Dragon 1/72 Sd.Kfz.171 Panther D Late Production (D7506)
While it’s the impressive Tiger tank that usually attracts the most awe, it was the Sd.Kfz.171 Panther that in the long run was a more important tank to Germany during WW2. This approximately 45-tonne medium tank represented a good balance of well-sloped armor protection, lethal firepower & able cross-country mobility, the design being inspired by the highly successful Russian T-34. Beginning in December 1942, a total of 842 Ausf.D examples were manufactured through till September 1943, at which time it was superceded by the improved Ausf.A. Its combat debut occurred during Operation Zitadelle in the titanic Battle of Kursk on the Eastern Front. Its 7.5cm KwK.42 L/70 cannon took a heavy toll on enemy armored vehicles whenever they were encountered. The Ausf.D is easily identified by the letterbox hatch opening for the glacis machine gun, pistol ports on the turret sides & a drum cupola.
Dragon previously produced a new 1/72 scale kit of an early-production version of the Panther Ausf.D, & modelers loved it because of its accurate portrayal of the type. Now modelers are in for another treat because it has just been joined by an Ausf.D Late-Production kit! The upper hull is made as a single piece thanks to the clever use of slide molds. The lower hull tub has been formed the same way, thus ensuring a stable & accurate foundation for the rest of the build. It has newly tooled parts like updated road wheels, a jack rest block on the right side of the hull & a modified cupola with a ring. Thus, all the appropriate characteristics of this Ausf.D variant are present.