First some history
In 1942 the German army started a project for a vehicle that would become an improved and modified version for the Sturmgeschutz III (Stug III) And eventually a replacement for it. It should be based on the Pz.Kpfw IV and needed to have a low silhouette with a large calibre gun mounted in a superstructure. The outcome of the project would be known as Sturmgeschutz neuer art (Assault gun new style) or Jagdpanzer E39
.. This eventually came better known as Jagdpanzer IV. In May 1943 Vomag (Vogtlandische Maschinenfabrik AG of Plauen) made a wooden mock-up of the vehicle which was shown to Hitler and made the designation of Tank destroyer clear. Shortly after that the first steel prototype was also presented to Hitler in October 1943 and the order to start production as soon as possible was given out.
The first series of the Jagdpanzer was known as the 0 series and was based on the PzKpfw IV F chassis. The 0 series had some features that were later changed things like the main gun which was the 75mm Pak 39 L/48 gun with muzzle brake which was later changed to the 75mm L/70 gun. Another nice feature was the cast upper structure which had rounded corners.
Additional information about the Jagdpanzer series can be found on the following Achtung Panzer page
Achtung Panzer`s Jagdpanzer IV page
When I got this kit in house I was quite delighted when I opened the big postal services box and got a peek inside it to see what nice kit I had now in my hands. One thing I noticed immediately was the box art which was this time not done by Ron Volstad but surprisingly by the artist Jean Restayn. People who are not familiar with the work of Jean Restayn. He is an Author of books about WW2 AFV`s and next to that he makes some of the most brilliant drawings about the vehicles. To go back to the boxart. The boxart shows the Jagdpanzer IV A-0 in the colours and markings of a vehicle of the Panzerlehr division in 1944 driving through a woodland area. More about colour and markings later. Further the box shows some 3d renderings of some special features of the kit on the sides and 2 pictures of the finished product. And on the other side some special features inside the box like Decals and PE.
When opening the box I was welcomed by a load of sprues all moulded in the light grey styrene we all know from Dragon. But also there is a Sheet of PE in it some clear parts and a metal barrel. I will give you a breakdown of what you get in the kit. The kit consists of 603 parts of which 48 are not used and are for the scrap box. The 603 parts come in 23 light grey Sprues, 1 transparent sprue, 1 sheet of Photo etch Schurzen and a turned aluminium barrel.
I will also give a breakdown of the Sprues itself in Alphabetical order starting with
A contains mostly the parts for the upper structure starting with the biggest part of the kit the complete upper structure molded in almost 1 piece with the front part of the fenders attached to it.. The roof. The hatches for the crew which can be made workable. The rest of the fenders. The engine grilles that are a common feature on the sides of the Panzer IV an Engine hatch and some parts for the lower hull.
On B you can find the parts for the Gun mantlet, a plastic barrel. The armor to guard the engine grills, 2 Machine guns type MG42 the drivers periscope, the muzzle brake, several lifting eyes, A couple of tools and the hooks to hang the schurzen on and a jack
C holds a lot of smaller stuff like tools, shovel, axe, wrenches, fire extinguisher, the jack block, parts for the idler suspension, the exhaust, holders for the sparewheels. A big crowbar, wire cutters and a crank etc. etc.
D holds 8 parts of which 3 are not used on the kit. The parts that you use are the backplate of the lower hull and the underside of the nose at the front hull. Further some parts that also belong to the idler suspension.
On E, or better said E x4 as you have 4 of these sprues, you will find the roadwheels and the suspension of the roadwheels to attach them to the hull. Also you will find the mounts for the guidewheels of the tracks.
F contains the sprockets and the Idlers together with the part to attach the sprocket on the hull. You will find 2 of these sprues in the kit.
3 sprues full of tracks 80 on each sprues and they show the PzKpfwIII, PzKpfw IV type.
Another sprue of which the kit brings you 4. this one holds the caps for the roadwheels.
This is a very nice sprue as it contains 21 parts of which 20 are not used on the vehicle and the only part on the sprue that is used is a bar that you can attach to the back of the vehicle to hang in spare tracks.
J gives you a very well molded lower hull of a PzKpfw IV with some very good detail like hatches bolt detail etc.
On these sprues you will find the guidewheels
Above is a breakdown of all the light grey but there is actually more in the kit.
Is a transparent sprue which holds 4 Visorblocks. Crisply molded.
MB is a metal barrel and it is a good representation of the 75mm Pak 39 L/48
Last but not least MA is the PE fret. It contains the Schurzen for the Jagdpanzer IV with the brackets to hang them on the hooks which can be found on sprue B and 42 very small bolts to add to the Schurzen.
The decals you get in the kit provide you with the option to built 2 variants of the Jagdpanzer IV. One in the service as a Panzerlehr vehicle in 1944. the other variant makes it possible to make it a drivingschool vehicle.
The Instruction sheet
The instruction sheet has on the front the same image as the boxart only then in Black and white. Below that you can find graphics of the sprues and the parts that are not getting used. When you open it you get a list of paint colors you use for it. And then follows the instruction on how to built it shown in 16 steps. Last but not least on the back of the Instruction sheet you will find the paint diagrams for both variants you can paint the vehicle. 1 a three tone camo to make it suitable as a vehicle from the Panzerlehr Division 1944 and a Panzer Yellow variant for the Drivingschoolvariant
I have a tip for the people who are going to built this kit in the future. At some parts some test fitting is needed. I found out that in my instruction sheet some numbers were mixed. This resulted in when I test fitted the part I found out that it did not belong to that side but the other side. Nothing really serious and I only found 2 of those minor mistakes in my instruction sheet both were in diagram 3 Were the numbers of A1 and A2 need to be switched to fit them correctly and same goes for D5 and D6. Maybe they have changed it already in the kit but still it cant be bad to test fit.
Building the Jagdpanzer
Well this can actually become a pretty boring part of the review as besides the minor mistakes in the instruction sheet mentioned above I absolutely did not encounter any problems with the kit. I have mentioned before in a review that when you would cut off all the parts needed from the sprues and tossed them back in the box, you would only need to shake it twice and out comes the vehicle. The engineering of this kit is so well done and all fits perfectly well. Another nice addition are the workable hatches in the superstructure together with some late war tankers that would result in some very interesting subjects. So yeah this is all about the Building of the kit. At the moment I write this review she is for 80% finished and I cant wait to paint her.
This is yet again a vehicle that will make the German armor enthusiasts happy. It is a very well engineered kit of a nice subject. Also the inclusion of the driving school decals will open a door to a quite unusual field to show this vehicle. The kit is so well designed that all parts seem to fall together smoothly and only a minor cleaning of parts is necessary only on places where it couldnt be else (mostly where the parts are attached to the sprue) I think this is a kit that everyone should be able to built and more important make something really nice out of it.
Greetz Robert Blokker
A big thanks goes out to Dragon Models Limited for providing the review sample