Book Review
Panther Project - Vol 1
Panther Project - Volume 1: Drivetrain and hull
  • front17

by: Herbert Ackermans [ H_ACKERMANS ]

Eyewitness to a resurrection
All over the world, various preserved Panthers can be found, and in various conditions. Sadly, the majority of them are in a sad state of repair, with some being little more than a hull and turret. It is therefore encouraging to see projects being set up to restore Panthers to virtually factory fresh condition. This book is about one such project, the restoration of Panther Ausf. A (Fahrgestell 158134) by the Wheatcroft Collection. Named after owner Kevin Wheatcroft, the collection consists of around 150 vehicles, both civilian and military. Working together with the Wheatcroft collection, The Research Squad photographed and documented just about every step taken in the lengthy process of restoring the Panther to it's "new" state.

  • 88 pages
  • A4 size
  • Soft Cover
  • ISBN 978-0-9556422-0-3
  • 312 photos

Take a dive into the deep and unknown
While I knew what this book was going to be about, I didn't have any clear idea how this was done. I expected a sort of book which detailed in a diary-like fashion how the Panther went through the stages. I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only is this book volume 1, meaning more volumes will follow, but just dealing with the drive train and hull it is packed full with 312, I repeat THREE HUNDRED AND TWELVE, sharp crisp clear pictures, that all have a caption that although short, tell exactly and clearly what is shown, it's location in the vehicle and it's function. A number of pictures are full page for extra detail. Examples of these are the driver's position and a look down the rear armour hull plate.

So what can you find in the book? As the title says, it details the drivetrain and hull. You can read about and look at detailed shots of driver's vision port, the gearbox or hydraulic oil pressure pump to just name a few.

Combined with the exhaustive number of pictures is the dedication put into restoring the Panther. The eye for detail and excellent craftsmanship is more than evident. Where necessary, new items are manufactured, for example all torsion bars are completely new. A further example of attention to detail is that during clean up, brush painted numbers were found on several components. Even when it was not clear what the purpose of such a number was, the team added these back to the refurbished or rebuilt items, just to be sure it was all back to it's original state.

I feel I cannot praise this book enough. The vast amount of pictures offers a true Smorgasbord of reference material never seen before. Which brings me to this perhaps bold statement: "The Panther Project volume 1: drivetrain and hull" is THE single most perfect reference material for anyone interested in learning about this vehicle, and those who wish to (super)-detail their Panther-kit. I know I will wait until all volumes are out before I start on my premium Panther-A later. You might feel I'm exaggerating, but I truly am not, I have not seen a reference book that offers so much at such a good price. To gather this same amount of information and of the same level of quality would surely cost a mulltitude of the price for this book.

It is therefore very simple for me to recommend (an understatement )" The Panther Project volume 1: drivetrain and hull" as a must-have book. The Panther nut and the serious modeller should have this book as THE reference on this vehicle.

Famous last words
I would like to thank The Wheatcroft Collection and The Research Squad for creating this book, and Armorama for giving me the opportunity to review it.

Highs: Every single picture is a highlight offering a wealth of detail unseen before.
Lows: very few if any with this first book
Verdict: A simple obligatory reference for any Panther enthousiast and modeller alike.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:1
  Suggested Retail: 15.99
  Related Link: Panther Project at The Research Squad
  PUBLISHED: Sep 03, 2007

Our Thanks to The Research Squad!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

View Vendor Homepage  |  More Reviews  

About Herbert Ackermans (H_Ackermans)

I'm a 34 year old Dutchman, currently living in Ammerzoden, Gelderland. My main interest is German armour from WW-2, and specifically Panther and Tiger and their variants. And I count every nut and rivet!

Copyright 2021 text by Herbert Ackermans [ H_ACKERMANS ]. All rights reserved.


It looks to be a well designed and detailed book. Thanks for the review Herbert. Cheers, Jim
SEP 04, 2007 - 07:41 AM
Just received my copy of Panther Project .......really nicely done. Beautiful photography, excellent detail work. When this series is completed it will be the 'must have' total reference about all things Panther. I couldn't agree with Mr. Ackermans assessment more. Two thumbs up. Cheers, Charles
SEP 04, 2007 - 12:55 PM
Nice review Herb. I really have no interest in the Panther- I know such sacrilege but it certainly looks like an excellent reference book for those that have an interest it Panthers. And I'm sure those that have a liking towards this vehicle, will be doing some really nice super detailed models.
SEP 04, 2007 - 10:50 PM
Many thanks for the kind words gents. Most credit must go to Lee Lloyd who did all the layout and technical text - all this while learning Adobe Indesign as he went along! Brian
SEP 08, 2007 - 01:16 AM
She looks a beaut reference. [When is The Sherman project being released? ] I do have a question after viewing the zimmerit (sp.?) photo. How is it actually done in real life? Looks to be melted in somehow...Can you tell I build Shermans? Huh? Huh?
SEP 08, 2007 - 12:46 PM
Hi We are currently looking for contributors for the Sherman book, at the moment its probably two or three books down the line. You can get the A-Z of zimmerit in this excellent article by Christain Ankerstjerne on his Panzerworld website - Zimmerit Brian
SEP 08, 2007 - 08:52 PM

Click image to enlarge
  • 08110
  • 05710
  • 02711
  • 06910
  • 04410
  • 06710
  • 0801
  • 05123
  • 08810
  • 03129
  • 2007_08280012_ok
  • 2007_08280017_ok
  • 2007_08280015_ok
  • 2007_08280011_ok