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Dragon Panther A in 1:35 (#6358), with Diorama

May 28, 2017 in Armor

Some history:
This kit #6358 was launched by Dragon in 2007 intended to represent the late Panther A. As usual, DML released this kit based on a long history of Panther kits; The box is packed full of grey styrene, clear parts, some photo etch and individual (not so magic) track links; A blessing for the spares box. The kit is well detailed but has some flaws, so careful researching the build was needed.

Where is the Zimmerit?
Late Panther A’s had Zimmerit ‘smeared’ on top to prevent magnetic mines sticking to the armor. I intended to feature the kit in an Italy 1944 setting, so modeled a vehicle of the 26th Panzer Division near Anzio/Nettuno in early 1944. The kit is older and does not feature Zimmerit although almost all Panther A’s had it, the kit’s box even shows the Zimm’! This was my first attempt at Zimm’ to date.

After researching the Web on materials and techniques for Zimmerit, I tried everything except peanut butter 😛 First trial was fine wall-filler which proved hard to sculpt. Second trial was wood filler which proved too coarse a mass. I then rolled thin sheets of Milliput yellow-green using an big dose of talcum powder. This did the job! The pattern I selected was a rather unique square-tiled one; Luckily, the Web proved a good reference once again!

The build:
The kit was built pretty much OOB but because of the Zimm’ issues, it took me almost one year start-to-finish. I built a few other kits in between when I was in dire need of Zimm’ inspiration… I decided to feature a full tank crew of five, from another Dragon figure kit #6214 and painted the uniforms in the mixed ’44 camo scheme.

Painting of the vehicle was rather standard: I first primed using enamel red-brown to model the oxide primer typical for these MAN-built vehicles. Then followed three thick layers of hairspray followed by standard dark-yellow finish. After the paint dried, I scratched some of the top dark-yellow layer away to expose the underlying “rust”, which finished the main weathering step.

The diorama:
I placed the vehicle into an Italian setting where the entire crew observes the Allied activity downhill. The commander is checking the map while everyone else is showing a peculiar interest in movement of olive drab Shermans and M5 half tracks in the distance, for obvious reasons. I am particularly pleased with the results obtained by careful painting of the figures!

Here are some pictures for you to enjoy this project, comments welcome! I spent about 45 hours on this one including researching and on the diorama but excluding the Zimm’ mess. Oh well, I learned something new again which I am happy to share here!

More to follow!

Happy modelling!

Michel.

5 additional images. Click to enlarge

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14 responses to Dragon Panther A in 1:35 (#6358), with Diorama

  1. Nice presentation Michel, excellent job with the crew too.Not a tanl expert by no means but it appear the Zimmerit turned out quite well.

  2. Beautiful Panther Michel !!! I have tried several different things to make Zimmerit too. The best thing that I have used so far is a product called Zimmit right. It’s a two part putty that you mix together in equal parts.
    The Panthers used various types of Zimmerit patters. Your tile pattern came out very nice. Believe it or not, there are even stamps and rollers available now to help us replicate the various patterns that were used. When I saw the black and white picture of your Panther I thought I was looking at an original WW2 picture for a few. Your details and figure painting came out perfect. I really like the Panther tank and yours has to be one of the best I have ever seen. I really like it !!!!!

  3. Michel, like Louis, I thought the B & W photo was real for a minute, there. I like the overall look of the Panther, it’s used but not beat to death like some I see various places. Artists eye, of course. I also like the “Hermann Meyer” cap on the one figure! It looks the part! As does the whole diorama. Congratulations!

  4. NB- I read someplace recently that Zimmerit was made of sawdust? News to me, hope whoever said so wasn’t confused. I know it was a paste of some sort, I envision some sort of fortified spackle. Just curious. It’s a curse! Plus, I’m an airplane guy.

  5. That turned out well, my friend….good work!

  6. Good to see another tank on this site and I`m sorry to echo others comment about the B/W print thought it was the real deal I thought it was the great man Wittman himself standing by the tank ,a very well built tank and dio to go with it.

  7. Beautiful! I LIKE seeing Panther tanks … very much. Yours is a beauty! Great job on the Zimm! That square pattern is very interesting. Don’t see the pattern all that much. Bravo!!!

  8. Thanks to all for your likes and comments. Is why I like iModeler so much. Why not having a Panzer group build next? 🙂

  9. Great looking scene to set off the very well finished Panther. You could enter Panthers in Louis’ next group build, the year of the cat!

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