Vespid Models although they have not been in the game for very long, are in my opinion, becoming the premier company when it comes to 1/72nd scale releases. My reasoning for this is that unlike any other company I know releasing injection moulded kits in this scale, they also include photo etch and metal barrels as options while no charging the earth. In this review we look at, Panther G 20mm Flakvierling Ausf. Fahgestell.
This release from Vespid Models arrives in a sturdy cardboard tray with a separate card lid depicting the artwork. The sprues inside are packaged in several plastic bags, with no more than 2 sprues to a bag. Access to the parts is good, the parts themselves are cleanly moulded with the biggest issue that I can see being the risk of damaging or losing some of the very small elements that go into making up this model.
The turret of this release matches images of the prototype version, I do not personally know if it ever went into production or service, but I do know that the offensive weaponry was not of a large enough calibre. The only thing you do inside the turret prior to closing it up is add the machine gun mounts, that enable the guns to elevate and depress after assembly and to keep them in alignment there is a connector arm, that I believe will be next to impossible to keep in place. The barrels on this offering have been provided in 2 options that being plastic or 4 turned metal options. I have to say that I feel the metal barrels are particularly finely detailed examples of this product type, and I see no reason not to use them.
Turret detail itself is sparse, but pleasingly you do have the ability to show the Commander’s hatch open or closed and the only areas to test you here are some photo etched parts, but if you have managed to fold the Schürzen hangers - there is nothing to scare you here. Vespid Models have provided 3 finishing options, with one being an all yellow vehicle and which I believe is the only vehicle ever to have been produced. Moving on to what I think of as Wehrmacht 46 we have what looks like a complex 3 colour leaf shaped camouflage pattern and a 3 colour ambush pattern - to my mind the ambush pattern is the least suitable as the vehicle would never be used for that purpose.
The lower hull has good exterior detail for a Panther G, all of the suspension arms and wheels are individually applied with the track links provided being link and length which provides good detail while making assembly as easy as possible. One issue that jumps out at me is that because the area above the tracks is moulded as part of the lower hull access and assembly of the link and length elements in this area will need to be considered carefully due to the small working space.
The upper hull, offers hatches that can be open or closed for the driver and radio operator. The raised heater common to the Panther G is well replicated, and has no less than 3 photo etched parts for the vent cover but I do not see the option for deciding how many of the vents are open. The Kugel blende is a separate moulding as the machine gun barrel. One area that I suspect will make the modeller swear are the photo etched mounts for hanging the Schürzen, as these are very small requiring 6 on each side and no less than 4 bends being needed on each one - I can hear you swearing now!!!
The stowage boxes on the rear of the vehicle are provided in three styles with the re-enforcing cross style being the one I am most familiar with. You can also, due to photo etched lids with a bit of effort show them open. The result of all this work has the potential of providing the modeller with an exceptionally detailed Panther G hull in all of its elements as best I can see. The Schürzen plates are provided with the option of a plastic part, or individual photo etched plates.
This release from Vespid Models of the Panther G prototype anti aircraft vehicle will test the modeller due to the number of very small parts, and photo etch that needs to be bent. However, if these aspects are within your ability the result will be a stunning model in this scale. I believe Vespid Models produce the best quality armour kits in this scale, taking into account the materials used and the cost. I also feel that while prototype vehicles may not be every body’s cup of tea, with the Panthers previously released this one will make for a very different and unique look. The only complaint I could really make, is that I think they should have restricted the finishing options to the prototype. As an indicator of attention to detail look at the weld detail and slide moulded plastic barrel offerings.