Tuesday, November 15

The mighty Panther II from Amusing Hobby is making tracks for a Xmas release...

Amusing Hobby carries on their line of paper panzers with one of the undoubtedly coolest of the cats - the Panther II in 35th scale. We have some pictures in our preview of the built up example with some sprue and box art images.

Amusing Hobby’s New Item Preview:

Panther II - Prototype Design Plan
Amusing Hobby
Kit No# 35A012
1/35th scale
Expected release will be in December.
We have seen a few tanks with a real life limited production (or not at all produced in physical form) from Amusing Hobby and they have really filled a niche otherwise taken on by resin model makers – We have seen the VK series, the Loewe and Luchs in 35th scale that were great little kits and recently the Jagdpanther II in planning – now they go medium sized but still with a big boomstick, the Panther II in 35th scale

some blueprints drawings of the prototype that was never produced.
The Panther III – In “Reality”: 
The early impetus for upgrading the Panther came from the concern of Hitler and others that it lacked sufficient armour. Hitler had already insisted on an increase in its armour once, early in its design process in 1942. Discussions involving Hitler in January 1943 called for further increased armour; initially referred to as Panther 2 (it became the Panther II after April 1943). This upgrade increased the thickness of the glacis plate to 100 mm (3.9 in), the side armour to 60 mm (2.4 in), and the top armour to 30 mm (1.2 in). Production of the Panther 2 was slated to begin in September 1943.

On 10 February 1943, Dr. Wiebecke (chief design engineer for M.A.N.) suggested thoroughly redesigning the Panther II and incorporating Tiger components such as the steering gears, final drive, entire suspension and turret based on Eastern Front experience. Total weight would increase to more than 50 metric tons. Another meeting on 17 February 1943 focused on sharing and standardizing parts between the Tiger II tank and the Panther II, such as the transmission, all-steel eighty centimeter diameter roadwheels (only overlapping and not interleaved as the original Schachtellaufwerk roadwheel design used) and running gear. Additional meetings in February began to outline the various components, including a suggestion to adopt the King Tiger's hard-hitting 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 gun, but it was ultimately decided to continue use of the production Panther's 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 gun. In March 1943, MAN indicated that the first prototype would be completed by August 1943. A number of engines were under consideration, among them the new Maybach HL 234 fuel-injected engine (900 hp operated by an 8-speed hydraulic transmission) and the BMW 003 aviation turbojet-derived, GT 101 turboshaft powerplant, planned to be of some 1,150 shaft horsepower output and weighing only some 450 kg (922 lb) without its transmission, only some 38% of the weight of the Panther's standard Maybach HL230 V-12 gasoline fueled piston engine.

One Panther II chassis was completed and eventually captured by the U.S.; it is now on display at the Patton Museum in Fort Knox. An Ausf G turret is mounted on this chassis
Thus, plans to replace the original Panther design with the Panther II were already underway before the first Panther had even seen combat. But from May to June 1943, work on the Panther II ceased as the focus was shifted to expanding production of the original Panther tank. It is not clear if there was ever an official cancellation – this may have been because the Panther II upgrade pathway was originally started at Hitler's insistence. The direction that the design was headed would not have been consistent with Germany's need for a mass-produced tank, which was the goal of the Reich Ministry of Armament and War Production.

Here is the test kit – even though there is no size comparison it will be a big beast!
With a lot of spare tracks, tools and extras strapped to the hull. 
The obligatory tracks running over something picture shows the suspension will move just a little…
 More about this kit as soon as we see it - This kit will be available in December from Amusing Hobby's Distributors Worldwide.