I want to start this review with a disclaimer: I am not an “armor guy”. I built mainly airplanes and the occasional soft skin. But armor has been calling me recently and the release of an all new-tooling Tamiya Jagdpanzer was too tempting as to not trying it.
This kit has a total of 252 pieces. It comes with plastic tracks, includes the torso of two figures and it has a small decal sheet with markings for 3 different tank hunters (one Eastern Front, two Western Front examples).
Construction begins with the lower hull and the running gear. The bogies have a nice surface detail that would take a wash really nicely. I was a bit surprised as to the total number of wheels involved in the construction, but again, I’m an “airplane guy”, so anything beyond 3 wheels sounds like “too many”. You are provided with return rollers, sprockets and two kinds of running wheels, as the real thing had the front two running wheels made completely in steel to handle the extra weight of the gun. Just be aware of that when you are painting the wheels. Instructions are very clear so it should not be difficult.
Construction continues with the upper hull and fenders. The lower sides of the fenders have some ejection pin marks that I puttied and sanded. It was the only area in the whole kit were I had to use putty… and it might have not been needed as once the kit is finished I certainly doubt it would be seen with the tracks in place.
Then construction moves to the back deck, with all the tools and details. I choose to leave them out for ease of painting. From there you are directed to assemble the mantlet and main gun. Finally you work with the hatches –which I choose to model closed I wanted to do it the easy way- and the attachments for the side skirts.
A word of caution, Step 9 calls to assembly the gun transport mount. Either assemble the whole thing there (mount and hinges) and deal with it while painting or create a subassembly of the mount and the hinges that get attached to the front after painting. I assembled the hinges first but then I was not able to install the gun mount and I broke one of the hinges…. I’m claiming that to be battle damage.
The final step is to mount the upper hull to lower hull. A very smart design of the kit still allows you to remove the upper hull after the model is finished.
The painting job was a bit of an experiment. I was trying to get the ambush camouflage done via some masks. I think I got a good idea on how to do it, but a poor execution, as the yellow is too dominant. Decals were minimal and went over the paint without any issue.
So, in conclusion: Every single part fits where its supposed to. In some cases some parts “snap” into place. This kit presents no difficulties whatsoever to any modeler. The surface detail is outstanding and as I mentioned the only area where I used filler was in the lower side of the fenders, and likely it was not even needed.
Perhaps the only part that could be improved is the skirt attachments. They just seem too thick in this scale, but I don’t have references on this vehicle as to confirm my observation.
As an airplane guy I must said that I had a lot of fun building this armor kit. Have I converted from airplanes to armor? Well, if all the armor models are like this one, then I will certainly build more armor kits in the future!
Strongly recommended to modelers of all levels. This kit is a jewel.
I would like to thank Tamiya USA and IPMS/USA for the review sample.
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