Intrigue of Cats, litter of Panthers

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

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€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:

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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:

Installed…

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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.

image

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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…

“NEIN!” “NEIN!” “NEIN!”

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

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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.

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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.

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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:

Seeking-information-on-lahss-pz-iv-055-command-tank

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.

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Just wrapped an RFM Stug III build this morning and placed it on the display shelf. What stared back from the shelf?

Two perennial shelf queens…

It was almost as if they were discussing the just completed Stug III, Pz IV saying, "Well it only took him 16 months on that one. 30+ years here and counting. To which the Panther says 22 years doesn’t seem that bad suddenly.

Anyway, this year’s Wade’s World theme is wrap as many older projects as possible. With the 4th of the 12 started models wrapped, the Dragon Panther D’s time has come as #5.

It’s getting finished or trash binned (again)…

Edit - Finding a path forward with this model proved time consuming.

  1. Decided to replace the kit tracks with snap together QuickTracks. I want to test how well QT’s work before buying an additional set.

  1. Wiring the smoke grenade launchers after painting is going to be a pain with them attached to the model. While looking at references today noticed it’s usually difficult or impossible to see the wiring in many photos.

  2. Paint & Decals

I want this Panther D to be representative of an August/September Gross Deutschland Panther. I have three decal options available.

Originally, settled on the top one, tri-color w/Stalking Panther but realized it doesn’t have smoke gernades launchers so its out.

The middle one is automatically off the rails being marked as command tank and not having the various pistol ports & hatch in the commanders side of the turret.

That leaves the bottom one which is from the Dragon kit #445 as my viable option. It’s a GD Panther w/Stalking Panther logo per Dragon.

Close to monotone Dunkelgelb.

That’s the opening game plan in anycase.

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Good choice Wade … If you have not read it, Forgotten Soldier is a very good read. True account of a Alsace guy who joined the GD and fought through the war with them …the author is the bloke in the book … Guy Sajer I think his name is.

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Oh yes! Forgotten Soldier is probably the most fascinating account from the Axis side of WW2, I’ve read. Guy Sajer was a pen name for Guy Mouminoux who later was a cartoonist. He passed away in 2022.


Started the detail painting today.

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Wade which Dragoon Panther D kit is that? Is it #6164 by Chance?

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Randy, yes this thing is Dragon’s dreadful disappointing #6164.

Me, #6164 and this specific kit have a lot of bad history and evil mojo. :smiling_imp: I got mad pitched it in the trash can back in 2003. Wife dug the damn thing out of the trash. Eventually it boomeranged back into the hobbyroom.

:sweat_smile:

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This #6164 Dragon Panther D is going to donate itself to a finishing experiment. We’re probably all familiar with the traditional approach to dark washes and light dry brushing similar to what’s show below.

I think this Panther is going to anti-traditional with dark dry brushing on raised detail (wear & scrap) and light washes (dust & dirt) mostly in recessed areas. There’s probably a name for that approach but I’m not familiar with it. That’s not something, I’d screw around with on a decent model but this model is very compromised so it’s a logical test bed.

Dark raised details…

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In Breaking News, Jesse upgraded from her long standing Amazon box to a luxury edition Sprue Brothers box.

Working on dark highlights, dug out the AK chipping weathering pencil that’s never been of any use to me for chipping. Decided to try using it to do raised detail highlights. When a mistake occurred it was easily removed with a water damp paint brush even on flat paint.

First picture as painted. Second picture after penciled edges. Third picture inside face colored with pencil lead to simulate glass vision block. Last picture was taken with flash.

More mostly AK pencil highlights. The spare tracks need additional help. The new bottle of VMS smart rust didn’t provide the desired effects so back to Floquil.

Pencil plus second round to detail painting. Tried to focus on giving tools a weathered look.

Turret with basic penciled edges.

In the morning, will given the hull one last once over and possibly a tweak then gloss coat it to lock in the pencil effects. :pencil2:

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You’re getting some great effects here Wade and it’s all working. Carry on!

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Thank you, Matt. It’s easy to get focused tinkering with something new (to me) and get wrapped up in it.

Applied clear coat, hopefully decals can go down late tonight, followed with another layer of clear tomorrow.

Decals…

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Added a light layer of Mig’s texture paint underneath hull & lower hull sides. Followed a light sprinkle of sea grass into the wet paint. Shook the loose sea grass free. Inspired to test this by NightShift’s video’s.

Irony in using sea grass as “texture” in lower suspension after striving to keep texture out of the paint? Kali offered to wallow on model, says it will give a very similar effect (j/k). In anycase, I like the effect in moderation.

Wheels needed the “tire black” touched up as the masking template was slightly too large.

I like Winsor Newton Raw Umber as the oil wash on Dunkelgelb. I mixed a few small dabs of oil paint into ~10 drops of mineral spirits, stirred together until the wash coated the sides of the aluminum foil wrap on the color pallet as shown. The intensity of the wash is easy to vary by adding more oil paint or a few drops of mineral spirts as desired.

A light brush coat of mineral spirits helps address surface tension and aids drying with reduced tide marks.

Just a few seconds later.

Wash over dampened wheel.

Different wheel done earlier after wash dried.

Inside face wiped with Q-tip.

Edit - ready to add wheels!

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Down the OCD rabbit hole once again with this cursed Panther this time on tracks…

Shot Tamiya Dark Iron w/Tamiya Lacquer thinner thinned 1 to 1 ratio.

The two thin coats sprayed excellent in a technical sense but the result didn’t suit my personal preferences.

Decided to shoot a thin mist of the slightly lighter Floquil Railroad Road Antique Bronze over the top of the darker Tamiya Dark Iron base. 1 part Floquil Railroad - Antique Bronze to 2 parts Mr Color Leveling Thinner.

Love the way, FR - AB sprays w/Mr Color Leveling Thinner. Happy with adjusted base color now too. Purely personal preference at play on this as your mileage may vary.

I think this will be my method of choice going forward for 3D & plastic tracks. I like the effect of darker Tamiya DI with mist of AB. Takes probably 75% less AB going over the Tamiya base too so win on conservation of my AB paint stocks too.

The Quick Tracks rock! QT is probably going to be my tracks of choice going forward. Even after painting they articulate better than the white metal brands I’ve used. If Sector35 returns with the pre-assembled tracks then that’s going to be a difficult choice.

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Tracks…after Floquil Ancient Bronze misting…

…painted areas where the wheels ride a new to me color, Vallejo Oily Steel…then followed with a light wash of VMS Smart Rust thinned 1 to 1 with water on the other areas. Taking care to stay off the tire wear areas. This isn’t strictly realistic but I like the visual impact.

Both sides.

I hit the outermost areas and blended to the wash to middle.

Yielded this…

The dirt & dust will get applied once the model is on the base to help blend with ground work.

Honestly, not impressed with Vallejo Oily Steel, wish I’d stayed wirh my conventional mix of Floquil Chainmail & Floquil Bright Silver. Decided to hit it with a heavy rub down of AK or Mig’s Graphite pigment powder in the middle to get a little variation. Top has graphite powder bottom doesn’t.

Likewise on the other side. Top with Graphite powder.

Result…

Calling it on the tracks for now. I think with a final blend of dirt and ground work they’ll be OK.

It was fun trying new products but the Floquil isn’t going away.

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