Sd.Kfz. 183 Jagdtiger
|Stock Number and Description||Trumpeter No. 07254 Jagdtiger (Henschel)|
|Media and Contents:||90 plastic parts on 3 sprues with the upper and lower hull parts separate, 2 black one-piece flexible tracks and decals for 2 vehicles plus a 4 page fold-out instruction sheet with a parts plan, 9 build diagrams and a painting and marking guide. No decal placement guide is supplied.|
|Price:||Around AUD$18.00 distributed in Australia by J.B. Wholesalers|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Very cleanly moulded with reasonably clear instructions and good decals.|
|Disadvantages:||Rubber band tracks, all hatches moulded closed, most tools moulded on the hull, spare tracks have the detail on the wrong side, no decal placement guide; upper and lower hull fit is problematic; track guards not included.|
|Concusion:||I doubt this kit will be an improvement over kits of the same vehicle already available from other manufacturers in this scale.|
Based as it was on the King Tiger hull, the Jagdtiger was a fearsome adversary to any Allied armour. With its 128mm gun, it could penetrate the frontal armour of any opponent. Its only disadvantage was its extreme weight and lack of numbers.
It would seem that Trumpeter kits are designed by three different groups. The “A”, “B” and “C” teams. Models by the “A” team are usually quite good, well moulded with good detail and basically giving the modeller what he or she wants. Examples in 1/72nd scale armour are the Famo and the Ferdinand/Elephant. Those by the ”B” team tend to be accurate in shape but lack detail and usually come with rubber band tracks. Examples are the late Jagdpanther and the early Stug IIIs. The “C” team models have almost all of the faults seen in any kits, lack of accuracy and detail, hatches moulded closed, no separate tools and rubber band tracks. Examples are the M4 based Shermans and the Tiger Is. The “C” team are doing Trumpeter no favours at all. When modellers buy a new Trumpeter kit they have no idea which team may have designed it and therefore what the quality will be like. This tends to put some off until they have actually seen the kit.
I must point out though, if the likes of Dragon, Revell and a few others didn't exist, we would probably think these Trumpeter kits were marvelous. That, however, is not the case and the sooner Trumpeter wake up to this the better for us and them.
The bad news. This Jagdtiger kit by Trumpeter is a “C” team kit. Compared to the competition, Dragon and Italeri/Esci, neither of which are perfect, the only area where this kit equals them is in mould quality. And note that I said equal, not superior.
As well as the dreadful box top picture which will win them no sales, there are the usual faults, rubber band tracks, closed hatches and moulded on tools. But there's more. The upper and lower hull halves have a fit problem with a big gap at the front similar to that found on Dragon's Tiger I. It may not be hard to fix, I don't know yet but that's not the point.
The “C” team have not realized which way the spare tracks are mounted on the fighting compartment sides and put all the detail on the tread side and none on the other. Trumpeter got it right on their Jagdpanthers, the only manufacturer who did but they've blown it on this one.
The Jagdtiger was designed to use the same track guards as the King Tiger. These, along with the tow cables are not supplied by Trumpeter.
The tracks have nice detail on the tread side but apart from the guide teeth, there isn't much on the inside and these are a little stiff, rather like the old Esci and Airfix tracks. However, in the instructions it is claimed they can be glued with ordinary plastic cement but this is false, super glue or something else will be required.
Then there are the decals.
At first glance they look good but on closer inspection the two colour items are out of register. This involves two black and white crosses and two three digit numbers in red and white. The other markings, a pair of white out-line only crosses and two black three digit numbers look to be usable.
The problem is, where do you use them? There are no decal placement instructions anywhere in the kit. Curiously, on the decal sheet itself, there are four (4) kit numbers. Does this mean those four kits will also have this same decal sheet?
Overall, the shape looks reasonably accurate, including the lengthened hull but I have no way to check it dimensionally. Similarly, the moulding are very sharp with no noticeable flash, sink or ejector pin marks. I know that both the Dragon and Italeri/Esci kits have problems and perhaps the best solution would be to combine this with one of the others.
Either way, this kit is not an improvement over the others and, to me, represents a big disappointment.
Thanks to JB Wholesalers for the review sample
Text by Glen Porter
Images by Brett Green
Page Created 24 August, 2008
Page Last Updated 24 August, 2008