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The Last Panther in Pomerania

by Rhodes Williams

Conclusion

I quite enjoyed this little project. It took a wee bit longer than I had anticipated. Overall I spent more then two years off and on from beginning to end, but I was well pleased with the results and I learned a lot of new techniques as I went along. It's hard to know when to say when with a diorama project. A lot of thought should go into layout and the figurines you wish to use before you build. Yes, there will always be some changes as new ideas come to you, but drastic additions and subtractions tend to make for a never-ending project. In the end, if it gives you pleasure than that is quite enough.

Gallery

A dead Russian lays at the feet of a Grenadier with Vampir gear gripping a chest wound. The Russian is from the Tamiya "Russian Infantry" set with hands from the scrap box. His panzerfaust has been propped against a rock, whilst his PPSh-41 machine gun has been shouldered by the German
Wearing a Hornet Mountain Troops head (minus the Edelweiss) this Dragon figurine sweeps the area with a MG-34. The rucksack and ice pick is typical of the Gebirgsjagers. This stray Grenadier was collected during the retreat and amalgamated into the kampfgruppe. Note the scrapes in his mess tin done by thinning Testors steels and brushing on with a 00 spotter brush. The Hornet head has an excellent set of goggles molded on which were touched with two-part resin to simulate glass
Another Dragon figurine from the Gebirgsjager set with a head pinched from Warriors. He wears the excellent combat anoraks so typical of those troops. His StG44 is slung over his shoulder and he sites in on an escaping Russian who has slipped through the noose of the ambush and escaped into the thick wood above the roadway with his sniper rifle. He uses a resin Verlinden shrine to steady his aim
This dead Russian has received a mortal wound to his resin Verlinden head. This was accomplished by drilling out the back of his head with a moto-tool and a very fine bit. The wet look to the blood was achieved with glosscote applied with a fine brush. The running blood is a length of stretched sprue painted red with a tiny ball of five minute epoxy at the end.
A rear view of the figurines on the deck of the Panther. Note the bashed in rear bin. This was built of lead foil with a couple of Aber latches
A Grenadier in a rubberized rainment checks the Russian dead. He wears an Oak Leaf "A" second model helmet cover. Note the scrapes on his knife frog and mess tin.
The Sturmmann radio operator is a Warriors figurine in a Plane Tree no.  pattern coverall, puts a pack of fags back into his pocket whilst gazing at the IR carrying grenadier on the meadow above. The throat mic and headset wires are stretched sprue. Note the glancing blow to the hull machine gun mount and the improved weld seem surrounding it made of Tamiya putty, textured with an exacto blade
This waxed Russian retains his original Tamiya head. I noticed that some Russian helmets were poorly cast, so I attempted to reproduce this by spraying the Tamiya helmet with Gunze Sangyo "Mr. White Surfacer 500" which leaves a slight grit when it dries. He lays upon an acquired panzershreik. Note how realistic the dirt road looks, this is due mostly to the fact that it is real dirt.
A Dragon Obersturmfuhrer with a Hornet head and a Warriors Untersturmfuhrer in an anorak with a wounded left arm and a newly awarded Iron Cross look to the south. Note the sprung barbed wire to the right
Tight shot of the Panther's driver. This Sturmmann is an amalgamation of a Verlinden torso and left arm with a Jaguar wounded head and right arm. Note the grommet just below his left hand where the IR cable is coupled
Close up of the gear spilled from the Russian's wheel burrow include this Italeri jerrycan and Tamiya stick grenade tied on with brass wire. Note beside the jerrycan is a blown off Russian boot with a femur protruding from it
This Dragon Grenadier with a Hornet head wears a rubberized rainment (aka motorcyclist coat). He carries an extra Verlinden photo-etch belt with a StG 44 ammo pouch and a panzerfaust. Not the splattered mud on his boots and rainment. The sheen of these rubberized coats was achieved with Testor's semi-glosscote
A very unhappy Scharfuhrer (sergeant) climbs over the sprung barbed wire as two of his grenadiers inspect the dead Russian in the river below. This Dragon figurine got a Warriors head with the original Dragon fur lined field cap. The fur on both the cap and the collar of his heavy coat were improved with Tamiya putty. Before the putty had dried I punctured it all over with an exacto to simulate fur
This Dragon Obergrenadier  in a splinter pattern zeltbahn has a MK-35 head. I added some dried flowers to his helmet meshing. The buttons on the zeltbahn were improved by stretching some sprue and then slicing off thin disks
A cowardly Warriors Oberfuhrer in his lovely warm winter coat surveys the after action from the safety of the rear of the Panther. The Luger is a Tamiya part. His head is a resin Hornet item intentionally painted to look gaunt. Note the splattered mud effect on his coat and how his boots seem to sink into the groundwork. This was accomplished by touching up the groundwork after the figurine was affixed to the base.
The gunner, a Rottenfuhrer from ADV's "Nashorn Crew" has extinguished the fire and watches for further enemy activity with his Tamiya MP-38. It is a little unusual to see a crew member with a full beard, however almost all of the Germans here have had little time to shave as of late. The dangling leather strap is a strip of paper soaked in white glue with a brass wire made buckle. Note the scorching to the engine deck, and the shrapnel holes in the vent screening.
Close up of SS Haupsturmfuhrer Kausch. The ammo bag is a Jaguar resin item.
Another close up of SS Haupsturmfuhrer Kausch in camouflaged drill jacket. He carries a Tamiya Luger in his right hand and a cigarette made of stretched sprue in his left. The spent  aluminum MG-42 casings are also stretched sprue. Once glued in place I painted the open ends with a spotter brush flat black. Note the small arms hits in the cupola

The Panther crew takes a look about.  The Sturmmann radio operator is a Warriors figurine in a Plane Tree no.  pattern coverall, puts a pack of fags back into his pocket whilst gazing at the IR carrying grenadier on the meadow above. The Sturmmann driver beside him is a combination of a Verlinden body and left arm with a Jaguar head and left arm. Note the Panther's front plate covered with shell impacts. The bow mg plug is from Aber's photo-etch set. Also note the sheared mantlet from a glancing blow.

Close up of the Panther's tail. Note the torn away right rear armored bin containing the IR FG1250 auxiliary equipment. Note the use of the mud slurry on the back of the Oberfuhrer. It can be let dry as on the upper portion of his great coat, or made more wet with the use of brushed on semi-glosscote. The Coree loader carrying the StG44 wears Oak Leaf "B" patterned winter trousers. Note the improved edge of the turret rear plate. This was done with a few drops of Modelmaster glue to soften the plastic. Then the flat side of an exacto was used to rough it up

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