Tuesday, November 3, 2009

HO Panthers

There are now just about every German Panther out in kit form in HO, 1/87 scale. Paul Heiser Models and Trident make several kits.

Panther D, A and G are both sold by Heiser and Trident. The Heiser kits are simple resin models consisting of two track assemblies, hull, turret and gun. They also include a group of accessories including track links, tools and spare road wheels, skirts and other small bits. They are sold both with and without anti-magnetic paste coatings.

The Trident kits are small styrene model kits. The track assemblies consist of the center road wheels and tracks as a single piece. The inner and outer road wheels glue together between the center road wheels. Hatches are separate and can be open or closed. The cupola is a separate part, with hatch, machine gun mount and very delicate machine gun. Rear storage boxes, cleaning kit, jack, skirts and a mighty host of tools make up most of the rest of the kit.

Heiser also makes a Recovery Panther. It has a massive spade at the rear and comes in several versions. They have one with a separate spade and one with the spade molded on. There is also one that has an open top to show the gears and pulleys. A sturdy resin kit that looks great assembled.

The Trident Recovery Panther is the early version. There is no spade at the rear. The center of the hull is boarded up with wooden planks. There is a very fragile but very nice boom at the rear. Like the Trident Panther tanks it comes with a full array of tools and track links.

Trident and Heiser also make JagdPanther anti-tank guns. They are sold in early and late versions and are similar to the tanks.

Trident also makes the twin anti-aircraft gun version of the Panther. It has a large turret with very thin twin guns. This is a very advanced looking weapon with a large turret. The impressive guns move up to the vertical position.

Trident models are molded in butterscotch color styrene plastic. They are usually flash free and have excellent detail. The Heiser kits are molded in a yellowish resin normally without significant flash or bubbles common to many resin kits.

Artillery Observation Vehicle is another new addition from Trident. Several years ago I converted a regular Paul Heiser Models Panther into the Artillery Observation Vehicle. I was surprised that the Trident kit looks just like it! The Trident kit looks just like the photos I have seen. They will go well with my Heiser Wespe and new Roco Hummel kits.

The last Trident kit is the Panther F. It is a late war Panther hull with a small turret. The turret is very nice and the long thick gun makes a much different looking Panther. Some of these may have been used very late in the war.

CMK Models makes another interesting kit. The Panther II! The kit is a complete Trident Panther F kit the resin bits to make it into a Panther F. There is a new set of tracks and roadwheels, and a new gun. The tracks are Tiger II types and a Tiger II type gun. The kit fits together and the resin parts are excellent.

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