|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Jagdpanther (German: "hunting panther") was a tank destroyer built by Germany during World War II based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It entered service late in the war (1944) and saw service on the Eastern and Western fronts. The Jagdpanther combined the very powerful 8.8 cm PaK 43 cannon of the Tiger II and the characteristically excellent armor and suspension of the Panther chassis, although it suffered from the general poor state of German ordnance production, maintenance and training in the later part of the war, which resulted in small production numbers, shortage in spare parts and poor crew readiness.
Two main variants can be distinguished, the earlier (1944 model) G1 with a small internally bolted main gun mantlet and a modified Panther A engine deck, and the later (1945 model) G2 with a larger simplified, outside-bolted mantlet and a modified Panther G engine deck, though late G1s also had the larger mantlet. Early Jagdpanthers had two vision openings for the driver, whereas late versions had only one. The main gun originally had a monobloc gun barrel but later versions were equipped with the Pak 43/4 gun with a two-part barrel. The two part barrel was more economical as barrel wear was not even.[
I know Dragon has done other Jagdpanther kits as I have one from several years back. However, this one has a large number of new mold bits if that is the case. Starting with a new fighting compartment exterior to be sure that all angles and attachments are in the right place. It also has better weld seam detail, a new cast mantlet and a new main gun collar recess. There are many more item upgrades that are fully detailed on the bottom of the box.
As this is a Smart Kit (which means you don't need aftermarket), it comes with the nicely done DS tracks, something that those who don't have fondness for individual links will like. You also get steel tow cables and a photo etch fret for intake screens and a few other bits and pieces. The kit even has a working torsion bar suspension. Though the kit does not have a detailed interior, you are provided inside hatch detailing so that it will be there if you decide to add more to it.
Below is more info on the kit from the Dragon PR Folks:
Markings are provided for three vehicles, all with different camouflage schemes. Decals are provided for tank #823, which was attached to II./Panzer Lehr Regiment 130 in 1945. The other two are unknown units. Instructions are typical Dragon, which means they are quite busy. Judging from experience, there will be at least one glitch in the instructions, but careful building will take care of that.
This is another great looking Dragon kit, and with only 420 parts should build a lot quicker build than some of their other offerings. One thing for sure, it looks impressive in the box and will be even more impressive when done.
February 2014Thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. You can find this kit at your favorite hobby shop or on-line retailer. If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.
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