Jagdpanther Final Production

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happylappy
Czołgista / Tankman
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Jagdpanther Final Production

Post autor: happylappy » 29 stycznia 2015, 20:19

THE PROJECT

For this project I have decided to build a JagdPanther final production vehicle. The basis for this build is the 1/25 Academy Jagdpanther. I am planning to finish it with fenders attached, some side-skirts & painted in a very late Panzergrau/Dunkelgelb pattern.

THE KITS
Final production Jagdpanther differed in some respects from the late model Jagdpanther. In order to build an accurate one I am using
- Academy Jagdpanther static kit
- Tamiya Jagdpanther static kit (tracks)
- Academy Panther-G kit

Well I’m not actually “using” the Panther-G kit. They are very hard to come by (anyone have one they’re prepared to sell me?) and I’m not going to cut one up just for this build. I do however have on old one that I built years ago (my first ever tank) that has been making sacrifices for years. I used the front end for my “Der Wachtmeister” vignette.

I’m also going to use
- ABER late German tools set
- ABER Panther-G/Jagdpanther fenders set
- ABER Panther-G/Jagdpanther side-skirts set
- ABER Panther-G grilles set
- ABER mg34 with panzermantell

GETTING STARTED
The first thing I do, as I do with all builds, is remove all the annoying mounting stubs on the hull & fill in all the placement holes for sideskirts, OVM etc. on the side of the hull. I fill the holes with two part Tamiya epoxy-sculpt, allow to dry overnight, and then sand smooth. I also removed the large square mount on the right-hand side of the hull that is used to mount the kit-supplied jack rest-block mount. It required a few goes to get flush.

CUTTING INTO THE ENGINE DECK
The big difference for a Jagdpanther final when compared to a Jagdpanther late is the engine grilles. The final model has 2, not 1, narrow grilles and they are of the four-sectioned type as seen on the Panther-G. To correct this I use the Academy Panther-G grills. I made a cast of the Panther-G engine deck using RTV Silicone (Pinkysil). Using this I can create resin copies of the grilles that I can cut out and use. But in this instance I just made the mould, and then use the originals of the sacrificial Panther kit. To use the “new” grilles the old ones need to be removed. I carefully & repeatedly score around the grilles with an Olfa-P cutter until I have gone all the way around & through the grilles. When done I carefully remove each one.

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There are some further corrections to the deck. The final model has exhaust grilles the same as the Panther-G. Using a small saw, I carefully remove both the exhaust grilles from the engine-deck. The Academy Jagdpanther kit has a sprue with the optional parts for a Panther-G in it. I will be using those parts (including the “heater” unit) to replace the ones I have just removed from the engine deck. But not just yet as some more changes are required. The lifting hooks around the exhaust grilles are incorrect – so I filled them in with strip styrene and sanded smooth. The engine access hatch is incorrect for a final model. Using the same technique I remove it with the Olfa-P cutter. It is to be replaced with a resin copy from the mould I have made of the Panther-G deck. The hinges also need to go. The lifting hooks around the engine access hatch need to be corrected. The two nearest the hull superstructure are filled in with styrene & sanded smooth. The filling ports for the radiators are incorrect for a final model. Like the other grilles I carefully remove them with a small saw. I back the holes with thin styrene, fill with Tamiya 2-part epoxy & leave to dry. I engrave 2 lateral panel lines, 1 each side of each circular exhaust grille on both sides. Though the photo below doesn’t show it, I fill in several bolt holes around the engine hatch as the final model Jagdpanther had a reduced number of bolts (they must really have been getting desperate!). Using my references I fill in the bolts to be removed using Tamiya putty, and gently sand smooth.

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Now is a good time to correct some of the other hull issues before delicate pieces start getting stuck on. I think that the weld-joints on the kit are OK but could use some enhancing. I carefully deepen each alternating panel joint so that the panel joins alternate proud/recessed. This helps to give the impression of two massive slabs of steel welded together. I achieve this by carefully etching away the surface at the joins with a sharp micro-chisel & #10 Exacto blade. I go the whole way around the hull and do this to each joint, including the funny shaped ones on the side of the hull where the rear plate mates with the side plates.

BUILDING UP THE ENGINE DECK.

Replicating cast armour
So now it’s time to attach the new parts to the deck. But at this point the kit is never going to be easier to be worked on to give the cast armour look. In this build I will need to use the “bolts” on the rear engine deck later, so I carefully removed each tiny bolt with a brand new blade and put them aside for later. To achieve the cast look I smear a thin layer of Tamiya Putty (Basic-Type. The grey stuff) fairly evenly across small sections of the surface. Immediately I gently press & tease a small paint-sponge into the surface (the type with the dark grey colour that you can buy from the hardware store for applying pain-samples etc. A bit like a large dauber). I repeat this until the putty is dry and cannot be teased any further. Allow the whole lot to dry for about 15mins and then gently sand with 800-grit sandpaper so that it has a smoothish, but irregular appearance. I don’t worry about covering areas that are to have pieces attached to them as the putty can easily be scraped away with a knife. Also I have found that plastic cement, when applied to the putty on the surface, can be made into very nice weld beads. I do this for the entire upper hull.

Intake Grilles
On the real vehicle, the air intake grilles simply sit on a small lip in their recesses and are “free-floating”. Though they must weigh a lot and unless the damned thing is flipped upside-down are unlikely to move. I decided the most authentic way to replicate this look is to do just that (the lips I mean, not the flipping upside-down). So I glued some very small strips of square styrene to the inboard & outboard sides of each of the four recesses, setting each slightly below the level of the engine deck so that the grilles fit close to flush when seated. This might sound like a lot of work for 4 lousy intake grilles but in the long run will look just like the real thing.

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For those rectangular grilles themselves, I cut off the bolts in each of the four corners and attached the ABER screens with super glue. I cut small strips of brass strip to represent the lips on each side of the grilles and attached them to the inboard and outside sides (the short ones) of each grille. I use brass strip for these sorts of things as it is much stronger than styrene. The strip I use is from a producer based in Singapore by the name of HobbyMate. I consider this stuff absolutely essential for any build and use it all the time. Brass can be difficult to attach but the secret is to score the surface that is to be glued with a small file and use super-glue (cyanoacrylate). The lips on the real thing were cast, so to replicate this I “painted” the strips with Mr. Surfacer 500, and gently stippled the surface with a brush whilst it dried. After test fitting the grilles I put them aside for later.

Metal Thingys
There are some metal strips with bolt heads on the exhaust fan panels that need to be replicated. I don’t know what they are for on the real machine, but they’re there. Using my reference I measured & cut small strips of brass. Scouring the undersides with a file I then glue them in place. Next I add the bolts using the ones I carefully cut from the rectangular grilles.

Main engine access hatch
For the main engine access hatch I again use a resin copy of the Panther-G engine hatch. Once cast I progressively sand around the edges until it has a snug fit. It doesn’t need to be perfect, just close to fitting well. Once glued in place I attach the two hinges, also cast from the Panther-G, to the edges. The two holes on each of the air intake guards are filled in with styrene rod and sanded smooth. I use the two crew-hatch stoppers supplied in the kit. The final model had the rubber stops omitted, so I gently cut the round bits off with a small saw, and attached the remainder to the hatch. I didn’t like the look of the grab handle supplied in the kit (too short), so I fashioned one from thin brass rod and attached it to the hatch instead. The odd triangular shape on the hatch is, I think, a stopper. I just pulled the one of my old Panther-G kit and stuck it on. It’s not entirely accurate but I couldn’t be stuffed messing around with this one tiny piece . Looking at photos online I made a crew-hatch retainer from strip styrene and attached it to the front of the hatch. Nothing too fancy as no-one is probably going to pay any attention to it. It just needs to look like a retainer. Finally there are two strange hook-like attachments on the side of the hatch that I have no idea of the function of. I bent a piece of 0.4mm brass rod into 2 small hooks and attached with a blob of super-glue.

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The air-intake in the middle of the rear deck has a guard over it, which the earlier models didn’t have and isn’t present on the kit. Again I cast a copy from the Panther-G kit (detecting a trend here?). Using a drill I hollowed out the intake in the rear of the deck, and then glued the flat resin part over the top. For the guard I used the part supplied in the extra Panther-G sprue. I glued two pieces of 0.4mm brass rod in a cross to replicate the anti-grenade device, and then glued the cover onto the resin part. I know that there are too many bolts on the base of the cover, but I decided this wasn’t worth the effort to correct.

Lifting hooks, filling points & air intake
I added the lifting hooks on the centre deck next. The two at the rear are in the correct position and can just be added as is. The two closest the superstructure need to have their bottoms sanded down to match the height of the rear ones (as there is no hole to place them in). Once the correct height, they are glued straight in place, positioned according to my references. I follow up with the same process for the 3 small lifting hooks on each of the exhaust fan panels.

The water-filler hatches on the rear of the deck are different on the final production models to that of the earlier models, and have no water-guards. The ones on the Panther-G kit are correct, and again I used cast resin moulds of those to replace those removed from the Jagdpanther kit. Also the location is slightly different, so using my references I positioned the two resin pieces on the rear hull and glued them in place with super-glue.

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Exhaust grilles
Using the Panther-G exhaust grilles form the spare sprue in the Academy Jagdpanther kit, I attach the ABER screens as per the instructions. I attached a small length of chain (Trumpeter) to the heater unit covers retaining strap. At this stage I only secure the chain to the centre of the heater-unit grille. I will attach the grille covers at the very end of the build, and glue the retainer on then. Once the screens were attached to their respective grilles, I attached each grille to the engine deck. For an extra touch I have made resin exhaust fans that will fit to any of the Panther/Jagdpanther/King Tiger kits in 1:24 & 1:25 scale. I painted each silver, gave them a wash with black oil paints and glued them underneath the grilles. In the end they probably won’t be seen but I know that they are there and if anyone goes looking closely (i.e. a Judge at a competition) they will indeed be there!

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Now that all the major parts have been done (no OVM yet) I glue the intake grilles & exhaust grilles in place. As a final touch I carefully damage the ABER screens with a knife and a point file to give them an “in the field” appearance.

REAR HULL

Exhaust Mounts
The rear hull needs to be modified to reflect a final model machine. I carefully remove the locating plugs from the kit rear-hull and add the cast texture as described above. The final model machines had the box-shaped & welded exhaust mounts as seen on the late Panther-G. There is a spare sprue in the Academy kit for the Panther-G, but this cannot actually be used as it is too big. Instead I used a razor-saw to gently cut the box-shape exhaust mounts off the Panther-G rear hull.

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Looking at my references I used my styrene cement method to add weld beads to the exhaust mounts.

OVM
There were two racks for towing clevis mounted on the bottom of the rear hull. Using a piece of hollow brass rod (that I have checked to ensure the clevis can mount on) I measure and cut four lengths. Carefully I drill holes near the end of each piece with a 0.4” bit in a pin vice, ensuring that I drill the whole way through, and that the holes on each side are aligned. I trace the outline of the towing clevis (from the Panther-G kit) onto the hull, marking with a pencil where the mounts are to be. Using a drill bit slightly larger than the brass rod, I drill four holes in the hull, insert the brass rod through each one making sure they are all correctly aligned, and then super glue the rear of the rods where they are protruding through the hull plate.
Using 0.4mm brass road I measure, bend and cut a tent-peg shape hook. Then I measure (approx 1.5mm) a length of Trumpeter mini-chain, cut it, loop the end of one link through the peg and super-glue it. I drill a small hole at the top centre of each clevis mount with a 0.3mm bit. I bend a pice of 0.3mm stell rod into a “V” shape. When dry I stick the "V" shaped steel rod most of the way into the hole, loop the opposite end of the chain into the "V", pull it to the surface and then carefully super-glue it in place. This creates the securing pegs for the Clevis.

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I place (not glue yet) one of the exhaust stacks on the hull rear to help me orientate. Using the kit styrene piece I shape a new engine crank from solid brass rod. I place the rod on the hull according to the location in my references and trace its outline. I add an ABER latch and fashion a fastener using styrene for the top of the crank stowage. I cut a piece of wooden dowelm into two halves and glue a piece of styrene rod between them for the towing bracket. I add short lengths of the styrene rod to the outside of the dowel pieces to give the appearance of it being threaded through them, and drill a 0.4” hole through the right-hand end. In the same way that I created the securing pegs for the clevis mounts I add a single peg through the 0.4’ hole and secure it at each end with a small loop made from this wire. The track-tension tool is made from hollow brass rod using the kit styrene piece as a guide. In one end I insert a small length of square styrene, and in the other end I drill a hole for the fastener and mount. Tracing its outline on the hull I mark a spot for the bottom fastener & at the top for the mount. I drill a small hole for the mount and insert a piece of 0.8” hollow brass road (LionRoar) into the hole & glue from behind. A piece of brass strip is bent into a “U” shape and then glued at the bottom fastener position. I mount the tool to check it fit’s then remove it again. I am not all that thrilled with the ABER Notek light so I made my own from a piece of styrene rod, wrapping thin strips of Tamiya yellow masking tape around it to create the lights. I cut a strip of very this sheet styrene into shape to create the mount. I complete all this with a small piece of strip styrene for the jack-rest, and make a fastener at the top using brass strip & 0.4” brass wire.

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Exhaust

The final model had the flame-dampener mufflers as fitted to the Panther-G, and some vehicles had the guards over the top of the exhaust fans. The Academy kit doesn’t provide these on the extra sprue unfortunately. To get around this I cut some aluminium sheet and wrapped it around the mufflers from my donor Panther-G kit. I left just a very small cap between each end of the aluminium. Pulling the aluminium sheet off the styrene mufflers I gently squeezed the ends together and inserted the guards at the top to make sure the circumference matched. Satisfied that they would be close enough, I glued a sturdy piece of square styrene down the inside of one edge with super glue, and then mated the other edge to the styrene, trying tom get the two edges to line up as neatly as possible. Once dry I cut the excess styrene off & add some more super glue to the seam. When the super-glue has dried I gently sand the seam smooth. No need to worry about having a perfect seam, as it is covered up by the actually welded seem in real-life. To 8do this I spread a thin bead of MiG acrylic resin along the length of the seam, and whilst drying gently tease it with a toothpick to give it a welded look. I repeat this 180 degrees on the other side of the muffler.

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I cut the “L” shaped exhausts from the Panther-G donor mufflers and glued them in their respective spot on the aluminium mufflers. The muffler brackets are a problem. The best I could come up with was to bend some brass strip into shape. I pressed the strip around the donor mufflers to come up with a nice concave shape. Next I bent the outside of the strip at 90 degrees out from the mufflers and then estimated where they would meet the hull. I used tape & blu-tack to secure one complete muffler set in-place to assist with this. I bent the end of the brack at 90 degrees again where it meets the hull, and then I looked to see if it fit. I did this again. And again. And again. Until I finally hit on one that fit correctly. Using this as a template I made two more brackets, tested the fit, and then put them aside.

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Rear stowage bins

I scored the outline of the rear-stowage bins onto thin aluminium sheet with a brand new Number10 blade. I also marked out the bending lines. I only traced out each side, the bottom and the front face of each bin on the aluminium. The lid I will add later as well as the rear face. Before bending anything, I recreate the “X” pattern on the front face by scoring the lines on the inside of the aluminium sheet using a ball-point pen. Using a photo-etch tool, a steel ruler & a pair of flat-faced tweezers I progressively bend each side to shape, just using my eye and my references to get the shape correct. Once done I place the bin onto a sheet of 0.15’ styrene and glue it in place. This creates the rear-face of the bin. Once dry, I very carefully cut the styrene to shape. I use thin brass strip (1.5mm) to create the edges for the lip at the top of the bin. I will add the lids later. If the bent edges don’t align quite perfectly, I fill any resulting gaps with Tamiya basic putty (grey stuff in a tube) and VERY gently sand it smooth. I am not too worried about perfection here as the whole point of having hollow aluminium stowage bins is so that I can damage them with bullet holes and bend them out of shape.

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Repeat for the other side bin. I decided to have one bin opened, one closed so I added a lid made from 0.15” styrene to the Right-hand bin, using left over latches form some ABER sets. I add two narrow 0.15’ styrene strips down the hull where the bins are to be located, and then glue the rear faces of the bins to the styrene strips. I blu-tack the mufflers in position again, and glue each brass bracket in place making sure each is correctly aligned. I fit all the OVM to make sure that everything is going to fit correctly. I noticed here that I forgot to add the wire cutters on the bottom right-hand side. I added to small lengths of hollow brass rod at the bottom, and an ABER hinge at the top of the wire cutter location. In this build I have decided to leave the wire cutter itself off.

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Once all checked to be OK, I remove all the OVM and the aluminium mufflers.

HULL

Spare track rack

They moulded kit part for the spare track-links isn’t very good. For the spare track stowage I use the kit parts with the supports removed. I then measure and bend thin brass strip to recreate them. From memory each brass piece is 6mm for each long side, and 3mm for the short side. I score the piece at 6mm, 9, and 12mm to mark the bending points. Before I bend I measure in about 2mm and make a spot. I use an old airbrush needle and a hammer to punch a hole on each of the long (6mm) sides. I use a file to shave the hole clean. Once done, bend into a "U" shape using the scored bending marks. Glue each "U" to the rack. Next to each "U" I drill a small (0.4mm) hole, checking my references for locations on each side. I take a piece of 0.3mm steel wire, bend the end into a "V shape". Using 0.4mm brass road I measure, bend and cut a tent-peg shape hook. Then I measure (approx 1.5mm) a length of the Trumpeter mini-chain, cut it, loop the end of one link through the peg and super-glue it. When dry I stick the "V" shaped steel wire most the way into the hole, loop the opposite end of the chain into the "V", pull it to the surface and then carefully super-glue it in place. Repeat for the whole lot! Hours of fun.....

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Barrel rod/cleaners stowage

For the barrel cleaning rod stowage, I used the lids from each end to find a pen/texta/piece of dowel about the same circumference. I measured and cut a piece of this aluminium sheet, then wrapped it around the pen & glued it together. Then I glued the lids on each end. Makingsure that the seam is on the inside facing the hull so no-one can see it. I secured it to the hull with brass strip, added chains and brass handles to the lids, and added a piece of L-shaped styrene (from Evergreen) to the top to create the steel-bar reinforcing. I use left-over latches etc from ABER sets to recreate the latches on the lids. Never through any photo etch out!

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Ball MG34 mount

The shape of the ball mg34 mount is incorrect. My references for a final model Jagdpanther varied on what the correct style was. I ended up going with a “late” style mount. I added small strips of 0.15” styrene on the inside of the MG34 port to create the small “steps”. To the outside I glued a thin piece of styrene around the ball with super glue to re-create the external lip. When dried I ran styrene cement around the outside and create the weld-bead as described previously. I added the cast texture, then glued the ball in place, inserting a toothpick in it where the mg34 is inserted later.

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Left Hull

Using my references I marked positions on the hull where the small grab-handles are located. I drill 0.4” holes in the correct locations. I bend 0.3” brass rod into small handles & glued in place. For the forward tow-cable mounts I drilled 0.85” holes on each side, and inserted 0.82” brass road into the holes, using a small amount of superglue to fix them in place. For the aft mounts I bent 2.5mm brass strip into shape & glued them in place. For the barrel cleaner mounts I marked out the two locations and glued two vertical 2.5mm brass strips in place. I scored the strips with a file where the mounts themselves will be located. Using a ruler I drew a line where the sideskirts will be attached.

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Right Hull

On the right hull side I re-created the jack-rest black stowage using “L”-shaped styrene and 2.0mm brass strip. Otherwise it is a repeat of the left hull without the barrel cleaner stowage mounts. At this stage I build, shape & test fit the tow-cables to make sure they are going to fit, but don’t attach them yet.

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Sideskirts & Fenders

I used the 2 ABER sets available for this kit. I just followed the instructions and attached the parts as described. Except I am an idiot, and I built them all inside-out. Oh well, a little bit of quick surgery and no-one will ever notice.....

I mount them all and then very carefully “damage” them by bending them and scouring with a file. I replace the lousy Bosch headlight mount with one I made from resin.

I glue the barrel-cleaning rod stowage in-place. Using the dowel I used to shape the circular stowage itself. I bend two pieces of 2.5mm brass strip into “C” shapes and then test fit them over the stowage and mounts until the shape is correct, then super glue them in place. Next on go the two spare-track stowage racks Now is also the time to glue the aft-stowage bins in place.

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Hull Finishing touches

The final model JagdPanther had the crew compartment fumes extractor mounted on the right hand side of the roof, not at the front as per the kit. I filled in the two locator holes at the front and glued the extractor cover in-place on the right. That was the only modification required for the roof with the exception of adding my cast resin vision blocks and replacing the kit close-defence weapon port with one I have cast in resin also.

I wanted to depict a vehicle that had been a little beat up. To achieve this I added shell impacts to the hull in various locations. Using a small spherical grinding bit in a Dremel I hollowed out several larger holes. I ran styrene cement around the edges of the shell impacts and created ridges much the same way as I do weld beads. For smaller impacts I used a pointed bit in a Dremel and add them the same way. Bullet holes were added in the photo-etched and aluminium parts using a sharp knife.


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MAIN WEAPON

The saukopf & collar in the kit could be better. The collar is too long so I shortened it and added the bevelled edges required to depict a final model. The mount between the saukopf and the collar is basically missing so I built one up using styrene and epoxy putty. The shape of the saukopf is also incorrect so I added epoxy putty to build it up into a more correct shape. My finished version isn’t exactly the same as the real thing, as the bottom of the saukopf angles outwards. But when fitted you can’t see this anyway. I made cast resin copies of the improved pieces so I won’t have to do this again next time.

Finally I improved the barrel by adding O-ring type fittings inside the muzzle to more accurately represent the real thing.

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AND THAT’S IT.

From this point on I am ready to go with painting & weathering. Nothing new here from my standard application. If you’d like to see how I do it, read the build report on my JagdTiger.

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Happy modelling all!
Ostatnio zmieniony 06 marca 2015, 03:13 przez happylappy, łącznie zmieniany 2 razy.

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PITERPANZER
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Post autor: PITERPANZER » 29 stycznia 2015, 20:27

Incredible!
You are one step on the front of us ,We prepair with Michael all this goods to plastic models. It will be on FB soon.
Zapraszam do sklepu/Welcome to the shop !
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Tommy T.B.
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Post autor: Tommy T.B. » 30 stycznia 2015, 14:50

I look, and I can not believe it ...
I looked carefully at your work with the Jagdpanther and I believe, that this model you manage to finish on a high level.

Tommy

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