During Zitadelle the Panthers claimed 267 destroyed tanks. (Wikipedia)Due to enemy action and mechanical breakdowns, the combat strength sank rapidly during the first few days. By the evening of 10 July there were only 10 operational Panthers in the front line. 25 Panthers had been lost as total writeoffs (23 were hit and burnt and two had caught fire during the approach march). 100 Panthers were in need of repair (56 were damaged by hits and mines and 44 by mechanical breakdown). 60 percent of the mechanical breakdowns could be easily repaired. Approximately 40 Panthers had already been repaired and were on the way to the front. About 25 still had not been recovered by the repair service ... On the evening of 11 July, 38 Panthers were operational, 31 were total writeoffs and 131 were in need of repair. A slow increase in the combat strength is observable. The large number of losses by hits (81 Panthers up to 10 July) attests to the heavy fighting.
This is the 1/35 Dragon Panther D Premium kit, modeled to represent one of these brand new Panthers that was sent to the Kursk front, as it may have looked after only a few days off of the train. It is finished with Tamiya and Vallejo acrylics and sparingly weathered with MIG products. I have added a few mods from Tiger Designs (turret hatch and rear turret armor), and Fruil tracks.