Squadron's "Jagdpanzer 38 Hetzer" is authored by Hans-Heiri Stapfer. He has authored numerous other Squadron volumes, including the "Sd.Kfz 251 Ausf D Walkaround", another well executed book. The soft cover book is similar to what we would expect from a Squadron WalkAround volume. Each page is filled with images: black and white historical photos, full color museum walkaround pictures, scale line drawings, and color plates. There are 80 pages in this volume, so needless to say there are a lot of images (approximately 200). Other Squadron soft cover texts are usually shorter and held together with staples, but their latest WalkAround series have some sort of a binding, most likely due to the increased page count. Each photo is captioned with thoughtful (and accurate) text. Additionally, a little synopsis of major production periods and variants are provided throughout the book.
a glimpse inside
With all of the photo's the reader will never really feel burdened with what text is provided. The book is laid out in a way that flows very nicely from production to battlefield images, following up with detailed museum walk around photographs. Most images do have a good portion of text that follows (about a paragraph), but again, the book does not "read" slowly. If you are familiar with the PanzerWrecks Series, Squadron's "Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer" will fall right in line, though the pictures and text are more focused.
From my experience with Squadron's Walk Around volumes, this latest offering on seems to have more black and white historical photos of both production and battlefield units. Both categories of the historical photographs are extremely valuable and convincing of the production story they are telling. As always, the color photos of museum walkarounds are extremely well done with multiple angles. This volume uses very clean survivors for photography which gives the book a higher quality feel. For example, the WalkAround on the StugIII from Squadron used some Stugs that were stored outdoors and had a lot of rust. This is not a fault of the series, but may turn away some new readers. Squadron's "Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer" uses an early production Hetzer from the Armor Museum in Thun, Switzerland. It appears to be well kept and has a fairly tame, accurate camouflage.
If the museum walkarounds are not enough, there are some scale line drawings of both entire vehicles and specific features (ex: muffler arrangements) to help the modeler or enthusiast get every detail just right. The fourth type of photo found in "Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer" are color plates. There are a total of 12 color plates with varying degrees of identification. This area is a huge improvement over previous Squadron offerings as these color plates are based on black and white photos shown earlier in the book. All too often color plates lack supporting historical photographs and are not suitable for accurate modeling, but Squadron did a good job here!
I will make a brief note on the final section of "Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer". Stapfer has a 24 page section of the Hetzer's use with Swiss Army after WW2. There are again black and white photographs with museum walkarounds. I am not knowledgeable in this area so I cannot comment on the accuracy of this section. It appears to be well done however and provides a nice start to finish tale of the Hetzer.
If you plan on building a Hetzer soon, or just simply enjoy this little tank destroyer, this volume is a must have. There are some walkarounds posted on the internet of the Hetzer, but there is no comparison in quality to Stapfer's work. Most images provided on the internet lack:
• Close up details (I presume Squadron WalkArounds are allowed to get as close and climb on the museum tanks, whereas others must stand at a distance).
• The multiple angles of the same part, which are really needed for good modeling.
• The use of black and white along with line drawing photos to supplement walkaround shots.
• Author input on accuracy of museum repairs.
In the past, I feel one had to choose between Squadron's WalkAround and InAction series as one offered more detail and the other, respectively, provided more historical photos. In Squadron's recent WalkAround offerings, including "Jadgpanzer 38 Hetzer", they have provided plenty of historical background and photographs. If this is your first WalkAround book, don't assume that you won't be getting any high quality period photographs.
All in all, everything is very well executed in this volume and all production variations of the Hetzer are provided in detail. It will prove an excellent resource for any model maker. If you have not used a Squadron WalkAround before, you are in for a real treat. You will wonder how you got by on other models without one. With a street price of around $25 USD, you cannot go wrong.
Highs: Excellent reference photos with a healthy mix of both historical, walkarounds, and line drawings.Lows: None.Verdict: If you enjoy the Hetzer and/or plan on building one soon, this is a must have volume!
About Mark (Rouse713) FROM: WISCONSIN, UNITED STATES
I recently graduated from college and I work as a mechanical engineer. I have been building models since grade school, but I have only recently been serious about scale modeling.
My specialty is German AFV's during WW2, though I have a soft spot for artillery and Flak. I enjoy pouring over refere...