Kit Review: Italeri 1/35 Scale Kit Number 6275; Sd.Kfz. 173 Jagdpanther; 124+2+50, 8 in steel colored vinyl); price not known but estimated at US $33.50
Advantages: simple kit, easy to assemble and captures the look of its prototype
Disadvantages: carries over some of the problems with the similar Panther A and D (kits number 6270 and 6290) due to its use of the same lower hull sprue
Recommendation: for German armor fans or beginning modelers
When Italeri released its Panther kit about 15 years ago, it caused a firestorm of complaints and compliments from modelers. The compliments were usually due to the fact that it was the first Panther kit offered that attempted to provide for the use of "zimmerit" surface paste via the use of applique armored panels. The complaints were due to the fact that the kit HAD to use them or it wound up being underscale, as well as the turret sat too far to the rear and the suspension had some bugaboo problems. At the time it was released, however, what many of its detractors failed to grasp was that it was an A model and far superior to the obsolete Tamiya kit that dated from1968.
Since then Italeri, Tamiya, DML (both original and re-released Gunze Sangyo) versions and some other kits have covered one of the more popular derivatives of the Panther, the 88mm armed Jagdpanther. This kit was originally released in the early 1990s, and this version does make one change that I see - instead of the original lower hull sprue from kit 270, this uses the one from the Panther Ausf. D kit (number290) what many missed the first time as that kit did not need applique on its lower glacis.
The kit does not use any of the "zimmerit" panels, which is not so good as it replicates the early model of the Jagdpanther with the "smooth barrel" 88mm gun, most of which carried the zimmerit coating. It also is missing the side skirts albeit the mounts are included. It does retain the engine as provided in the A and D kits, which is a nice touch as it lends itself readily to diorama use.
The kit does come with the correct number and pattern of wheels, and the good news is that the Italeri tracks - in this case two-section vinyl in steel - are more flexible and fit well, other than the fact that the upper run by the nature of its material cannot droop. This will require forcing it down on the spension via either steel rods through the hull, tying it down with thread, or cementing it to the upper part of the road wheels with ACC (superglue).
Overall this isn't a bad model, and it's a great place for new or younger modelers to start as it has few vices or major problems in assembly. It also, due to its flat shapes and panels, is a great place to start if you want to learn how to apply "zimmerit" using a product like R&J's "Zimmer-it-Right." But if you want a fine-scale model, you will either have to make some changes and corrections or look to another kit.
Photos and sprue shots of this model are available exclusively at Cybermodeler