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In-Box Review
135
JagdTiger with Zimmerit
Sd.Kfz.186 JagdTiger Porsche Production Type with Zimmerit
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by: Darren Baker [ CMOT ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction

The JagdTiger is credited as being the heaviest production armoured fighting vehicle of World War Two. 150 JagdTigers were ordered but only between 77 to 90 were delivered, the exact number seems to be a mystery as the numbers quoted are the highest and lowest I found. They were equipped with a 128mm Pak 44 L/55 main gun and up to two MG42’s for air defence and infantry defence. The 128mm Pak 44 L/55 main gun had an effective range of over 4,000 metres and a maximum range of 22,000 metres and could penetrate any Allied vehicle at a range of 2,100 metres including the M26 General Pershing, as discovered in US tests after the war.

The JagdTigers fire power and protection were excellent but it had a major weakness, its weight. Weighing in at 75tons made travel slow and restricted its movement due to the problem of crossing bridges and its range was an issue as well due to over taxing the power plant resulting in a large number of breakdowns, the fuel it required was also in limited supply. The result of this was that most of the JagdTigers losses were due to destruction by their crews due to mechanical breakdown or simply running out of fuel. There were two versions of the JagdTiger which were; the Porsche version which had 8 wheels each side and which utilised the same suspension system as the Elefant, It would seem that most agree 11 JagdTigers utilised the Porsche suspension system, the other design was the Henschel version which utilised the torsion bar suspension system and had 9 wheel stations on each side.

Of the JagdTigers built only three are believed to have survived which are located at;
Bovington Tank Museum, England a Porsche version can be viewed.
Kubinka, Russia a Henschel version can be viewed.
Aberdeen Proving Grounds, USA a Henschel version can be viewed. This could have changed as there are a lot of changes being made to the collection at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds, and it is my hope that a better location where these important vehicles can be preserved for future generations is found soon.

Contents

The model is packaged in typical Dragon Models style with a reasonable sized box containing all of the contents with not a lot of room to spare. The art work on the box top is by the well respected Ron Volstad and whose drawings are for me one of the attractions of Dragon Models products. Inside you will find;
  • 15 grey sprues
  • 2 photo etched frets
  • 1 turned aluminium barrel
  • A length of twisted coil wire
  • 2 clear plastic sprues
  • Upper hull
  • Lower hull
  • Decal sheet
  • Fold out instruction booklet
  • Four metal towing brackets and pins


Review

Starting with the instructions for the model which are the typical Dragon Models black and white line drawings affair. There are 20 stages listed with a few of those stages being very busy but not too difficult to follow if you take your time. The decals are minimal consisting of just German crosses and some small black numbers. There are 2 finishing options which are both vehicles of Panzerjäger Abteilung 653, Germany 1944, one of these is a single colour vehicle and a three colour camouflage vehicle.

This model from Dragon Models unlike a large number of other model kits from Dragon Models will not fill up a half a box with unused parts, there are only13 parts listed as ‘not used’ in the box. The moulding themselves are typical Dragon Models quality with no obvious issues with flash and ejection pin marks to worry about. The zimmeritt moulding detail is very fine and really does look the part with Dragon Models remembering to replicate the zimmerit on the metal skirts as well as the main body of the vehicle. I do have some concerns about the height of the zimmerit on the fighting compartment, as my searches for reference material on the Porsche JagdTiger shows the zimmerit finishing at the lower hanging brackets, Dragon Models finishes the zimmerit at the top hanging brackets which would appear to be considerably higher up than it should be.

The interior detail of this model is sparse with you only really getting a floor with the interior portion of the gun. My issue with this is the size of the fighting compartment doors which if left open does allow a reasonable view of the interior area, the other issue here is that as there is no fire wall between the engine bay and fighting compartment it will be easy to see that the engine compartment is completely empty and this area would have benefitted from at least two detail parts to go under the vented areas of the engine deck. Installing your own firewall at the rear of the fighting compartment will go some way to masking this omission by making the engine bay dark. I feel this is a shame as I know Dragon Models can do better. As for the fighting compartment Alliance Model Works is one company that I know supplies a very complete interior for this area but it is designed for the Henschel version of the JagdTiger.

Moving onto the suspension of the model; you get what looks to me to be a very well designed and accurate Porsche suspension which can be articulated. The wheels also appear to be well detailed on the front face and have the detail that would be visible on the rear face. The drive sprocket has the 18 teeth which I believe is accurate for early version of the JagdTiger, this model does replicate an early version of the Jagd Tiger as it has zimmerit which was stopped in September 1944 by which time only 16 JagdTiger’s had been completed. This is a fact worth remembering if you are building one of the JagdTiger’s without zimmerit from Dragon Models or any other manufacturer for that matter which should result in a few modellers letting out a small cheer.

Now for some bad news for all camps when it comes to the tracks included with this model. It does not have Magic Tracks and it also does not have Dragon Styrene tracks either, it does however have six sprues which contain all of the parts needed to make the tracks. The bad news for the fans of both camps is that it takes 8 parts to make every two links, and I suspect will drive a number of modellers to drink assuming you are sober when making models. If this is too much for you Friul models do have a product that will replace these which is ATL 41 Tiger II Hunting Tiger. Be advised that this is not an easy option but will provide an accurate workable track that should once put together will be far easier to install, this set also comes with a jig for assembly and also two replacement drive wheels if needed.

The external details for the body of the vehicle appear very complete with a particular highpoint for me being the inclusion of tools with and without moulded on clamp details, the clamps for the details without the moulded on detail are supplied in photo etched form which anyone who has tackled a Dragon Models product should be familiar with. The side skirts are supplied as individual panels and which do overlap as on the real vehicle, this makes it easy for those who wish to show some panels removed. The zimmerit detail is very light and should help to make this model eye catching. Another welcome return is the inclusion of metal clevises and pins which I am sure the modeller will be glad of even if no one else notices.

The 128mm Pak 44 L/55 main gun is supplied in the kit as a turned aluminium offering and also a 2 piece plastic offering if that is your preference, either option should look just as good depending on your finishing ability with the aluminium offering being the best option in my humble opinion. The mantlet consists of 4 parts and has some very nice metal casting detail on it and while just one area of the model it should draw the eye.

Conclusion

When it comes to models with moulded on zimmerit I have mixed opinions, I am glad it saves me money if I decide to go the resin zimmerit route, and it saves me a lot of time if i opt to make my own zimmerit or for that matter application of zimmerit sheets. The down side of this approach by a manufacturer is that it makes it difficult to replicate damage to the zimmerit. I will leave it to you to decide which way to jump on that subject. The overall look of the model is in my opinion very good and should make for an eye catching dust collector as my wife calls them. I do wish Dragon Models had paid a little thought to the interior of the engine bay and what can be seen through the grills, as stated in the review a large amount of this issue could be overcome by the addition of scratched sheet plastic firewall. Considering the size and the fact that only 11 of the Porsche suspension JagdTigers were built, this model from Dragon Models is well worth seeking out for an addition to your model shelf.

Reference

SUMMARY
Highs: The highs for me are the inclusion of items like the tools with PE clamps that Dragon Models has stopped including of late in their releases.
Lows: No detail under the engine deck grills and the lack of an engine bay firewall are a disappointment.
Verdict: Well worth looking at for an impressive sized and rare World War Two German production vehicle.
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6493
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Nov 05, 2013
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 87.16%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

About Darren Baker (CMOT)
FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM

I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...

Copyright ©2017 text by Darren Baker [ CMOT ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

Very nice, Squire, a thorough and fair review. DML don't make them like they used to, haha!
NOV 05, 2013 - 11:42 AM
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