Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Vehicles with tracks, guns or camouflage, etc.

Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Sponsor

Sponsor
 

Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:18 pm

After a much needed break from the bench I am returning with Meng's new release - Panther A

This kit, along with a separate track and working suspension set and Zimmeritt set no.4 is quite an involved build as there are no less than seven separate vehicles which you can build with various extra parts being installed depending on which one of the 7 versions you want to build... and you need to decide this before you start and look around the net for photographic references as there are many anoraks around that will delight in telling you that your model is inaccurate. I usually ignore them as they have most likely never seen one in the flesh (or metal) or owned and driven one!

For this build I will be building this up as a Panther A from the Panzer Division Müncheberg involved in the bitter fighting during the Selow Heights and Oder crossing at the start of the Battle for Berlin.

Panzer Division Müncheberg was created in a rush from several units and had its own badge:

Image

However, the vehicle I am modelling had the GrossDeutchland badge on it as it came from a formation folded into Munchenberg.

There were several Panther G tanks, the last 5 Tiger I committed to the line tiger II and some Jagdtigers in the armoured formation. The Panther G were brand new and had, like the Tiger II and Jagdtiger's Sperber Infrared (IR) systems fitted while the Panther A's didn't have these fitted.

This particular Meng kit is one of the first batch of kits and so has a special little gift, which is a metal barrel. :D Future batches will not have this nice little feature!

Photos of the sprues can be found around the internet and so I will be delving slowly into this kit as the wheel mask hasn't arrived yet! There are a couple of new techniques I have to get my head around and as of yet, I have not decided if I am going to use the tracks from the suspension kit or Friul metal tracks which I suspect will be easier to put together!

James
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby steve131 » Sun Jan 28, 2018 10:42 pm

Been reading up about this ,very nice . like the unditching beams and ski jump jig looks interesting :mrgreen: :mrgreen: .
User avatar
steve131
Brigadier
Brigadier
 
Posts: 4271
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:22 am
Karma: 65

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:40 pm

The ski jump jig is to get the right slope for the kit tracks that are not moveable as you have to glue them together. They should give you the "Correct" sag from the road wheels to the top of the toothed drive sprocket.

With the set I am using (and just started) which comes from the working track and suspension set then it is not needed as it should fall naturally when put on to the running gear. These tracks are very fiddly to put together and it has taken me 2 hours to put 18 together without the guide horns and there are lots of little metal pins everywhere driving me crazy! I think I had better contact meng and see if I can get another bag of them.... just to be on the safe side!

When you start getting into this kit it is a very unusual kit design, which you will see as I go along and I do get the feeling we will see more panther variants from Meng.

My Chinese Ebay supplier has the Panther kit for sale for £32.80 including shipping (about a week) and the UK RRP is £49.99. They don't have the track and suspension set or the zimmeritt decal set, but my local supplier does:

https://www.scalemodelshop.co.uk/1-35-panther-tracks-running-gear-sps-049-meng-model.html

https://www.scalemodelshop.co.uk/1-35-panther-zimmerit-decal-a-sps-050-meng-model.html

Discounted by a couple of ££ off UK RRP. There are 4 different pattern sets for the Zimmeritt and 99% of panther A had Zimmeritt applied so you need a decal set even if you don't decide to use the working suspension and track set.
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby chill » Mon Jan 29, 2018 9:02 am

Excellent , hope you get to finish it.
Who cares who wins
User avatar
chill
Major General
Major General
 
Posts: 7843
Joined: Thu Aug 27, 2009 8:12 am
Location: Rochdale
Karma: 164

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby steve131 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 7:23 pm

£33 great price :o :o you pay that for an empty Tamiya.
User avatar
steve131
Brigadier
Brigadier
 
Posts: 4271
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:22 am
Karma: 65

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Tue Jan 30, 2018 8:28 pm

There's no interior with this one, Steve. I would have posted some pictures by now, but I have started with the tracks and they take some doing. Most of the time spent has been in detaching the parts and cleaning the nubs off. Also joining them together is a little time consuming too... I haven't even started putting on the guide horns yet or started any of the tank! To date it has just been the workable tracks.

The kit itself is a little bit unusual in its design as you will see and I can't help wondering if it is a concept test for future kits.

Once the tracks are complete then I will start on the lower hull and add the working suspension parts.

So far, the working track design is nice but time consuming with the clean up and assembly and I can't help feeling that Friul tracks would have been done and painted by now!

I may add some metal aerials as I have a few in my extras box.

James
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby steve131 » Tue Jan 30, 2018 9:18 pm

:doh: :oops: :oops: Saw how full the box was and just assumed interior was there, lesson there too carefully read entire article :angry-banghead: Would say that still more in it than Tamiya and quality looks as good :whistle:
User avatar
steve131
Brigadier
Brigadier
 
Posts: 4271
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:22 am
Karma: 65

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:57 pm

It beats Tamiya hands down!

You get parts to build seven different Panther A lates. The differences are cosmetic with different attachments for spare tracks, unditching beams/logs attached at different places and equipment including buckets. You can choose from 4 different decals sets (separate purchase) for different patterns of Zimmeritt and the exterior upper hull parts have a rolled steel texture on it which is very subtle.

There are holes you have to drill for attaching various parts depending on the vehicle you are building. Today I have spent roaming and climbing all over the Panther A I will be replicating and the build manual is full of added notes. There is lots of tiny details in this kit and the first batch release with a metal barrel designed just for the kit is really the icing on the cake!

I hope they go back to the drawing board and produce a Panther A with interior. It will be fabulous.

I am keeping my nose sniffing around Ebay for Takom and Ryefield Models' Panther releases. They have the interior! Hobbyboss have a Panther A coming soon too! Ryefield model and Takom's should appear in a week or two I think as according to the FB pages they are just shipping them.

James
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby steve131 » Wed Jan 31, 2018 4:51 pm

:think: Do think in recent years Tamiya have taken their foot off the gas and that you just don't hear of them now . Could be wrong but its more China and ZM leading the way now.
User avatar
steve131
Brigadier
Brigadier
 
Posts: 4271
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:22 am
Karma: 65

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby Mark » Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:02 am

I dunno, they've come out with some pearlers. The Africa Twin is a beauty of a kit, as is the Harley. They've come out with some great 1/12 bike kits like the Kawasaki H2R. Their 1/32 Corsair and Mosquito are beautiful.
Not sure about their 1/35 scale armour kits though - haven't seen anything that really caught my in in that line.
Cheers
Mark

If you nose runs and your feet smell, you're upside down !
User avatar
Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16413
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:44 pm
Karma: 435

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:43 pm

Tamiya's recent 1/32 aircraft, spitfire, mossie, zero, corsair are real crackers and provide a fabulous building experience.

Their 1/35 armour have fallen by the wayside a little bit and they have recently purchased some moulds from Italeri although their recent Nashorn and SU-76 are really good and chock full of detail.

It will be interesting to see what is on their display at the toy fair in Nuremberg. Tamiya have always kept their releases very close to their chest and rarely give much in advance warning.

In contrast, ZM and HKM are very small family firms and they use the net to sell their stuff by announcing well in advance what their next release is and also teaser CAD images from their design. ZM also do a 3D print too and display it on their stand at shows. Those who have gone to Telford will say just how long the queue at their stand is to purchase a kit.


On to the panther. After nearly a week and close to a brain meltdown I have decided to abandon the kit tracks and get a set of the Friul ones. They are just too much really to deal with due to the amount of parts - two joining pins per two tracks plus two guide horns per track link.... I have found that when you add the guide horns there is some twisting of the track as the glue softens the plastic. This will have an effect on how the vehicle sits on the tracks and how the tracks lie on the return run to the drive sprocket.

I am going to use the working suspension components from that set mainly just to see if they work. If you boiled it down to what is really needed and you are not bothered about working suspension and tracks then the base Panther kit is all you need. For me a Friul track set is very often a much better option than the kit tracks as they give a much more realistic look when on with track sag etc looking and acting more realistic due to the weight of the track set.

So, last night I started on the tank itself with the lower hull and Zimmeritt decals etc. They are really nice and give a better scale look than some kits with moulded in Zimmeritt. It will be interesting to get some paint on and see the look!

I already have some photos to post which I will so later, just waiting for camera batteries to recharge!

There is more to this kit than meets the eye in regard to detail with the storage bins on the back panel actually standing scale proud on mounts moulded on to the back of the storage bin. Truly state-of-the-art stuff and a thoughly researched kit.
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Sat Feb 03, 2018 9:19 pm

Here's an update.

Having decided that the tracks are too time consuming and may cause my eyesight to fail as well as having problems with getting them to lie straight as well as the number of parts involved, Friul tracks will be acquired to put on.

First things first. I spent a full day going over the real thing noting different equipment that is mounted on it and their location and matched them up with the manual. I also had a chat with Meng to learn more about applying the zimmeritt decals as there is not much in the way of instructions. I was told that they go directly on to the plastic and that they can be also secured if need be by either plastic cement or superglue.

Hmmm! I thought with my mind going back to one of our late members', Paul and his episodes with glue of all types. :superlglue: Neverthe less I have tried putting the lower hull and rear faceplate Zimmeritt decals on and they don't really stick with any real substance.

Image

Image

Image
Image

Image

I built up the lower hull, adding the extra parts for the working suspension fixings.

Image

Image

Image

After building up some of the upper gull and doing a dry fit I found that the side zimmeritt decals were not exactly on in the right place. They came off very easily and without force. :D

I have continued with the upper hull build

Image

You can see that there is some very nice rolled steel detailing on the front glacis plate.

Image

Some nice detailing on the side plates too

Image

This panther could end up being a test subject to see how these decals react to different application methods. They are not your normal decals and are quite thick. It only cost me £32 including shipping which is much less than the UK RRP and the learning curve could be an interesting one. It does look like, from the parts that are in the box there there could be another Panther from Meng, but don't wuote me on it.

The Quickwheel set has arrived which will make painting the roadwheels much easier (and quicker!!!) I will also cover this in a future post.

My next test is to prime the lower hull and see how the side zimmeritt sticks to the primer. I will also prime the road wheels and running gear too!
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby Morris » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:31 pm

This is cool, SD - watching with interest - never was that good with armour but I like watching a build.
Morris

1/32 Tamiya Tomcat as Top Gun in progress
Hachette Spitfire Mk1a partworks up to including issues 22-30
DeAgonstini Ford GT40 part work pack 4
1/28 Revell Rickenbacker Spad XIII
User avatar
Morris
Captain
Captain
 
Posts: 1226
Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 7:21 am
Location: Aberdeen and Filby, Norfolk
Karma: 169

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Sun Feb 04, 2018 12:57 am

Thanks Morris.

Armour kits these days, depending on the manufacturer tend to be a 3 stage build, unless it has a full interior.

Lower hull, suspension/running gear/tracks

Upper hull

Turret.

With this build basically everything you need is in the main kit box. The working tracks and suspension is a separate add on kit and the Zimmeritt decals are also a separate purchase with a choice of 4 different patterns.

There were a few Panther A tanks without zimmeritt but they were the very early ones that were used for trials and also at Kursk.

In reality you don't need the working suspension and track set as there are parts in the main kit that allows you to fix in the running gear at the correct angles. Like the working tracks, the kit tracks are three part links (1 link, 2 guide horns. They, like the working tracks, will take up a lot of time in assembly and if mile my experience will most likely warp during construction making them not look right when fitted.

Friuls metal tracks on the other hand are white metal cast, are fairly simple to fit together and once painted and fitted just look great. depending on the set they retail between £20-30. While this almost doubles the cost of the kit (not including the cost of paint and glue) they do look really good on the vehicle and because of the weight hang realistically.

the same, for me, goes for the main gun. quite often the kit barrel is in two halves or one piece. Either way you are going to have a whopping great seam to deal with. I much prefer a metal barrel to replace the kit one which usually cost between £5-10+ depending on the gun, kit and supplier of the barrel. Sometimes some surgery is needed to fit the metal barrel, but this is usually fairly simple.

The first production batch of this kit has a metal barrel included. Sometimes the manufacturer gets the plastic barrel length wrong (Tamiya Tiger II kits gun barrel is short by nearly 3mm) which means you really need to replace it! Once primed and painted these replacements just look great!

of course you don't have to do these things, they are options but certainly enhance your build.

Hope you enjoy the rest of this "experiment".

Maybe you should try a kit like this. not too expensive, no interior to worry about but fits together really well and without any trouble.

James
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby steve131 » Sun Feb 04, 2018 9:43 pm

Got the Tamiya Tiger II Henschel myself and have always thought it looked too short. :think:
User avatar
steve131
Brigadier
Brigadier
 
Posts: 4271
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:22 am
Karma: 65

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:24 am

Here you go, Steve. This will correct the problem and make the vehicle look much better

http://www.aber.net.pl/detal,222.html

They don't sell direct so I would look on Ebay.

Alternatively RB models has one available.

This is the vendor I use
https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1-35-RB-MODEL-35B04-METAL-BARREL-88mm-KwK-43-3-L-71-for-TIGER-II-JAGDPANTHER/142640081847?epid=1401737600&hash=item213602ebb7:g:vSAAAOxyA9dSX51-

There are much better Tiger II kits on the market now. Just wait until I get my Meng Tiger II with full interior going!!!!
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby steve131 » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:34 am

Very nice did you see if you order 5 or more items you get a fee Aerial set might be worth considering.
User avatar
steve131
Brigadier
Brigadier
 
Posts: 4271
Joined: Fri Aug 17, 2012 10:22 am
Karma: 65

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Thu Feb 22, 2018 1:11 am

Sorry about the delay. Here's an update.

The working suspension is an extra add on and you only need it if you really want the road wheels to respond to a rough surface. Useful for a diorama setting.

Image

Image

Image

Image

Then the top fixing holds the suspension rod in place. Providing you don't get any glue or anything on the wheel bar where it fits into the lower hull then it all works fine and the entire weight of the model sits quite happily on the suspension and works well.

Image

Image

I built the upper hull and turret up, making the alternations for the variant as needed. I tried adding the Zimmeritt decals as per the instructions Meng emailed me. They didn't really stick to the plastic and were were easy to remove and on curved surfaces very hard to get to stay as they are quite thick. Meng suggests that using normal styrene glue or superglue to stick them down if they don't stick.

I didn't want to go down this path so I thought again. These Zimmeritt decals are thick and not very flexible and using decal solutions didn't seem to be the right way.

What I did was prime the entire model with badger grey primer and let it cure for a couple of days until it was properly dry. I then applied the zimmeritt decals directly to the primer using bog standard pva glue and it worked!!!!!!!!!

Image

Image

Image

Next up are the road wheels. Like most of the German Panzers they had rubber on the outside. Painting this and getting it right can be a right pain, but using a Quickwheels set makes it very easy and painless.

Rossagraph Quickwheels have only just released their Meng Panther wheels and here is the set in action.

First paint the rubber outers. This is I have done with Vallejo Tyre Black, again letting it cure overnight.

Image

Image

This is the set we are going to use.

Image

they have some sticky plastic on the inside of the holes to hold the wheels. I have found that it may be more tacky than you need and can pull off the exsisting paint and primer, so I always now spray the interior of the wheel set with primer. You have to hold the wheels in place and it may take just that bit longer to paint, but much better than starting again!

place the wheels in the holed from underneath. You can see that the "rubber" tyres are covered.

spray the colour

Image

I had to redo them using Vallejo as for some reason my mid war original dunkelgelb had become stringy and kept on blocking my airbrush despite being well shaken. The results are below. I also gave the panther an all over paint job.

Image

The Friul tracks have arrived and were built over 2 days.... much quicker than the week and a bit I spent on the Meng workable tracks and have gone through a fitting. Once painted they will look great and hang just right when applied.

The Panther is now approaching the final stages. Camouflage painting, track painting, painting and attaching of equipment followed by decals.

I still have to locate a Gross Deutschland vehicle insignia, so if anyone knows of 1/35 one(s) then let me know!
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby snapdragon » Thu Mar 08, 2018 8:39 pm

Another update.

The panther is now approaching the final touches.

the Friul tracks are now on and it is beginning to look like the beast of war it is

Image

Image

Image

What comes next is the camouflage. First I will have to patch the dark yellow base layer in places. once the camo is done, then I can paint and add the exhaust and equipment. Spare track links have already been prepared.

Thoughts

James
Partwork Building is like meeting enemy action - no plan survives first contact!!
Certified model building idiot! Please treat with kindness!
snapdragon
Colonel
Colonel
 
Posts: 3729
Joined: Thu Sep 03, 2009 12:37 pm
Karma: 161

Re: Return to the bench - Meng Panther A

Postby Mark » Fri Mar 09, 2018 1:04 am

Nice work James
Cheers
Mark

If you nose runs and your feet smell, you're upside down !
User avatar
Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 16413
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:44 pm
Karma: 435

Next

Return to Military Vehicles

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests