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Sd.Kfz.186 Kit

Italeri 1/72 Sd.Kfz.186 Jagdtiger Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2005 Manufacturer Italeri
Subject Sd.Kfz.186 Jagdtiger Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7030 Primary Media Styrene
Pros Nicely detailed exterior Cons
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $15.00

First Look

Sd.Kfz.186 Kit
Sd.Kfz.186 Kit
Sd.Kfz.186 Kit
Sd.Kfz.186 Kit

The Sd.Kfz.186 was too little, too late to make a difference on the battlefield. On paper it was nearly invulnerable, based on the hull of the King Tiger. It's 128mm main gun could plink any tank on the battlefield before it could even close within its own firing range. By even modern armor standards, this cat had a big honking gun!

So with such impressive credentials, why didn't the Jagdtiger make a difference? When it worked, it worked well, but it had an unreliable engine that would break down in the field and was nearly impossible to repair. Since the Jagdtiger had no turret, the main gun could only be aimed by moving the vehicle - no power, no effectiveness. The Germans were forced to destroy the vehicles themselves when they abandoned them.

As I understand it, less than 80 of these vehicles were built, yet kit manufacturers and modelers are fascinated by this tank plinker. Italeri joins the ranks with this nice 1/72 offering. The kit is evidently a reissue of ESCI's nice series of 1/72 armor.

Molded in Desert Yellow styrene, this kit is presented on two styrene trees, plus a tree of silver styrene track sections, plus a pair of black rubber-band-styled track for those who don't like working with track links. According to the kit specifications, this model consists of 127 parts (including the rubber-band track).

Assembly of the suspension, road wheels and track is very straightforward and mount to the sides of the lower hull. These sides are then mounted to the bottom of the lower hull and the rear.

Assembly of the upper hull has some interesting options. The driver, hull gunner and commander's hatches can be positioned open or closed. As there is no interior in the kit, the open hatches can be 'filled' with the included crew figures. The driver and hull gunner are upper torso-only while the commander is a full figure.

The fenders, pioneering tools, tow cables, spare track links, and main gun are added, with the rear of the firing compartment added last. The double doors on the rear of the firing compartment are also positionable (or even movable if you are careful with the hinges.

Markings are included for four examples:

  • No Number, 653 s.Pz.Jag.Abt., Germany, Late 1944
  • Black 331, 653 s.Pz.Jag.Abt., Germany, Early 1945
  • Red 103, 512 s.Pz.Jag.Abt., Germany, Early 1945
  • White X7, 512 s.Pz.Jag.Abt., Germany, Early 1945

This will build up into a nice rendition of this unique combat vehicle. Whether for war gaming or the contest table, this project will definitely be an eye catcher. Recommended!

My sincere thanks to Testors for this review sample!