Italeri 1/72 Jagdpanzer IV Ausf.F Build Review
By John Kelley
|Date of Review
|Jagdpanzer IV Ausf.F
|Separate tools and good fit
|Return rollers one-piece; no detail on inside of tracks
The Jagdpanzer IV Ausf.F was based on the Panzer IV chassis and was armed with the 75mm L/48 main gun. With its low profile, it was considered a deadly tank killer. Many times, the crews would use the low profile to their advantage by covering the tank with foliage and placing it in an ambush position. It was not until the first tank was hit that their position was even seen. It served on all fronts from 1944 till the end of the war.
Italeri has released the old ESCI 1/72nd kit of the Jagdpanzer IV. When first released, this kit was considered "state of the art". It had hard plastic tracks, which was a first in any scale, individual tools, and an accurate shape and good detailing. It also included figures which today, in most modern kits, is almost unheard of. Also, the kit allowed itself to be built with or without the muzzle brake and side skirts. Even today, it is a very enjoyable kit to build.
I deviated from the instructions by assembling the lower hull first. I next began to assemble the running gear. When gluing the rear idler parts 3A and 4A, make sure the spokes line-up. There is no locating pin in this area so it is easy to misalign the parts. The only problem I had was the individual links would not fit on the drive sprocket teeth due to their thickness. To remedy this, I cut all but seven or eight teeth off. After this, the links fit just fine. I then added the road wheels and put on the remainder of the track.
There are two areas that would help improve this model a great deal if you intend to leave the side skirts off. The first is to cut a groove in the return rollers parts 6B. These are solid one-piece parts and there should be a groove cut in the center so they look like two pieces as can be found on the real tank. Another improvement would be to relocate the drive sprocket about .060 higher. The kit drive sprocket is much too low and should be raised.
Next, I assembled the upper hull and main gun which went together with no problem except for a small gap between the rear triangle-shaped armor plating part 10A and the main fighting compartment. I filled this area with Mr. Surfacer 500 to reduce the gap. I then added the remainder of the detailed parts.
I did add a strip of .010 plastic on the bottom of the rear of the upper hull because of a gap between Part 10B and the lower hull. If you're going to leave the side skirts off, the main fighting compartment is open on the bottom can be seen if the hatches are left open. Since I was putting side skirts on, I didn't bother to fill this up.
The model was sprayed with Modelmaster Flat Black. Then, I mixed Panzer Dunkergelb 1943 #4769 with 40% Light Gray #4765. I then sprayed a free hand pattern of stripes with Panzer Olivgrun 1943 #4798 and Panzer Schokladnbraun #4797.
After I had finished cleaning up the over spray, I then painted the shovel with Wood #4673 and the shovel head and wrench and crowbar were painted Gun Metal. At this point, I over sprayed the model with Pledge with Future to give it a good glossy finish for decaling and washes. I made a wash using Tamiya Red Brown and Black and thinned to the consistency of water. After washing and letting the model dry, I added the decals.
Because of the tow rope that is molded into the kit, I had to cut the bottom of the 67 so it would fit. It also looks like the tow rope is covering the number. I used Micro Sol to soften the decals and make them conform. I then dry brushed the model using the Dark Yellow and Light Gray mixture. The particular version I chose is supposed to have zimmerit, but since the kit does not have this on the model, I didn't apply it. From my research, most of the Jagdpanzer IV with muzzle brakes had zimmerit applied to them however the later ones did not.
If you want to make a late model one, simply leave off the muzzle brake and drill out the barrel. Since the kit decals are for an earlier version, you may have to change markings to suit a later tank. After the decaling and dry brushing, I applied a flat coat. I then used a Prisma Color silver pencil and rubbed it on the raised track detail, the drive sprocket teeth, and the face of the rear idler. I then glued on the hatch and for the first time in many years, I put in a crew figure.
This was a simple build which I enjoyed very much. Italeri gives you fuel cans, tarp and two figures which you can add to the kit as you choose. The onboard vehicle equipment is well done and having all this separate tools for me was the highlight of the kit. After the kit is built, the most important thing is it does look like a Jagdpanzer IV and for me, that is all I care about.
If you are looking for a fun and simple build, this kit is for you. It is really nice to have figures included in the kit without having to purchase them separately. The track detail on the outside is good, but there is none on the inside. With careful painting this model can really shine.
I recommend this kit to all who are interested in German Tank Destroyers.
My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample to build.