Dragon 1/72-scale Sd.Kfz. 173
Jagdpanther Early Production with Zimmerit (Item 7241)
by Cookie Sewell
124 parts (110 in grey styrene, 6 etched brass, 4 black vinyl, 2 lengths
of twisted wire, 2 screws); price between $8.95-10.95
Advantages: new molds with some changes over early releases; petite zimmerit
pattern appears to be highly acceptable in this scale
Disadvantages: directions somewhat compacted and do not show all options
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German WWII small-scale fans
DML has now gone into more detailed 1/72 kits, all of which are flagged
as "Armor Pro." These are new molds, provided with detail parts
normally not found in 1/72 or 1/76 kits such as etched brass and steel
wire, and built to a higher level of detail than basic kits.
This is the second one that I have reviewed, and it is a much nicer piece
than the first or basic version. It comes with a new styrene hull, whose
molds were delicately etched with a "waffle" zimmerit pattern
and which effectively represents a vehicle with that coating. All major
components that would be zimmerited are done, however, modelers should
note that in order to get the requisite level of detail the rear stowage
bins (D2 and D3) are done in black vinyl. This means they will have to
be attached to the hull rear (part E1) with ACC cement and not plastic
cement. The reason DML did this is to get the "waffle" pattern
to mold all the way around the circumference of the bins.
There are a lot of nice touches one finds with recent DML 1/35 scale
kits included with this kit as well, such as the gun barrel muzzle being
pre-bored for the modeler due to some clever designs of the molds. Wheels
have bolt patterns inside and out, and the modeler has a large choice
of tow cable options as well.
The directions let the model down somewhat, as they either do not cover
what is going on or skimp over options. It's possible that they felt only
skilled modelers would purchase this kit, and ergo know pretty much by
instinct how to assemble one, but it may not have been that way. All major
assemblies are shown pretty much fully assembled, and what the modeler
misses is the fact that the crew hatches (C18), rear hatch (C14) and engine
access hatch (C17) are separate parts that can be shown open or closed.
Also, the skirt brackets (A14 and A15) are shown in place with only "stick
here" directions, something which could be easy to overlook during
Two color schemes are included, a two-tone one for Pz,Abt. 654 in France,
1944, and a three-tone one for the same unit as 3d Company, s.Pz.Jg.Abt.
654,m also in France 1944. A full decal sheet with "number jungles"
is included so you can do up more than one vehicle if building a diorama
or war game force of these machines.
Overall, the "Armor Pro" kits are a nice idea and permit the
modeler to really close on 1/35 scale kits for quality, something the
"small scale" community has deserved for a long time.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.