Friday, January 5

Nobody wanted a new Bergepanther did they? Takom steps into the breach with a new 35th scale kit.

Well, the endless stream of "Where is the Bergepanther!!??" has been answered by the news of Takom's new release - an injection moulded 1/35th scale Bergepanther in their forthcoming line. We have some info on the kit and the original vehicles in our preview...
Takom's new Bergepanther in 35th scale

Bergepanzer Sd.Kfz. 179 (Demag) Full Interior kit.
From: Takom
1/35th scale
Kit No# 2101
kit features full interior (of course)
The calls for this popular (though obscure) armoured recovery version of the Panther have been answered by Takom in their latest future release. We have been hoping for something like this to add some difference to the upcoming "Panther Wars" of 2018 - with more than a few manufacturers making their own version. It seems like they all waited for each other to jump  - then all went at once. Something like this version of the Panther was radically different in it's look and the parts needed to make it, also this is the most interesting and promising version of the Panther we have seen slated yet.

Don't know much about the Bergepanther? We have a limited history of the estimated 330 vehicles that were made...

SdKfz 179 Bergepanther - Production Information
Manufacturer Demag
Type Armored recovery vehicle
Engine Maybach HL230 P30 engine
Speed 46 kph
Armament (often changed)
1 x 20 mm KwK 38
1 x 7.92 mm MG 42
Crew 5
Year introduced 1942 onwards
The SdKfz 179 Bergepanther was an armoured recovery vehicle that was used by Germany during World War II. It was based on the chassis of the Panzer V Panther with the first production model was the Ausf. A version. The Bergepanzer Sd.Kfz. 179 or Berge-Panzerkampfwagen Sd.Kfz. 179 was often abbreviated to Pz.Berge.Wg Panther I Sd.Kfz. 179.
The Bergepanther first began its development in 1942 because of the need for a heavy duty tank recovery vehicle that came about with the introduction of German heavy armour such as the Panther medium tank or Tiger I heavy tanks. These generally required up to three SdKfz 9 Famo half-tracks to recover them compared to the single half-track needed to tow a Panzer III or Panzer IV. Tigers at the time were also valued highly, a little more so than the Panthers considering the Tiger's smaller production numbers. This made the Panther the preferred base for the new heavy armoured recovery vehicle. 
These vehicles produced by MAN were subsequently shipped off to serve during the Battle of Kursk and after some success in the role were then used in various other battles until the end of the war. Around two to four Bergepanthers were allocated to each tank unit making up for a total of around 330 vehicles produced during the war, largely by the company Demag.
The Bergepanther had a crew of five men and a Maybach HL230 P30 engine, which, just like the standard Panther medium tank, propelled the vehicle to speeds of up to 46 km/h. 
The main and obvious difference between the Bergepanther and the original Panther was that the Bergepanther had a 40,000 kg winch and cable system that replaced the turret. For defensive armament, some Bergepanthers mounted a 20 mm KwK 38 cannon and an additional MG 42 machine gun.  The very first production models, however, did not receive the KwK 38. Furthermore, these first models only had wooden coverings over the hatch that opened to let engineers take out tools from inside the vehicle.

Several field alterations were made to the vehicle as you can see in this picture below 
The Bergepanther also had a 7 speed forward, 1-speed reverse transmission system with a maximum range of about 200 kilometres. Another commonly added feature was a rear-mounted spade which acted as a counterbalance when recovering a vehicle. 
It is quite difficult to describe the variants of the Bergepanther series because most models had several modifications from each other and numerous other sub-modifications based on factory requirements or field needs. The main variants, however, were the first production model, the Ausf. A using the Panther Ausf. A hull as a base. The second most numerous were the Ausf. G which was based on the Panther Ausf. G hull. In between, models, as mentioned above, had varying equipment loads such as the implementation of a counterbalance spade or the defensive 20mm KwK 38.
I know of two Bergepanthers that can be readily seen in museums. One in the Musee des Blindes in Saumur in France, and another in the Panzer Museum in Munster, Germany. Both of these show different customizations, so likewise you could make your own Bergepanther into a version of whatever you like within reason.

The facts about the kit we know so far:
The kit is an adaption of the new-tooled kit of the Panther "A" coming soon.
Designed by the guys from T-Rex Studio
Demag made variant
Forward crew compartment included inside and out
Kit features the Mg34 defensive weapon on the Bergepanther.
Crane  jib arm can be depicted in position or stored for transport
Complete interior crane and reels included
 You can see the whole "shebang" inside the hull with a great deal of detail. No resin needed here guys!
Workable track links are included.

We don't know what people could possibly want now this one is on the way - we are sure you'll let us know 😊

Well, that is it for your New Year's Update - Keep looking in here we will have more news on this kit very soon!