I already have six plastic Warlord T-34/85, so when Warlord announced a series of new plastic vehicle starting with the Panther, I snapped one up right away.
The entire kit is composed of two sprues. I was a little disappointed that it didn't contain crew or stowage. Now as far as I know (from my experience with the T-34s) no stowage is nothing new and Warlord does sell resin pieces seperately, but their T-34s did have crew. This is especially disappointing when you take into account Warlord has included an awesome pintle mounted MG42 which although not an option in the Armies of Germany book was a historical occurance, especially in the East.
The instructions are simple and easy to follow. Unfortunately as I set off constructing my mighty Hungarian Panther (my Germans will have to wait for their own big cat) I quickly ran into a little snag. The track links come in two pieces but they didn't seem to line up very well. As you can see in the pictures below there are noticable gaps which is quite distracting and was definitely not a problem with the T-34s. It's coverable with a little work but it's a shame that they didn't sync up in the first place.
The hull, turret and hull details went together easily until I got to the tow hooks. They are quite thin plastic and just trying to remove them from the sprue saw me break 3 of the 4. I salvaged one but the two for the rear I quickly ditched. Their comrades would have to seek help getting unbogged elsewhere. The pintle MMG while looking cool is thin and might be slightly out of scale with Warlord's usual MG42s, but after the tow hooks I took extra care in removing it.
I quite like the details on the hull and am looking forward to painting up this beast for my Hungarians. Overall I give this kit 8 kitties out of 10. The tracks and some of the thin pieces partially detracted me from the overall crisp details. As it's the only 1:56 plastic Panther kit that I know of currently in production, I'll still buy another one for use in my German army, knowing with a little extra work that I'll be happy with the end result.