Friday, September 11, 2015

Panzerkampfwagen V Ausf A in 1/35

The village of Heikendorf near Kiel in Germany had an interesting more-or-less public secret: an older gentleman had a WW2 tank in his basement, not to mention an anti-aircraft gun and a torpedo. However, in early July 2015 the German Bundeswehr relieved the 78-year old retiree of his Panzerkampfwagen V tank as well as other equipment. It took 20 soldiers nine hours to extract the vehicle from the basement of the building, and it turned out that the tank was in very good condition, albeit without tracks (

I felt that I had to pick up a Panther for a little summer entertainment, and on a whim I bought an older Tamiya kit of a Pzkw V Ausf A, the second version of the Panther that was introduced in the fall of 1943. This version had a ball mount for the hull machine gun as well as a new commander's cupola and strengthened running gear. It served up to the end of the war, and some 2,192 Ausf A Pathers were build between 1943 and July 1944.

The old Tamiya kit was not difficult to assemble, but it is lacking in detail by today's standards. I was however primarily interested in painting the vehicle, although I did add a machine gun barrel, a radio antenna, a cupola ant--aircraft machine gun mount and a few more modern pioneer tools. I used Vallejo acrylic paints applied with various brushes and a series of washes to dull the Panzer Dunkelgelb and to weather the vehicle. The markings are from the kit, and the vehicle is supposed to be rather generic, since the various division emblem decals didn't adhere very well to the tank for some reason. It is perhaps camouflaged for the spring of 1944 and the onslaught of the Red Army. 

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