Unimodel 1/72 Sd.Kfz.138/2 Hetzer (Early Version) Kit First Look
|Date of Review||October 2005||Manufacturer||Unimodel|
|Subject||Sd.Kfz.138/2 Hetzer (Early Version)||Scale||1/72|
|Kit Number||0352||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$9.98|
When Germany occupied Czechoslovakia, one of the first items on the Wehrmacht's shopping list was control of the Czech armor factories that were turning out tanks with superior firepower then their Panzer I and Panzer II main tanks. These tanks would continue to be manufactured and were designated as PzKpfw 38(t).
The Sd.Kfz.138/2 Hetzer was a self-propelled, armored anti-tank gun mount based on the 38(t) chassis. This vehicle mounted the Pak 39/L48 75mm gun inside an armored shell. Its four-man crew used the Hetzer's low profile to advantage while hunting enemy tanks.
Powered by a 160 hp six cylinder engine, the Hetzer could move its 16 ton mass around the battlefield at speeds up to 42 kph.
The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on four small trees of parts, plus a single fret of photo-etched parts. The first tree contains the majority of the hull components, the second tree contains the rear deck and main gun (the majority of parts on this tree are not used in this particular kit), while the last two trees contain the suspension, wheels and track sections. The small photo-etch fret contains a stowage box and side skirts.
Assembly of the kit appears to be straightforward with the hull leading off the process. The detailed suspension common to all of the UM 38(t) kits is nicely laid out and the partial track sections make for an easy and detailed alternative to the usual 'rubber band' track.
The unique box structure of the upper hull makes for an interesting surface upon which to camouflage and weather. Three different camouflage alternatives are provided in the kit - one for Wehrmacht tank hunter on the western front, one for an example from a Hungarian tank division, and one fascinating example of a captured Hetzer in Russian service. What is fascinating is the Russian (not Soviet) flags for a Russian Liberation Army Hetzer in the Czech Republic in 1945.
This is a nice looking model that will look great parked next to your Panzers. You can get this kit from your favorite hobby retailer or directly from Squadron Mail Order.
My sincere thanks to Squadron Mail Order for this review sample!