More big kitties!

As is Proper and Correct, building German warmachines just keeps going on and on. I don't know about you people but I'm not bored in the least ;) This time the one queuing to the front lines is my last summer's kit from Gijón's Capua Hobby's. It's a Dragon Models 1:35 scale set SdKfz 173 Ausf. G1 Early Production. Among friends it's better known as


Let's begin with the traditional unboxing and oohing and aahing at the contents, so no one gets confused about the order of business. This cover art of course sets the poor modeler's mind thinking of awesomness and success. It's pointless to waste time daydreaming  for the end result won't look like the plans in one's mind anyway ;)

Some cover art

The building blocks

To the point: the box is pretty big and when you open it you notice that it's packed full. There are almost twenty sprues, a couple of which won't be much used because the pieces belong to a normal Panther kit. Judging by the 'chin' gun mantlet I'd say it's an Ausf G. In addition to the photo-eched motor vent covers there's even a bit of metal tow cables! I've never encountered those before.This kit's tracks are made of individual links instead of the licquorice carpet type.

A newly opened box
Contents spread around
The backside of the box promises all things wonderful and tells what kind of awesoments the busy people at Dragon have achieved this time. At this point I have to say that I can't complain about the quality one bit :) While I was being happy about the "one-piece gun barrel" I suddendly remembered that I do have an unused aluminium barrel in one of the bits boxes!

Unused aftermarket parts

When I was building my Jagdtiger I ordered both the Friul metal tracks and a metallic gun. In addition to the gun barrel its bag had a resin shield, saukopf and a muzzle brake.For some strange reason I skipped these pieces back in the day and left them collecting dust. Maybe the reason was those resin pieces and the fact that they're worked on differently and I still haven't tried.
I still remember (believe it or not) that the bag said that it was for a Jagdpanther and that had confused me a bit. Maybe it'd fit in this set? Then again, the kit does have a single-piece gun barrel to represent the 88PaK, do I even need it anymore? Or would the metal thing be better looking? Would the plastic frame support it and the extra weight? Graah!
Waiting for some dremeling

To work

I left my random thoughts brewing on their own and started working on the model in the order the instructions tell me to. As usual, the big cat's feet were the top priority at this point. Unlike with the tigers, the eight middle road wheels were nice, quick and easy to assemble. The drive sprockets didn't cause any confusion but the idler wheels were pretty funny looking. They were equally quickly built anyway and I didn't have the common sense to get concerned yet.

Zum Teufel!

Immediately at the second phase I stopped to stare at the setup. What on Earth is going on in here? Usually the road wheels are just plugged in on these knee-like pieces and that's it. These parts had long rods in the ends. This damn thing has the double torsion bar suspension (it's a very curious idea) modeled! Some madman had made a youtube-video that explains it for us non-mechanics:  "Panther Suspension".

In any case, this late afternoon went with this thing. Well, not just that but a couple other usual first pieces went in, such as the blocks where the drive sprockets go, the random greebl on the hull sides and such. As my last item I attached those wideners and put them under pressure. Tomorrow I'll continue with the rear hull and the engine's fans, if I have the time.

That's it folks, I'll talk more next time. Hopefully I get to post without swearing a lot. But we'll cross that bridge when we cross it.

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