I suspect many of you are thinking ‘Just another Jagdtiger’. But be fair let’s give Hobby Boss a fair crack of the whip. This offering of the Jagdtiger in 1/35th scale from Hobby Boss is the Porsche Production vehicle and too my knowledge the changes are basically restricted to the suspension and wheels of the vehicle; if you know differently please shout as I am always happy to see member participation in expanding my knowledge and that of the membership.
This offering from Hobby Boss arrives in a substantial cardboard box and separate cardboard lid with model artwork on it. The model sprues are individually bagged except where duplicated. An examination of the contents gives me a positive impression of the mouldings and should meet the expectations of most modellers.
The lower hull of this release is a single piece moulding with the panel at the rear of the engine bay being an additional part. The suspension utilised on the Porsche Jagdtiger moves away from torsion bar suspension and instead has a casting that is mounted on the vehicle at a central point, a piston then provides the vehicle with the ability to smooth out the ride a little. A plus point of this is that it is easier to tackle damaged suspension of this type than trying to get at a snapped torsion bar. The limited visual reference I have of this suspension unit type does indicate accurate replication.
As the war progressed materials became hard to obtain for use by Germany and rubber was one of those items and resulted in steel wheeled vehicles coming into use to reduce the amount of rubber required. Checking the wheels and stud pattern against the Bovington tank museum example indicates good and accurate reproduction of the details. The drive wheel has the 18 tooth version which again matches my reference. Finally the idler wheels which again have good replication of the full sized parts. The stud pattern on all of the wheels has been faithfully replicated and I could not find fault with it on any wheel type.
The tracks for the model have been faithfully reproduced requiring six parts come together to make the two types of track link used. I had not realised that to save on materials the guide horns had been reduced from two to one on the links. Tread detail has been well replicated again giving me nothing to complain about. The only possible complaint at this point is that the tracks will require a lot of cleanup and time to assemble.
The rear hull panel is another pleasing area of the model with some very fine photo etched parts being added to provide some fine and accurate details. The clamps being provided separated from the track tools hung on the rear left hand side of the panel is another nice touch here. The exhaust pipes have been moulded with good hollow detail with the split outlet being replicated with a photo etched part.
The upper hull has been provided with a good hull machine gun with an accurate barrel type and internal detail, but seeing the nice detail on the interior is not going to be easily shown due to the lack of all other detail. The periscopes have been moulded in clear plastic and so a nice inclusion. The engine deck is a completely separate from the hull and causes me my first concern in that; while exterior detail appears accurate and photo etched grill screens are provided nothing has been included to hide the fact that no details are below the grills and any light entering the model will show this. The rear of the fighting compartment has been provided with separate doors that have interior detail but again nothing is inside.
The vehicles I have seen show zimmerit present despite concerns over when this material stopped being used on German armour and it is present on the vehicle at Bovington. I have provided some images of the zimmerit as there are some interesting details to it around the track hangers. It would have been nice to see the zimmerit provided in this model just as Hobby Boss has provided with their recent king tiger release. The tools provided for the model do have separate clamp detail for the most part and so could be shown in use on or off of the vehicle. The front casemate of the model being separate does show just how thick the armour on this vehicle was. On the rear engine deck is the mount for an aerial defence machine gun, but I cannot think of anything I would rather not do than try shooting at an aircraft shooting at me fully exposed on the back of a tank.
The floor of the fighting compartment is provided as is a fair representation of the main gun. There is a complicated and high number of photo etched parts added to the interior portion of the barrel and this detail is completely hidden under the gun mantlet, and so unless this is to centralise the gun mantlet or the interior size is to big the point of it is beyond me. The external portion of the gun barrel has been moulded in two halves which I find a disappointing discovery.
The decals provided look ok to me even if nothing special and the registry of the decals is good in my opinion. Hobby Boss has provided three finishing options which are:
Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653, February 1945
3 Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653, March 1945
Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653, February 1945
This offering is a nice release from Hobby Boss without any major issues that I can see, but there are some aspects that could have been easily improved. The area below the rear engine deck needs blocking off to hide that nothing is present. The gun mantlet could have been moulded with some caste texture present; I would have preferred the barrel to have not been moulded in two halves. With that said it is hard to fault what is provided and at a good price in the UK at least.