The turret is now together, There were some minor fit issues with the gun mantlet but that was solved.
Started working on the turret details such as grab handles, then hit a snag and a first for me. A missing part.
Part B11, the commander’s hatch is not on the sprue or in the box. The bags were sealed when I got the kit so it’s likely it fell out at the factory back in the mid 70’s. I’ve reached out to my local IPMS group to see if anyone has an extra one, but that killed the mojo for the night.
I may continue at least the assembly up to priming before deciding how to proceed.
The main gun barrel was next. Doing a test fit of the two pieces I knew it would have its challenges. Glued and clamped it up in sections and left it for 24 hours to set.
There was quite a bit of sanding to be done to get this looking reasonable. In the end, I came up with an idea to use my cordless drill as a poor man’s lathe to assist with the sanding. Using this and my Flex-I-files , it now looks far better.
There is still some sanding and filing to go on the barrel end.
Many historians consider the Panther one of the finest medium tanks of the second world war. Despite some initial problems, it held it’s own particularly on the Eastern front. It’s 75mm gun has a very high muzzle velocity which allows it to ‘punch above its weight’. Wikipedia has a very detailed article on the Panther.
This kit by Tamiya is a very old offering dating from 1975. It has its share of inaccuracies and for those who want a more accurate model should look to later kits by Dragon and Tamiya. In my case, such things don’t concern me as this is going to be built out of box to further refine my weathering skills. I picked it up at a show several years ago for $15 so good value no matter what.
Construction begins with the back end of the main hull. After gluing the exhaust pipes on, one of the first tasks is to drill some holes in these pipes.
A few minutes with a micro drill bit, needle file and a number 11 blade and it looks much better.
I also glued the 2 part barrel together and left it to dry overnight. There will be some work needed to make it passable as the fit was not impressive.