Kit Preview : 1/76 SHQ Panther D
About the manufacturer
SHQ carries an extensive range of 1/76 (20mm) wargaming models and figures in white metal, many unique. Vehicles tend to be on the chunky side, mainly due to the thickness of metal panels. Those trucks are as well armored as Tiger tanks. Their more recent models have gained considreably in accuracy and details. The wargaming roots still show in some kits with plain tubular axles.
About the vehicle
The Panther D is the first version of the Panther. Is is recognizable by the letterbox cover for the hull MG and pistol ports in the turret. Early models such as those used at Kursk have smoke dischargers, two headlights and a drum cupola. Later models have only one headlight and no smoke dischargers. Very late models had the cast cuploa of the A type.
Here is what I could find on the web on the subject.
a Youtube slide show of a Panther D preserved in Breda, NL
Missing Lynx 1/35 model gallery.
About the kit
This is a recent SHQ release. The kit scales out perfectly to 1/76. It matches the Bradford drawing and the Matchx Panther. All stowage is molded on and looks surprisingly good. The jack is fitted between the exhausts. It should be removed and stowed underneath, on the round engine crankcase panel . The weak parts are the tracks, which are too narrow and have a dubious pattern. I will replace them with Dragon 1/72 tracks. There is no zimmerit, which is OK for early vehicles (up to fall 1943). Smoke dischargers and two headlights are needed to represent the early type. There is no headlight in the kit so you need to find one or two depending on the version you want to build. The drum cupola lacks the 6 vision ports.
SHQ tracks and Dragon 1/72 tracks
As can be seen above the casting is pretty rough in places. Here is the model after cleaning up so the main parts fit together. The rear hull wall was bent and it took quite some effort to get it straight and fitted. A metal file, hobby knife and the concrete floor ( as a backstop to press against for straightening parts out) were used to achieve what is shown here.
Side by side with the Cromwell Panther A ( I did not paint that tank green!). The Cromwell model has smaller roadwheels and too short track assemblies due but much better tracks.