by: Vinnie Branigan [ ]
The Jagdpanzer IV was produced at the same time as the Panzer IV, but with a different hull and superstructure. Originally intended to mount the same gun as in the Panther, the German production schedules were unable to meet demand, and so the 75mm L/48 was used instead.
Inside the box, as is usual with Dragon kits, you'll find the Dragon 'card', protecting the smaller or more fragile parts such as photo etch frets, tracks and wheels. The instruction sheet of course, up to the usual Dragon standard, and 3 main sprues of light grey styrene. There are also assorted smaller sprues containing such parts as the suspension bogeys, drive sprockets, idlers, tools and engine deck. Also included is a small decal sheet.
The running gear comprises an early style flat sprocket, beautifully moulded, with reverse detail. The idlers are of the tubular type. The engine deck is supplied as said, separately from the superstructure and hold some really fine detail. Both access hatches are also separate, which will allow for diorama making possibilties, and the slats in these have somehow been moulded open. I can actually see through them.....in 1/72 scale? The suspension bogey's are finely cast and compare well even to larger scale offerings.
In this kit, unlike some of their other offerings in this scale, all the tools are supplied separately, but with moulded on clamps, which I suppose we would expect at this scale. Still, they look incredible at this scale, and there are even two tiny Bosch headlights!
The hull has full detail underneath, with moulded on shock absorbers. Sprue D contains parts for the hull deck, fenders, rear hull wall and other small parts. The detail on these pats I found the most amazing....there is a rabbit's ears scope that is so finely cast! Separate towing clevis in 1/72? There is also a very finely engraved pattern on the fenders that doesn't look out of scale at all.....although it probably is!
Sprue C holds the superstructure. On this sprue there is also the exhaust which features a hollowed out end. The gun mantlet is also on this sprue as is the mantlet for the L/70 version, obviously not used in this kit. The barrel is supplied as a one-piece, slide-moulded part, so therefore requires little cleanup, and has the brake muzzle moulded on. It looks pretty good. There is also the L/70 barrel without the brake attached, but again this is not used in this kit.
The schurzen are supplied in bevelled styrene, and would look satisfactory, but as there is an excellent set of photo etched ones supplied.......I can't imagine many people using the styrene ones. It would have been nice had Dragon seen fit to supply these as separate schurzen, however, each side which would be comprised of 4 plates is supplied as one etching. It would not be difficult however, to cut and leave one or two out if you desire.
The tracks are supplied as bands made in Dragon's Styrene or DS, which is easily joined using normal styrene cement.
There are 4 marking options provided in the kit:
1. Pz.Jg.Abt.228, 116. Pz. Div., Normandy, 1944
2. Pz.Jg.Abt.12, 12. Pz. Div., Normandy, 1944
3. Unidentified Unit, Germany 1945
4. Pz.Grenadier Div. "Herman Goring", East Prussia, 1945
It sounds repetitive, but for good reason. Dragon have another small-scale winner. The amount of detail at this scale and at this price, is unsurpassed. Very highly recommended.
My thanks to Dragon for the review sample.