As styated above, the Jagdpanzer was intended to be the replacement for the Stug III, the first version being armed with the PAK 39 L/48 75mm gun. The model that is the subject of this kit is the L/70 version, and as the name implies, this one was fitted with the PAK 42 L/70. The other major difference being the shape of the hull superstructure, this being constructed of very sharp angular plates rather than the rounded contours of the original. The kit was originally released in commemoration of the talk given by Johann Huber, an ex-crew member, given at the 2005 Dragon Expo in Atlanta, Georgia.
On opening the box, the first impression I got was that it was remarkably similar to the A-0 release. The same photo etched fret of schurzen are present as in the earlier release. Then I noticed the aluminum barrel for the L/70. Dragon also of course supply a styrene barrel in two halves for those of us that prefer this method of construction, although I can't see why anybody would!
On closer inspection, there are subtle differences between the sprues of this version and the earlier version. For example, sprue A seems to be completely new, containing the new upper hull, and even the fenders are not the same ones as in the A-0 kit. And yet sprue C is basically the same as in the other version but does not include the exhaust section. Sprue I also contains new additions, although the sprues holding the road wheels, drive sprockets and idlers are identical, as is the lower hull. The enigmatic shape of some of Dragon's sprues now becomes clear when the sprues from the earlier version are compared to the sprues for this version. The same basic sprue may be present, with additions or deletions around it, dependent on the version being supplied.
On really close examination, I have to say that the detail on these sprues is really a little 'soft' compared to the A-0 kit. I have no idea why this should be the case since presumably they come from the same toolings in a lot of cases, and yet the moulding on my example is definately inferior to the A-0 kit I have, so much so in fact, that if I build this one first I might actually start 'swapping' parts around to make the 'sharpest' kit I can from the two.
On test fitting the parts, everything seems to go together well, and I don't really expect any major surprises when I begin construction.
A useful addition to the range from Dragon, depicting the 'sexiest' version of the Jagdpanzer in my view. I just hope the 'soft' detail in my kit was an abberation and not the 'norm'.