Saturday, November 3

Nick’s Wounded Revell Panther springs from the box…

Our youngest modeller here - (and a prize-winning modeller to boot) Nick takes us through his build of the New Revell Panther in this interesting and revealing build article – what have the rest of us been doing all these years??
03095 PzKpfw. V "Panther" Ausf. D
Scale: 1:35
Parts: 442
Length: 253 mm
Revel model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further
Information visit  or email


The Panther from Revell of Germany arrived on my doorstep Saturday morning, and although it’s a re-boxing of the ICM kit, I was looking forward to getting stuck in on Monday, so what’s in the box? Well there are 8 tan coloured sprues (some duplicates, for the tracks and running gear) the upper and lower hull are loose  but everything comes wrapped in bag (just like all other ICM kits
The contents of the box
The decals are well printed and look to have little or no carrier film, and provide options for two tanks, both belonging to the Grossdeutschland panzer division at Kursk 1943, one is painted in a 3-tone camouflage pattern with the tactical number 824 on the turret, 824 also carries decals 8 and 9 (see below) while the other option is plain dunkelgelb with the tactical number 501, 501 carries decals 3 and 4 (see below) both tanks carry the standard German cross on the lower hull (Decals, 5 and 10)
The instructions are in standard Revell Form with clear diagrams, with sprue layouts and paints needed at the front, so far a good start.

Looking at the sprues it becomes clear this is a mixed bag, some parts are beautifully moulded, others leave a lot to be desired, and nearly all parts contain seams and flash, but this shouldn't put you of, the seams and flash are very small and easily solved with a file, sanding stick and a few swipes of a blade.

The Tracks are the individual links, which take a while to assemble and can cause a few headaches but if done right, they work a treat, these are moulded in black, and makes it hard to see any flash etc but there are two ejector pin marks on the outside of the track, and they look to be in an awkward place  to try and clean up, but the good news is that the inside of that track link appears to be clear of pin marks, and anyway panthers weren't the lightest of tanks and would easily dig into soft ground, so a bit of mud and no one will even know the ejector pin marks were even there!

The build starts : Construction starts with the lower hull and suspension, i added parts A21(x2) to part A26 but this proved to be easier said than done, the parts are tiny! But came together without any major problems, just be careful they don't ping out of the tweezers.It was then time to add the front hooks (parts B26 and 27) these have some nasty injector pin marks on them; thankfully 2 of these will be hidden so it’s just the one to clean up.

As the Panther will later be in a diorama with un-even ground i moved away from the suspension and set to work on the rear plate, the first thing i did was to dry fit the rear wall into the hull, this was done to check the fit of the two parts, which was perfect, no complaints there it was then simply glued in place. It was then time to add the rear bracket for the exhausts, this had a seam running the length of it, and it was simply removed with a few swipes of a blade and glued in place. The exhausts had their seam removed and given a coat of Mr.Surfacer to replicate the rough texture found on exhausts, once this had dried they glued into place without any fuss.

The Jack was built next and although a good representation of the German Jacks used on the panther, it did have a big Ejector pin on it that needs to be removed. This was then attached to mounts attached to the exhausts, the stowage bins were next, and to attach them, 4 holes had to be drilled out using a 1.5mm drill bit, one was damaged and bent up to simulate a hit from an AT rifle, (this was done ready for the diorama) with this done the rear was finished without any major issues.
The front
I then turned my attention to the front, starting off with the drivers and radio operator’s periscopes, these have a sink mark on them, but seeing as these are inside the tank when in place I felt this was no big deal. Then came the time to add the hatches, ICM have done this a different way to any other manufacturer I’ve seen, they’ve done it just like the Germans did in 1943, the hatches were attached to a plate, this was then bolted to the hull, this allowed the transmission to be removed for repairs, and by doing it this way allows the modeller the chance to model their panther undergoing a transmission repair without major surgery to their kit, a big plus in my book. 

The drivers vision port was next, it built fairly easily and looks the part, So with the all parts glued in place, it was time glue it all down, simple? Well no not really the plate wouldn’t fit; it took me 10 minutes to remove enough plastic to get anything of a reasonable fit, i removed plastic from the hull and the plate, as the pictures show, i was left with some nasty holes that needed filling,  I wasn't impressed by this, everything had gone so well as well so far this was out of character of the model i have been making so far - but i complain too much!
The engine deck

I decided to move to the engine deck, i added the grills, and all the hooks to the deck, as the round grills were cast i added a cast texture to them using Mr.Surfacer and a stiff brush, once everything was attached and dry, i decided to add the engine maintenance hatch, again all parts were added to the hatch, and the same thing happened as to the plate at the front, it just would not fit! So out came the files and sanding sticks to remove  more plastic to get the hatch to fit. With the hatch glued down i built the travel lock, nothing as bad here, although i did have to drill out the holes to fit the lock in.

With everything fixed to the upper hull i decided to glue it down, but as the photo’s show, it wouldn't be that easy even with a dry fit i knew there would be a small gap at the front and so with the glue set, i went about fixing this with Mr.Surfacer.

The track holders were next and are fairly simple, once cut from the sprue and cleaned up it was a simple job of bending the top over to attach to the top of the hull, the tool racks were next and these were simple and easy enough to put together and attach to the hull. Tools an OVM went on in a very similar fashion to these on the rear hull.

The turret
With the lower hull minus running gear done, i decided to build the cupola, and from the outside it looks like an Ausf D cupola, but there’s no vision blocks included (In fact there’s no clear plastic in this kit at all) so i decided to close the lid on mine, ICM/Revell supply the handles on the cupola hatch as two separate parts, a solid piece of plastic on the hatch which two separate handles attach two, this sounds easily enough, well yes and no, the handles broke as soon as i removed them from the sprue (as did all but one in the kit) so i drilled out the lump of plastic and made two new handles from copper wire and glued them in place.

I then decided to build the loaders hatch and the spent case hatch (used to remove empty shell casing once they've been fired) these are both built in the same way: two stubs which attach to the inside of the turret wall, another two stubs which attach to the hatch itself, and then a ‘bar’ goes between the two to allow you to model open them open, of course this isn’t necessary if you want to model them closed, just glue the hatch to the turret, i wanted mine open and dry fitted all the parts and found the hole’s in the ‘bar’ were to small so i used a drill bit to open them out until the tabs fitted in (make sure you dry fit and all the parts here as due to their small size it can get a bit messy) but when the holes were opened up it all fitted together beautifully and allowed the hatches to be open.

Next was the barrel and breech  ICM/Revell supply a very basic representation of the breech, i just sprayed the inside of the turret black, the barrel was next, and as with most kits it’s in two parts, which can leave a nasty seam on the barrel, but to fix this i used a method taken from aircraft modellers to join fuselage halves together:

•           apply a liberal amount of glue to both parts where they’re going to be joined (Revell Contacta glue, with the needle is best)

•           clamp the two parts together (you’ll see excess glue squeezed out forming what looks like a weld bead, do not do anything to this yet! We want this to happen)

•           When the glue has completely set you can remove the clamps, then carefully remove the ‘weld’ on the barrel either with a blade or sanding stick) this will remove the need for filler.

•           You should now have a barrel that doesn’t have a nasty seam on it, that looks round and will pass an inspection from the Mk1 eyeball, without the expenses of an AM Barrel.

Then the muzzle break was given a rough texture using Mr.Surfacer, it was then glued to the barrel. With all these sub assembles complete it was time to glue them all together, but before i did the entire inside of the turret was given a coat of flat black, to hide the breech and lack of an interior.Once all these were glued together smaller details were added, such as the cover for the fume extractor fan, and the three hooks used in the factory to move the turret.  

Smoke dischargers
Smoke dischargers, these are a good representation but, there’s room for improvement , one thing that lets them down is that the grenades are moulded into the tubes, which means built straight from the kit all 6 smoke grenades are unfired, which is fine by most people but those wanting to depict a Panther that’s been in the field for some time (and seen action) would probably want to show a few being fired off, and that’s the look i want to depict in my panther, below is how i improved the smoke dischargers to get them looking like the final product shown in the next paragraph:

As you can see from the pictures, the grenade and tube are moulded as one, so the first step was to drill a hole in the ‘grenade’ I’ve included in the photo a one pence piece, to give a sense of scale. I then used a new blade to remove the excess plastic (it looks worse in the pictures) I did this to 3 of the 6 grenades. Another thing missing was the 3 wires going from the three ‘tubes’ to inside the tank, this allowed the crew to fire them from inside the tank, i drilled three holes into the base of the tubes, and then a small hole into the side of the turret, three ‘strands’ taken from an old extension cable, i twisted them together but left it un twisted at one end, these were then super glued into the holes drilled into the base of each tube, the end of the wire was then pushed through the hole in the side of the turret, it was then a simple case of gluing the mount to the turret side.

Suspension and running gear 
For me this was the weakest area of the kit the lack of numbers on the sprue and vague instructions all came together to form one big headache, i recommend that you dry it all the wheels first, then check and double check you have them one right before you even think of glue!

The Tracks

The tracks themselves were fairly simple (as they can only fit one way) to do both sides took about 2 hours work but this would've been less if the ground work wasn't so dramatic, just ensure that the tracks are free from any attachment points as even the slightest bit of extra plastic can throw the track out down the line. You can see the final product of my work here
Time to add some colour-well just yellow...
With the build side complete i set about priming the model, this was done with  games workshop chaos black from the spray can, i use this because its easy to use and covers pretty much everything, then i loaded up the airbrush with Vallejo ‘primer grey’ to add pre shading, this is sprayed on areas such as the turret sides and roof and to pick out details that you want to enhance, and with the priming complete it was time to add some colour, i used Vallejo primer ‘RAL 8000 German green brown’  this was sprayed over the model in several light coats to ensure the pre-shading still comes through, i then add some buff to the mix, i don't really go with exact measurements as i prefer to go by eye and judge the colours that way, this mix was sprayed to the centre of panels and high points etc.

At this point after a gloss coat it was time to add the decals, this are printed very nicely with very thin carrier film and settled down beautifully, i did use some micro sol and set to help the decals fix down over the pistol ports.

Variety is the spice of life
With a single colour it can be hard to add colour and interest that you can do with a 3-tone for example, so i decided to highlight parts with life colour German desert yellow, i then turned my attention to the tools, these were painted in Vallejo new wood and model master titanium and aluminium, i decided that i really wanted a beat up broken panther (despite it only entering combat a few weeks earlier) i came up with the idea that due to a young and inexperienced driver the panther has gone down this hill and made a mess of it, so i opened up Vallejo cavalry brown and with a brush and sponge started to create scratches that had gone down to the red oxide primer, i then added deeper scratches that had gone down to the metal with model master titanium and aluminium, lighter scratches were made by lightly dry brushing black and life colour German desert yellow over the area’s of wear.  At this point i lightly sprayed Tamiya red brown on to the running gear and tracks.

Oils make a mess
Following a gloss coat i added ‘blobs of’ 502 abteilung Faded Dark Yellow, Sunny flesh tone and light flesh tone and worked them in with a flat brush damp with white spirit until i was happy with the look, once dry and another gloss coat later i added a wash of Windsor and Newton ivory black to ‘pop’ out the details, at the engine deck with was repeated several times along with 502 Abteilung Engine Grease, this was to show the accumulation of dirt and grime, i also did this in corners especially where the smoke dischargers are.

Dirt, dirt and more dirt...

I wanted to create a really dirty panther, so i dug out my Mig Productions Russian earth, Dark mud and Europe Dust, these were mixed with water and stippled onto the model with and old brush, each was then applied ‘dry’ until i was happy with the effect.

The panther particularly the D is one of my favourite AFV’s of the War, and although this kit lacks the shiny all singing and dancing extras what it does have is character you have to work this kit to get the best from it and if I'm honest for my anyway, i get a lot more satisfaction from a kit i have to ‘work’ with than i do a dragon super kit, although the lack of fit in some parts does bring it down a little and the issue with the wheels could've been easily overcome, I’d still give it an 8.5 because i feel it brings you back to what modelling is all about, having fun.

Although there are no pics of the finished dio with this article (it’s still not finished as i tend to spend months tweaking them) when it’s done we'll soon have some more pics up.

I would recommend this kit to everyone and i can't wait to get my hands one another one

Nicholas Lloyd
Revel model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further

Information visit  or email