Dragon 1/35Jagdpanzer IV L/70(v)

KIT #: 6397
PRICE: $51.50 SRP
DECALS: Eight Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit

HISTORY

The Jagdpanzer IV, Sd.Kfz. 162, was a tank destroyer based on the Panzer IV chassis built in three main variants. It was developed against the wishes of Heinz Guderian, the inspector general of the Panzertruppen, as a replacement for the Stug III. Guderian objected against the needless, in his eyes, diversion of resources from Panzer IV tank production, as the Stug III and Stug IV were still more than adequate for their role.

Nevertheless in late 1942 the Wehrmacht's arms bureau, the Waffenamt, called for a new tank destroyer design based on the Panzer IV, which would be armed with the same 7.5 cm gun as fitted to the Panther: the Pak 42 L/70.

Unlike previous tank destroyers like the Marder series, this gun was to be mounted directly into the Jagdpanzer's superstructure, keeping its silhouette as low as possible.

The Jagdpanzer IV kept the basis chassis of the Panzer IV tank, but the original vertical front plate was replaced by a sharp edged nose. Internally, the layout was changed to accommodate the new superstructure, moving the fuel tanks and ammunition racks. Because the Jagdpanzer lacked a turret, the engine which originally powered the Panzer IV's turret could be eliminated.

The new superstructure had sloped armour, which gives a much larger armor protection for a given thickness than conventional armor and at the front was a 100 mm thick. To make the manufacturing process as simple as possible, the superstructure was made out of large, interlocking plates which were welded together.

Armament consisted of a 7.5 cm main gun, originally intended to be the PaK 42 L/70, but shortages meant that for the preproduction and the first production run different older guns were used, the 7.5 cm PaK 39 L/48. These were shorter and less powerful than the PaK 42.


On later variants, the much larger PaK 42 meant that the Jagdpanzer IV was quite heavy in the nose, especially with the heavy frontal armor. This made them less mobile and more difficult to operate in rough terrain, leading their crews to nickname them
Guderian-Ente; Guderian's Duck.

The final prototype of the Jagdpanzer IV was presented in December 1943 and production started in January 1944, with the PaK 39 L/48 armed variant staying in production until November. Production of the PaK 42 L/70 armed variants started in August and continued until March/April 1945.

It was intended to stop production of the Panzer IV itself at the end of 1944 to concentrate solely on production of the Jagdpanzer IV, but this did not seem to have happened.

THE KIT

Once again, Dragon produces a kit with a ton of newly tooled parts. This one effectively obsoletes just about every other kit of this vehicle now on the market. At 800 plus parts, it is not for the impatient or the beginner. Much of the parts count is due to the super Smart Tracks that are becoming more and more a part of Dragon kits. It wasn't more than a few years back that getting such items as aftermarket would cost more than the kit and now they are included. Such is the list of features that I'll let the Dragon PR team tell you what is what:

- Newly designed side-skirt armor produced in scale thickness
-
Newly tooled gun mantlet made from 4-directional slide mold
- Newly tooled fun barrel w/hollow muzzle

- Newly tooled periscope made from clear part

- Gun sight and hand wheels w/well-defined detail
- Gun breech fully detailed
- Newly tooled side fenders w/fine detail on both sides

- New superstructure roof rendered w/bolt detail
- Newly tooled rear hull made from slide mold w/great detail

- Commanderís hatch can be assembled open or closed
- Two options for the hatch hinges
- Both one-piece or separate periscope hatch provided to allow open or closed assembly
- Newly tooled rear armor plate

- Newly tooled air intake realistically represented

- Newly tooled spare-wheel brackets w/spare wheels

- Newly designed engine deck w/hatches that can be assembled open or closed
- Brackets for side-skirt armor realistically detailed
- Newly tooled radio set

- Newly tooled hull rear armor w/fine detail

- Extendable jack w/separate parts
- New OVM arrangement
- Two types of exhaust provided as option
- Two types of rear plate newly designed w/great detail
- One-piece lower hull made from slide molds is newly produced
- Sight rail provided as optional separate parts
- Newly tooled MP port on superstructure

- Inside of frontal armor plate w/great bolt details newly tooled

- Newly tooled one-piece superstructure made by slide mold

- Accurately detailed idler adjuster mountings
- Newly tooled convoy light on hull rear

- Travel lock newly reproduced
- New access hatches can be assembled open or closed
- Sprocket and idler wheels w/delicate detail
- Newly tooled Magic Tracks are detailed on both sides

- Resilient steel road wheels and return rollers newly designed
- Road wheels and suspension w/multiple components exhibits crisp detail

The kit provides options for eight different vehicles. Basically all are in panzer yellow with a variety of brown and green camouflage schemes. A couple of them also have a white winter wash over the camouflaged scheme. There is 15 PzGrenDiv on the western front in 1945, PzDiv 'Feldherrnhalle' in Budapest during 1945, 13 PzDiv in Hungary during 1945 (two options), 9 PzDiv 'Hohenstaufen' - Hungary 1945, 1 PzDiv 'LAH' - Belgium 1944, StuArtBrig.210 - Germany 1945 and 7 PzDiv eastern front 1945.

CONCLUSIONS

Here is another superb Dragon armor kit. It is bound to provide hours of modeling pleasure and the result will be an excellent replica of a late war German assault gun.

REFERENCES

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagdpanzer_IV

November 2009

Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer. I notice they are selling briskly.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and quickly , please contactme or see other details in the Note toContributors.

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