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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Review: Plastic Soldier Company Panther Box Set

- by Dirty Jon
Steven got me a box of Plastic Soldier Company(PSC) Panthers (WW2V15012) to review. I have had some PSC Halftracks to review, but never any of their tanks. I know Steven loves the T-34s, so I was really looking forward to seeing these guys.


As you see above, the models come on sprues -- 1 tank to a sprue. There is also a complete set of assembly instructions, though they had the D and A Models confused. Easily corrected.

I am pretty ham-handed (6'4" 220lbs), so I was a bit worried about these. The halftracks were pretty fiddly and I had seen entire forum posts on how to put together the T-34 tracks. I was pleasantly surprised when these went together without a hitch. With a little planning and making sure you have the correct parts, it is very easy.
I quickly decided to assemble these guys in 3 groups -- the Track Group, The Hull Group and the Turret Group. The tracks would be primed black with the others painted dunkelgelb. On the second an subsequent models, it took me only about 15 minutes each to cut, trim and glue. Whoever designed these is very smart! The sprue attach points and the join lines are generally in places that are hidden by other parts. This is nice in case you make a trimming mistake.
Oh, and these guys do not need magnets! They turret is fairly loose unpainted, but gets just right as you prime and paint the model.

THE GOOD
Price: The War Store has these for $24.99. $5/tank for Panthers? Um, yeah, I'll take some. I also dropped these a few times and they did not shatter -- yay plastic!
Size: These were very compatible with my other Flames of War tanks.
Improvement: PSC is improving their product big time. These were no where near as fiddly as the halftracks. The tracks were no problem at all. I broke half the MGs on the halftracks -- these are easily twice as thick.
Options: You can make 3 different models of Panther from this kit. It also came with a bunch of stowage. If you model dioramas or objectives, the plastic is easy to cut and shape.
Detail: These have a ton of detail and I didn't lose any of it. I was careful with the layers of paint, so ymmv.


THE BAD
Zimmerit: Most Panthers had this anti-magnetic coating and it is a big deal that these do not come with it. It is really a shame - I suppose one could model it, but it would take quite a bit of time and is beyond the reach of some gamers.
Assembly: These take me about 3X as much time as Battlefront tanks and do not come with decals.

THE UGLY
The crew was not very good. They just look weird. I think that they are a little too detailed and skinny for 15mm.
CONCLUSION:
8 of 10 Stars
These are pretty hard to complain about. They did not take that long to assemble and were easy to paint. Like Steven, I am not much of a modeler, so I do not really enjoy that aspect of it. I have seen some folks who enjoy this type of thing and see that as a plus. For me, if these had Zimmerit, easily a 10 of 10.
I put a spare commander in this tank.


IN FLAMES OF WAR

Name
 weapon
Mobility
 range
Front
 ROF
Side
 anti-tank
Top
 Firepower
Equipment and Notes
Panther A or G
 7.5cm KwK42 gun
Standard Tank
32"
10
2
5
14
1
3+
Co-ax MG, Hull MG, Wide Tracks
From Grey Wolf


Parts needed to make the Hull.
Parts needed to make the tracks.
Parts needed to make the turret.
Closeup of the commander.
Closeup of the thicker MG.
Models supplied by The Plastic Soldier Company.
Want to know how I painted these? See the Camouflage Tutorial!

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