|KIT:||Italeri 1/72 SdKfz 186 Jagdtiger|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Seems like an old ESCI kit.|
Once again delving into the history from the instructions:
"The gigantic self propelled tank killer was built on the chassis of the heavy King Tiger tank, which entered service with the crack armored divisions of the Germany Army in 1944. The Jagdtiger mounted a mighty 128mm cannon that could destroy any Allied tank before it got within firing range. Its thick armor made it near -invulnerable to enemy firepower, yet its weak point was the unreliable engine, which resulting in most of them being abandon and destroyed by the Germanys themselves when they found it impossible to fix breakdowns."
Yeah, not the best historical introduction and it is basically three LONG sentences. But what are you going to do?
This one looks very much like an ESCI repop. Italeri has leased many ESCI molds from Racing Champions/ERTL, who own them and over the years, we have seen a number of these kits resurface. This is not all bad. Though most are over 20 years old, they were the best around during their time and they still hold up quite well against new mold kits. One way I can tell they are ex-ESCI kits is that they come with figures. Not many new mold 1/72 armor kits provide crews.
What that means to you is that you have separate hatches, and while there is no interior, having the ability to put one in is an option that isn't given in all new kits. An upgrade to this kit is the inclusion of plastic tracks in addition to the 'rubber band' single piece ones that were provided in the original kit. The additional sprue provides long sections and some single tracks where they are to go around the front and rear sprockets. They look to be somewhat flexible as they will need to be to provide the proper sag when used on the upper portion of the running gear. By that, I mean that you should be able to bend them a bit. Those of us who are squeamish about individual links will go for the rubber band!
Since much of the kit seems to be road wheels and return rollers, there really isn't that much to it. The instructions provide 9 well drawn steps with painting information provided. The color chart is in Model Master and generic references. There are markings for three vehicles, all in base panzer yellow with various camouflages using the brown and green. The decal sheet is nicely printed and should provide no hassles. On the back of the kit box are full color three views to assist with painting and decal placement.
It is nice to see these ESCI kits reissued. They did a rather extensive range of kits and though inflation has raised the price, they are still a relatively good value for the money that you might invest. If you see this and have a penchant for small scale armor, then have at it!
Thanks to for the review kit. You can find Italeri kits at your favorite hobby shop or on-line at www.testors.com
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