Trumpeter 1/35 Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer-Starr

KIT #: 05524
PRICE: $53.99 SRP
DECALS: Several Options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken



The Jagdpanzer 38(t) (Sd.Kfz. 138/2), later known as Hetzer ("baiter"), was a German light tank destroyer of the Second World War based on a modified Czechoslovakian Panzer 38(t) chassis. The project was inspired by the Romanian "Mareşal" tank destroyer.

The name Hetzer was at the time not commonly used for this vehicle. It was the designation for a related prototype, the E-10. The Škoda factory for a very short period confused the two names in its documentation and the very first unit equipped with the vehicle thus for a few weeks applied the incorrect name until matters were cleared. However, there exists a memorandum from Heinz Guderian to Hitler claiming that an unofficial name, Hetzer, had spontaneously been coined by the troops. Post-war historians basing themselves on this statement made the name popular in their works, the vehicle was never named as such in official documents.

This particular kit is of the version with that Pak 39/1 L/48 recoilless gun. The prototype got a diesel engine while the other 13 vehicles had a standard gasoline engine. Most of these operated in Czechoslovakia during the last months of the war.


Here is another nicely done Trumpeter armor kits. This one is molded in their usual tan plastic and unlike many other armor kits, it not a simple curbside. The kit has a complete engine bay with all the appropriate plumbing. There is, however, no fighting compartment, that being bare.

Thanks to the relative simplicity of this tank, there are not a ton of chassis parts. Those of us who dislike painting road wheels will have only a few of them and they are quite large.

However, the kit does come with individual track links and separate link pins. This feature comprises at least half of the parts count and while it may seem like a tedious job to assemble the plastic tracks, a set up block is provided so the builder can do several sections, later joining them into one long track. Each one of the track pins is on a long handle. One simply inserts the pin, then cuts away the handle, sanding down the pip that is left once things are all together. I understand that this system works quite well and provides a very accurate track system.

The kit also includes the usual number of bits and pieces for the outside as well as short plastic side skirts. The small photo etch fret includes a couple of screens and some other minor pieces that are appropriate in this medium.

Instructions are well drawn and as usual for some companies, provide absolutely no color information during the build. One is on one's own in determining the color of the engine compartment, engine and various components. A full color exterior painting guide is given with the usual late war shades of green, tan and brown. Here, several different paint companies are provided to ensure that you can find paints in your area. With so few of this variant being built, any markings would have to be speculative and a variety are provided.   


This is another very nice kit featuring a small production run vehicle. The Hetzer is a favorite with many modelers and this variant should prove to be popular as well.

January 2012

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