page last modified 5Jan'10
(for giving me access to
the original vehicles!)
KEEP CHECKING BACK, I
UPDATE WHENEVER I WORK ON IT!
Yay new updates!!! (after
In the future I will be offering
a range of items for sale from completed full sized turrets to do it
yourself kits to simple plans.
Panther A (left) and Panther G (right) at Aberdeen Proving
Grounds in Maryland.
I have always
had the dream to reproduce these awesome machines. I have a very
nice garage now, but this is a rental house. Unfortunately with
my job I move fairly regularly for now at least so I must rent, but the
good news is that the owner is okay with my fabrication hobbies.
(You know your weird when you pick a house based upon garage size and
whether it's already wired for 220V!) The house is actually very
nice- built in 1901, but that's not what you're here for!
The Panther G turret- note the grenade mortar
(nahverteidigungswaffe) on the right rear
(the flat, circular item with rust around it).
My Goal: To produce a Panther tank in stages, using sales to
finance the project. Eventually, I would like to produce series
production with options such as G model, A model, late wheel pattern,
binocular optics arrangement, nahverteidigungswaffe, etc- so you can
specify what you desire for a specific impression. Construction
costs are estimated at $40,000 for the initial vehicle and as more
realistic refinements are made costs will escalate from there.
Final production variant will be approximately $100,000, sale price.
Differences from an original Panther:
One cool idea for late in production is to
include electronics which monitor turret position. Tied into a
computer and hydraulics with five cylinders. Place a single
cylinder each on the inside of torsion arms 1 and 8 on both
sides. Place one inside the turret on the gun. When the gun
is fired a solenoid fires the charge inside the barrel, the gun ram
recoils the gun and slowly recovers, and the suspension hydraulics rock
the vehicle appropriate to turret position. Way down the road,
but man would it look cool!
- You can't blow anything up... but you certainly can drive
- Powered by a modern (circa 1980) gasoline engine, V8.
Output should be less than 200hp for a realistic power to weight
ratio. This choice is nearly entirely for cost, but also for
reliability and availability of parts. The hand crank start will
be deleted as it is not needed and is hazardous.
- While the armor plate will be made of steel, it will stop a
.22 at 50 yards at 30 degrees. I will use most likely 18 gauge
mild rolled steel. While this needs no explanation this
is for both weight and expense. Steel is getting very costly and
there is no feasible way to transport a original weight Panther.
I believe I can reduce the chassis weight, counting powerplant,
driveline, and wheels, but no tracks, to around 13,000lbs.
(Easily moved by a semi with a wide load permit.) The nose will
be heavily reinforced, as will all edges likely to strike trees,
etc. It would be über farby to have a bent nose. The
plate will be folded and welded interlocked like the original to retain
the thick appearance.
- The inside, for both weight and expense reasons will be
primarily a functional only arrangement. You will have much more
room than the original vehicle, for better or worse. A few things
(such as the gun) will be accurately modeled.
- The tracks will probably need to be thinned. This is
because the vehicle weight has been reduced by about 87% we won't need
tracks several inches thick. This is good because quick
estimations of track weight for the vehicle show that they weighed
between 17,500 and 20,000 lbs. Too heavy for transport, not to
mention the strain on the lower hull structure. I believe I can
get them to about 8,000 pounds (total for both sides). This
brings the vehicle weight to 21,000 lbs. Cake.
A Panther turret placed upon small
subterranean bunker... obviously effective!
Objective 1- Produce an early model turret for use in
Phase 1- Acquire detailed measurements of the turret, blueprint
April 9th '05
Phase 2- Select exact production details (cupola type, optics, hatches,
etc.) Complete April
Phase 3- Acquire materials. Complete
April 15th '05
Phase 4- Produce turret body. Very close to
finished- still need to make the rear extensions
of the rear of the side plates and left side / front plate
interlocks. Should take about
Phase 4b- Construct turret face and gun cradle.
July 4th '05
(Still need the lower guard that goes under the cradle.)
Phase 5- Produce gun mantle. Complete Aug 5th '05
(Need to add internal brakes to prevent warpage, holes and gun tube.)
Phase 6- Produce gun barrel. In production,
internal bore (pipe) installed Dec'09, planning to weld on tapered
Phase 7- Produce cupola. (Trying to figure
out how to make the copy to cast from.)
Phase 8- Produce muzzle brake. (Same as cupola)
Phase 9- Design and construct elevation mechanism
(electric motor with manual backup).
Phase 10- Produce other external fittings. Loader's
Periscope guard complete 3Jun05
Phase 11- Produce firing simulator, and coaxial gas gun. Parts
Phase 12- Acquire and rig main gun (recoil) hydraulics, pump.
Phase 13- Build light field trailer that allows easy
Objective 2- Produce a crude hull for testing. (On hold, building
a bunker lower first!)
Phase 1- Produce turret deck.
Phase 2- Construct turret ring and install turret.
Phase 3- Produce wheels, still haven't figured out the
solid rubber tires.
Phase 4- Produce tracks (expensive- about $12,000)
Phase 5- Construct basic hull design with functional powerplant
Progress so far. I went to Aberdeen. The
museum staff was very friendly and gave me full access to the top of
the tank. Unfortunately the turret is welded shut (did get to see
the inside of a Brummbär and Jagdpanther though). They are
good to legitimate researchers. I bought some books by Tom Jentz
and Hillary Doyle called Panzer
Tracts on the Panther (and many other vehciles) which will be
most helpful and I highly
them. I missed him by a day, he came out the following day.
Would have been cool to meet him. I am getting a pretty large
collection of books, especially on the Panther! Anyway- I got
about a million measurements on the Panther A turret mainly (early
model turrets on Ostwallturm), and got soaked with rain over about
three steady hours. It sucked and was really fun at the same time.
Things to consider... Size. A
normal trailer pulled by a pickup will be able to move the
turret. For the tank, you will need a tractor trailer to
transport this guy. It is over 11 feet wide, that's a wide load
pretty much anywhere on this planet. You can consider buying an
older rig and trailer (what I will do)- this will only put you out
about $10k, depending how nice/new you go. If you pay a company
to move it it will be exceptionally costly, I haven't priced that (if you know how much this costs please
If you plan to move it you will have to go slow and be very careful on
route planning and have a spotter vehicle (a reenacting buddy?) to find
a route before you attempt it. There is also legal paperwork for
each move permit. Height will not usually be a
problem, except in rural areas.
E-mail me! ...if
you have any suggestions, thoughts, etc (other than telling me I've
lost my mind). If you wish to help, I really need assistance in
parts finding. Most of the weird shaped parts have something
already produced in modern times that we can use components of to help
build. For example I plan on using modified plow discs for the