Tanque -> RE: Wheels (10/2/2012 3:32 AM)
ORIGINAL: Panther G
A general history would be good for starters. As I have said as far as I know there is very little information on them out there. Then we can get more specific if the interest is there for the posting. but I am interested in them being some of the only engine driven Panthers that i know of. i don't know if they where all engine driven or not.
Well here we go. I'll apologize in advance for misspellings.
In brief Jochen Maier's original model Panther A was a semi scale model kit which he began selling in the early 1970s. I believe he based
it on probably Tamiya models extant at that time. Not certain what full size Panthers were available to to be seen at the time but the departures
from being a fully scale model notably the tracks, hull dimensions /shape and stylized details common with models of that era are known.
Jochen numbered his models. Each lower hull central plate carries a designation of 4 numbers stamped into a maker's plate cast onto the part.
The numbering scheme is usually in this pattern: 174 010 581 180 - catalog number 174 ( basic kit ) made January 5, 1981, serial number 180.
Maier's basic Panther was heavy cast aluminum; cast aluminum tracks were an option stock was poly propylene. Hes late alu track were anodized black. A fully equipped Panther with all radio gear weighs in at ~76 pounds. They are very tough and great runners if set up properly; one needs to mind the details.
With a 10oz fuel tank and moderate running speeds a Panther will run for about 20 minutes. I tend to keep mine set rich for cooling and I like running
in first gear with the engine wound up- the power is impressive. The model makes a sound that many don't like; it is what it is.
What set Maier's Panther apart was the excellent workmanship; really well executed components and very clever design. From about the
mid 1970s Maier developed the basic stamped Panther road wheel that consisted of three separate parts, main body ( dish ), retaining ring and tire
not unlike the original: it was held together with 24 nuts and bolts. This was one of the details that drew me to the model at the time. Everyone else
making ( or copying ) a Panther simply used cast wheels which never quite capture the essence of the parts.
Maier's original claim to fame of course was that he powered most of his Panthers with a Webra 40 blackhead glow engine ( the small remainder being electric; to my knowledge Maier never experimented with other IC engines.. This Webra is basically a Heli version ( "Stamo" ) with a rear drivem fan. The Webra Blackhead .40 is very durable with a steel cylinder liner, one piston ring; 2 large ball bearings to support the crankshaft and Schnurle porting.
This engine is rated about .8 bhp @ 14,000 if memory serves. It is very easy to maintain and adjust. I tend to run mine rich as top end isn't of interest but cooling is.
I don't believe anyone other than the Seki people in Japan had done this successfully with their 1/10 Tiger 1 and their approach was completely different and later. I'm fairly certain Maier's Panther was the first commercially available glow powered Panther. Maier also offered a number of options
that no one else did. For instance at one time he offered 3 different gearboxes: single speed forward, single speed forward and reverse; and three speed
forward, single reverse. His gearboxes went through several changes; his earliest that I know of has 3 forward and three reverse but doesn't have
proportional brakes- you simply disengage and stop one side or the other and again the very earliest 3speed type I'm aware of which I've never held an example is reported to have some type of planetary based steering. His late type 3 speed gearbox remains my standard by which I rank all others.
Maier once told me he sold some 330 models the majority being glow powered. He did make electric powered versions and some gas versions have been
converted to electric by subsequent owners.
Maier made several one off models for people; I know if a Puma in 1/10 for a chap in Austrailia, I have PzKw III parts attributed to him but
Jochen never aknowledged them. He also made a very limited Leo II but I've never seen one other than in photos; my understnding the initial commission
was from Krause-Maffei. His pet project which happily he saw to conclusion was the Kaelble Z6W2A 130 heavy towing truck. I saw the prototype run
in 1996 while there and was all set to get one but events took a different turn. It of course was electric and he offered 5 and 10 speed transmissions.
Your may still see it and the current form of the Panther at the website of the fellow Jurgen Stehr who purchased Jochen's business.
http://www.stehr-modellbau.de/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=1_8 Jurgen ( who I've met ) does not offer a glow powered version
of the Panther.
In 1983 a fully equipped Maier Panther 'with everything' basic hull, aluminum trackset, three speed gearbox, engine and starter, turret drive, all manner of small goodies and 8mm Platzpatronnen "blank" gun was just about 2,000 USD. His Leo II was 20,000 DM whatever that worked out to in USD.
Maier kept improving his design. He formally stopped making Panthers in 1990, perhaps a year or 2 earlier I recall but I've become aware that he was improving his components probably up to the time he sold his business to Jurgen Stehr. He still sold parts for Panthers. When I was in his shop in 1996 it was like a kid in a candy store, "I'll buy one if these ooh and one of those.."
And like anything else if you really wanted a Panther he would have made you one even after he sold his business; but not a glow powered one. Those stopped in 1990.