by: Roman [ ]
Not so long ago I’ve been introduced to the world of 1/48 scale modeling and later I discovered several manufacturers doing unique models in that scale. Hauler, from Czech Republic, is one example. This company is well known for their PE accessories but they also produce full resin kits of very interesting subjects like Tatra trucks and many more.
This particular set reproduces a Pantherturm, - a Panther tank turret mounted on a steel box and used as a fortification. Such turrets had thicker armor on the roof for protection from aircraft and underneath the fighting compartment there was a living area with beds and heater. Many of them were installed in Italy and the Atlantic wall.
The model comes in a thick cardboard box with a picture of the assembled kit on top together with a war-time photo of a Pantherturm. Inside you will find an A5 black and white instruction, a PE fret, metal barrel and 12 resin parts. Everything is packed in individual plastic bags.
The quality of parts is very good without any visible defects. Some parts (like the muzzle brake) require clean up, while most of them just need to be sawed from the casting blocks. The detail on the turret is nicely reproduced, however some weld seams are missing and must be added if you want an accurate model. The steel bunker has no detail inside but you have both portions present – the one that was above the ground and the underground section. This provides options for a diorama or vignette.
The assembly is straightforward and the instructions are easy-to-follow. Unfortunately there are no paint schemes provided, but more likely they were either dark yellow overall or with camouflage and camo net on top. Should you be interested in walkarounds – there are several on the web with the surviving turrets and many war time images including Mussolini inspecting one of them.
I think this is a great kit with many finishing options. Those who love the detail would probably detail the turret a little bit more, but others would enjoy the simplicity of assembly and the nice parts quality.