Blast Models
Infra Red FG1250, FG1253
for Panther Ausf.G

Blast Models 1:35 Set #BL35113K
Review by Terry Ashley

Anyone with the AFV Club or Dragon kits of the Sd.Kfz.251/1 “Falke” or the AFV Club Sd.Kfz.251/20 “UHU” may want to team these with a Panther Ausf.G with Infra Red gear and this new set from Blast Models will allow you to do just that.

The set is designed for the recent Dragon Panther Ausf.G  Late Production (kit #6268) and consists of just 11 parts cast in the usual light cream resin from Blast Models and a short length of rubber tubing for the electrical cabling.

Blast Models

Standard of resin casting is superb with just the small casting blocks to be removed and a bit of thin resin film which is very easy to remove with the detail on the parts very well defined.

The set gives you the FG1250 scope and searchlight for the Commander’s cupola, the FG1253 scope for the driver, the side mounting bracket on the mantlet and the armoured storage box for the IR gear mounted on the right rear hull plate.

You should take care during cleanup as some of the detail is quite fine but there shouldn’t be any problems and the assembly is very straightforward with the small instruction sheet clearly showing where the parts fit together, especially on the FG1250 assembly which also has small locating pins and lugs that help get things right.

The resulting assembly is quite delicate with the detail on the parts matching very well to the excellent photos and plans of the unit in the Panzer Tracts book No.5-3 Panther Ausf.G. The only nit pick being the rubber tubing is a little too thick and also has a mind of its own when you are trying to position this and using thin wire or solder may be an option to get the cable bends to stay where you want them.

Fitting the assembly to the kit cupola doesn’t require any alteration but take note that the resin base should be fitted under the lip of part B17 and not the top hatch ring if you want it to sit correctly?

The only other addition required is the steel connecting band from the front of the IR mounting through the hole in the turret roof and the Dragon kit includes this opening already which makes adding the resin parts easier. The photos in the Panzer Tracts book clearly show where this band should go.

Fitting the driver’s visor is again straightforward as the new resin periscope simply replaces the kit part C30 but the driver's scope added from underneath is nicely cast but extends way too far down from the roof panel and you may want to cut this to a shorter length. You can then add the kit periscope cover part C13 and the shield part C36 if you wish.

Adding the small IR bracket on the right side of the chin mantlet is again straightforward as Dragon already include the two small mounting brackets and the rear IR storage box again simply replaces the kit box (parts F5, G27) without any alterations required.

At the back is the replacment storage box for the IR equipment when not fitted but this is unfortuately too big as the actual box was smaller than the standard Panther storage box it replaces. The actual bin doesn't extend to the top of the hull as the normal box does and to correct this you would have to reduce the height and reposition the door hinges. As the box is basically all flat panels this makes htis task a little easier.

This is an extremely detailed IR set for the Panther Ausf.G with the cupola FG1250 assembly especially well done and the straightforward assembly with no alterations needed on the kit making for a simply yet highly detailed update set but the storage box will need modification or replaced.

Highly recommended 7.5/10

Assembled FG1250 Infrared Searchlight and Scope
Blast Models
Images from Panzer Tracts No.5.3 Panther Ausf.G
Blast Models
Driver's visor inside and out plus mantlet IR mounting
Blast Models

Panzer Tracts No.5-3
Panzerkampfwagen "Panther" Ausfuehrung G

by Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle
ISBN 0-9744862-7-2
Published by Panzer Tracts,
Soft cover, 68 pages.

Thanks to Gilles from Blast Models for the review set.
The set can be purchased direct from Blast Models or from AFV Modeller Shop in the UK.

Page created May 14, 2007