DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.186 Jagdtiger Henschel Production Type Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2005||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.186 Jagdtiger Henschel Production Type||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6285||Primary Media||652 parts (346 in grey styrene, 244 "Magic Track" links, 42 etched metal, 8 in clear stryene, 4 cast white metal, 4 turned aluminum pins, 2 turned brass, 1 turned aluminum gun barrel, 1 length of twisted steel wire)|
|Pros||Kit appears to be upgraded and revised with new parts from recent Tiger II kits added in||Cons||Market for this vehicle not as extensive as others|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$34|
It's amazing that for a vehicle that only had a production run of 77 vehicles (67 with Henschel suspension and 10 with Porsche bogie units) this particular tank destroyer remains popular with modelers. Its combat career (at over 70 short tons it was very limited as to where it could go, especially as its length hobbled it in enclosed spaces) was not all that spectacular; it was a vehicle designed to kill Soviet heavy tanks at combat ranges, and instead wound up mostly being used against American forces on the Western front. Still, it did put fear into many American commanders, and the T26E4 Pershing with the hyper-velocity 90mm gun was sent over from the US in case the 3rd Armored Division ran into one.
DML has now released an updated version of its recent Jagdtiger kit with some new sprues added to it. The kit now includes the improved Henschel steel wheels found in the recent Tiger II kits as well as their modeler-friendly "Magic Track" – pre-trimmed snap-together links that only have to be snapped together, installed and then touched with cement to set them.
Also provided are a new turned aluminum gun barrel and a turned brass "projo" and casing for the big 12.8 cm gun. It includes the choice of turned wire cables and white metal tow clevises and pins as well. Tools are replaced with the new "standard German OVM" sprues now provided with each new DML German kit. More clear styrene periscopes also are provided.
I have heard some complaints that the original DML kit was too short, making too much use of their early Tiger II chassis pan and hull. I can't confirm this one is correct – but I measured the upper hull and it came out to right around 203 mm in length (7.1 meters) which matched with the plans I had.
The kit does provide the AA machine gun and mount, which go on the rear deck of the vehicle. There is no "Zimmerit" finish, which is fine, as these vehicles were only provided with that surface treatment for less than two months of their production run (July-September 1944.) Even then, I always recall the Jagdtiger as its application is screwy – it cuts off about halfway up the casemate sides (I guess somebody figured it would take a very tall Soviet to get a sticky bomb or magnetic mine that high!)
Six finishing options are suggested, but the kit comes with a complete "number jungle" sheet to do all of the vehicles in the two battalions it equipped, sPzJgAbt. 512 and sPzJgAbt. 653, as well as one unknown "stray". Specific information is provided for: 1 – "X7" from the 512th; 2 – "115" from 1/653rd; 3 – "301" from 3/653rd; 4 – Unknown (which may be a mistake – these markings are apparently factory production codes and markings, not used on finished vehicles; one photograph that clearly shows these markings is of the production line at Niebelungewerke); 5 – "211"from 2/512th, and 6 – 1/653rd. "X7" is probably the best known as it was captured after it got stuck in a small town.
Overall this is a nice upgrade to a good kit, and one that should still remain popular with modelers. I guess most of them are just fascinated with BIG!
Thanks to DML for the review sample.