torsdag 13 februari 2014

PSC Panther A with Zimmerit Review

This will be a quick build and I will let the photos do the most of the talking. Afterwards I will give you my thoughts on the kit.

The finest Krupp steel, but in plastic.
For those unfamiliar with The Plastic Soldier Company, they do fast build affordable WW2 models and figures aimed at Wargamers. They recently released a kit with two Panthers with Zimmerit in 1/72 (or 20mm) which is what we will be looking at today. You get two model tanks in the box for £13.95. Presumably the Zimmerit is harder to sculpt and mold since you get three tanks for the same price in PSC's other kits.

Zimmerit was an anti-magnetic paste that the germans used on their tanks during 1943 and 1944 which gives a distinct waffle-pattern. Unfortunately there hasn't been any models to buy until recently when Dragon Models started to make highly detailed kits of Panthers and Tigers with Zimmerit. Previously modellers had to either make their own using putty or buying expensive photo-etched sets. Us poor wargamers had to resort to either using plain models or buying smelly resin models which required a lot of work to finish. Until now, that is.

Each Panther comes on two sprues with very few parts. (I didn't get a good picture of the other sprue, sorry).

Comparison between Dragon and PSC turrets. The PSC have cruder details and a more regular Zimmerit pattern.

The difference in the pattern is clearly visible. Oddly the rear hatches are different on the two models too.

The main parts are done. The tracks are two pieces -- over and under -- making assembly a breeze.

Two sets of exhausts are provided, although the late one requires some trimming to fit.

Finished. Notice the lack of Zimmerit on the underside of the hull.

The commander's MG is a bit odd and the mount looks nothing like it did in reality.
It's possible to glue the hatches open if you want to add some crew, a nice touch.
Two crew are provided. A nice bonus.
Extra track links are also included, and two mysterious boxes that I don't know where to put. Strange.
All in all this is a good kit, but there are some niggling details that are not quite right.

First, the lower front armour lacks Zimmerit, which is a big blunder since that is the most likely place for a magnetic mine to be placed. It's not visible from above or side-on, but quite obvious otherwise. So you still have to make your own Zimmerit somehow, unless you are not that bothered about it. (I am very bothered to be honest!)

Second, the front fenders were usually left off since they collected mud and debris which clogged the tracks. Here they are modelled full on like the tank had just left the factory.

Third, the commander's MG is horrendous and the mount is entirely fictitious. What is it with PSC and machine guns anyway? They look good in their infantry kits, but they bungle the same gun when it's on a vehicle.

It begs the question though; who is this kit for? Serious modellers are far better off buying the Dragon version instead -- it is getting rare though, and is an Ausf. G which is a slightly later version. On the other hand, wargamers who are not that bothered by small details are better off buying the Armourfast Panther G instead, also fast build and much cheaper although lacking Zimmerit.

These are nit-picks really, and the kit do look the part when you have built it. Especially the tracks are very good with a natural sag to them. If you want a Zimmerit Panther without too much effort and are willing to disregard a few accuracy problems, this is the kit for you. Personally I'm going to do a fair bit of work on the two I have since I can't really unsee the problems. It's a shame since this could have been perfect but once again PSC fumbles the ball.

I give the PSC Panther A with Zimmerit 3 out of 5.

8 kommentarer:

  1. I'll intrigued to see how the 15mm version turns out...

  2. "If you want a Zimmerit Panther without too much effort and are willing to disregard a few accuracy problems, this is the kit for you."
    Hey, I resemble that remark! I want a fast-build Panther with Zimmerit:check. I can live with the inaccuracies, or cover them in mud, or hide them:check. In fact, I have now started thinking about putting the tank on a base and having it drive through foliage or high grass or possibly a tree, hiding the missing Zimmerit.

    1. What's frustrating is that they were so close... there must have gone a lot of work into the Zimmerit and why not include it on the front? Because they forgot?

      I will be doing my own zimmerit, snipping away the front fenders and probably replace the MG. Watch this space.

  3. A very useful review, Leif - thanks! I think I'll still go for some of them, adding on zimmerit to the lower front hull is a pretty small job, but I like the idea of basing them with grass etc hiding the plain plate. Thanks again!

    1. Yes, it's not a bad kit. If you are aware of what the faults are then you can make an informed decision, how much it will affect you. It still the only fast-build kit with zimmerit.

  4. Very good review of the model, as usual by you. Not convinced at all to buy

  5. Nice review of the PCS panther.

  6. nice review of the 1/72 PCS panther.


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