DML 1/35 Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz.173 Command Version Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||February 2008||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Jagdpanther Sd.Kfz.173 Command Version||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||9016||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Neat kit of popular German subject||Cons||Older generation DML kit without any of the PE and goodies in current DML kits. Very limited marking option. Suspension arms molded solid. No interior details|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$37.95|
The Jagdpanther (“Hunting Panther”) was a tank destroyer built by Nazi Germany during WWII. It was based on the chassis of the Panther tank. It was a heavy tank destroyer based on the 88 mm Pak 43 gun and the Panther tank chassis. It was ordered in late 1942 as design Sd.Kfz. 173. Production started in early 1944; at the same time Hitler specified the Jagdpanther (“Hunting Panther”) name.
To accommodate the gun, the sides of the Panther tank were extended up to provide a roomy interior, while maintaining a very low profile. Both the Panther Ausf.G and Jagdpanther had side amour of increased elevation to enhance this effect even further and to harmonize production.
It was armed with an anti-tank version of the same long-barreled 88 mm gun as the Tiger II and a 7.92 mm MG-34 machine-gun in the front glacis plate for local defense. The Jagdpanther had a good power-to-weight ratio and a powerful main gun, enabling it to destroy any type of Allied tank. The Jagdpanther’s low profile meant that it was easily camouflaged. Because it was based on the existing Panther chassis, the vehicle did not suffer too many mechanical problems. It was manned by a crew of 5: a driver, radio-operator, commander, gunner and a loader.
Two variants can be distinguished, one with a welded steel band around the main gun mantlet and the other with a bolted-on band. The versions with the bolted-on ring were equipped with a Pak 43/4 gun. Early Jagdpanthers had a monobloc gun barrel and two vision openings for the driver, whereas late versions had only one.
Around 392 Jagdpanthers were produced in 1944-45. They equipped heavy anti-tank battalions and served mainly on the Eastern Front, although significant numbers were concentrated in the West for the Ardennes Offensive. They were first encountered in the west, in very small numbers, late in the Battle of Normandy, where the German 654th Heavy Anti-tank Battalion (Schwere Panzerjager-Abteilung) deployed about 12 Jagdpanthers against British units.
Three surviving Jagdpanthers have been restored to running condition. The German museums in Munster Deutsches Panzermuseum and Koblenz (WTS – Wehrtechnische Studiensammlung) have one running Jagdpanther each. The SDKFZ Foundation in the UK has restored one Jagdpanther to running condition. They used 2 wrecked Jagdpanthers to complete one tank-destroyer.
DML Dragon is a model company based in Hong Kong. They are a very prolific manufacturer of AFV models.
This kit comes in a large tray and lid type box. The box art shows a Jagdpanther (command version) crossing a railroad track with a couple of infantrymen beside it. Up the tracks appears a knocked out locomotive. In the background is a sturmgeschutz tank, a Panther tank and a Sd.Kfz.251 half-track that the Jagdpanther seems to be following.
A side panel of the box shows three color photos of the model made up. The other side panel has the full color box art of another tank that DML models a kit of. It is their kit no. 9014 of the Stug.III Ausf.G, Sd.Kfz.141/2. DML’s street address appears next to this. Inside the box are 14 light gray trees of parts, the single hull tub and top parts all in 9 sealed cello bags (identical trees are packed into the same cellos), the decal sheet and instructions.
The instructions consist of a large sheet that accordion folds out into 8 pages of 8 ¼” x 13 ¼” format.
Page one begins with a black and white repeat of the box art. This is followed by the parts tree illustrations. Some of the parts on these illustrations are shaded in blue. This means they are excess and not needed to complete the model.
Page two begins with “CAUTIONS” concerning the kit in 6 languages, including English. This is followed by international assembly symbol translations and a listing of Gunze Sangyo and Italeri paints, suggested to use to finish the model. The bottom of the page has the first assembly step drawing.
Pages three through seven give a balance of a total of 14 assembly steps.
Page eight gives a 4 view drawing of a Jagdpanther of an unknown unit. It is in a wave pattern of RLM sandy brown, khaki green and wood brown. The only markings on it are the German crosses. This is the only scheme provided. The bottom of the page has the decal application instructions in 6 languages, again including English.
Tree letter A holds: drive sprockets and idler wheels (blued out as excess), tow cable ends (also excess), tools (some of which are excess)etc. (52 parts) 33 of these parts are blued out on the instructions parts trees drawings as being excess.
Letter B tree holds the hull rear plate, the bolted manlet collar, slitted headlight and some gun trunnion parts etc. (12 parts) All parts are used.
There are two identical letter C parts trees. These hold: side skirts and brackets (excess), idler wheels (excess), a grab handle (excess) odd tiny part (excess), the muffler (used) and a return roller (used). (10 parts per tree)
There is four identical trees that are also called letter C. These hold the individual track links. (48 parts per tree)
There are two identical letter D parts trees. These hold the road wheels. (16 parts per tree)
There are two identical letter E parts trees. These hold: the halves of the main gun barrel, the drive sprockets, the idler wheels, some grillwork parts, etc. (24 parts per tree)
Tree letter F holds: the gun mantle, fender ends, machine gun fairing, jack, axe, air intake grills, wood jacking block, engine crank tool (excess), final transfer covers etc. ( 41 parts) Besides that crank tool, one other little part is excess.
Letter G tree holds the parts for the crow’s foot type radio antenna. (4 parts)
Letter H is the single hull bottom tub piece. The suspension arms/axles are molded solid, so the model cannot be posed going over rough terrain.
The hull top is shown on the parts trees drawing without a letter designation. Although two of the split roof hatches and rear fighting compartment door can be posed open or shut, there is NO interior detail parts…not even a gun breech.
There are no crew figures in the kit.
The decal sheet completed the kits contents. It has the German black crosses with white outlines, the white only skeletal crosses, the numerals 1 & 4 in both red and black with white outlines.
This is one neat version of the Jagdpanther. Being the command version means it carried extra radio gear, hence that crow’s foot antenna provided in the kit.