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Academy Panther Ausf G

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale armor kit with beautiful moldings
The ultimate version of the Panzer-kampfwagen V, the Panther Ausf G was also the most produced — more than 3,000 were built between March 1944 and April 1945. Its heavy armor made it a challenging opponent for Allied soldiers and tanks on both the Eastern and Western fronts in the last year of the war. 

The recent explosion of 1/35 scale Panthers rolls on with Academy entering the arena with a late Ausf G. It marks only the second Panther G in the current wave. 

The parts are up to Academy’s typically sharp and crisp moldings. Features include: link-and-length tracks; two styles of mantlet; and anti-aircraft gun for the turret; and a small fret of photo-etched (PE) parts. No figures are provided.

The lower hull comprises flat parts with internal bulkheads to keep the assembly square. The suspension arms fit the hull sides solidly. A full set of rubber-rimmed bogie wheels is provided along with a few steel-rimmed bogies sometimes found on the last suspension station on Panthers. I used the optional steel rimmed wheels following the color guide for the vehicle I chose to build.

Academy molded some of the small parts onto the main hull and has done a nice job. If you aren’t fond of dealing with numerous small parts you will like this approach. 

No clear parts are provided for the periscopes; these parts are molded in the kit’s yellow plastic.

All crew access hatches are separate, but interior detail is limited to a simple representation of the gun breech and some hatch detail.

The PE engine screens add a nice touch of realism to the rear deck.

Side skirts molded as single parts are provided; the racks to support them are finely molded, multipart affairs that look sharp.

The detail on the front of the tracks is good, but the backside of each link is marred by three ejector-pin marks and the guide horns are solid when they should be hollow.

The kit is listed as a late production Panther; based on my references, some turret-top brackets typical of late Ausf Gs are not provided. The turret sides include fine locators for optional rings used to attach wire or foliage for camouflage. You will want to sand off these marks if you build one of tanks lacking those rings.

The spare track racks on the hull sides have no attachment hooks and spare track parts attach directly to the rack. If you plan to leave off some or all of the spare links, you will need to make hooks for the rack.

Several unused parts, including different exhausts and a rear infrared night sight point to future versions of the Panther coming from Academy.
I painted my model with a combination of Ammo by Mig Jimenez and Tamiya acrylics.

Decals provide numbers for two of the six illustrated marking options shown in color profiles created by DEF.Models. The decals settled nicely with the addition of a little setting solution.

The finished model looks good based on my references: Panzer Tracts No.5-3: Panzerkampfwagen “Panther” Ausfuehrung G (ISBN 978-0-9744862-7-7) and Achtung Panzer No.4: Panther, Jagdpanther & Brummbär by Hiromu Araki (no ISBN).

I finished Academy’s Panther in 33 hours. The perfect compromise of detail and buildability, it is a good, basic kit that the average modeler can handle and advanced builders can use as the basis for a superdetailing project. 

Two thumbs up!

Note: A version of this review appeared in the May 2019 issue.
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