ARM: Review - DML 1/35 scale Jagdpanther Ausf. G1 w/Zimmerit

Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No.
6494; Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz. 173 Ausf. G1 Early Production w/Zimmerit -
Dragon Zimmerit; 578 parts (559 in grey styrene, 9 clear styrene, 6
etched brass, 2 twisted steel wire, 2 DS Plastic track runs);
estimated retail price US$52.50
Advantages: =93Smart Kit=94 adds factory-molded zimmerit; DS tracks should
be popular
Disadvantages: some modelers will be disappointed about lack of brass
parts, and others may miss the =93Magic Track=94 single links
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German armor and Panther fans in particular
DML has now taken their very nice Jagdpanther Ausf. G1 kit (No. 6458)
and changed out the parts to now provide the kit with factory-molded
zimmerit paste. This is provided in the =93tile=94-like pattern and
provides a realistic rough finish over the surface of the kit.
While some modelers groused about the fact that the kit=92s molded
zimmerit provides only a single pattern and is not as good as the
=93roll your own=94 variety, it has proven popular. ((In this day and age
many modelers are short on time, so anything which cuts out long,
tedious or messy operations tends to be popular with guys who just
want to build, paint and enjoy). Learning from their first kits, DML
now leaves places where kit and fittings must be attached bare and
provides attachment tabs or holes.
Unlike the first revised Jagdpanther kit noted above, this one is a
near verbatim =93repop=94 with the exception of the new upper and lower
hull and a sprue of components with zimmerit paste applied. The kit
does not have as many options, but does provide a pair of gun barrels
for the monobloc and composite construction designs. The now-standard
German generic 8.8 cm slide molded muzzle brake is also included.
As with the previous=93Smart Kits=94 it makes more use of =93slide molding=
=94
than previous DML kits, 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 new lower hull remains a one-piece =93slide mold=94 part with all of
the torsion bars complete and separate parts and zimmerit molded on
its upper sections. Fine details such as =93bump stops=94, =93pin knockers=
=94
and braces are all separate. It still comes with the rubber tired road
wheels and the cast mounting collar for the 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 original Panther Ausf. G kit are still not
provided.
The same nicely done engine deck is provided with 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. As
noted there is no zimmerit where these attach to the hull. The same
goes for the tools and OVM.
The hull comes with a separate roof plate and details, with all
hatches save the left from sliding plate as separate parts. 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.
One surprise is that the kit now comes with early model DS Plastic
single section runs. While everyone knows by now that Panthers used
=93dead=94 track and it has to sag, at least if the modeler thinks ahead
the DS Plastic runs can be cemented to the tops of the road wheels to
induce the correct sag. The directions alas only stay =93put this on=94 in
Step 16. (The idea is if you wish to simply glue them on using plastic
cement you must leave bare areas on the tops of the road wheels and
the bottom of the top track runs.)
Technical assistance for this kit was provided by Steven Van Beveren,
Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
As the vehicle now comes with zimmerit, a total of six finishing
options are provided: 1./s.H.Pz.Jg.Abt. 654, France 1944 (tricolor
with crosses); 2./s.H.Pz.Jg. 654, France 1944 (sand brown with
crosses); 2./s.H.Pz.Jg. 654, France 1944 (sand brown with brown
splotches); s.H.Pz.Jg. 654, Western Front 1944 (tricolor , white
crosses, Red 112); 3./s.H.Pz.Jg. 654, France 1944 (tricolor, black
crosses, Black 314); and s.H.Pz.Jg. 654, Western Front, 1944
(tricolor, white crosses, Red 133). A set of Cartograf decals is
provided for these markings. Note that if you pay attention to the
side views the vehicles with the composite and the monobloc gun
barrels are shown.
Overall, this should be a very popular kit as it now comes with a
complete coating of zimmerit paste.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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