Dragon 1/35 Jagdpanther - late production

KIT #: 6393
PRICE: $65.00 MSRP
DECALS: Generic set with insignia and side numbers
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit



A heavy tank destroyer design based on the 88 mm Pak 43 gun and the Panther tank chassis was ordered in late 1942 as design SdKfz 173. Production started in early 1944; at the same time Hitler specified the Jagdpanther ("hunting panther") name.

To accommodate the heavier-calibre gun, much as on previous Jagdpanzer-style unturreted tank destroyers, the sides of the Panther tank were extended up into an integral, turretless fixed casemate as part of the main hull itself to provide a roomy interior. Both the Panther Ausf. G and Jagdpanther had side armor of increased elevation to enhance this effect even further and to harmonize production.

It was armed with an anti-tank version of the same long-barreled 88 mm gun as the Tiger II and a 7.92 mm MG-34 machine gun in the front glacis plate for local defence. The Jagdpanther had a good power-to-weight ratio and a powerful main gun, which enabled it to destroy any type of Allied tank. Because it was based on the existing Panther chassis, the vehicle did not suffer too many mechanical problems. It was manned by a crew of 5, a driver, radio-operator, commander, gunner, and a loader.

Two variants can be distinguished, one with a welded steel band around the main gun mantlet and the other with a bolted-on band. The versions with the bolted-on ring were equipped with Pak 43/4 gun. Early Jagdpanthers had a monobloc gun barrel and two vision openings for the driver, whereas late versions had only one.


This is Dragon's later variant of the Jagdpanther and uses many of the components from its early version kit, upgrading what is needed to make this later variant. As a result, you'll have a few parts that are not used still left on the sprues. As one of Dragon's Smart Kits, the Jagdpanther has pretty well everything you need right in the box to build a superlative model. No need for a mass of photoetch as the detailing of the plastic parts is excellent. I'll let Dragon provide a rundown of the features:

Fighting Compartment

- Options provided for fighting compartment roof
- Careful calculations result in correct angles for highly realistic fighting compartment assembly
- New upper hull w/interlocking detail
- Weld details beautifully rendered
- New storage bin on rear fighting compartment
- Scissors periscope w/mount realistically reproduced
- On-vehicle tools w/clasps
- Intricate slide-molded headlight assembles
- Detailed engine radiator
- Armored guard for air-cooling outlet grills
- Gunner's periscope w/clear plastic represented in detail
- Photo-etched parts for engine deck grills and cupola details
- Front ball-mount MG is movable
- Jack is reproduced w/multiple parts

Gun and Mantlet

- New gun mantlet
- Gun recess w/casting marks for late version
- Cast gun recess w/mulitple curved surfaces beautifully recreated
- Cast gun mantlet is rendered w/360˚ detail
- Muzzle brake made by slide mold
- Gun sleeve is slide molded
- Metal tow cables

Lower Hull

- Lower hull produced by 2-directional slide molds
- Slide-molded rear stowage boxes
- Delicate spare track rack modeled in detail
- Slide-molded holes for hassle-free fitting
- Exhaust is completely new

Suspension & Track

- Newly tooled bump stop assembly
- Full suspension assembly w/road wheel and idler arms that can be positioned on uneven terrain
- Magic Tracks w/slide-molded guide horn detail
- Track links for sprocket section have guide horns as separate pieces for maximum accuracy
- Road wheels exhibit fine detail

As usual, Dragon's superbly drawn instructions show were everything goes, though it is always wise to be sure before gluing as there have been instances were part numbers are not correct. There are 10 markings options provided. Actually, the decal sheet provides crosses and a selection of white-outlined red numbers for you to piece together the correct ones. The schemes are all pretty much green and brown over panzer yellow. Units are PzJgAbt 560 and 654 in Normady and the Ardennes, PzLehrRgt 130 in western Germany and the usual 'unidentified units' for the east.

Once again, Dragon has provided another excellent armor kit. This one has a considerable number of interesting schemes and is sure to be a model that will provide hours of enjoyable building.






March 2009


My thanks to www.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local shop or on-line retailer. From what I've seen, this one is selling briskly.

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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