Yeah as far as I know, the Armored Skirts were a German addition, which would be the perfect Vet 2 bonus for this doctrine's tank. There's something on the back too which could have been used, not sure what it is though. Always a shame to see good assets like that go to waste.
And I've seen that Panther before, it always amused me how closely they followed the T-34's design with that prototype, rather than the more familiar design they ultimately chose!
A lot of people actually believe, me being one of them before a long time ago, that both the Tiger and Panther were direct answers to the T-34 and KV-1 the German forces met on the Eastern Front but the truth is farther away from that.
The Germans as you've probably noticed had several "generations" of tanks so to speak. First was the Panzer I and II, then was the III and IV, and then was the Tiger and Panther, last generation was the King Tiger and would have been the Lowë had they not dropped it in favor of the bigger and heavier Maus which was just wrong in my opinion.
Anyhow, the Tiger was basically first envisioned as a heavier "breakthrough" tank that was supposed to smash enemy lines and allow the smaller and faster tanks (Panzer IIIs and IVs) to exploit said breakthrough. Panther was just the next generational replacement for said faster tanks that would exploit the heavy tank's breakthrough.
The Germans already met several tanks that outclassed theirs (French Char B1, British Matilda 2) that were already impervious to most German guns at the time save for the 88 which was first ever used against enemy tanks by Rommel in the Blitzkrieg of France I believe. They had nothing else to use so he ordered his 7th Panzer Division's 88 battery detachment to setup on a ridge with good sight lines and start firing on the enemy tanks. They also used their superior tactics and training, as well as radios (few Allied tanks had radios at that time) and overcame them.
So the whole myth of the KV-1 and T-34 sparking development of the Tiger and Panther is false. It's impossible for them to meet these 2 tanks in 1941 for the first time ever, examine them, think of something better, agree to the specs and so forth, setup production lines and actually start making them all in the time frame of an year, that's just impossible, even for the efficient standards of the Germans.
Truth is these "projects" let's just call them started back in the 30s, with several companies providing several prototype vehicles for each. I won't go into detail but in short, the Tiger had around 4 and so did the Panther, with 2 for each making it to the final vehicle exams where the final vehicles were basically chosen.
For the Tiger it was Porsche against Henschel, for the Panther was Daimler Benz (Mercedes nowadays) vs MAN.
Hitler also played a large part in the development of these as it seems like to me that every time they encountered something bigger and better than their tanks he ordered that bigger guns and more armor was added to these tanks, so that's how the Tiger went from 30 tons, to 36 and finally to 60, and the Panther from the same 30 to 50, of course they're not exact but I'm just making them out as exact numbers so it's easier to understand.
That arms race between Germany and the Soviets is basically why we also ended up with the IS-2, T-34/85, ISU series and stuff like the Jagdpanther, King Tiger and Jagdtiger. There was basically nothing that could withstand the firepower of the Ferdinand's long barrel 88 L71 gun at Kurks in 1943.