It’s the year of the Panther, so this is my second after the Meng’s Panther A. I have built a few Shermans from Tamiya but I think this is the first time I build their German armor. After the Meng experience I can safely say that the Tamiya was really easier, with no loss in details.
For this kit I added their photoetch grille (which I think is a must, why did they leave it out of the kit?) and their workable tracks. They also have a metal barrel set that adds internals for the gun, but it seems useless. The plastic barrel was slide-molded so I did see the point of replacing it.
I was digging through the historic photos of Panthers and it seems a lot of them has tree branches and such for camo purposes, so I added a bit from the offerings by Woodland Scenics. The key here is not to over do it because the branches will hide a ton of the details.
In addition I saw an ausf D in a picture with this very Sherman-like branch stuck in the front to keep foliage on, and I thought it was a cool custom. In addition I used the Tamiya Wehrmacht figure set with the relaxed figure, but switched the head to a resin one because even though the styrene head were pretty good, the definitions of resin heads are much better and generally give you better faces after rendering. Not to mention the molded-in headphones is a hundred times better than the poor styrene one.
I was planning to add a Takahashi Modeling NCO dog handler figure + German shepherd, but the handler wore some gigantic gloves, which while may be historically accurate, makes the figure look completely bizarre, so I decided to exclude it even though I painted everything. But in a funny way the doggie and the commander have the same poses which makes this a funny vignette, I even tried to make their stares similar.
I tried to do a bit more with the ground work this time to add a short tree, so that we can suggest the tank is waiting in ambush.