Voyager Models
WWII German Jagdpanther G1
Early Version Barrel

Voyager Model 1:35 Set # VBS0113
Review by Terry Ashley

The Set:
DragonThis metal barrel set from Voyager Models is designed for the recent Dragon Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz.173 Ausf.G1 Early Production (Kit #6458). Voyager have also released separate barrel sets for the King Tiger Porsche Turret (set #VBS0107) and the Elefant/Ferdinand (set #VBS0128) that use the same early monobloc 8.8cm Pak 43/3 L/71 main gun as included in this set.

The set consists of the aluminium barrel tube, a four part machined brass muzzle brake, two etched parts and a single resin gun mantlet as well as a small instruction sheet.

The quality of the etched and brass parts is first class without any clean up required other than filing the small etched fret attachment burs after removal while the barrel has the muzzle drilled out and fine rifling included for a good appearance even though it is hard to see into the bore once the muzzle brake is fitted. The resin mantlet is also cleanly done with just a small casting seam along the bottom and lower edge to be carefully removed to not compromise the cast texture finish.

Dimensionally the barrel length/diameter and the size of the muzzle brake match the 1:35 plans in the Panzer Tracts book No.9-3 "Jagdpanther" Panzerjaeger Panther (8.8cm) Sd.Kfz.173 Ausf G1 and G2 perfectly in all respects as does the resin mantlet. There is small alteration required on the mantlet which has the later upper attachment bracket and this will have to be removed to represent the early mantlet applicable to this set which is easily done.

Aluminium barrel and brass muzzle brake parts
Voyager Models
Resin mantlet
Voyager Models
Trimming on mantlet, the lower casting seam (left) and
the upper late bracket to be removed.

Voyager ModelsVoyager Models

Assembly of the muzzle brake is quite straightforward due to the good fit of the parts and you firstly fit the inner ring that includes the notched flange into the front half of the muzzle brake, it is easier if this is set into the front half and not the rear half as per the instructions as it makes fitting the two halves together easier.

Next the front half is slipped into the rear half of the muzzle brake taking care to align the side openings of both and the fit is very good with just a very small join seam and if you solder the two halves together this will help eliminate this small seam. There is a small etched retaining bracket (part 2) added to the top of the muzzle brake neck and the raised bolt should be positioned facing the rear and not the front of the muzzle brake as the instructions incorrectly show. There is a small indentation in the muzzle brake neck that indicated the location of the retaining bracket and this indentation should be left exposed at the front of the etched bracket once this is fitted to correctly depict the actual bracket.

Muzzle brake assembly as per text
Voyager Models
Barrel rifling and fully assembled muzzle brake plus the upper retaining bracket position
Voyager Models

While the Dragon kit muzzle brake is well done for a plastic part the assembled metal muzzle brake has that crispness and fidelity that can only come from metal parts and adds an improvement to the muzzle brake definition. There are a couple of issues when fitting the barrel and resin mantlet to the Dragon gun mounting as the fit here is not the best.

Firstly the opening in the bracket included on the back of the resin mantlet designed to take the assembled kit gun (parts Q13/Q14) is way too small and will need to be drilled out. Use have to use a 6.5mm drill for this and care is needed while drilling to not damage the resin part and in particular not to allow the drill to slip though the muzzle brake and compromise the outer barrel opening. Once the bracket is enlarge the resin mantlet can then be fitted to the kit gun as per instructions and the image below.

The other issue comes from the same barrel being used for the three update sets but the rear locating pin is too narrow to fit the Dragon gun snugly resulting a very sloppy fit, well not a fit at all as there is nothing for the barrel to mate too. To remedy this I drilled a 7/65inch (2.5mm) hole into the Dragon kit barrel pin and then cut off half the plastic pin and added this over the metal locating pin (see image below). This allows the metal barrel to fit into the Dragon gun neck snugly.

Comparison of Dragon kit and metal muzzle brake (left) and the modifications to the barrel locating pin (right)
Voyager Models
Fitting the mantlet and barrel to the Dragon kit gun
Voyager Models

After the alterations mentioned above the resin mantlet and metal barrel fit neatly to the Dragon kit gun with the remainder of the assembly as per the kit instructions. If you choose not use the resin mantlet to avoid the modifications required the metal barrel will fit nicely to the plastic kit mantlet but you will still need to add the plastic pin sleeve as above for the metal barrel to fit properly to the kit gun.

Barrel and mantlet fitted to Dragon Jagdpanther kit
Voyager Models

This is an excellent replacement barrel and muzzle brake that is dimensionally correct and has excellent for of the muzzle brake parts. There is some extra work needed to fit the resin mantlet and metal barrel to the Dragon Jadgpanther kit but the end result is an improvement in the detail definition especially the for muzzle brake.

Highly recommended

See the Panther/Jagdpanther Subject Page for additional kit/update set reviews

  • BookPanzer Tracts No.9-3
    Panzerjaeger Panther (8.8cm) Sd.Kfz.173
    Ausf G1 and G2

    by Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle
    ISBN 0-9771643-0-6
    Published by Panzer Tracts,
    Soft cover, 92 pages.

  • BookAchtung Panzer No.4

    Good coverage of the Panther/Jagdpanther,
    Japanese text.

  • Additional References

Thanks to Voyager Models for the review set.

Page created March 1, 2009