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Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

Article about: First let me state that I'm a beginning modeller, so don't expect absolute perfection

  1. #1

    Default Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    First let me state that I'm a beginning modeller, so don't expect absolute perfection


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    The subject of this post will be Tamiya's Panther Ausf. A. This is my first tank, my first German vehicle even and I selected this kit for a few reasons. First of all, it's pretty cheap and it is for a reason. It has been on the market since 1969 and is still in production today, virtually unchanged its release. That means details are pretty basic and to upgrade it to the level of more recently released kit you will need to spend a fortune on aftermarket sets, something I'm not going to do. Another reason is that I want to practice a bit with the German camouflage pattern in use since late 1943; a Dunkelgelb basecolour with green and red/brown stripes and this is the perfect victim.

    A nice video of the full history of this kit, with the length of an average movie: YouTube

    While I started to build this kit there is only so much I can do at this moment, as my old cheap Chinese airbrush (which wasn't that bad actually) has developed some problems and my new Iwata Neo airbrush is still underway, almost 2 months after ordering it. So basically I build the kit as far as I can till I reached the painting stage. I use an acrylic primer in a spraycan so that's how far I got at this moment.

    Even though I'm building this model straight out of the box I did make a few modifications. For some reason Tamiya left the sides of the hull above the tracks wide open and even though you won't be able to see it from the sides it just annoyed me, so I got some 0.75mm thick plastic sheet from the modelling shop and closed these areas. I didn't bother with filler, when the paint and weathering is on you won't be able to see it anymore anyway. It just annoyed me. This model was originally intended to be motorized and the bottom and side of the hull have a number of slots in them, which Tamiya never bothered to close. The ones on the bottom I'll leave, but I did close 2 slots above the idler wheels with the same plastic strip. The only other modification I did was to change some of the handles and hand-holds to ones I made from soldering wire.

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A


    A nice touch that actually is present on the model is the casting of the rough sides of the armour plates used in the jig-saw type of construction used of the real thing. They were missing on the lower front plate though so I made them with a small grinder bit on a Dremel-type tool, and used the same to make the casted rough areas that were present a bit rougher. The photo's below also clearly show the surface of the plastic is a bit 'pebbly'.

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A


    And the current state of the Panther, in grey primer awaiting its final paintjob:

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

  2. #2

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    The kit comes with 2 figures, a driver and a commander. Both are very basic, roughly cast and lack any detail so I probably won't use them. They are however perfect to practice figure painting so I decided to attempt to give the commander an Erbsentarn uniform, using the colours I have and this tutorial as a guide: YouTube


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    Step 1. After priming I applied the base colour of Dunkelgelb. For shades (like in creases) I used DG with a drop of black, for highlights I used DG with some Elfenbein. This doesn't have to be too exact.


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    Step 2. I applied patches of dark green (Dunkelgrün) and a lighter colour made from Dunkelgelb, Elfenbein and a touch of Flesh.


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    Step 3. Dot the whole uniform with the Dunkelgelb/Elfenbein/Flesh mix, avoiding the green patches.


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    Step 4. Dot the lighter patches with Dunkelgrün.


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    Step 5. Dot the green patches with the Dunkelgelb base colour.


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    Step 6. Apply dots of light green over the whole uniform. The camouflage is now finished.


    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    After painting the details and applying a matt varnish coat and a wash. Belt, holster, boots and headphones are black; side cap and shoulderboards (I made this fellow an Oberscharführer) are black-grey. The collar of the shirt is still in primer as I actually like this shade of light grey and the skin is a mix of light skintone with some heavy skintone. Not bad for a first try but I think I can improve by using a slightly darker base colour, and applying fewer but bigger patches of green and the lighter colour.

    Colours used:

    Vallejo Model Air 71.025 Dark Yellow / Dunkelgelb

    Vallejo Model Air 71.041Armour Brown / Rotbraun

    Vallejo Model Air 71.011Dark Green / Dunkelgrün

    Vallejo Model Air 71.075 Ivory / Elfenbein

    Vallejo Model Air 71.062 Aluminium

    Vallejo Model Air 71.055 Black-Grey

    Vallejo Model 70.950 Black

    Vallejo Game 72.140 Heavy Skintone

    Acrylic lighter skintone

    Acrylic light green



    My apologies for the turned images. To be continued when the airbrush arrives...

  3. #3
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    Great Start!
    It's been a LONG time since I built a model. But Tamiya was my model of choice. I built several and even bought just the figure to make dioramas . I did the basic build with using paint and powdered graphite for the metal and exhaust and wear. But my buddy took it to another level of expertise. He would use a hot knife to melt the plastic to look like Zimmerit. His were very impressive, Mine were use as firework/flamethrower (lighter fluid) battle actions in my back yard!!!!

    Semper Fi
    Phil

  4. #4

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    Well done so far!
    Just a suggestion, I have been building this kit for about 25 years, on and off. (I will start a thread on it at a later date.) There is a reason, many, many, scratch built parts.
    I filled in the area above the tracks like you did but, also make sure your fit of the hull to the top is good, especially at the rear. I found that the side of the top did not match the rear plate and had to add some small wedges to close this area as well.
    Ralph.

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  5. #5

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    Quote by AZPhil View Post
    Great Start!
    It's been a LONG time since I built a model. But Tamiya was my model of choice. I built several and even bought just the figure to make dioramas . I did the basic build with using paint and powdered graphite for the metal and exhaust and wear. But my buddy took it to another level of expertise. He would use a hot knife to melt the plastic to look like Zimmerit. His were very impressive, Mine were use as firework/flamethrower (lighter fluid) battle actions in my back yard!!!!

    Semper Fi
    Phil
    Quite possible you would have seen this kit then too, Tamiya still produces those old ones and I will be building a few more after this one!




    Quote by rbminis View Post
    Well done so far!
    Just a suggestion, I have been building this kit for about 25 years, on and off. (I will start a thread on it at a later date.) There is a reason, many, many, scratch built parts.
    I filled in the area above the tracks like you did but, also make sure your fit of the hull to the top is good, especially at the rear. I found that the side of the top did not match the rear plate and had to add some small wedges to close this area as well.
    Ralph.

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A
    In mine the fit was reasonable, good enough to solve the problem with some putty. I see you changed the position of the jack; I know between the exhausts is incorrect but did you scratch a bracket for it? I'm also going to maintain the early exhausts, which I drilled out for realism.

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

  6. #6

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    Yes, actually, I scratch built many parts for this one.
    Ralph.

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A
    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

    This fire extinguisher took me about 12 hrs. to create.

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A
    Searching for anything relating to, Anton Boos, 934 Stamm. Kp. Pz. Erz. Abt. 7, 3 Kompanie, Panzer-Regiment 2, 16th Panzer-Division (My father)

  7. #7

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    Nice! I'll see what material I have to make a bracket.

  8. #8
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    Hi,
    I built mine more than 40 years ago.
    One of my first models. Still there, but should need improvement. The weathering was improvised. I don't think that Humbrol "Gun metal" paint existed already.
    Luc

    Tamiya Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Ausf. A

  9. #9
    ?

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    My first was a Panzer II, Then I did the Panzer IV and the Jagdpanther. It came with the same tank commander you have. I did mine in panzer black, As soon as I saw yours it brought back memories of doing my guy with a paint brush that I trimed the hairs off of to do the fine details.

    Very cool.
    I'll be watching this thread.

    Semper Fi
    Phil
    Last edited by AZPhil; 05-31-2020 at 06:22 AM.

  10. #10

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    I used a fine tip brush... and a piece of metal wire for the finer work (eyes) and the tip of a pin for REALLY fine work (pupils) :d

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