Wednesday, June 19

Verlinden's new Battle for Berlin Panther Dug-In Bunker 1/35th Scale in Review

Verlinden has revamped some of their ranges and they are still coming out with new ideas to trump other companies who have followed their lead. Today we review the latest diorama with base in 35th scale from them – a Panther tank dug into the streets in the desperate defence of Berlin in 1945…

Construction Review: Battle for Berlin Panther Dug-In Bunker 
From Verlinden
1:35 Scale
Cream Resin over 30 parts
Special Price: $89.09 – available from Verlinden Directly

Though this diorama is called the “Battle for Berlin, Panther Dug-in Bunker” this Panther – one of several that were dug into the ground to be used as a desperate defensive weapon in 1945. These were actually called Pantherturm or Pantherstellung. They were different from the purpose-built and installed forts with Panther turrets on top of them that were cheap and worked well. You can see by the pictures of these tanks dug in with several spent shell cases around them that these were effective in battle.

The hulls were complete and there were not engine and suspension and road wheels, the sides of the tank were covered with cobblestones and debris from the hole dug in the street in a “Hull down” position to improve protection from enemy fire.
Now this one kit we have known about but have been waiting for quite a while – this panther tank – with an open engine compartment is set on a cream resin base dug into a Berlin street and a victorious Russian soldier standing to inspect the burnt out hulk.
There are over thirty parts to this kit which ships in a large, flat box that is well bubble wrapped and the smaller parts were sealed in a Zip-Loc bag. Nothing was broken or snapped in transit.
The cream resin is very tough – and a fair bit of care must be taken with it to prevent collateral damage and splitting of your parts when removing them from the casting blocks. Take care and you will be ok. I indeed snapped the ammo box supplied with the kit but it glued together again with some superglue. 

The base is shown here to good effect - scattered with debris, dirt and cobblestones.

Indeed you will not need much superglue in building this kit. The turret just sits into the hull in a way that it can be turned in any direction. The gun is in a fixed position and although the barrel looks a bit small I am thinking this is a 75mm cannon.

There is a bunch of ammunition included with this kit – new and spent rounds to littler round your dug in tank wherever you please. I put two into the ammo box provided lie they hadn’t been used yet. There are enough cobblestones and dirt around the base and dug in the hull to make this look convincing. The scattered shells just add to the scene.
The Panther turret is battered and pockmarked by a many numbers of shell impacts and a crack in the turret on the left-hand side. There is a picture of one of these tanks with the exact same crack in the turret.
A not so good point is the slightly bumpy texture on the gun barrel and the solid muzzle brake that will need either to be replaced or hollowed out. The barrel looked fine after running over it with the hobby knife.
Let’s not forget our Russian guest! This offer is looking down onto the hulk here and I have seen another picture of a similar man in the Berlin streets so this is a well-inspired diorama. The figure itself has a very well sculpted (and much improved) face. No long face here on this sculpt! The arms, legs and boots all fit together very well and he stands up ok and looks in scale and the part.
Here is out dug-in Panther all made up – you can turn the gun, and place the figure and shells in any position you like…

Well, I have been waiting for this to come out for a while and I am not disappointed. The only thing I would think about changing is getting a muzzle break from a panther kit or drilling this out at the end. The whole thing took only an hour or so to put together.

A great diorama from Verlinden and I am glad they are still forging ahead with interesting and new ideas for us to bring to life.

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Verlinden for this kit to build and review.

Here is the base masterfully painted up from Verlinden