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Dave Shaw

1/35 Panther Ausf G Calling it DONE!

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Awhile back a fellow modeler posted pictures of his Sherman on this form and asked for opinions on his weathering to which I replied. Then it occurred to me that I have not built a tank since I was a kid, who was I to give advice? I was really taken by this modeler’s interest and enthusiasm that I just had to build a tank myself to see if I could put my money where my mouth is. I had bought Dragon’s 1/35 IR Panther Ausf G a few years ago so I broke it out…

After I got out of the Army I took up building aircraft again and found many new things in that genre that really helped model planes look more realistic, I figured armor modeling had probably had a few new tricks in store for me to learn as well. I scoured the net and found I was right. The newest one to me was individual track links. The kit comes with these. Quite frankly I found the idea intimidating of gluing them together without my fumble fingers making a mess of the whole thing. This was the biggest reason the kit found its way to the bottom of the pile in short order. Now the links were staring me in the face taunting me… ah, I can do this….right?

My goal is to make the most realistic tank in service that I can out of the box. Why out of the box? Because I also found that a fella could go broke just as quick, with buying after market stuff for tanks, as he could aircraft goodies!

So here goes…

There are about 200 track links, all of which need a bit of clean up to make them fit together well. It took me about two weeks to finish clean up, working on and off through the holidays. At last I had them finished. Next a quick clean up of the road wheels and I was ready to begin.

I glued all the wheels to the hull. I think next time I’ll just fix them temporarily. That would make it easier take tracks off, and putting them back on, for painting. Live and learn. I settled on building the tracks in an upper and lower section for each side. I used Proweld liquid glue and glued the links together. In the time it took to finish a section, the glue had set up enough to hold the links together, but was still flexible enough to bend around the road wheels. This was not as scary as I thought it would be and I had no real issues.

To glue the tracks on permanently, I thought it would be best to paint and weather the lower assemblies before hand. I painted the road wheels and track wells with Testors Rubber (square bottle). I did this to give depth and any dark brown color that was left would also be representative to fresh mud. I then painted the lower hull with MM Panzer Dunkelgelb 1943. I am not too sure of this being a very good match, it looks to have too much green in it, anyone know?

Tracks have often not been given too much care where paint is concerned. I have seen them painted black, brown, rust, metallic grey, and gun metal. None of these looked very real to me. I was guilty of doing this myself. When I built tanks I’d just painted them rust with a wash of dirty thinner then dry brushed silver. I was never really happy with how they turned out but I never knew how they should look. As I mentioned earlier I was in the Army. As a Cavalry Scout a got well acquainted with what real operational tank track looks like. Track is not painted again after it comes out of the factory so it is forever a dirty looking affair. I painted the tracks with MM Raw Sienna as a starting point. To weather them I found a new twist on an old trick…Pigments.

Pigmentsmade.jpg

Pigments are fine ground powders that the armor community has in their arsenal. Several companies sell weathering pigments these days with a great line of dirt, mud, and rust colors. No I did not buy any (I’m too cheap) so I could not give you any reviews on them. Instead I made my own out of cheap pastel chalk. Pastels have been around for years in modeling.

I used a small wire mesh sifter to ‘color on’ to make my powder. I used a rainbow of colors to get my three tones for weathering. I made dark brown for wet mud, light tan for dry mud, and a light brown for in between. The reason I never used pastels on tracks before is because I could never put them on heavy enough. I tried mixing them in water before but it would just bead up. I didn’t know that a drop of dish soap would fix the beading problem.

Homemadepigments.jpg

Now I know that, so I gave the entire track a treat to the light brown first. Next is the light tan in sort of a blotchy pattern. The last part was to “paint†the dark brown on the highest points, allowing some to slop into the low sections here and there. All that is left to do is to dry brush some dark brown and gun metal.

Tracksalmostdone.jpg

Mymud.jpg

I like to use Celluclay papier-mâché to make the built up mud. I mix it up with some white glue and water. I gave it some dark brown pigment to give it a wet mud look. I didn’t need a lot because it dried a darker color. Nothing could be easier to apply. Just slop it on and let it dry.

justmud.jpg

After I let it dry I applied the lighter pigment to the lower hull assembly. I think it pulled it together quite nicely.

Comingtogether.jpg

Icanlivewith.jpg

Now I am tinkering with the fenders, heres a preveiw.

Beatup.jpg

Once the lower hull is finished the rest should be a breeze. I welcome any comments good or bad. Tell me what you like or don’t like so far. I would like to thank our very own "Flyingfortress" for the inspiration in this project, it's been alot of fun so far.

Until next time…

Dave Shaw

Edited by Dave Shaw

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A quick update, I guess I should not have said “out of boxâ€, I meant without after market.

righttrack.jpg

I wasn’t happy with the color of the mud so I tweaked it with some new tones. I started with a base of grey this time and added some of the original brown shades to it. I think it looks much better now. I also dry brushed the guides and sprocket teeth gun metal. I think it is safe to call the tracks done now.

Newleft.jpg

newright.jpg

The stock fenders, being factory fresh, would never do. I first tried to bend them without heat and broke the right fender. I tried to heat the other fender to bend it but just melted the ends horribly. I took measurements from the kit fenders and built replacements out of plastic stock. The stock is much more flexible so it was easily “damagedâ€. I made dents by bending or folding and pressing a blunt end of a needle file into it.

Leftwithlightfixture.jpg

The light fixture is from the kit, cut free of the stock fender. I will add the conduit after it is permanently attached. Both fenders still need the mud and dirt treatment. I made the hinges from foil and a piece of stretched sprue.

hingedfender.jpg

I really mangled the right fender, the logic being, that is the side furthest from the driver. Just a little misjudgment, “I didn’t see that tree there!â€

deckgrates.jpg

I had this fine wire mesh stashed away for just such an occasion. I punched the circular ones with a big punch set. They ended up being just the right size.

More later,

Dave Shaw

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What did we learn today kids?

Sometimes it’s better to leave well enough alone. There is no need for self inflicted pain. I thought I’d give a try to beating up the sponson boxes. My attempt doesn’t look too bad in the photo but it looks fake fake fake when it is sitting right in front of you. I didn’t like how it was turning out so I built one out of the old trusty plastic stock. My idea was to give the thinner sheet plastic the same treatment as the fenders but after taking several hours to build, I didn’t want to screw it up and start all over again. If you want bent and dented sponsons, perhaps it might just be worth getting the after market ones.

Newsponson.jpg

I didn’t quite have the outside angle just right when I took this picture, I have since reworked it to a more acceptable angle. I have also added the bottom mounting brackets. It may not be perfect but I think it is passable.

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This’ll be quick. Just a few more things like some more pioneer tools and hatches and I’m ready to paint!

NEARLYLEFT.jpg

NEARLYRIGHT.jpg

nearleft.jpg

nearright.jpg

nearrear.jpg

neardeck.jpg

Can anyone shed some light on tow cables for Panther G’s? There is no mention of them in the instructions. I think the rectangular indentions that I filled in, on the rearward top of the engine deck, is for tow cable brackets but I am not sure.

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Thanks, it helps to hear a nice word about your work. I was thinking of plastic wrap or aluminum foil to mask the tracks.

Dave

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CAUTION FRESH PAINT!

Still have a few touch ups, never the less, here she is.

fresh1.jpg

fresh2.jpg

fresh-3.jpg

fresh4.jpg

After the touch ups, seal ‘er up, wash and weather… then I’ll be depressed.

I AINâ€T GOT NO MORE ARMOR!!!!

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Colors looked a bit, for lack of a better word, bold. I toned them down by adding white to the base colors and hitting highlights and panels with the lighter shade. I don’t think it looks like such an avocado salad now.

fadedfront.jpg

closefade.jpg

fadedradiohatch.jpg

fadeddriverhatch.jpg

fadedrear.jpg

I added the rear tow cable brackets and I am still working on the cable. I will only have one since that is all that the kit provides ends for. I am told that the cable is 8.2 meters long but that sure seems awful long.

fadedfans.jpg

fadeddeck.jpg

I also added the commander’s MG mount. Most photos don’t show the MG mounted so I will leave that off.

fadedright.jpg

fadedleft.jpg

Well if nobody can see anything else that needs to be done, I will paint tools, seal, and weather.

I welcome any and all comments…

Thanks for looking (again)

Dave

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Dave,

The Panther looks great. I was wondering what brand and colors did you use for the camo? I really like the combo of these.

Thanks,

Todd

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Dave,

The Panther looks great. I was wondering what brand and colors did you use for the camo? I really like the combo of these.

Thanks,

Todd

Thanks Todd, I use good ole Model Master Enamels.

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Oh don’t worry, I’ll get some dirt on ‘er, and thanks for saying so but I don’t know about any contests. I am in Tampa and they don’t have too many contests down here, even if I wanted to enter it.

BUT FIRST…

It would seem that I can’t build a model without some sort of disaster befalling me. Keeping true to my form I accidently grabbed the wrong bottle when I started my wash. What I grabbed was my xylene. Fortunately I noticed this before too much damage was done. It ate right through all the paint having a spider web effect. I immediately flooded the area with mineral spirits to try and remove and/or dilute the xylene. That worked fairly well. As the spider web dried it sucked back down leaving cracks in the finish. I have already used 2000 grit to sand it away and just need to touch it up. I just wish I would not have started on top of the turret, if I would have started on the lower hull this would have been easily covered with dirt and mud. I was lucky in that this disaster was minor and easily fixable if not just a pain in the...

Heartbreak.jpg

agony.jpg

typical.jpg

The only other area that suffered damage was this lower corner on the turret.

misery.jpg

By the way, opinions needed about the red number. I was thinking of doing them in white but I didn’t see that as being very tactical.

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Oh don’t worry, I’ll get some dirt on ‘er, and thanks for saying so but I don’t know about any contests. I am in Tampa and they don’t have too many contests down here, even if I wanted to enter it.

BUT FIRST…

It would seem that I can’t build a model without some sort of disaster befalling me. Keeping true to my form I accidently grabbed the wrong bottle when I started my wash. What I grabbed was my xylene. Fortunately I noticed this before too much damage was done. It ate right through all the paint having a spider web effect. I immediately flooded the area with mineral spirits to try and remove and/or dilute the xylene. That worked fairly well. As the spider web dried it sucked back down leaving cracks in the finish. I have already used 2000 grit to sand it away and just need to touch it up. I just wish I would not have started on top of the turret, if I would have started on the lower hull this would have been easily covered with dirt and mud. I was lucky in that this disaster was minor and easily fixable if not just a pain in the...

Heartbreak.jpg

agony.jpg

typical.jpg

The only other area that suffered damage was this lower corner on the turret.

misery.jpg

By the way, opinions needed about the red number. I was thinking of doing them in white but I didn’t see that as being very tactical.

Enjoying your Panther G build, and saw some additional info that you might use at: http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwa...-sd-kfz-171.htm

Noticed here the extra track links for the racks on both rear decks, and one of the other photos shows the red numbers and cross located on the turret. Also, might help with your cable placement/location question.

Super job. GT

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I really need opinions about the paint chipping and rust. This is my first attempt at this sort of thing.

rust1.jpg

rust2.jpg

rust3.jpg

Do the colors look right? Is the layout okay? Most importantly, is there too much? Really let loose and let me have it, I need the feedback, good or bad.

I still plan on putting some light scratches here and there and also a bit of a metallic sheen on some of the worn away rust spots that are in the high traffic areas.

Thanks for all who answer,

Dave Shaw

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Enjoying your Panther G build, and saw some additional info that you might use at: http://www.achtungpanzer.com/panzerkampfwa...-sd-kfz-171.htm

Noticed here the extra track links for the racks on both rear decks, and one of the other photos shows the red numbers and cross located on the turret. Also, might help with your cable placement/location question.

Super job. GT

Great link thanks, always good to have more pictures to study. That is half the battle!

dAVE

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Gorgeous Panther there Dave. If I made add cause your asking. Don't go any further on the rust. My rule of thumb for weathering is-"If you think it needs just a bit more, STOP! Your there".

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Gorgeous Panther there Dave. If I made add cause your asking. Don't go any further on the rust. My rule of thumb for weathering is-"If you think it needs just a bit more, STOP! Your there".

I could not agree more with that philosophy, trouble is I was looking at the fender, then the radioman's hatch, then the bow gun, then etc. etc... when then looked at the whole thing, it looked too over done to me. It's hard to say because I still have yet to add the bare metal which will cover much of this, then the mud and dirt will follow.

I will say, a little goes along way. I would rather not have enough than too much. I have taken some of it off already.

Dave

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Gorgeous Panther there Dave. If I made add cause your asking. Don't go any further on the rust. My rule of thumb for weathering is-"If you think it needs just a bit more, STOP! Your there".
Buuuttttt.......Let me make one thing perfectly clear here. My rule of thumb does not apply to beer!!!Cheers. Time to work on my Dutch Buffalo.

:sunrevolves:

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How did you do the rust,it's awesome!!!!

Agreed, the rust looks spectacular.... how'd you accomplish it?

As far as the extent of the weathering, I think you hit it just perfect. Looks great!

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Gorgeous Panther there Dave. If I made add cause your asking. Don't go any further on the rust. My rule of thumb for weathering is-"If you think it needs just a bit more, STOP! Your there".

Dave, I agree with Paul, thats a good rule of thumb.

......also, (and this is only my opinion), I would go very lightly on any rust, a few chips here and there, some scuffing etc, but minimum rust, as these Tanks were not in service for that long.

The replication of rust you have done looks fantastic, but on a vehicle such as this one, I think you have done the right thing by toning it down.....the rain streaking looks very good!

Overall, you are doing some nice work on this Panther! :worship:

Cheers,

Jeff.

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How did you do the rust,it's awesome!!!!

Funny you should ask that... I have not gotten too much further than that all week because I was working on a "How To" for rusting up. Here's the link:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47751/threa...w+I+rust+a+tank

I have gotten a little more done and I am just about ready to seal it up once more to "Get Down and Dirty!" Long live mud and dirt!!!

Dave Shaw

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Agreed, the rust looks spectacular.... how'd you accomplish it?

As far as the extent of the weathering, I think you hit it just perfect. Looks great!

Thanks, I was pretty happy with how it came out myself, which was quite the suprise to me :woot.gif: It was really not that hard...but here you can judge for yourself here:

http://www.network54.com/Forum/47751/threa...w+I+rust+a+tank

Hope it wont bore you too bad,

Dave

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Dave, I agree with Paul, thats a good rule of thumb.

......also, (and this is only my opinion), I would go very lightly on any rust, a few chips here and there, some scuffing etc, but minimum rust, as these Tanks were not in service for that long.

The replication of rust you have done looks fantastic, but on a vehicle such as this one, I think you have done the right thing by toning it down.....the rain streaking looks very good!

Overall, you are doing some nice work on this Panther! :woot.gif:

Cheers,

Jeff.

Thanks Jeff,

This was the first time I ever tried this so it had a lot of trial by fire, and yes, I do agree...but hey, whadya want for a guy's first tank in 20 years, trying new things. :P Besides it was fun too.

Even though I did tone it down, I will say that you might be surprised how quickly a tank in the field gets beat up, and I mean a peace time tank not one that crashes through trees and buildings while being shot at. Some of the tracked vehicles in my unit looked just about as bad as this one (if you could ever get all the fine ground in dirt off). Never the less, I did take into account a shorter service life and made adjustments accordingly. I do think that the pictures gave it a abandoned feel because of the lack of any scratches, bare metal, and dirt and mud. I think it'll pull together nice once all is in place.

Thanks for looking and stay tuned as I should be updating in a day of two.

Dave

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Thanks Jeff,

This was the first time I ever tried this so it had a lot of trial by fire, and yes, I do agree...but hey, whadya want for a guy's first tank in 20 years, trying new things. :P Besides it was fun too.

Dave

Hey Dave, don't get me wrong, this is great work for someone thats on their 1000th tank model in twenty years, let alone the first one in that time, I know your only joking, but I hope what I said didn't come across the wrong way, I was only saying, that, "less is more" is a good thing with weathering. :woot.gif:

Keep up the good work!

Cheers,

Jeff.

Edited by Gambler

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I still have more to do on the dirt, some tweaking on the hull, and I have not touched the turret yet as far as that goes. So, what do we think of ‘er so far?

close-7.jpg

close1.jpg

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close5.jpg

close-4.jpg

colorcheck.jpg

This last photo I used the Photoshop to check and see how my panther would compare to the war photos I’ve looked at.

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Geez Dave,I can smell the gunsmoke and diesel fumes from here!!!!!!

Ah.... I love the smell of diesel in the morning... Actually I do, it reminds me of when I was in the Army. Good times.

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