Thursday, September 24

Two tasty Teutonic head-turners from Takom

Two familiar releases from takom but of a different flavour. Both German and both popular subjects, the Bergepanzer 2A2 model and the more obscure (?) Panther G Early Production with Zimmerit in 35th scale are the choices - see a little about the real things in our preview...
Two tasty Teutonic head-turners from Takom

Panther Ausf.G (Early Production) w/Zimmerit
Kit No #2134
1/35th scale 
All hatches can be made into an open or closed state; link & length tracks
Track Jig is Included
Photo-etch included
5 marking choices from AMMO
The Panther in history... The German PzKpfw V Panther Tank
After a long period of development behind the scenes and a short conception, in September 1942 the first prototype Panther was tested and accepted into immediate service. Despite delays in production due to the lack of manufacturing equipment of the hull, the first rushed deliveries to the German Army were completed in December but the tank was plagued by reliability problems including fire pouring out of the exhausts from the 700hp, Maybach V-12 petrol engine. 

A knocked out MNH Panther with Zimmerit pattern
Despite these early problems, the tank was very successful and due to its high demand on the Eastern Front, the original production of 250 tanks per month at the MAN plant, was increased to 600 tanks per month in January in 1943, which resulted in production spreading to the Daimler-Benz plant, the Maschinenfabrik Niedersachsen-Hannover (MNH) plant and Henschel & Sohn plants, to meet production numbers. Due to Allied bombing throughout the war, the required production number was never met and only 6,000 (that is Panthers in total) were built.

A disabled Panther G with Zimmerit in Fance August 1944
MNH Production Panthers
Between July 1944 to March 1945 M.N.H. constructed 806 Panther Ausf.G tanks. Daimler-Benz finished 1004 Panther Ausf.G tanks between May 1944 and April 1945. There were some minor differences between factory-built tanks. M.N.H. fitted a cast steel Gleitschuh skid shoes instead of a rubber tire return roller behind the front track drive sprocket. The other two factories continued to fit rubber rimmed return rollers.
The 700hp, Maybach V-12 petrol engine with its seven-speed AK 7-200 synchromesh gearbox, designed by ZF, was fitted with a governor in late 1943 to minimize engine failures by limiting the engine revolutions to 2500 rpm and reducing its power to 600 hp. The Panther's top speed was 46 km/h. 
The Panther had a five-man crew, the driver, radio operator, gunner, loader, and commander.

Panther ausf G of the 9th Panzer Division (Wehrmacht) France 1944
The main gun was a 75mm Rheinmetall-Borsig KwK 42 and could carry 79 rounds of three different types of ammunition, Armour-Piercing Capped Ballistic Capped, (APCBC), High-Explosive (HE) and Armour-Piercing Composite Rigid (APCR). The 75mm cannon on the Panther had excellent armour-piercing qualities and even had greater success at piercing enemy armour than the Tiger I’s 88mm cannon. The Panther was equipped with two 7.92mm Maschinengewehr 34 (MG-34) for close-quarter fighting. One mounted coaxially with the main cannon and the second was mounted in the front sloping armour and operated by the radio operator. In later upgrades, a mount was attached to the commander’s cupola so a third MG-34 could be mounted for anti-aircraft purposes.
Armour & Zimmerit coating
The Panther had a similar (but not copied as some say) armour profile as the Soviet T-34, carrying many of its successful design characteristics; these were mainly the sloped armour, the wide tracks to make manoeuvring in snow conditions of the Eastern front easier. Zimmerit was applied at the factory from August 1943 onwards, and could also be applied by units in the field. Its use was discontinued in September 1944 because of rumours that it could be set on fire by shell impacts. This was tested and officially disproved. However, if the Zimmerit had not fully hardened by the time the vehicle entered combat there would still be flammable benzene present, so the rumour could have a basis in fact. Another reason for discontinuing the expensive and time-consuming process was that in the end none of the Allied nations used magnetic anti-tank mines.

A close-up of the Zimmerit pattern... The pattern showed on the boxart of this kit is that of an MNH build Panther G

Bergepanzer 2 A2 armoured maintenance vehicle
Kit No #2135
1/35th scale 
movable tracks
Photo-etch included
Articulated recovery boom
8 marking choices from AMMO
History of the Bergepanzer 2 A2 
Armored recovery vehicle Bergepanzer 2A2With the advent of the Gepard ZSU in 1973 in the Bundeswehr units, it became necessary to have an ARV with crane equipment of a higher carrying capacity than on the Bergepanzer 2A1 Standard ARVs that were available by that time in the troops for the maintenance and maintenance of the SPA. This was due to the fact that the mass of the Gepard ZSU turret exceeded the mass of the Leopard main tanks. And the need for the installation and dismantling of ZSU towers in the army periodically arose. In this regard, the Kshrr MaK company based on the Bergepanzer 2A1 Standard ARV developed an improved armored recovery vehicle, which was named Bergepanzer 2A2.

Bergepanzer 2A2 using its front crane
On the improved ARRV, the boom of the crane was strengthened, the hydraulic system received a pump of greater power and productivity. For better stability of the ARV during loading and unloading operations and preventing it from tipping over, as well as for partial unloading of the machine suspension when the crane equipment is operating at maximum load, in addition to the bulldozer blade, an outrigger with a hydraulic drive was installed at the rear of the machine on the right side. The outrigger is a powerful hydraulic cylinder pivotally mounted on the rear plate of the machine body, from which the stem with a base plate extends.
Thanks to these improvements, the maximum lifting capacity of the ARV crane equipment was increased to 25 tons. Thanks to the installation of a more powerful and efficient hydraulic pump on the improved ARV, the winch cable feed speed was increased from 22 to 74 minutes. This significantly increased the effectiveness of the use of ARVs during the evacuation of tanks that stopped while overcoming deep water obstacles along the bottom, as well as the speed of evacuation from the battlefield of combat vehicles that have lost mobility. The total weight of the Bergepanzer 2A2 ARV has increased to 40.6 tons. The ARV is equipped with grenade launchers for setting smoke screens, a filter ventilation unit and communications equipment.
The Bundeswehr ordered and purchased 100 such ARVs, another eight Bergepanzer 2A2 ARVs were ordered by Canada. In Canada, these vehicles received the designation Taurus ARV. The production of the BREM Bergepanzer 2A2 was carried out in Germany from April 1977 to June 1978 goals.
Tactical and technical characteristics :
combat weight 40.58 tons,
crew of 4 people,
armament - two 7.62-mm machine guns,
maximum road speed 62 km / h,
cruising range of about 850 km,
maximum pulling force of the main winch 35 tons.
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