by: Tim Sloan [ ]
In December 1942, a new project was put in place to replace the Stug III’s by using the Pz IV chassis. The result from Vomag was the Sd.kfz 162 Jagdpanzer IV. It was originally intended to use the 7.5cm Pak 42 L/70, but the Panther was given full priority for the L/70, leaving the Jagdpanzer to begin with the 7.5cm Pak 39 L/48. It wasn’t until August 1944 when the Jagdpanzer was finally given the L/70 by Vomag, thus giving the (V) .There were a total of 940 L/70s produced by March 1945 when the Vomag plant was heavily bombed.
Dragon has now introduced a newly tooled kit of the L/70, taking on all new parts for the Jagdpanzer, and utilizing some sprues from their previously released PzIV kits. So this kit will completely outdate the Jagdpanzer which was released around 1998 in the Imperial Series. This kit will allow you the choice of either the mid or late production L/70, and could easily be made into a final production with either some minor scratch building or an opportunity for one of the aftermarket companies to step in with an easy conversion set.
The kit consists of 18 sprues, 7 of which are designated for the Jagdpanzer IV. The remainder being obvious related parts from the PzIV. You also get 1 small photo etch fret which only provides you with 8 parts. One set of Magic Tracks which is the first kit to offer the final style PzIII/IV tracks, which are handed and each side has its own shade of grey. One bag of 12 rims for the front 4 road wheels as these were steel wheels.
The instructions begin with the wheels, giving a choice of 3 styles of return rollers. The idler wheel being the welded design, and road wheels molded as one piece with a separate hub cap. The front 4 road wheels were steel due to the increased weight of the main gun; these are given as 7 separate parts. Step 2 offers the choice of two different exhausts, the normal cylinder type (mid production), or the vertical mufflers (late production).
Though not a complete interior provided, there is a nice beginning of one. To start with, you have the firewall with a radio set provided. A nicely detailed Pak 42 will be the main focus, and was given plenty of OOB details; breech, sights, handwheels and the recoil guard to start you out. The engine deck layout looks to be accurate with tools cluttered about, although no photo etch tool clasps are provided. Crew hatches are loaded with detail, with the option of open/close position, but not workable.
A one piece, slide molded gun barrel is provided with only a minor seam to clean off, it even has rifling visible! Another new addition over the Imperial series kit is the included schurzen, or side skirt armor. This comes as a single piece, molded with a 'razor' edge to simulate the thinness as best as possible for plastic. Brackets are provided in plastic as well, this all being an option of course, depending on which unit you model. Another nice detail are the casting numbers, which are provided on Spue G to allow the modeler to add the casting numbers to the gun mantlet. You'll have to reference this yourself, as no indication is given for each unit provided on the markings page.
A small sheet of decals provided by Cartograf will give you no less than 8 different marking options , two of which are the same unit, but one option for winter camo. These include:
• 15th Panzergrenadier Division, Western Front 1945
• Pz.Jg.Abt., Pz Div. Feldherrnhalle
• Budapest 1945; 13th Panzer Division
• Hungary 1945 ; and one of the same but with the winter camo
• 9th SS Panzer Division Hohenstaufen' Hungary 1945
• Pz.Jg.Abt. 1, 1st SS Panzer Division LAH, Poteau, Belgium 1944
• Stu.Art.Brig. 210, Germany 1945
• 7th Panzer Division, Eastern Front 1945.
Despite the lack of photo etch in this kit, Dragon has brought us an excellent model. All new crisp details, and lots of them, certainly look to be a great project out of the box. Some nice choices and options for two different versions, as well as plenty of marking options. And the inclusion of side skirt armor this time around is a nice bonus. I’d recommend this kit to anybody who has some experience with indy-link tracks.