Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz. 173 Late Production - Smart Kit
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6393; Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz. 173 Late Production - Smart Kit|
|Media and Contents:||735 parts (548 in grey styrene, 170 “Magic Track” links, 9 clear styrene, 6 etched brass, 2 twisted steel wires)|
|Price:||estimated price about US$47.50|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||“Smart Kit” 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|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all German armor and Panther fans in particular|
This vehicle is the “other half” 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 “Late”production version, it does not require “zimmerit” paste and as such is more correct than the first one.
Like previous “Smart Kits” it makes more use of “slide molding” than previous DML kit, and the goal seems to be to permit modelers to get “multimedia” kit finish and part definition with a minimum of actual multimedia parts – 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 “slide mold” part with all of the torsion bars complete and separate parts. Fine details such as “bump stops”, “pin knockers” and braces are all separate. Even though deemed the “late” production the kit still provides the rubber tired road wheels, the cast mounting collar and but now cites the “stepped” 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 “slide molded” 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’s hatch may have the “rabbit ears” 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’s 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 Ground 1944, (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 “Unidentified Unit” 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 “zimmerit”.
A 52x2 Engine deck details and fine details
C 60 Hull details and sponsons
E 47x4 Road wheels, torsion bars, individual “wrap” track links, wingnuts
F 3 Mantelets
G 37 Drivers, final drives, steel wheel sets
H 33 Jagdpanther engine deck details and sponson liners
J 8 MG-34 bow gun
K 30 Tools and OVM
L 1 Jagdpanther upper hull
M 27 Jadgpanther casemate roof and exhaust parts
N 41 Jagdpanther rear hull, radiators and hatch details
Q 11 Jagdpanzer 8.8 cm gun components
R 1 twisted steel wire
S 9 clear styrene
T 6 Jagdpanther mantelet and gun barrel
X 1 Lower hull
Y 170 “Magic Track” links
Z 1 twisted steel wire
M 7 Etched brass
TG 3 Close in defense weapon
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.