Tamiya 1/48 Jagdpanther (late)
|PRICE:||1800 yen SRP|
|REVIEWER:||Scott Van Aken|
|NOTES:||Cast metal lower hull|
The Jagdpanther featured a powerful 88mm gun mounted in a superstructure featuring 80mm armor at the front and 50mm at the sides. The front and side armor plates were sloped to further improve their protective power, giving the Jagdpanther its imposing, wedge-shaped appearance. Weighing in at 46 tons and propelled by the powerful Maybach V12 cylinder engine, this tank destroyer featured a good balance of fire power, protection and mobility. A total of 415 Jagdpanthers were produced by 1945, most equipping battalions on the Eastern Front, although many were transferred to the West to take part in the Ardennes Offensive.
Not the first company to build kits in 1/48, Bandai did a whole series of WWII themed kits in this scale that were quite widely sought. However, once Tamiya gets into something, they usually do so with a large number of releases to determine if it is a viable market. You can see a series that stopped after sales were not what they wanted in their 1/100 aircraft series. These are nice kits, but never went much farther than the first couple of dozen releases.
Tamiya felt that heft was important and so most of their early kit has a cast metal hull or chassis. These items are already primed for painting, but do require bits to be attached to them with super glue or epoxy. It will surprise few that most of the parts on this kit are from Tamiya's Panther G as the Jagdpanther had the same automotive suite. Where this kit differs is in the upper hull. There are two additional sprues to take care of these differences. All of the sprues are molded in a tan shade, undoubtedly to enhance painting.
Like the earlier kit, this one has link and length tracks in plastic, which many modelers like for their ease of construction. There are also a number of hatches that can be posed open if you wish to put figures in there, though in battle, these vehicles were pretty well buttoned up. They were ambush vehicles; in effect, mobile anti-tank guns and not designed for tank to tank battles. They would be more appropriate in 'hide-out' dioramas, for those so inclined.
Instructions are very nicely done with the usual Tamiya paint references. Decals are provided for three tanks though there are four different vehicle numbers provided. These differ in number and the pattern of the camouflage. They are also from 'unknown units'. The small sheet is well done and will work with Mr Mark Softer (which is a pretty 'hot' solution).
I really like these kits and if I build an AFV, the odds are pretty good it will be one of Tamiya's 1/48 kits. They go together well, aren't fiddly, are fun to paint, and don't take up a lot of shelf space. I dare say this series is the best in this scale.
Tamiya USA web site.
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