Jagdtiger w/12.8cm PaK 80 (L/66)

Published on
January 3, 2017
Review Author(s)
Product / Stock #
Company: Dragon Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Dragon Models USA - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

Germany’s Jagdtiger was the behemoth of the Second World War and was the largest AFV to ever reach series production. The production version of this tank destroyer sported the 12.8cm PaK 44 L/55. According to Dragon’s website and their description of this model, Krupp engineers proposed to make this tank destroyer more lethal by fitting an even longer 12.8cm PaK 80 L/66. This design was never fielded, however. In essence, this model is a “paper panzer” version of the formidable Jagdtiger…and with this monster of a gun, even more fictionally formidable.

Dragon’s Jagdtiger has, of course, been around for a number of years in several forms. This latest is the basic Henschel version with the upgraded, prototype L66 gun. In addition to the gun Dragon has included more photoetch goodies, clear periscope parts, metal tow cables, and Magic Track individual track links.

  • Parts: Molded in gray: 310 (9 not used)
  • Molded in clear styrene: 8
  • Magic Track Individual Track Links: 240
  • Phot-etch fret: 1
  • Metal cable wire: 1
  • Decal sheet 1

Engineering of the kit is sound and is basically the same as pervious Jagdtiger releases from Dragon. The roof is molded to the superstructure so if you wish to model an open top/fully detailed interior then another kit is a better option. The front and rear plates of the upper hull are molded separately and when attached create a clean, solid look with no fit or gap issues to speak of.

Photoetch is a bit more generous than the usual engine deck screens. Grab handles are included as well as details for the gun travel lock/collar. This adds some welcome detail in my opinion. The grab handles can be tricky to cut and place but with patience they go on without issue (I utilized CA glue) and add a nice touch when complete.

The molding is clean and there is minimal flash on any of the parts and only a few needed minor clean-up. Slide mold technology is utilized in this kit and it is evident in the molding of such parts as the lower and upper hull…all are molded very nicely with no warpage or flash. The sides of the upper hull are molded with a cast iron texture which is a very nice touch. Once painted, the upper hull sides as well as the gun mantlet have a very convincing steel-like appearance. A definite plus in my opinion.

One minor detractor to the kit is the two-piece molded barrel of the PaK 80 L66 (the original PaK 44 L/55 is also included in the kit). Yes, this is a small gripe from someone that utilizes metal barrels whenever he can, but a resurrection of two-piece barrel construction skills is required. At least the barrel is very nicely molded and with some skill goes together and cleans-up quite easily.

Overall fit of all the parts was quite good, and no major filling or sanding was required. Two areas that needed attention were the front of the lower hull where the final drive assemblies are mounted (parts B3). There is a noticeable gap, but once the wheels and track are on this will be barely noticeable (see picture). A more noticeable gap is at the rear of the engine deck where it meets the rear lower hull. This one definitely needs some attention. A quick fill with some Vallejo plastic putty did the trick, as it is not a difficult gap to address (see picture).

The kit-provided metal cable is a nice touch, but in order get it to properly bend, some annealing will be required. Additional modification to the model must be done in the way of drilling holes in the gun cleaning rod brackets that hold the cable against the hull. I found the diameter of the cable to be too large to properly make this fit, as a hole drilled to the appropriate diameter would break the cleaning rod brackets (parts D34/35). I opted to utilize my own lead wire braided to simulate the tow cable. It is a tad smaller than the kit provided cable (out of scale, perhaps), but it fits into the cleaning rod brackets without issue (see picture).

The addition of Magic Track in this release is, in my opinion, a welcome sight. I recognize that many armor modelers appreciate the ease of vinyl (in the case of Dragon, DS Tracks), but I enjoy very much the link-by-link build of indy-link tracks…and especially the (subjective) ease of Magic Track. I also appreciate even more, the ability to mold the tracks to their proper position, especially on WWII German armor. Thank you, Dragon, for bringing these tracks back!

I primed the vehicle with Tamiya surface primer, and painted the model with Mr. Hobby/Mr. Color solvent based acrylics utilizing an Iwata RG-3L air gun (for priming, base coating, and varnish coats), and an Iwata Eclipse for all other work. Tool handles/gun stock were accomplished with an oil-over-acrylic technique, and basic weathering was applied to finish the model off. Decals are very minimal; only 4 Balkenkreuz are included. Recommended paint schemes are of “unknown” units…again, playing to the “paper panzer” characteristics of this model.

Overall I spent 30 hours on this very enjoyable build, with 7 hours dedicated to the tracks, and 11 hours on painting and weathering. I highly recommend this kit to any armor enthusiast out there and the beginner armor modeler as well. This kit is especially recommended for those of you who enjoy building “paper panzers” as the PaK 80 L/66 is a fictional addition. Many thanks go to DragonModelsUSA for providing IPMS USA with this review sample.


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