Converting HL Panther "G" to a Late "A"

This section is to 'show and tell' about any customizing or re-vamping you have done (or are doing) to a Heng Long tank.

Postby dgsselkirk » Mon Sep 08, 2014 6:26 pm

Greetings All!

If you are a rivet counter don't bother reading any further... :wave: This isn't going to be a balls accurate conversion by any means and nowhere near hotte or Jeff's level...

If you are a modder of medium or lower skills like me, you may be interested in doing this to a G just to have something different on the field. I have looked at a few of the guys who have done this conversion. There are a couple out there but I decided to go my own way and build a late "A" with zim. there is a kit out there as well but as usual I will be keeping the cost down and utilizing as much of the original vehicle as possible. The only real upgrades are a clark board, gearboxes, speakers, and the zim kit because having worked with the Atak kit on my L70 it made it look so good and was so easy to work with I have decided any zim builds in the future that is the way to go! :D
https://www.rctankwarfare.co.uk/forums/ ... 23&t=13040

So first, I had 2 Panthers. One I bought from MichaelC which already had the black gearboxes and Clark board in it as well as the servo recoil and high viz flash put in. The Second G is stock from Matomart with metal upgrades and this is the one I decided to do in an "A". Michael's will be converted to an early "G" with zim after this one is done.
panther 1.jpg
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Now, originally my plan was to simply build 2 "G"'s regular and go with that . So to that end I went ahead and gutted them and did my usual resin base in the bottom.
panther 2.jpg
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panther 3.jpg
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panther 9.jpg
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As you can see I was doing both hulls at once. Once I did the lowers last spring I had work to do for some other guys so they went on the shelf. During that time I changed my mind and decided to do the 2 different models. You will see only the "A" from here on in. I will start posting these tonight... :D
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Postby dgsselkirk » Tue Sep 09, 2014 3:02 am

Just kidding about the rivet counters, all are welcome to watch me goof up! :wtf:

So when I decided on a different course the first thing I did was round up some reference material including some scale drawings which I brought into my CorelDraw program which let me scale them up to size to work with the HL Panther. from there I wanted to tackle the biggest things first. To that end I started with the lower hull needing to be built up at the butt end to be almost level. So I removed the lower hull deck plates and using the drawings and the upper deck I drew up the inserts pictured here. Notice I have 2 pieces of plastic lightly glued together so I can make and fit 2 identical pieces right off the hop.
Panther A 11.jpg
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Panther A 12.jpg
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while I was waiting for this to dry a little so I could test fit the upper hull I decided to clean off the front deck of the upper hull.
Panther A 13.jpg
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Once this was done I put a thin piece of sheet plastic underneath and then filled in the holes and hatch lines with putty. I also cut out the hull machinegun ball since with the Atak zim kit you get a real nice one with zimmerit already done! :D I also sanded and filled the headlight housing on the fender as the mount is up on the glacis plate on the "A"
Panther A 14.jpg
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Panther A 15.jpg
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From my line drawings I cut out the "A" hatch mounting plate and glued it onto the deck .
Panther A 16.jpg
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While I waited for that to dry I pulled out 2 vent covers that I had cut from a Pantiger hull. I will be removing the crew compartment heater featured on the "G" and the other vent as well and replacing them with these as they better represent an earlier style.
Panther A 17.jpg
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At the same time I removed the rear plate and cleaned it off as well as I will be changing exhaust and a couple of other details on this. I then again put a thin sheet of styrene in behind and filled all the existing exhaust holes.
Panther A 18.jpg
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On the "A" the upper deck was actually 2 pieces so I etched in the weld line which will be "beaded" later.
Panther A 19.jpg
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The next step was to cut out the hatch plate. I did this by first tracing around the paper pattern I had gluded down. Then using my trusty Dremel tool I cut inside the trace line, filed, sanded, and smoothed the opening out to the trace line.
Panther A 20.jpg
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Postby dgsselkirk » Tue Sep 09, 2014 1:55 pm

As you may or may not have noticed I cut off everything below the skirt rail on the upper hull. This pic shows the first temporary fitting of the closure that will go in against the new walls of the lower hull
Panther A 21.jpg
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Here are my reinforcement styrene pieces glued in rough. I will then 2 part epoxy around the edges and seams and the tops will be smoothed off even with the new walls.
Panther A 22.jpg
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Panther A 23.jpg
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I cut out the drivers port and inserted a backing. This is rough fit. I will square off everything once I build the complete hatch.
Panther A 24.jpg
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I have shaped the hatch again with measurements from my scale drawings.
Panther A 25.jpg
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Here is the back side view with everything sealed in with 2 part epoxy. One of my missions is I have to find a smaller ball to mount the machinegun in the ball mount. The HL doesn't fit in the Tamiya sized one from Atak.
Panther A 26.jpg
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Again, here are the upside down and right side up views showing what I cut off the upper hull below the skirt rail. I should have taken a before and after. Maybe tonight I will take a pic of the other hull I have so you can see the difference.
Panther A 27.jpg
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Panther A 28.jpg
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Started doing little things to the rear of the upper hull. Actually the 2 panels with the vents will be completely removed leaving just the center section.
Panther A 29.jpg
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Postby ALPHA » Tue Sep 09, 2014 4:29 pm

Terrific work Dgsellkirk :thumbup: .... two at once... I'm very impressed ;)

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Postby dgsselkirk » Tue Sep 09, 2014 6:22 pm

Only sort of 2 at once. I am concentrating on the "A" but if a few parts cross over on either model then I try to do them... :D
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Postby dgsselkirk » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:07 pm

I know this is a little hard to see white against white but the first 3 pics are the test fitting of the upper hull down onto the lower hull. You can see how the extensions on the lower hull walls had to be higher for the "A"'s sides.
Panther A 30.jpg
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Panther A 31.jpg
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Panther A 32.jpg
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This next bit is making the hatch panel on the upper deck. First, took another print of the scale drawings I did and tacked it to a piece of 2mm styrene. I then rough cut around it and then sanded to the outside key line. As I sanded I kept checking it against the hole I had made in the upper hull for fit.
Panther A 33.jpg
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I was originally going to make some crude bolt heads for the plate and then I remembered I had some brass .8mm x 2mm hex bolts (I even have a hex driver this small!) and low and behold they are the right scale!I drilled one here to show. Next up is cutting out the hatches and making them function.
Panther A 34.jpg
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Panther A 35.jpg
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Panther A 36.jpg
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Postby PainlessWolf » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:25 pm

Good Afternoon,
"nowhere near Hotte's or Jeff's level", eh? *chuckles* I love the bolts but were they not recessed into the plate at all?
regards,
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Postby dgsselkirk » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:42 pm

No, they actually were not Painless. They didn't stick up much though either, especially with 10 coats of paint!
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Panther details 1.jpg
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Postby PainlessWolf » Tue Sep 09, 2014 9:47 pm

Thanks for answering my question so swiftly! ;o)
regards,
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Postby dgsselkirk » Tue Sep 09, 2014 10:06 pm

No problem! Going to be real fun scratch building those hatch locks to the side eh! :haha:
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Postby ALPHA » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:33 pm

dgsselkirk wrote:No, they actually were not Painless. They didn't stick up much though either, especially with 10 coats of paint!
Image

Perfect shot of the mantlet dgsselkirk.... :D ....Like I said....the Pantiger's mantlet is perfect for the "A"...if you need one let me know ...I have two spare :D

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Postby ALPHA » Tue Sep 09, 2014 11:34 pm

By the way... thanks for the tip on using layouts :D ...As I usually Eyeball everything :haha:

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Postby tiger tiger » Wed Sep 10, 2014 8:22 am

Hi to you , i am doing a similar project so this is of great interest to me , superb what you have done thus far. i am using the whole pantiger turret which to fit i have had to move turret ring much further forward on the deck so a lot of cutting n shutting and i have fitted the g barrel to the pantiger mantlet. on the rear of the deck and back plate, i got from andreas brinkman a conversion kit which he advertised as a conversion for jagdpanthers to convert to early from late. This consisted of early metal cast twin thin exhausts,and the early cooling round cooling fan in the form of complete resin panel for other side. i am also using attak zim kit from forge bear.I think yours will be greater detailed than mine as i am not up to your skill level but they both will be great to see finished. Happy building yours is gonna be superb.

regards
stuart

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Postby dgsselkirk » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:02 pm

Thank you for the kind words Stuart. Would love to see some pics of what you are doing. So you are using an HL Panther deck and lower hull and putting a Pantiger turret on it?
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Postby dgsselkirk » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:05 pm

Thanks for the offer Alpha, the Atak came with beautiful resin early mantles with the zim molded into them. They are going to look awesome! :D
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Postby dgsselkirk » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:35 pm

So to finish up the main construction on the front hatches first I rough cut out the holes for the hatches with my narrow diamond bit tip.
Panther A 37.jpg
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Next, shaped them a little more with the grinder stone tip
Panther A 38.jpg
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Then I really smoothed them out with 120 to 400 sandpaper and laid it down on another piece of styrene and traced out the hatches.
Panther A 39.jpg
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Panther A 40.jpg
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Used the grinder stone again to grind away the excess around the trace being careful to keep a little extra around the trace line otherwise they would be too small.
Panther A 41.jpg
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Panther A 42.jpg
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Next did a little shimming on the hatch plate opening so the insert was flush with the rest of the deck.
Panther A 43.jpg
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Fits in nicely now and the hatches look close. I'm just going to thin them down a bit more as they still look a little thick.
Panther A 44.jpg
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Panther A 45.jpg
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Tonight the one that everyone has been waiting for how I'm going to change the angle of the sides!
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Postby PainlessWolf » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:43 pm

Good Morning,
That's super nice scratch building there. ;o) Once everything is sanded down, it looks better than store bought. I hear you on the hatch holders. I am mulling over how to make some scale fender braces for the Pershing I am working on. They don't need to function but they do need to look scale and withstand running the tank through scrub and tall grass. Again, Excelsior! on your work. I am really enjoying following along.
regards,
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Postby ALPHA » Wed Sep 10, 2014 3:55 pm

tiger tiger wrote:Hi to you , i am doing a similar project so this is of great interest to me , superb what you have done thus far. i am using the whole pantiger turret which to fit i have had to move turret ring much further forward on the deck so a lot of cutting n shutting and i have fitted the g barrel to the pantiger mantlet. on the rear of the deck and back plate, i got from andreas brinkman a conversion kit which he advertised as a conversion for jagdpanthers to convert to early from late. This consisted of early metal cast twin thin exhausts,and the early cooling round cooling fan in the form of complete resin panel for other side. i am also using attak zim kit from forge bear.I think yours will be greater detailed than mine as i am not up to your skill level but they both will be great to see finished. Happy building yours is gonna be superb.

regards
stuart
dgsselkirk wrote:Thank you for the kind words Stuart. Would love to see some pics of what you are doing. So you are using an HL Panther deck and lower hull and putting a Pantiger turret on it?


Yes I agree with dgsselkirk ...Tiger... a Build thread please :D

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Postby tiger tiger » Sat Sep 13, 2014 4:16 pm

I will put some up this weekend hopefully if i manage to get on.

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Postby ALPHA » Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:20 pm

tiger tiger wrote:I will put some up this weekend hopefully if i manage to get on.

regards
stuart

Thank you sir... you are very Gracious Tiger ;) .......... :D

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