Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.6393; Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz. 173 Late Production - Smart Kit; 735 parts (548 in grey styrene, 170 =93Magic Track=94 links, 9 clear styrene, 6 etched brass, 2 twisted steel wires); price estimated at US$47.50
Advantages: =93Smart Kit=94 of a very popular vehicle should make many modelers happy; redone parts in many areas something of a surprise
Disadvantages: some modelers will be disappointed about lack of brass parts
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German armor and Panther fans in particular
This vehicle is the =93other half=94 of the previous Jagdpanzer Ausf. G1 Smart Kit (No. 6458) and is a virtual repeat of the earlier kit but with different parts on the sprues used. As it is now the =93Late=94production version, it does not require =93zimmerit=94 paste and = as such is more correct than the first one.
Like previous =93Smart Kits=94 it makes more use of =93slide molding=94 th= an previous DML kit, and the goal seems to be to permit modelers to get =93multimedia=94 kit finish and part definition with a minimum of actual multimedia parts =96 here being but six brass parts, mostly grilles for the engine deck, and two steel tow cables (large and small).
The lower hull remains a one-piece =93slide mold=94 part with all of the torsion bars complete and separate parts. Fine details such as =93bump stops=94, =93pin knockers=94 and braces are all separate. Even though deeme= d the =93late=94 production the kit still provides the rubber tired road wheels, the cast mounting collar and but now cites the =93stepped=94 gun barrel. The model may be built with or without the small return roller wheel on the final drives, and both types are provided in the kit.
The hull rear plate comes with the four-pipe exhaust, but most of the other options from the G kit are now gone.
A totally new engine deck is provided with mostly new radiators, radiator fans, screens, louvers and separate access ports and lids. All grilles replicate full castings and are separate parts as well. No engine or deep interior parts are provided.
The hull side trim is all plastic, but comes with =93slide molded=94 mounts and access holes for pins or attachment in order to permit track links to be hung in a prototypical fashion on their racks. The same goes for the tools and OVM.
The hull comes with two separate roof plates and details, with all hatches save the left from sliding plate as separate parts. Either M22 or N5 may be used according to the directions. The commander=92s hatch may have the =93rabbit ears=94 periscope installed if the modeler desires, and al of the hatches are positionable as is the close in defense weapon. However, only a very minimalist gun breech for the 8.8 cm gun is provided. Since the rear gun access hatch is also provided separately, it does limit the modeler=92s options to show this hatch open as there is little to see inside the casemate.
TEN finishing options are provided: s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 650, Ardennes 1944 (tricolor stripes); s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 654, Alsace-Lorraine 1944 (tricolor stripes, red 332); s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 654, Grafenwoehr Proving Ground1944, (broad tricolor stripes, red 234); s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 654, France 1944 (tricolor patches, red 112); Pz.Lehr.Rgt. 130, Western Germany 1945 (two-color stripes with white bands); and five different =93Unidentified Unit=94 vehicles, all differing in paint schemes. A small sheet of Cartograf decals is included.
Technical assistance was provided by Steven Van Beveren, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Overall, this should more popular than the previous kit as it does not need =93zimmerit=94.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.