The stunningly beautiful Dragon model of the late model Panther G makes its reappearance, now as a member of the ever growing stable of Cyber-Hobby
kits. This kit first saw the light of day as DML #6268, so ably reviewed Here on Armorama
. Now the kit resurfaces as part of the new ‘Black Knights’ series of kits that are tied to the acclaimed comic book series “Die Erzahlung des Schwarzen Ritters
” (The Story of the Black Knights) created by famed comic artist Motofumi Kobayashi.
Although I am not familiar with the comic book (so please forgive any mistakes I may make here) the story follows the war time career and exploits of one Oblt. Ernst Bauer and his panzer crew. The lieutenant and his crew see service in several different vehicles, beginning with a Stug III (Cyber-Hobby #6658), followed by a Panther A, (Reviewed Here
) and then the late model Panther G as depicted in this kit. The next kit in the series to be released will be the Hetzer, kit #6661.
Before you get into the box the first thing you will see is the new box art. Clearly tied to the comic book series it features a large iconic illustration of Oblt. Bauer as well as several of the comic books panels in the background. As you can see the Panther G on the box features the markings of the fictional unit.
Inside the box you will find almost the same exact kit as the previously released kit #6268. And wow, what a kit it is. Everything that Vinnie said earlier in his review still holds true. 16 different sprues, a smallish piece of photo-etch, a couple of metal tow cables, decals, and DS tracks. The kit has stunning detail throughout. The spare track holders are a wonder to behold; it is hard to believe that they could be rendered as delicately as they have been in mere plastic.
The weld detail throughout is extremely well done, as is the on board tool array which have the hold down clamps with the D loop molded in place. If the 'molded in place' style are not your bag, never fear, the kit also contains a full set of the tools without any clamp detail just in case you are inclined to lean toward an aftermarket photo etch set. The kit does include a small bit of photo-etch for the engine grill mesh covers, perhaps the most essential piece of photo etch for a Panther model.
If you have read the review noted above of the Panther A, you know that Cyber-Hobby had some issues with poor instructions, lack of zimmerit, and suspension parts which weren’t compatible with the hull that is included in the kit. This kit is a different story, everything works together to be able to build a late model Panther G straight from the box.
Well then, is there anything different from the earlier #6268 kit? I’m glad you asked, the answer is not much at all, the lineage of the kit is fairly clear with a close look at the photos to the side here. Okay, a very few things are different; now we have the DS style tracks, beautifully rendered with hollow guide horns. Some will love them, some will hate them. I like them on a vehicle with reasonable track tension, but I am not real sure how they will look with a Panther and its signature track sag. It seems like a few spots of glue should combat the typical springiness associated with vinyl tracks, even DS vinyl has a bit of spring, but the jury is still out on whether it will hold in the long run.
As well there are some other minor differences that will do nothing other than to help fill your spares box even beyond the normal pile of leftover parts from any Dragon kit build. The A sprue has two new parts for the idler added back when it was released as part of the steel wheeled Panther G kit #6370 when it was Reviewed Here
, and that configuration of the A sprue has been included in this kit. Nonetheless, you don’t need the part, so into the spares bin for it. As well, sprue D has the newer updated hatches added with the correct hinge detail which was first introduced in the same steel wheel version, so you will end up with an extra set of front hull hatches as well.
Other than that you get decals and a new sprue with one full figure and one half figure. The full figure is a one of the tank crewman from Bauer’s crew standing at attention. The half figure is of the tank commander himself, Oblt. Bauer, replete with eye patch, collar tabs, and assault badges. Oddly, the pose for our eye-patched warrior has him holding a pair of binoculars up to his eye(s), making the whole eye-patch thing something of a moot point. The decal options are limited to only the one fictional ‘Black Knight’ unit, so if you are planning on using the kit for an actual vehicle or unit you will need to source your own markings.
When constructing the kit you will need to carefully study the instructions; as now seems common with kits from the Dragon familyas they don’t clearly call out which optional parts are for which version. With this kit being somewhat specific to a particular vehicle, albeit a fictional one, it is somewhat surprising that they list as many options for building as they do. Nonetheless, you will have several ways to go in constructing your late G model Panther.
Even if the comic book tie-in is not your cup of tea this is still an absolutely superlative kit that is only short a few markings from building up into a masterpiece. If you are a fan of the comic book heroes then this kit will really be something to add to your collection. Highly recommended.