The new 'Smart' series from Dragon was recently launched with the the Panther G being first off the production line. The concept of this line is to provide the modeller with an accurate, superbly tooled model, using the minimum of photo etch, with ease of assembly. It was a superb kit as a stand-alone product, but modeller's being what they are, a lot of them want more parts, in photo etch or resin, in a bid to make them look even better, even more accurate. This new update set from Cyber Hobby should fulfill that need.
The set comes in the packaging we've become used to now. The blister pack allows you to see exactly what you're getting before you buy..........well it would if it were available through the shops, but you get the idea! So what do you get? A full sheet of precisely-drawn instructions, an aluminium replacement barrel, 10 aluminium schurzen, a large photo etch fret, and a small one........., a new decal sheet, and a short length of brass tubing to make a new cleaning-rod case from.
This set will almost turn your 'Smart' Panther into a 'Premium' Panther. The photo etch frets contain parts for making new engine deck louvres, slightly different to the styrene one's supplied in the kit, turning it into a later version, although to be fair, they're very difficult to see under the grills. There is a small Commanders sighting vane for the turret roof, plus a few other fittings in the same area, that will offer a small improvement over the kit part, along with a new travel-lock assembly, similar in concept to the one supplied in the 'Premium' Panther D, i.e. six 'layers' of photo etch go together to make up the 'bicycle' chain that actually grips the barrel.
The aluminium barrel is not so much of an improvement as you might think, since the kit styrene one is a one-piece moulding and you're not required to join two halves, although it is always nice to be given an aluminium one! The schurzen are sullied as ten rectangles of pre-cut aluminium, with the small rectangular holes for hanging them already pre-cut. Now if you really want to put schurzen on your late production G then these are for you, very easy to leave a couple off and bash the rest to simulate battle damage, wear and tear.
Where this set really stands out is the rest of the photo etch, (and that rod case!) The photo etch includes a very comprehensive set of clamps, pins, chain, in fact all manner of goodies to dress up your Panther. There are clamps for all the tools obviously, similar in operation to Aber clamps, but these are non-working and easier to construct! You also get the sidewall racks themselves that the tools are hung on, which do look to be much more scale thickness.
Another really nice inclusion are the spare track-link brackets and associated hardware. If you've read the build feature on the Panther G you'll remember I had some trouble getting track links to actually fit the kit-supplied one. This will solve that problem. I've seen some finely etched parts in the past, but the locking pins for these spare track-link brackets have to be seen to be believed. They will look absolutely stunning when fitted. Cyber Hobby have also thoughtfully included a selection of tiny wingnuts along the bottom of one fret, which should come in really handy for any future projects.
A really useful update set that takes the Smart Panther G to a higher level. Recommended.
My thanks to Cyber Hobby for the review sample.
If you really liked the look of the new 'Smart' Panther G from Dragon but feel you just have to have some photo etch and a metal barrel, then this update set is for you!
Our Thanks to Cyber-Hobby.com! 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.