|DECALS:||Three options (basically different numbers)|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
The Jagdtiger ("Hunting Tiger") is the common name of a German casemate-type heavy tank destroyer from World War II. Its official German designation was Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B, this vehicle having been built upon the (slightly lengthened) chassis of a Tiger II. Its ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 186. The 71-tonne Jagdtiger was the heaviest armored fighting vehicle (AFV) used operationally by any participant nation of WWII and is the heaviest combat vehicle of any type to achieve series production during the conflict. The vehicle was armed with a 128 mm PaK 44 L/55 main gun which was capable of outranging and defeating any tank or AFV fielded by the Allied forces. It saw brief service in small numbers from late 1944 up until the end of the war on both the Western and Eastern Front. Although 150 were ordered, only between 70 and 88 were produced. Due to an excessive weight and a significantly underpowered drivetrain system, the Jagdtiger was continuously plagued with various mobility and mechanical problems. At present, three Jagdtigers survive in different museums around the world.
Tamiya has had much success with this scale and continues to produce a new kit or two per year in this particular series. This is one of their larger offerings as the Jagdtiger is a very impressive vehicle. This is an early production model. Supposedly the first eleven were built on Porsche chassis while the rest were Henschel. The first production vehicles had an 18 tooth drive sprocket while later ones had 9. Very early vehicles (the first 11), had zimmerit applied at the factory. From what I see in the kit, this one has a 9 tooth drive sprocket and no zimmerit so can't be a really early version. It also has the nine overlapping road wheels on each side so has the Henschel chassis.
Tamiya thinks we need weight in these kits and so provides them and that is one of the first things you attach in the hull. After attaching the road wheels, drive sprocket and idler, the link and length tracks are attached. Other bits like the pioneer tools then go onto the back of the hull.
Construction then moves to the large fighting compartment where the back section is attached. Then the gun barrel is built and installed, followed by the blanking plates that will eventually be above the tracks. The fighting compartment is then mated to the rest of the hull. You'll spend the rest of the build attaching the gun mantlet, spare tracks, tow hooks and so forth. You are given a couple of crew members in case you wish to place them in open hatches.
Instructions provide Tamiya paint references and you have number options for three vehicles. All are painted in a similar pattern of dark green and reddish brown over a tan undersurface. The small decal sheet is nicely printed and should work just fine.
This is a nice addition to the lineup and will make for a model that will take a bit more shelf space than the others. Well worth picking up and though not a 'shake and bake' kit, careful construction will provide a nice replica.
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