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Tamiya Panther G Build


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    Tamiya Panther G Build

    I got the kit on a recent trip to Hong Kong, from Tamiya's distributor there, Waigo Hobby. I would have bought more, but they had neither battle units, ball bearings nor photo-etched parts to supply me. Still, a price of HK$5237 wasn't too bad......

    Ingredients assembled - Battle unit, paints, Impact gearboxes, and Stellamodels ball bearing kit

    Tamiya photo-etched grilles

    Three more new bits join the Panther box of bits, an Orange 6 channel Spektrum compatible receiver, and Impact gun muzzle and upgraded recoil unit:

    And then I finally got off my arse and breaking open plastic baggies:

    The ubiquitous plastic bowls to hold screw bags A through D

    Assembly of track tensioners. I've learned my lesson and am building on a towel

    Attaching the suspension arm mounts. One down, fifteen to go

    All done. This shows the staggered configuration of the suspension arm mounts

    Track tensioner assembly and torsion bar mounts fitted. The track tensioner took me some time to figure out as the manual wasn't too clear where the bits should go and how far they had to be screwed into each part. I had to look at the later steps to get clues

    I'm pretty sure I've lost some lung function after suffocating myself to get this lot painted up. The shipping box came in handy as a makeshift spray booth though. Skipped the photos of priming as I didn't use the kosher red oxide paint but Tamiya grey surface primer instead. Here's the metal bits after laying the base coat of TS-3 Dunkelgelb

    Suspensions arms painted up and ready to install

    Figuring out how to install the first arm

    Detail of the torsion bar (actually a strip of metal). It has to key in squarely to the slot of the suspension arm so that it can fit into the torsion bar mount easily

    One down, 15 more to go...

    Showing the trailing and leading suspension arms on each side.

    This band-aid fix has received a lot of flak, but I installed mine anyway

    Installing the front sprocket guides. I might remove it again so that I can paint it properly.

    Couldn't resist test fitting the upper hull

    Gearbox fitment and some wheel work:

    Halfway through swapping out the motors over from the stock gearboxes onto the Impact gearboxes

    Slight misalignment with the mounting posts meant that I had to loosely fit all three gearbox mounting screws and tighten them simultaneously to get it to fit flat.

    This took the entire evening......

    I took the opportunity to fit the axle covers onto the wheels before painting them as they will stick better.


    The rear hull was also assembled. I decided not to take photographs of me removing all 36 road wheel tires from their rubber sprues...

    More hull parts are installed prior to painting, this time the machine gun port

    I attached tool racks, hatch handles and hooks in the same operation. This is out of sequence with the instruction manual

    I encountered interference beteween the idler shaft flange and the rear hull

    Which resulted in an unsightly gap in the lower section

    Breaking out the Dremel tool to grind out a small slot of either side allowed more clearance

    Looks the same, almost, but the gap is visibly smaller now

    The completed rear hull sans the exhaust stacks and jack.

    First order of work is to fill in the hull plate with some bog - literally

    A day for the bog to dry, some sandpapering and its all good

    Assembling the roadwheels after they've been painted

    Have the wheels inserted halfway into each arm and you will have enough space to slot in the interleaved wheels. I've not put on the roadwheel rubber as I have yet to lay the camouflage on.

    attempted to use the Impact gearbox box as-is, but the fit between the kit sprockets and the driveshaft was poor, resulting in a wobbling sprocket. In the end, I kit-bashed the stock Tamiya gearbox driveshafts with the Impact gearbox. My hands got rather greasy at this stage so I didn't feel like touching my camera.

    Got up quite a bit of momentum, and fitted the electronics into the hull to test the running gear. The tracks are STIFF! I guess I need to run the tank a bit to get things loosened up!

    And I got started laying primer on the hull itself. It feels so much closer to the end now that the tank is sitting on its own suspension. I should be firing up the airbrush this weekend...

    I'm also coveting the M parts tree from the Jagdpanther kit, because it has the standard exhaust stacks - with the JP at least you get an option between the flame suppression stacks or standard stacks, but in the Panther G you get no choice at all! Perchance does anyone here have those standard exhausts to sell me? Otherwise AAFTankMusuem will be getting some business from me...

    I got really fired up on Thursday painting up the major hull parts and assembly on Friday night and ploughed through a lot:

    Attached the photoetched grilles. This I did with CA instead of cement given the metal to plastic bond

    As I could not find a definitive source how to orientate the grille (to the axis of the cover, or the tank) I decided to set it to the former

    Another size comparison with the Tiger. At this stage, Panther's turret is just dummied in place and gun barrel supported by the travel lock

    A better photo on Saturday morning. Looks a little like the Panther G at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds?

    Time to modify the recoil. The setup will work fine without the circuit board, you just lose the functionality of controlling the speed of recoil and return to battery

    Replacing the primary gear. Note the smoothed off gears. When the recoil motor runs out of gears, the spring provided in the Impact recoil kit snaps the gun barrel back till it meets another gear tooth. The next gear is also metal in order to withstand the stresses involved

    The top of the stock recoil bracket is ground down with a Dremel to give more clearance to the added recoil spring

    Adding other bits to the inside of the turret - the gun barrel support spring and the GFS base

    Turret rotation motors and rollers installed

    You have to install the second set of support rollers like this before adding in the plastic spacers on either side

    And finally, videos of the big kitty coming to life, and of the recoil mod

    First engine startup

    Closeup of the modified recoil action

    I spent way too much time getting a front headlight:

    Radio controlled switch was procured

    For controlling the headlight. The gauge of my wires meant a rather ugly cable which I have tried to make a bit neater with some shrink tubing. It will be painted up later.

    I spoilt 4 SMT LEDs (each about 2mm) before finally getting one done

    How it looks from the front. The interior of the bulb is lined with aluminium tape
    Tamiya Tiger I, M26 Pershing, Leopard 2A6, Scania R620/flatbed trailer, Wedico drop deck trailer

    SG Tankies:

    I've finally decided its going to be Panther 122......

    The start of the spray job. After a while I found it too difficult to spray the tank inside a box, so I put an Ikea lazy susan onto a stool which allowed me to spin the tank around as I painted.

    Laid on the dark green

    Brown is going on now. I spend so much time faffing about that the air compressor actually overheated repeatedly

    Opposite side. Its going to be Panther 122 on the Eastern front. Kinda means the wheels have to be green too

    Completed camouflage

    Undercarriage and suspension turned dark green

    Factory fresh, fully assembled. Looks better than the colour sample picture suggested - I was worried it might look too gaudy - like a Heng Long Panther

    Exhausts soon to be fitted

    Drilling out the dummy spare tracks - once attached, I can link the actual spare track links onto them

    IR Emitter positioning - CAing a section of tube into the gun muzzle

    Position of IR Emitter and flash bulb. The length of the Panther's gun barrel meant that I had to wire in an additional 3 inches of wire

    To be continued......
    Tamiya Tiger I, M26 Pershing, Leopard 2A6, Scania R620/flatbed trailer, Wedico drop deck trailer

    SG Tankies:


      Gravity Always Wins.....


        The last couple of days have been spent painting the pioneer tools and spare accessories to be hung on the outside of the tank. The tank is now factory fresh with no weathering applied yet. However, I've hit it with a coat of Mr. Color flat clear to seal in the base camouflage and prevent scratchmarks etching the paint:

        First shot of the completed Panzer 122

        Point front towards enemy

        I used the kit supplied cord and got them properly coloured by soaking them in the little paint pot and then hanging it out to dry. When dried, the consistency of the cord made it quite easy to work with. Nevertheless, some CA was required to help keep the cord wound onto the reel.

        Detail of rear storage box. Instead of working its way around the contours, it tore instead. Hmmm.

        Rear quarter of Panzer 122

        The first of the three racks holds actual spare functioning tracks

        Spraying accident - for some reason the decals bubbled and melted

        Incompatibility between Tamiya decals and Mr. Color sprays?

        One more shot of the completed Panther 122
        Click image for larger version

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        Tamiya Tiger I, M26 Pershing, Leopard 2A6, Scania R620/flatbed trailer, Wedico drop deck trailer

        SG Tankies:



          Damn nice and profesional!!! Well done!!


            I tried my hand at weathering using Tamiya's weathering pastel kits, variously using it in solid forms to create streaks and wetted down to work larger areas and small corners:

            Got started simulating mud stains on the turret rear hatch

            I mended the decal melting boo-boo by brushing on some black soot and sealing it with clear coat. I added mud streaks and rust streaks to the top of the turret

            Added weathering kit Soot to the top of the exhaust stacks

            Close up of roadwheels with brushed-on wetted mud

            Detail of gun metal paint on the edges of the inner roadwheels

            Finished product. Again, better photos in the day when I get the time.
            Tamiya Tiger I, M26 Pershing, Leopard 2A6, Scania R620/flatbed trailer, Wedico drop deck trailer

            SG Tankies:


              Very nicely done. Hope to get my hands on at least one R/C tank.
              Keep Moving, Look Forward, No Regrets!!


                Looking forward to it - you can start out with Heng Long tanks if you just want to play by yourself, plink targets with the BB gun or simply have a large tank to put on a shelf.

                If infra red gaming is what you want, Tamiyas are the way to go!
                Tamiya Tiger I, M26 Pershing, Leopard 2A6, Scania R620/flatbed trailer, Wedico drop deck trailer

                SG Tankies:


                  Originally posted by r32 View Post
                  Looking forward to it - you can start out with Heng Long tanks if you just want to play by yourself, plink targets with the BB gun or simply have a large tank to put on a shelf.

                  If infra red gaming is what you want, Tamiyas are the way to go!
                  Tanks with BB guns sounds like fun. But Tamiya tanks looks more detailed and fun to build. The sound is also real.

                  Hmm....decision decisions.
                  Keep Moving, Look Forward, No Regrets!!