Academy 1/35 Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer (late)

KIT #: 13230
PRICE: $30.00 delivered
DECALS: One option
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: 2012 release


The Jagdpanzer 38 (Sd.Kfz. 138/2) was a German light tank destroyer of the Second World War based on a modified Czechoslovakian Panzer 38(t) chassis.

German armored forces in World War II created a variety of vehicles by mounting anti-tank guns on obsolete tank chassis. These machines performed even better than expected, yet were still vulnerable due to high vehicle profiles and open-topped turrets. Allied bombings took a heavy toll on German production facilities, and further increased the need for an easily produced yet effective light tank destroyer to replace vehicles like the StuG III and Marder series. Prototypes of the Jagdpanzer 38 were ready by 1944 and mass production began in April of that year. The Jagdpanzer 38 was covered entirely with sloped armor, and possessed a compact form and low silhouette, giving it much improved defensive ability over other self-propelled guns. Armament consisted of a 7.5 cm Pak 39 L/48 gun in fixed mounting as well as a remote-controlled MG 34. It featured a wide body to accommodate the four-man crew, as well as strengthened lower hull with enlarged wheels, guide rollers and tracks.

Jagdpanzer 38s first entered service in July 1944, and would eventually be assigned to a number of units, including infantry, Panzerjäger and Volksgrenadier divisions. BMM and Škoda continually modified and improved the Jagdpanzer 38 during production of the more than 2,800 vehicles built. Owing to the ease of production and high operating rates, the Jagdpanzer 38 came to serve as Germany's main tank destroyer in the latter period of the war, making an important contribution on both the Eastern and Western Fronts.


 The kit is very nicely molded and flash-free, as one would expect from modern tooling. The instructions start you out attaching the suspension attachment points to the lower hull and then building up the suspension. Thankfully, the Hetzer had large road wheels so the often tedious job of painting them is reduced. The kit provides link and length tracks, which many modelers prefer and feel is a good compromise between the vinyl tracks and single link tracks. The single links in these tracks go over the curved sections at the idler and sprocjet. One then builds up the rear plate before moving on the upper hull.

The Hetzer does not have a turret so much of the rest of the build consists of adding all the pieces to the upper hull. There is a single photo etch screen for the engine intake. In addition to all the upper hull pioneer tools and hatches are a set of partial side skirts. The last items to be built up are the gun with mantlet and the upper hull machine gun. You are provided two crew members for placement as you see fit.


Overall this seems like a very nice kit. It is not very parts intensive and while masking this may be a bit of a challenge, the completed model should be a beauty.



February 2021

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