Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Armor Series Kit No. 7250; Sd.Kfz. 186 Jagdtiger Porsche Version; 139 parts (129 in grey styrene, 6 etched brass, 2 screws, 2 in black vinyl); price about $8.95
Advantages: nice, new crisp moldings, no diecast metal parts, many small features included, hollow molded gun barrel muzzle
Disadvantages: "Idiot-proof" directions may be confusing, and care is required
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all late war German fans
DML continues to roll along with its aggressive small scale program, and in response to comments from modelers and reviews also continues to adjust its production to meet demands. In the first kit of this series, No. 7231 which was the "Porsche" turreted Tiger II, the hull components were diecast metal. While they were nicely done and gave the model some "heft" they also made it nearly impossible to get a neat, clean assembly job or do any modifications or "super-detailing" to that hull. This kit now comes with a similar ? but all-styrene ? two-piece hull. It assembles the same way (a screw under the radio operator's hatch and one under the engine insert at the rear of the hull, which appear to be "optional" as the directions no longer call for them to be used.)
The kit is very neatly done and clean, with separate suspension bogies provided for the eight road wheels on each side of the hull. There is an engine deck underlay with separate manifold section and an optional position hatch, and grilles are included for the six deck openings, a feature which now seems to be a DML hallmark in this scale. While the aforementioned radio operator's hatch is separate, most of the rest are not and only a flap is provided for the commander. Someone must have felt tow shackles are a problem as the kit comes with 12 of them!
Most of the rest of the details are straightforward. Using their new sliding molds, DML have once again provided a 12.8 cm barrel with its muzzle already open to a depth of a few millimeters, a very nice touch and one that with some careful use of a "Flexi-File" will obviate te need to replace the barrel.
But there are some oddities that also come in this kit, such as a nicely done8.8 cm barrel with muzzle brake. Considering all the rest of the parts on that sprue are for a Jagdtiger, the reason for that part escapes me!
The single-section tracks are well done, but as noted still require the use of ACC (cyanoacrylic) glue to assemble.
A "number jungle" decal sheet is included, and painting directions are provided for a vehicle from 3rd Company, sPzJgAbt 653 in Germany 1945 or an unidentified vehicle in the three-color scheme, also Germany 1945.
Overall this is a nice little kit and another notch in DML's accomplishments in this scale.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.