M1 Panther II Title

Model Details

Kit:
Dragon M1 Panther II Mine Detecting & Clearing Vehicle, 1/35th scale.

Detailing Items:
Eduard etched detail set, Dragon US tank crew, Tamiya US modern military equipment and Iraqi poster and map set.

Paint:
Tamiya NATO Green for the hull. Various other Tamiya and Revell paints were used on the figures and model.

Awards:
2nd Place Armour Larger Scales, Southern Expo 2010.

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M1 Panther II Mine Detecting and Clearing Vehicle
I came across this kit at the IPMS show at Telford in 2008 and thought it would make an interesting model to build, adding to the fact that I had not seen one built either. So for a little history on this vehicle, it is based on the American M1 Abramms Tank which has had the turret removed and a cover fitted over the opening. A set of rollers mounted on two arms were then fitted to the front of the hull for detecting and clearing any mines. The tank would normally be driven by remote control when being used to clear the mine fields for the crews safety.
Upon examining the contents and instructions, I saw that the model had the option to open the rear grill doors and the side armoured panels over the tracks. The only problem was that the rear doors left an empty space when they were open. After a search on Hannants website, I found that Eduard produced an etched set which included the grilled area that was behind these doors, soa an order was made for this set. I also felt that the addition of the crew was needed, so after some looking around I came across the Dragon US Tank Crew set. To make the Panther look like it was in active service, it needed some erquipment and clutter to be scattered on the hull deck, so Tamiya's US Modern Military Equipment set was purchased for this job.
Work started in January 2009 on this project and things went at a steady pace. All of the replacement etched parts were added where needed on the hull and the driver figure was painted. A seat was made for him to sit in and glued in position on the lower hull floor. The upper and lower hull halves were primed and airbrushed in Tamiya's NATO Green prior to glueing the figure in place and joining the hull halves. Any gaps on the joints were filled and touched up with the airbrush. I used NATO Green because it was a little lighter then the Khaki Green said to use in the instructions, I wanted to get the worn, faded effect on the model and NATO Green did this for me. Construction continued on the model with painting as I went along, doing plenty of test assemblies to find any problems.
Rust weathering was carried out as each section was finished and painted. This was done using Carrs weathering powders, the kind used in the model railway hobby. General weathering was carried out using thinned down various sand colours airbrushed once the main construction was completed. The model was to be displayed with some of the doors open, so the rear engine doors and armoured track panels on one side were glued in the open position. I next worked out what equipment the driver and commander would need whilst they were deployed in the field. The appropiate part were chosen from the Tamiya set and then the items were cleaned up before painting.
The base for displaying the model, was made from a sheet of routered MDF with the concrete security wall sections made from Foamlux board. Once glued in place, the ground surface was made from a layer of repair plaster with fine granite ballast pressed into it whilst it was still soft. When dry, a coat of watered down PVA glue mixed with some sand coloured paint was spread over the remaining loose ballast. After leaving this to dry for a few days, various sand coloured paint was airbrushed over the ballast then some fresh ballast in patches and piles, then treated with some watered down PVA to hold it in place. Further weathering was done on the ground and security wall, then some scrape pieces of girder plastic and wood sleepers were placed near the front. Iraqi posters was then added along the wall with an map spread out in front of the commander.
These are temporary photographs that have been used on the gallery for now. They will be updated after the next photograph session.

© Copyright Michael Lomax
All images © Copyright H M Lomax