German Tank Destroyer Sd Kfz 173 Jagdpanther Ausf G1
This is kit comprised of about 600 styrene parts of which 508 are the track pieces, 2 frets of photo etched parts, an abundant set of poly caps and a set of braded wire for the tow cables. Not listed, but in the box was a metal barrel. It appears that it would replace part C13.
The instructions include 4 different finishes, so you need to choose which one you want to make and then review the instruction to see which set you need to follow. I chose option 3 and then when thru the instruction crossing out the other options so only option 3 was showing.
The 4 options are as follows:
- #212 sPzJgAbt 654 Battle of the Ruhr, March 1945
- #01 Headquarters, sPzJgAbt 559 Western France 1944
- #314 sPzJgAbt 654, Normandy, France 1944
- #? sPzJgAbt 559, Ardennes, 1944
Step 1. Builds the road wheels, drive sprocket and idler wheel. No issues here.
Step 2. Builds the lower hull chassis. You need to decide if you want the suspension arms moveable or not. If so, leave part A4 off the model. I left this part off to see how the suspension acts without part A4. I went back and added A4 and A39 to hold the suspension arms. Without these 2 parts the suspension arms were too loose. Since there is no interior there were no torsion bars to give some lift, so the arms just flopped around. I would only leave these 2 parts off where the kit would be in a diorama that required something other than a flat road fit.
Step 3. You have a choice between 2 types of spring bump stops here. I suggest that you not glue in the idler wheel as you might want to remove the locating pin to allow the idler wheel to rotate to provide the correct tension to the tracks.
Step 4. Builds the suspension arms. Meng designed the arms with a slot to reduce the sink marks that occur with thick plastic parts. To fill the slot Meng has a piece to drop into the slot. The fit is okay, but putty filler is still required to fill in the cracks.
Step 5. Builds the upper part of the hull chassis. Be sure to drill out the holes required for your build.
Step 6. You add some detail to the rear plate and the sponson cover plates.
Step 7. Here you build the jack and mount the road wheels. I left the jack off to paint it off the model and add it late in the build.
Step 8. Builds the tracks. Here is the most tedious part of the build. You must add 2 guide horns to each track link and there are 87 links per side plus spares. It took 6 plus hours to add the guide horns, clip the links off the sprue, trim off the sprue contacts and clean up the contact points.
Step 9. The step you need to drill out the required holes for your version. Also added the front glacis to the hull.
Step 10. Again, drill out the required holes for your version. Attach the side plates and rear casement. Fit is okay, but some filler is required.
Step 11. Add some small PE parts to the front and sides.
Step 12. Adding some fender accessories. I left the headlight off until ready for painting as I usually break them off during the rest of the construction. The headlight base (Part A12) has the electrical wire lead molded to the base. This is well done and looks better than trying to add some wire as an afterthought.
Step 13. Shows the 4 different version of the rear hull plate. Use the one you chose for your version.
Step 14. Adds the 2 rear storage bins and the convoy light.
Step 15. Adds the PE grates along with the side skirt hanging point. You might want to wait on these till the end of the build to ensure that the points mate up with the holes in the side skirts.
Steps 16 & 17 & 18. Adds the rear deck hatches and pioneer tools. There are numerous choices of option depending on the choice of version to build.
Step 19. Adds the barrel cleaning rod canister. Placement depends on your version.
Step 20. Builds the tow cable. Here is the biggest error that occurred. The instructions say the cable is 108mm long. This is way too short. I feel a minimum of 138mm and even 180mm would work. There is plenty of wire to make 2 cables that long.
Step 21. Completes the rear casement hatch. It has details on the inside of the hatch, but the rest of the interior is rather sparse, so you might just want to close the hatch.
Step 22. Completes the rear plate of the casement.
Steps 23 thru 26. Completes the roof of the casement.
Step 27. Adds the hull machine gun or the machine gun plug.
Steps 28 & 29. Builds the gun breech assembly. The detail is quite good. But, the rest of the interior is very sparse you might forget painting. You can leave the two top hatches and the rear casement hatch open so you can see some of the gun breech, but there is nothing else to see.
Step 30. Mounts the gun breech to the armored mantlet. Here you use the part for your version.
Step 31. Adds the snout to the mantlet and attaches them to the body. If you want side skirts now is the time according to the instructions to add them.
Step 32. Assembles and attaches the barrel to the breech assembly. There are choices here according to the version of choice.
I found the molding to be clean, with no sink marks and few ejector pin marks on the sprues. The mold seams were easily removed and I saw no flash.
As with all instructions, read them carefully and plan what you want to do ahead of construction. Check the fit over and over and over again to make sure that all items fit together.
Painting and Decals
The color call outs are for Meng AK and Acrysion. Hobby. The decals are by Meng and appear to be in good registry.
This is a very nice model and the detail is well molded. The engineering of the parts makes the fit excellent, there were few if any gaps that required a lot of putty filling. I can recommend this model to any World War II German modeler.
References consulted included:
- Panther Its Variants; Schiffer Publishing Ltd by Walter Spielberger ISBN:0-88740-397-2.
- Sd Kfz 173 Jagdpanther, Gunpower #24 by AJ press
- Panzer Tracts No. 9-3 “Jagdpanther”; Panzerjaeger Panther (8.8cm) (Sd Kfz 173) Ausf G1 und G2, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
Thanks to Meng Models for the review sample, and IPMS/USA for the review space.