The kit represents a pre-production A-0 series vehicle which had some minor differences between each vehicle produced and I am not aware of these being used in combat, just for training purposes but some accounts indicate a few used with Panzer Lehr Division in 1944 while some also had zimmerit applied so it is best to check your references on the vehicle you are building.
The kit consists of approximately 254 parts in light grey plastic (plus others
included but not used) and four in clear plastic for the periscopes as well
as a further 240 individual track links.
Added to this are the side schurzen plates in etched metal for a good appearance and a turned aluminium barrel plus of course the decal and instruction sheets.
Many of the parts are from the previous Jagdpanzer IV L/70(A) Kit #6015 such as the lower hull tub, suspension and running gear as well as sprue C with the exhaust, tools and other smaller details plus sprue I which has the front hull plate and L70 gun from the L/70(A) but you only use one part from this sprue, the spare track rack on the rear hull plate with the rest consigned to the spares box.
The lower hull tub has bolt head and other details on the bottom but the sides are bare with locating marks for all the separate suspension components for good definition while the rear and front panels are also separate parts, the rear plate also has separate idler wheel mountings and exhaust for a nicely detailed lower hull, you will need to make some minor adjustments to the upper edges of the hull sides by cutting out a small section to accommodate the new upper hull but this is easily dealt with.
The upper hull is a large single moulding with separate top and rear plate
as well as separate left engine deck door and all roof top hatches as well
as the two front MG port covers.
The detail on the hull is very well done with finely engraved panel lines and subtle weld seams especially evident on the curved shoulder join and around the roof fittings while the hatches have no pin marks on the insides.
At the hull front are as mentioned the separate MG port covers with two complete MG42s which have excellent details including separate top feed chute covers and you can show the ports closed or open with the MG42s in place. Details on the hull front include separate driver’s visor, a two-part Bosch head light, fire extinguisher and tow lugs and spare track rack on the front plate.
At the rear the two side engine intake louvers are separate parts as is the left engine bay door plus the many pioneer tools which have their clips moulded on and of course could be improved with the additional of etched clips (you have to leave something for the aftermarket people) as well as detailed six part jack with separate clips which are a little on the thick side but easy to replace being separate from the jack. There is also the two spare road wheel racks on the rear plate and gun cleaning rods on the rear compartment wall for a very busy rear hull area.
The hull top plate is a mentioned a separate part that fits perfectly to the superstructure cut-out and has four separate clear plastic periscopes, one of which is in the rear opening crew hatch while the three hatches have inner hinge mechanisms to allow these to be movable after assembly and there is also a separate binocular sight to fit with the front hatch opened. The detail on the top plate is very well done with fine engraved bolt heads and very subtle weld work around the top curved sight fairing and periscope mount.
The large gun mantlet has subtle cast texture and the single piece plastic or metal barrel has a separate muzzle brake moulded using the slide mould technology with separate inner flange and end cap although there is a bit of flash to be removed from the muzzle brake, more than on other muzzle brakes of this type but nothing that can’t be dealt with easy enough. Just remember to fit the barrel through the mantlet and fit the inner retaining part and outer shield before attaching the muzzle brake as you won’t fit the shield if the muzzle brake is fitted to the barrel earlier.
The gun shield typically has some casting numbers evident on each side but none are included on the part and to this purpose there is a series of numbers in two sizes moulded onto two of the sprue trees that you cut off with a sharp blade and glue in place where required and this allows good variety in the casting numbers added and is a very nice touch.
Fitting the large gun mantlet to the hull was a little sloppy without any positive locating points and it would be best to fit the driver’s visor first as this will help in locating the mantlet which should be level to the top of the hull.
Apart from the front sections of the fenders moulded with the upper hull the centre and rear fender sections are separate which you fit to the upper hull before the final assembly to the lower hull tub and the two rear hull armour extensions have bevelled edges to give a more scale appearance and to finish things off you get a full set of schurzen panels in etched metal with additional separate bolt heads to add on the outer side corresponding to the inner attachment points.
The tracks are all individual link 40mm type but not designed to be workable and has good details although there is two shallow pin marks on the inside of each link that should be easy to deal with and the links fit together well and assembly easily and by using a slow drying liquid cement will give you time to fit the track runs around the drive sprockets and idler wheels as well as adding track sag which you wouldn’t see with the full set of schurzen fitted.
The small decal sheet has markings for two vehicles, one from Panzer Lehr Division, 1944 in three colour cam scheme and one from training unit ‘Schulungsfahrzeug', 1944 in overall Dark Yellow finish, neither show a zimmerit finish.
Overall a very nicely detailed kit of an unusual type with the curved shoulder armour to offer some nice variety. The details included will allow a good model to be built as it comes and the inclusion of the brass schurzen and metal barrel is also a nice bonus but we have come to expect this with current Dragon kits and after the Tiger I and others you could ask “is that all the metal you get?” but of course that is said with tongue firmly in cheek.
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Jagdpanzer 38 to Jagdtiger
Panzer Tracts No.9
Thomas L Jentz
Hilary Louise Doyle
Sd.Kfz. 6 - 5 ton Zugkraftwagen,
Büssing - NAG and variants
Nuts & Bolts Volume 37
Dr. Nicolaus Hettler
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Page created 24 March 2005