The German Panther was one of the best tanks to see service in WWII. Designed from the outset to regain combat superiority over Soviet tanks like the T-34 on the Eastern Front, it represented an ideal balance of firepower, mobility and protection. The next-generation Panther was to be the Ausf.F, whose design was approved in May 1944. The basic concept was a more heavily armored tank with a new Schmalturm turret mounting a 7.5cm cannon. Production of the Ausf.F with the Schmalturm was supposed to begin in 1945, but the deteriorating war situation put paid to that possibility. However, of interest to this particular Dragon kit is an associated Panther Ausf.F version fitted with a 7.5cm KwK L/100 gun. This tank looks most formidable with its enormously long gun barrel capped by a muzzle brake. Certainly, the Panther Ausf.F with 7.5cm KwK.42 L/100 would have been a lethal weapon had production commenced.
Dragon is proud to launch its first 1/35 scale kit of this remarkable German tank with the elongated L/100 gun. The kit’s logically based on Dragon’s existing Panther family kits, but it adds special parts like the narrow-fronted Schmalturm turret. Of course, the 100-caliber gun is a brand new component, and modelers will be impressed with its length. The kit draws upon the technical and technological expertise of Dragon’s engineers, plus it has a fine balance between easy assembly and accuracy. This is demonstrated by the inclusion of convenient DS tracks, for example. Photo-etched pieces such as mesh for the cooling air grills are offered. This Ausf.F 7.5cm KwK.42 L/100 kit is thus a welcome addition to the Panther family.