Panther Ausf G

early production with zimmerit

Kit #: 03109 or 03171

Article by Danilo Carli - 172normandyafv(at)gmail(dot)com
Edited by Marc MERCIER

The kit is composed of four sand yellow mouldings in a transparent packaging. Of these, three mouldings are common to the Ausf D/A kit (one with the turret and wheels, one with the lower hull and tools and the third one with the link and length tracks) while the last one is specific for the Ausf G containing the upper hull, Schürzen and details.
The kit wants to depict every batch of this Ausführung, giving options between the mantlets, the engine deck left rounded grating and the different exhaust pipes. Anyway, some details are still missing like the pilzen crane points on the roof turret (used by June 1944) or the exhaust cast covers (used until May 1944). Furthermore, the zimmerit coating used until mid September 1944 is not depicted. Of course you don't have the steel rimmed road wheels, mounted on only 24 tanks by MAN in September 1944.

When I opened the box, my first impression was very positive; the details looked good and crisp. At first, the only problematic parts of this kit seemed to be the gun mount, the Schürzen and the tracks. Although the kit's generic dimensions were quite correct, after assembling it, something in the upper hull looked wrong (especially when compared with a Dragon kit). The turret rear overlapped too much the engine gratings and the turret front was too much near the crew hatches, so I measured it in detail.

• The turret is 33.0 mm long (the Dragon one being 32.5 mm), so the problem wasn’t here.
• The hull (with the rear bins) is 94.3 mm long and 46.5 mm wide. Depending on the sources, in 1/72 scale this should be 95.4 to 95.55 x 47.2 to 47.6 mm.
• The complete deck is a couple of millimetres too short and a little wider (35.7 mm, the Dragon one width being 34.5 mm). As the Revell engine deck is 25.5 mm long (the Dragon one measures 25.0 mm), the real difference lies in the crew compartment deck, where the Revell one is too short. This problem is visible even without a ruler (and out of my tolerance range).
• To keep the overall hull length correct, the Revell toolmaker has made the glacis a bit longer.

A research on the net confirmed my opinion. A discussion with good images showing the error can be seen here.

So what to do now? I choose to cut out carefully the crew compartment deck and push it forward adding a shim to the rear. This obviously also meant replacing the glacis plate. Here is what I made.

Having chosen to depict a Normandy tank, I built this cat as an early G. What follows is referred to a March/May 1944 MAN production tank, based on what I found on various paper and net sources (like this recommended site

First of all the hull was corrected as already described:

1. The crew compartment deck was carefully cut off leaving the engine deck on the upper hull. To correct the hull deck length I used an analogical system: I glued the plastic shim a bit larger than needed. Then I used the turret as template. The rear edge of the crew compartment deck was trimmed at the level of the rear turret plate edge. Then the deck was glued to the hull.

2. This served to correct most of, but not the whole, problem: the turret was still a bit forward. To have the right idea of the question you have to think that both the engine deck and the forward plate (which gave access to the gearbox) could be lifted off without removing the turret. However, the turret had to be turned at a little less of 3 o’clock for the hatches plate or a little more of 3 o’clock for the engine deck (or a little more of 9 o’clock and a little less of 9 o’clock respectively, if you prefer). So I shimmed the forward half of the turret hole in the deck with 1 mm plastic and filed the rear half restoring a circle in order to push back the turret.

3. I replaced the glacis plate with plastic sheet. This needed the shimming of the sides protrusion near the fenders. I think that an option may be to cut off the glacis have it repositioned, however this is the way I did it, obviously is not the only one. The kugelblende is from Dragon; just because I lost the original one… while the MG barrel was replaced, being a little oversized.

Now I could start working on the details:

• Before closing the hull, the spaces under the cooling exhaust vents were filled using plastic with some “gizmo” details.
• On the sides I filled the holes present on the rear of the sprocket pins, because they are still visible when the lower front plate is assembled. The half rounded plate should have the interlocking sides visible. I engraved them in the plastic and glued a little metal sheet strip. I know, I didn’t add the half moon line of bolts…
• The hull sponson floors are missing. It is a compromise due the common use of the lower hull with the A/D kit. I made them with thin plastic.
• Having chosen to depict a Normandy early Panther G, I had to give my cat the zimmerit coating. I engraved the surface with a motor tool and then I give it a light wash with liquid cement to soften the texture.
• The little central air vent on the engine deck had the vertical square hole opened.
• I added a guard on the rotating driver periscope with thin metal sheet. The co-driver periscope is undersized. I shaped the periscope as it was without the guard and then I added the guard (this came from an unused Italeri turret).

• I added a new front guard for the hinged gun barrel holder. Also the inverted “L” shaped piping was added with metallic wire.
• The two crew hatches and the three engine deck hatches received metallic wire handles.
• Near the crew hatches I added their stoppers with plastic rod.
• The narrow plate lines along the hull sides are moulded to the inner sides of the Schürzen. To have some plates missing I replaced them with two plastic strips glued to the hull. To these I added the hooks for the Schürzen with plastic and metal strips.
• The tools are moulded on the racks with little raised details. I cut out them and the racks were replaced with 0.25 mm plastic strips. The starter crank was scratch built.
• The wooden jack base was pushed 1.5 mm forward to make room for the rope.
• The rope and its holder were scratch built and added.
• The hull side spare tracks needed the lateral hinges; I added them with stretched sprue. They were assembled with their racks, completed with the “C” hooks. These appear a bit oversized, because the track links are a little oversized too (see below).
• I added the towing cables pins.
• My “G” was made in March/May 1944 so it had the cast exhaust covers which I replaced with spare parts; for the same reason the driver periscope didn’t receive the rain shield. The presence of the shield around the exhaust pipes is based on photographic evidence. The pipe ends were drilled.
• I added some spare Dragon towing “U” at the towing points, a detail usually visible in the photos.
• The engine grating meshes are absent in the kit. There are aftermarket PE meshes; anyway, I didn’t add them because I don’t like the way they hide the gratings, being almost impossible to have an “in scale” mesh that leave them visible.
• The original Ausf G Schürzen plates were 1,250.0 x 625.0 mm each, in 1/72 this means 17.36 x 8.68 mm. The Revell Schürzen full set measures 79.0 x 7.5 mm with a single plate being 17.0 mm long (they overlap so you don’t have an 85.0 mm long set). The Dragon Schürzen full set measures 81.0 x 9.0 mm with a single plate being 17.5 mm long. Having a Dragon spare set, I replaced the ones in the kit; however scratch building these plates is easy.


• The commander's cupola is wrong, it has six periscopes instead of seven. Having an Italeri/Esci cupola (which is correct) in my spare part box, I replaced it and used the Revell AA mount. However its correction is quite easy. The seven periscopes positions are like the points of a seven pointed star, with one looking directly forward. You can also find a correct cupola in the Panther kit by Armourfast, Italeri Fast Assembly or S-Model.
• The MG was also replaced.
• The gun mount isn’t well done. I widened it and trimmed the sides to restore the correct shape to the mount/mantlet assembly. In the correct configuration the mount lower part has an empty space that I closed with plastic. I also added the stoppers. This correction is still more important if you are making a 1st SS PzDiv Panther (look for where the turret number were).
• I sanded the mantlet sides to get the correct shape taking a good picture as an example; then I added the lateral lifting points with rounded plastic rod.
• The muzzle brake front was drilled.
• The turret lifting points were made with metallic wire.
• With some wire I also made the roof handle for the rear hatch crew access.
• According to the batch chosen, my “G” wasn't equipped with the June pilzen crane points, the rear hatch handle and the debris gun mount shield.

Wheels and tracks

The original track links were 660.0 x 150.0 mm, in 1/72 scale this means 9.16 x 2.08 mm. The Revell track links (cleaned) measures 9.10-9.20 x 2.50 mm; as a result they are a bit too long. The Dragon links are correctly 2.10 mm long and when compared side by side the difference is visible. It means more or less five Revell links in the same space of six Dragon or Italeri links. The guide horns are a bit undersized. However they look well and I used them with no second thoughts.

The wheels set doesn’t give problems being well done (I'm not a "bolt" counter). The idlers are better than the Dragon ones found in the Panther G/Jagdpanther kit, while the sprockets (otherwise good) have the “teeth” a bit more spaced because of the longer track links length. When I added the front towing “U” (Dragon spare parts) they sit too near the tracks. If I had to make another Revell Panther G, I would put the sprocket pin a bit back to the rear.

Some special features

My Panther depicts a I./PzRegt 24 tank, attached to the 116 PD in Normandy. This unit made some local modification to their Panthers.

• I moved the gun cleaning set tube from the left side to the rear engine deck. On the Western Front, the vehicles of the sPzJgrAbt 654 also had this field modification.
• The Panthers of my unit had a pair of spare wheels on the rear sides of the turret, carried on rods welded to the plates. I left the wheels off, because I didn’t like the final effect. However I glued the rods on the turret sides.
• I’ve added the hooks for the turret spare tracks on a side and some track length on the other.
• A couple of German fuel tank were attached near the rear bins. I’ve added one (from a Dragon Sdkfz 223) on a side and an empty rack on the other, made with metal strips.


In my kit edition, decals for three tanks are provided.
• A tank captured by the French. Not for me, but you can see it here.
• 116th PzDiv tank - spring 1945 (I don’t have a photo; anyway the thick red numbers hardly fit with the ambush pattern).
• A Lorraine campaign 111th PzBrigade tank, not found in my sources. As far as I know “430” is a strange number for a German tank, but if you get a look here you’ll see the “303” with the font similar to the Revell decal.


Despite the good look of its moulding, this kit is far from perfect. It has errors that need to be carefully corrected and it misses some details. A little more attention by Revell could have made this kit a better one. I still have to make a Revell Ausf A/D, but I suppose that, having three mouldings out of four in common, some of these problems will be found in that kit too.
The major problem lies in the upper hull (that can be modified or replaced using a cheap quick building kit). The kit is otherwise fundamentally correct (tracks apart, but they look well and I think are usable) and can be used to make a good replica with some quite easy work.

Footnote: in the photos the outer row wheels are still absent. They will be glued after having painted the inner rows and the tracks, before adding the Schürzen.

Review sample bought by the author

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Article Last Updated: 24 February 2014