88 tan plastic parts on two sprues, 48
metallic grey plastic track parts on one sprue, decals for four vehicles
plus a four page fold-out instruction sheet with history, parts plan,
seven build drawings and two pages of paint/decal diagrams.
Link & length tracks, the only Jagdpanther
kit with the early engine deck, all hatches open and one crew figure.
Spare track links wrong, only one tow
cable, many parts missing or inaccurately called out in instructions; no
detail on the inside of the L&L tracks.
Recommended for parts only
The Sd. Kfz 173 Jagdpanther was a
tank killer based on the Panther tank. With thick sloping armour,
the powerful 88mm anti-tank gun and the Panther lower hull and
running gear, it had an almost perfect combination of fire-power,
protection and mobility making it the best Anti-Tank Weapon to come
out of the Second World War. As with many German innovations, there
just weren't enough of them to make a difference.
This is another of the ex-Esci kits that Italeri have been
reproducing of late. Generally, I welcome these old Esci kits
because in their day they were the best on the market and many of
them, even today, have not been bettered. However, with at least
three superior small scale Jagdpanthers on the shelves now, I just
can't recommend this kit in comparison to them. It has too many
errors but all is not lost. It is the only kit on the market with
the early engine deck and considering that almost all vehicles had
this deck it makes you wonder what Dragon, Revell and Trumpeter were
thinking when they designed theirs. Dragon even made the deck in
their kit separate so an early one could be substituted and then
apparently forgot to include the part.
thumbnails below to view larger images:
Okay, thatís the good bits, so
what's wrong with the rest of it?
Well, I'll start with the spare
track links. Esci have moulded two six-link sections of track on the
one of the tan sprues which are almost but not quite identical to
those on the track sprue. Nice tread pattern detail on the out side
but nothing on the other side, not even guide teeth. This is not so
bad for the tracks where because of an abundance of road wheels you
can't see much of the inside anyway but because of the guide teeth,
the spare tracks are mounted with the guide teeth side out and
there's no detail at all. As if this wasn't bad enough, they then
tell you to mount them vertically instead of horizontally as they
Then there's the tow cables. There should be two but they've only
supplied one. It looks about the right length but again they tell
you to mount it under the pioneer tools on the left hand side
instead of above.
Talking of pioneer tools, I think they have supplied the right
amount but then they will have you mounting them in all sorts of odd
places. Sure, later on they were mounted as indicated but they don't
give you the opportunity to mount them as standard. On the right
hand side, there is nothing between the front tool mount and the
spare tracks at the rear. No wooden block for the jack, no mount for
a coil of wire and no rear tool mount. There are four holes moulded
into the side for the tool mount but no mount, block or coil holder.
I know that this is an old kit and
Italeri are just giving us what Esci have given them, but this is
just not good enough compared to the other Jagdpanther kits on the
market from Revell, Dragon and Trumpeter.
If it wasn't for that engine deck I would not recommend it at all.