by: Jan Etal [ ]
Originally better known as the Kanonenjagdpanzer or more recently as the KaJaPa, this vehicle was a self-propelled, turret-less anti-tank gun. The first prototypes were built in 1960 by Hanomog and Henschel for West Germany and MOWAG for Switzerland. A total of 770 were built for the Bundeswher between 1965 and 1967 with 80 of a slightly modified version to Belgium from April 1975 onward.
Armed with a Rhinemetal BK 90/L40 90mm gun and two MG-3 7.62mm machine guns, a crew of four operated the 27.5 ton vehicle. The main gun had 51 rounds available while the secondary guns had 4000 rounds stored for both machine guns. The KaJaPa served with the Bundeswher until the early 1990ís.
The subject of this review is the Artitec 1/72nd scale KaJaPa Bundeswehr, Kit #172001
The kit arrives in a clear, rectangular, end opening box. Inside can be found the following:
Single page instruction sheet and painting guide.
Large hull casting X 1
Left and right side suspension/running gear X 2
Casting block with 9 detail parts attached
90mm gun and mantlet piece X 1
Large storage box for rear hull X 1
MG-3 casting X 1
PE fret with 8 pieces X 1
Small waterslide decal sheet X 1
Wire antenna X 2
The painting guide provides a choice for two vehicles. One vehicle represents a total green vehicle that would have been seen until 1984. The second scheme is for a vehicle from 1984 onward and is in a three colour NATO camouflage. Paints referenced in the instructions are for the Humbrol and Revell range.
Artitec have done a fine job on this kit but it is not for the novice or beginner. Resin models are subject to their own set of attributes. Resin is generally harder than styrene and its dust produced from sawing, grinding or sanding is considered dangerous. For light sanding, a particle mask is probably sufficient, but if you're using a belt sander, grinder or buffing wheel, a respirator may be more appropriate since the resin will become more airborne. While the details on this kit show superb moulding there are areas where what may be simple with styrene, will be more involved with resin.
As mentioned above, the surface details for the main body and certain parts is extremely good. The main gun muzzle is hollowed out, plus the three main hatches can be posed open or closed and have both external and internal detailing. While cast as a single unit, the road wheels, sprockets, return rollers and idlers all have moulding that gives the impression of being in pairs instead of single solid pieces. While all the tools are cast on the hull, Artitec does provide some stowage such as tarp and camouflage net rolls to enhance the vehicle.
Some parts show a light flash on their edges. This is particularly present on the running gear and a few detail parts. It is mostly quite light and easily removed with a sharp hobby blade. However, a major job for the builder will be taking care of the large remnants of the bodyís pour plug and cleaning up the tracks pour points.
For the floor of the body, the use of wet and dry sandpaper and a chisel was necessary on my sample. Due to a few mishaps during the sanding process, I decided that the bottom plate and lower, front plate might be best enhanced by cladding over both with sheet styrene to smooth the two panels. There was a prominent fillet between the fenders and sides of the body where the tracks are to run. This area with the extra resin made positioning the tracks properly impossible and required that it be removed. This was a tedious and time consuming job involving the use of sharp chisel and gouge blades.
A few parts have mounting pins, but these appeared brittle when trying to remove them from their casting block and the pins were damaged. As the parts count is minimal, there should not be any major issues other than the clean-up of some parts, that some people may find rather small. A few test via dry fitting with the hatches, showed that they fit very well.
Then there is the photo etch pieces to deal with, some of these are both small and prone to bending. Having dry-fitted the rear rack, itís obvious there is a need for time and patience required with placing those parts.
This is not the first incarnation of a Kanonenjagdpanzer in a smaller scale as the former ROCO had produced one in 1/87th scale (HO) scale years prior. However, this one in 1/72nd scale is far superior in detail. While possessing a limited number of parts, the nature of resin possesses its own set of unique challenges. While some parts fit remarkably well, the running gear did require a fair amount of attention to look and especially fit well. With proper care and knowledge of resin peculiarities, this kit will create an excellent representation of this unique vehicle.