Pz.Beob.Wg. V Panther mit 5cm KwK.39

Published on
February 29, 2016
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Dragon Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Top

This kit is a model of a proposed vehicle to build a Panther Reconnaissance tank mounting a turret under consideration for the 8 wheeled PanzerSpahwagen using the 5cm KwK 39 gun. A project was started in January 1942 by Krupp & Rheinmetall with a projected delivery of Oct/Nov 1942. The project was not pursued and the painting schemes are pure conjecture.

This kit has approximately 288 styrene parts, DS tracks, no photo etched parts, and much worse set of instructions, they need to be reviewed very carefully before gluing any parts together.

This kit follows Dragon’s current practice of taking sprues from different kits, adding a couple of sprues of new parts to create a variant that has not been done before. Dragon took the gun from the 8 Rad Armored Car and added a new front to an existing Panther turret to get the “design”. This turret has no resemblance to the proposed turret. Dragon has also done the same with the instructions, taking from a Panther D kit using the old color photo instructions and trying to paste them together (in black & white) to create a new set for the variant. They did not take the time to review the results or even try to build the kit from the instructions to see if there were any problems, conflicts or omissions. Be careful to read and look ahead before applying glue.

  • Step 1. This step is the assembly of the drive sprockets, road wheels and idler wheels. The road wheels are mismarked. The sprue they come off of has 2 sprue labels, a K and an L. The L refers to the individual track links (which are not used except for a few as spares). The K portion is the road wheels. So, L1 should be K1 and L2 should be K2
  • Step 2. This step mounts the small return rollers on the drive shaft housing.
  • Steps 3 & 4. This step attaches the road wheels to the hull. The torsion bars are molded into the hull so there is no articulation of the arms. The same mismarked road wheel problem is shown here also. L4 should be K4. The idler wheel support shaft has a notch that fits a pin in the hull. This will keep the shaft from rotating. I cut that pin off to allow the shaft to rotate and bring the track into proper alignment (sag).
  • Steps 5 & 6. This step builds the rear hull plate including the two storage bins.
  • Step 7. This step attaches the rear hull plate to the hull.
  • Step 8. This step builds the front hull plate.
  • Steps 9 & 10. This step starts the upper hull chassis with the periscopes, periscope covers and the driver hatches.
  • Step 11. This step adds the original 7.5cm gun travel clamp.
  • Step 12. This adds the two fenders. There are some serious knock out pin marks on the underside of the fenders. If you mount the side skirts they are not visible.
  • Step 13. This step adds the left side tools, spare antenna holder and spare tracks. There are two sets of location ribs for the spare antenna holder. I removed those and placed the holder where it did not interfere with either the tools or the spare tracks.
  • Step 14. This step adds the right side tools and spare tracks.
  • Steps 15 & 16. This step adds the rear deck hatches, and other covers. It also shows antenna base (B40) being installed. However, in step 26 it shows antenna N1/N2 being installed here. Since this is an artillery observation tank it had extra radios, so I used the antenna N1/N2.
  • Step 17. This step adds the side skirt brackets to the fenders.
  • Step 18. This step installs the DS Tracks, but the picture is from the old instructions showing the individual links.
  • Steps 19 & 20. These steps start the turret build by adding the rear hatch and the base to the turret shell.
  • Steps 21, 22, & 23 build the 5cm gun and attaches it to the new front turret plate F5.
  • Step 24. This step adds the bits to the turret top.
  • Step 25. This step adds the front turret plate with gun to the turret housing. You must remove the indicated lip or the plate will not fit. The instructions show the commanders cupola as being part F1& F2. However, the instruction photo shows a completely different cupola. This is made up of parts from the original kit. See the photos. Since this is a proposal and the two new parts did not make a complete cupola, I used the original kit items.
  • Step 26. This step adds the turret, antennas, and the side skirts.


I found the molding to be clean, with no sink marks and few ejector pin marks on the newer sprues. The mold seams were easily removed and I saw no flash. Dragon makes extensive use of the pin nodes to keep ejector pin marks on the parts to a minimum. However, you will need to handle the removal and clean up of the parts with care.


As with all Dragon’s instructions, read them carefully and plan what you want to do ahead of construction. Check the fit over and over and over again to make sure that all items fit together. Also, check the number of the part being called out – or lack thereof.

Painting and Decals

The color call outs are for Testors Model Master enamel and Gunze paints. There are 2 different camouflage paint schemes depicted in the instructions. Best I can tell; these are hypothetical as this tank was never in production. The decals are by Cartograf and are up to their usual high standards.


This is a well-engineered and molded model. If you make sure that the instructions are correct, the model goes together very well. I can recommend this kit to all “what if” WWII modeler, especially those looking for something a little different. The only real complaint I have are the DS Tracks and their packaging. In the past Dragon would place these tracks in a tray that kept the horns from being deformed. However, recently they just drop them in the box with the rest of the sprues and invariably some of the guide horns are bent over. It is a real pain to straighten them. I used a form from HobbyTrax that allows you to shape the tracks with the correct sag off the model and then you can paint the tracks and then install them.

References consulted included:

  1. PanzerKampfwagen Panther Ausf D; Panzer Tracts No. 5-1, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle. ISBN 0-9708407-8-0
  2. PanzerKampfwagen Panther Ausf A; Panzer Tracts No. 5-2, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle. ISBN 0-9744862-1-3
  3. PanzerKampfwagen Panther Ausf G; Panzer Tracts No. 5-3, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle. ISBN 0-9744862-1-2
  4. PanzerKampfwagen Panther II and Panther Ausf F; Panzer Tracts No. 5-4, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle. ISBN 0-97771643-2-2.
  5. Panther Its Variants; Schiffer Publishing Ltd by Walter Spielberger ISBN:0-88740-397-2.

Thanks to Dragon and Dragon Models USA for the review sample, and IPMS/USA for the review space.


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