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In-Box Review
135
German Berge-Panther PE
WWII German Berge-Panther mit aufgesetzem Pz. Kpfw. IV Turret
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by: Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The German Berge-Panther mit aufgesetzem Pz. Kpfw. IV Turret is a one-off conversion that the 653rd Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung's maintenance company came up with (Thank you Jim D. [AikinutNY] and Gerald Owens [Gerald Owens] for the information). Basically, this is a Panther chassis that the 653rd added a non-rotating Pz. IV turret to. Certainly an unusual conversion (Cyber-Hobby - kit #6340) that diehard Berge enthusiasts will enjoy.

Contents

The first comment should be what this set does NOT include, as Voyager Model has an unfortunate habit of displaying a kit with, what appears to be, all available photo etch (PE) parts/sets made for the particular kit. For instance in this set, there is no rear storage bin, no side Schurzen, no turret armor (with the exception of one panel (T43/T44) for each side), and no mantlet nor barrel.

What IS included are: seven frets of PE, four pieces of plastic rod, two pieces of wire, four resin hooks for the turret, and two brass balls for the side markers. There are also the requisite instructions; two-sheets (four pages) that are well laid out and clearly defined.

This set will cover hinges and latches for the hatches, detail around the Commander’s hatch, basic detail for the turret (to include the well cast hooks), the tool rack, fenders and brackets, Schurzen hangers, engine deck screens and hooks, spare track hangers, muffler bracket, rear storage boxes, and various other detail items.

One note regarding the steps where the plastic rod is called for; the instructions indicate the diameter of the rod but there is no length given. Therefore, photographic references and/or scale drawings will be handy.

The Review

This Voyager Model set will do a nice job of adding detail to your Berge-Panther mit aufgesetzem Pz. Kpfw. IV Turret kit with 98% of the parts going to the Panther hull.

As mentioned, the instructions are quite clear and will leave little doubt as to where the parts are to be attached. Needless to say, with some of the parts being exceptionally small, I would recommend laying the PE down on a medium to dark (Tamiya or painter’s) tape to allow for greater visibility and to keep the part from “launching into the nether regions.”

The instructions are laid out in easy to understand sub-assemblies. All steps clearly indicate if a kit part needs something removed (molded-on hinges, latches, et cetera) or an area that may need a hole drilled or something “dimpled.”

The hinges and latches, as with PE of this caliber, are quite intricate and functional.

The width markers included consist of two small balls and a length of wire. The balls do have a small indentation for the provided wire, but I would consider using a very thin piece of brass rod instead. The wire in my sample has a “curve” to it that will be difficult to straighten out. Again, no length is given.

Conclusion

This is a very nice set of PE for the aforementioned kit. There are a lot of very small and delicate parts so attention and patience will be needed. The set covers a good variety of the parts for the Panther hull that are either molded on, over-scale, or altogether missing while adding some detailing for the turret. Again, the buyer needs to pay attention to the picture on the Voyager Model’s package to ensure they know what will be in the box.

SUMMARY
Highs: Rather comprehensive set to detail the Berge’s hull with some detail for the turret.
Lows: Because of the intricate nature of some of the assemblies and tiny parts, this may not be for a beginner? No “length” given for the various parts to be made from the included plastic rod or wire.
Verdict: A nice set of photo etch for the Panther mit aufgesetzem Pz. Kpfw. IV Turret. Care will need to be taken when removing some parts from the frets and when assembling the hinges and latches. Photo references/scale drawings would be handy to have.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35257
  Related Link: PE35257
  PUBLISHED: Nov 29, 2009
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.85%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.70%

Our Thanks to Voyager Model!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.
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About Mike High (TacFireGuru)
FROM: COLORADO, UNITED STATES

Like most, I started out in my young years; building Monogram armor and aircraft. Joining the Army at 17 in 1981 put a stop to my building for many years, I retired in 2001 and ran across Armorama....I've been re-hooked since. I'm a notoriously slow builder and seem to have more than one buil...

Copyright ©2017 text by Mike High [ TACFIREGURU ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Thanks James. One correction to the review. I wrote: Looking at the box cover up close (as you've posted it), I was mistaken in that the width markers are not included. That "SOLD SEPERATELY" is referring to the list of other PE sets for this kit (listed immediately to the right). I believe my mistake came from the bracket on the left...and thought it "pointed" to the width marker. Anyhow, if you would be so kind as to remove that sentence from the review, I'd appreciate it. The sentence is under "Contents," second paragraph, second sentence. Thanks and my apologies for the "Doh!" Mike
NOV 29, 2009 - 11:24 PM
Done Mike, the box top is a bit confusing Wish Voyager would color code for what's included and what's not...if you're not used to their products it could be a big let down if you don't read the 'small print'. Great review and thanks for taking the time to write it, looks to be a pretty good set. I think Lucky Model has it for about $22 USD shipped.
NOV 30, 2009 - 01:02 AM
I think THE best value of the review is stating exactly what is in the kit! Voyager really needs to stop their practice of including everything in their product photo. I get the feeling they are taking some heat for it since now they are putting the description of what isn't included instead of just listing the product numbers on the cover (and that's an amazing amount of stuff not included). On the other hand, I can appreciate that they would want the modeler to know that these other sets are applicable to the same subject.
NOV 30, 2009 - 03:46 AM
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