Panther, More Exciting Things
The interleaved road wheels are one of the most typical features of German tanks in WWII. German engineers cleverly arranged more road wheels without lengthening the chassis. Those road wheels were quite important for the stable driving of the vehicles. German armored vehicles fitted with interleaved road wheels could hit enemies from a long distance. The Panther was the first mass production medium tank that applied the interleaved road wheel design.
The MENG SPS-049 Sd.Kfz.171 Panther Late Production Tracks & Movable Running Gear Parts contain something new from our team. Thanks to the steel torsion bars, the whole suspension system is more reliable. The workable tracks fitted with metal pins are excellent. What’s more, we have four different Zimmerit decals (SPS-050, SPS-051, SPS-052,SPS-053) for the Panther Ausf.A version too. These accessories will make your Panther model look more attractive.
참고:The Modelling News
Working Track and Suspension Set
The other extra that Meng has released for the Panther is a workable track set that replaces the kit's indi link tracks, and also includes a set of torsion bars to make the kit's suspension workable too. The set comes in a small box containing 10 sprues of track links and another two sprues holding the separate guide horns and the mounting blocks for the torsion bars. In addition, you'll find a bag of steel torsion bars, and another two bags holding the tiny metal track pins.
There's no instruction manual included in the box, with the instructions instead being shown on the back of the box. This is more than adequate though, as the assembly is very straight forward.
Sprue J (x2)
These hold the guide horns, two of which will need to be added to each track link. These are identical to the horns included with the main kit, and attach in the same way. The other parts at the bottom of the sprue sit inside the kit's lower hull, and secure the inner end of the torsion bars.
Sprue K (x10)
These hold the track links themselves and, like the guide horns, are identical to the links in the main kit, with the exception that these ones come with holes ready to take the track pins.
Pins and Torsion Bars
The rest of the box contents consists of two bags of track pins and one with the torsion bars. The pins are tiny, so your probably best to empty them into a small container to keep them safe.
The first job with the track links, and the one that'll take the longest, is removing them and getting them cleaned up. There are five attachment points on each link, and to complicate things a little more, each gate attaches to a curved section of the link, so it's not as simple as slicing the sprue tab strait off. You'll need to do a bit of work with a file too. Having said that, the very same issue exists with the kit's non-working links, and it's not a job you need to do in one sitting. Do a few a night while working on other aspects of the model, and they'll soon be done.
Attaching the two guide horns to each link will also take some time but, again, the work can be broken up into separate sessions. You'll need a good pair of tweezers as the horns are tiny, but they do fit very securely onto the links.
After that it's just a matter of attaching the links together with the pins. I found the easiest way to do this was to 'pre-load' the pins into the holes on each link, pushing them just far enough in to stay in place. The links could them be brought together, and the pins pushed fully home.
The pins are a very secure fit in the links, and there's no danger of any becoming detached. Once built up, the tracks are fully articulated, but relatively stiff, which to me is a good thing. It means you'll be able to form them into a natural shape, but they won't flop about every time you move the model. Best of all, you'll be able to fully paint and weather these while they're off the model, then easily add them at the end.
I'm not going to deal with the torsion bars here, as they'll be fully covered during the main build of the Panther. Suffice to say they look like they'll work very well. Of the two upgrade options Meng has released for the Panther, the working track/suspension set is easily the best. It's a definite step up, both in terms of the final look, and in practicality of assembly and painting, over what you get with the main kit.
Hopefully, this has given you some food for thought, as to what you may want to pick up to go with your new Panther. The track link set seems like a must-have to me, but I'm a little more circumspect regarding the zimmerit decals. I'll be experimenting further with those during the main build, which will be coming soon, here on TMN.
Thanks to Meng Models for sending these to Andy to use on is forthcoming PAnther build. Stay tuned for some nice surprises with this one.