Panther G - 20mm Flakvierling auf Fahrgestell
Vespid Models, 1/72 scale
Reviewed by Graham Carter
In 1943, the development of an anti-aircraft tank using the chassis of a Panther tank was and a drawing of a vehicle equipped with a turret with four 151/20-type 20mm machine guns was produced. However, the 20mm machine gun lacked firepower, and the base Panther tank was not produced, so this tank never came to fruition.
This ‘what if’ kit allows Vespid to add yet another variant of their splendid Panther kit to their catalogue.
The kit comes in a very strong top-opening box with a rather nice illustration of the intended vehicle passing an oversize jeep somewhere in Europe, presumably sometime in the dying stages of WWII. These kits provide us with a great range of vehicles in the one true scale with wonderful detail and lovely mouldings, along with a massive parts count and realistic sectioned tracks. Unlike many kits in this series there are only 20-odd parts that are not used from the sprues.
The kit comprises several sprues, all in separate sealed bags, with three larger ones containing the running gear and hull details, three medium sized ones with the track work and turret details, a pair of small ones with alternative idler sprockets and wheels, and a new one with the parts for the new AA turret. Packaged separately are the hull top and bottom and the new turret. In a separate zip-lock bag is a set of four turned brass barrels for the 20mm cannon. Also included is a PE sheet for the engine vent gauze covers and sundry handles and external fittings. Finally there is a small decal sheet with markings for three mythical examples, these being a ‘sandgelb’ overall example, the same scheme but with chestnut and green squiggles, and ‘312’ with larger patches of chestnut and green and small green flecks over the sandgelb base.
Each example looks very attractive.
The plastic is of top quality, beautifully moulded with surface details that are superb and will come up a treat under a layer of paint. The sectioned tracks will go together to produce a realistic fit and sag in this scale - each length consisting of twenty long and short pieces and six spares for attaching to the tank for additional armour or repairs, as in previous releases. Each link is very nicely detailed.
The wheels and tyres are moulded as whole units so no separate rims to fiddle with – hooray!
Harking back to the ancient Airfix kit, you can still rotate the rather bulky turret and the four barrels can be moved up and down, accompanied by suitable sound effects no doubt!
Instructions are in the form of clear exploded annotated drawings - thirteen steps on a folded double-sided A5 booklet with colour camo drawings and a table of recommended paint colours from MrHobby, Hobby Color, Humbrol and Tamiya.
This is an absolute cracker of a kit and is likely to attract many small scale AFV modellers. Highly recommended to the small-scale AFV builder and, being of Chinese origin, unlikely to have its production affected by the current unpleasantness elsewhere on the continent.
Thanks to Vespid Models for the sample https://www.facebook.com/vespidmodels/