, but as with any of the vintage Tamiya models, they’re soft on details and have that huge void in the sponsons area.


Looks sweet!

Many good memories of the old Tamiya Panther A kit. After college, returning to model building with ships etc, I think this was my first AFV getting back into the model hobby. Purchased at Modeler’s Hobby Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1988. It had sat on the shelf for at least three years. Couldn’t resist as it was the remote control Panther.

Killed more batteries playing with the cat and that silly Panther tank than I should admit.

The cat that started 1/35 scale still looks decent for a 1967 era kit in my opinion. On the Mark has a detailed write up in their PE instructions explaining diminson wise whats wrong with the kit and how to fix it. The turret would require a fair amount of surgery. OTM says 1/8 or ~3 mm should be removed from the length of the lower hull IIRC.

Considered how I want to approach the Tamiya old Panther A build.

  1. Do Tamiya Panther G to F conversion first using Chesapeake Model Design Panther F turret. This will free up an entire Panther Turret assembly that’s far more accurate for the old Tamiya Panther A. This will also free a set of newer rubber road wheels for the old Tamiya kit.

  2. Build a Meng Panther A or D or both to free up spare parts for the old Tamiya Panther.

  3. Full On the Mark PE, new tracks, Heavy Hobby tools plus Zimmerit

I want my last old Tamiya Panther to be a kit bash.


Added headlights, one broken & one intact. My mounting is a cobbled up deal but the Heavy-Hobby parts are way better than anything else I have available.

Calling the hull, tracks & suspension completed other than adding spare track links and related. Intend to use RFM Panther track links for the spares.

The Chesapeake Model Design :heart_eyes: turret doesn’t disappoint. After ~27 years, I’m a bit concerned the resin is a little more brittle now than when it was new. I trimmed & sanded the turret a fair amout to ensure the cupola would “drop in” without requiring any “snap in” pressure. Given my track record shattering brittle plastic etc felt the extra work was the safer way.

All of the pistol ports could have been made removable. I felt one was enough.

Opposite & rear.

The Cavalier Zimmerit rear hatch needed a few tweaks due a pull out in the mold that caused a fat bulge on the inside face. Needed a little filing to remove and allow a flush fit.

Now comes the dilemma and why the update post took a while. Which mantlet & gun barrel to use?

Cavalier Zimmerit w/Jordi Rubio gun barrel.

CMD’s resin gun barrel vs Jordi Rubio

Chesapeake Model Design main gun & mantlet vs Cavalier Zimmerit & Jordi Rubio main gun.

Mocked up

My gut feel is the CMD parts are correct and look best overall. However, that turret is designed to work with the Italeri Panther kit and is slightly under scale. Combine with the turret, I leaned towards picking the Cavalier Zimmerit mantlet & Jordi Rubio main gun combination because they seem better matched to the turret.

Adding Zimmerit to the CMD mantlet isn’t a factor. Also saving those fin CMD parts for the old 1967 Tamiya Panther project crossed my mind.

Open to listening to thoughts…



I’d say use the Cavalier/Rubio parts on this one.


Panzer Insights has a very sweet ~3 minute video, with a few key Panther D details, that’s well worth a look.

The commander’s hatch stop detail.

Early Panther D radio & driver hatch center mounted handles.

Nasty looking winter white wash camo.

And of course wrecks, note pistol port plug popped out.

Plus more, pictures for discussion only etc.

Thank you, Matt!


Cavalier Zimmerit & Jordi Rubio

Mock Up, been waiting for this for a long time…


Just for fun, my review of the 1993 1/35 Italeri’s Panther kit. This is of course is just my subjective opinion, others may, will and do have other opinions, I fully respect that.

There’s a TL, DR Readers Digest version of the review at the bottom of the post.

:warning: :loudspeaker: Spoiler Alert :warning: :loudspeaker:

An X-Panzer Police Strikes Back


1/35 Italeri Panther A
0 Price ~$53 (

It’s not a fluke on the price.

4 Instructions - they are clear & concise best part of the kit

0 Molding Quality - flash, sinkmarks, multiple worthless deformed parts, soft details

3 Plastic Quality - decent enough

3 Parts Clean Up - the useable parts clean up well enough without excessive hassle

1 Ease of build - out box 3, poor upper lower hull fit, stock turret sits too high and fixing requires tweaking. Fixing multitude of issues complicates the build.

1 Accuracy - Has multitude dimensional errors in hull & turret, turret sits wrong stock, many details are wrong, rear engine deck has errors. For many folks, none of that will matter.

0 Fit - upper & lower hull and rear plate didn’t align properly without significant effort to fix with both examples I’ve built. Turret doesn’t fit correctly stock. Can’t think of a worse alignment of key hull parts out of the 220 + AFV kits I’ve built.

0 Doesn’t Require Aftermarket - every part needs help by today’s standards. They needed help 30 years ago as well. Over 80% of this Italeri build is replacement parts or reworked parts.

0 Details built Out of the Box - pathetic unless one likes sinkmarks

12 points out of 50 possible

Not Recommended, far too many kits with better everything out of the box.

Italeri’s pile of bat guano from over 30 years ago typically retails for more than a new tool Meng Panther A.

Uses? A few…

Being given as a Christmas present to someone you don’t like, donated as raffle prize filler or built as a demonstration of your sado masochism tendencies.

Readers Digest version - I despise Italeri’s nearly worthless Panther kit.

:smiley: :blush: :grinning:



Wade tell us how you really feel about the kit! LOL.


It just amazes me that Italeri still markets this POS, and that they charge $53 for it is insulting.


€36 on the Italeri website; cheapest I’ve found in UK is £25 plus postage. I’ll put the money towards a better kit I think :rofl:


Randy, you should have seen the unedited version, it wasn’t as complimentary to Italeri Panther kit…wink :wink:

Matt & Chepster, I couldn’t agree more.

I understand why Italeri wants to sell it. At $25 to $30 along the retail price of the old 1967 era 1/35 Tamiya Panther A that’s still available, I’d view that price more in line with what the kit delivers.

The smoke dischargers are very similar to the OTM Tiger ones except these were perfectly etched. Wrapped up on the fiddly smoke dischargers, I forgot to take pictures.

Chopper less, cutting six pieces of 1/8 tubing consistently with an Xacto blade proved Fail Army worthy.

Made a Redneck-Razor “guillotine jig” for chopping out smoke grenade launcher tubes.

Made 12 to got 10 suitable, decided to keep it for the next OTM PE project :grinning:



OMG Wade that jig is remarkable. How the hell did you get it square? It’s not truly redneck though - where’s the duct tape?
Outstanding results though! Since you do so much scratchbuilding you need one each of these. They’re tools, so they don’t count toward the model budget.




Matt! Thank you! Those are must haves!

My 1990’s era “made do” chopper is a plastic and wood cheapie. It can go to the “traveling tool box” for club meetings.

Time for a Hobby Easy order.

These new Quality tools save time. In the late 1990’s my stock Tamiya PZ IV H took just over a 100 hours to build, paint & weather. Last years, detailed Tamiya PZ IV H clocked 55 hours to build, paint & weather. Parts clean up and prep being the key time difference. Both were basically painted and weathered the same way. If one is as slow building as I am every saved hour pays dividends.

The jig was simple after I found the thick plastic strip in scrap plastic bin aka the Altoids box. The jig idea is based on the assumption that the styrene strip sides are square & parallel and the sides of the razor blade are flat. So one can cut square (or close to it) if the jig is built around the razor blade.

The long dark blue strip was the key. The light blue ones were glued parallel to it with a small gap for the tubing. The side of the dark blue strip ensured the jig was square on the top end. I put the razor blade in place (green line) and pushed the plastic strips marked red into place.

The sides of the strip and side of the razor blade ensured it would be square and flush. Liquid cement allowed pushing it all together to make sure it was secure and would line up square parallel to the sides of the razor blade. Pulled the blade out after LC set. Had to scrap liquid plastic off of the sides of the blade so felt it wouldn’t have too much play in the razor slot.

In practice, the tube sometimes flexed a little as I pushed the razor blade thorough for the cut. Some ends were tapered. Fixable with a sanding stick.

Of course, I wouldn’t be being true to my Teutonic ancestors if I didn’t over complicate this by adding a Quality Control step and another jig fixture. (J/k)

Decapitated Grandtline strip of bolts in desk tweezers was ideal. Standard reference smoke discharger on right marked in green.

Defective part marked in red.

When a Defective part was found I may or may not have shouted…


(That’s a joke by the way in case there’s still a super serious reader seeing this.)


The Italeri Panther will have to wait until, I’m back home for the spare tracks etc as I didn’t think to pack the spare RFM Panther track links. So this is about as far as the model goes for the time being.

Added muzzle brake, turret MG, commanders hatch stop, turret lift points & mantlet dust/rain guard.

There’s a few spare parts for the old Tamiya Panther A project to set aside.

Had this to :wastebasket:

Looks like 71 Italeri parts and 452 aftermarket, scratch or kit bash parts for the build. Total of 523 parts total so this Italeri Panther build will have ~13.6% Italeri parts.

I’m happy with that outcome.

New dilemma is what do model wise for the next week or so.


Holy Sh!t! Can you even call it an Italeri kit with that percentage of Italeri parts? I say no. Under AMPS rules, under 20% kit parts qualifies as a scratchbuild!
Surely you must have brought something else you can work on.


Matt, definitely hilarious when framed that way!

If the painting works out to satisfaction, taking this one to an AMPS contest for the judge comments might be fun.

Hobby wise, I just about started the Dragon 2 n 1 Panther because it looks so incredibly awesome. Logic prevailed however with 10 builds already in process and the Dragon Panther & Puma remain unstarted.

So I’m trying to do the one thing I dislike most…RESEARCH:-1: :upside_down_face: :unamused: :expressionless:


Thought I found a Kursk era picture of 055 but after a bit of image manipulation it proved to a Pz IV numbered 065. Also trying to determine which stash kit would make the best Panzer IV G “055”. MiniArt makes the ideal Pz IV “Vomag” for this but MiniArt kits aren’t my cup of tea.

Angel caught that 055 is a Vomag April/May Pz IV G.

The Border Pz IV G & Dragon Pz IV G are probably my best choices that are in hand.

However, there’s a Gunzy/Imperial Dragon/Pz IV G that’s been lurking in the stask waiting to become just the right Kursk Pz IV for like nearly 30 years. I think with TriStar suspension & TriStar wheels, Fruilmodel’s tracks, Aber brass and Dragon spare parts etc, it could build up reasonably well.

That’s a November-Feburary idea for when I like building more than painting.