Armament: 1 x 128mm PaK 44 L/55; 1 x 7.92mm MG
Weight in action: 75 tons
Overall length: 7.8m
Track width: 60 or 80cm (narrow one for rail transport)
Engine type: Maybach HL230 P 30 V-12 petrol
Armor thickness: superstructure 80-200mm; hull 80-200mm
While big and intimidating the numbers produced were not enough to play any major role in the outcome of WWII and weren’t liked by its crews due to the lack of mobility. The weight and mechanical problems resulted in more losses from crews simply abandoned the vehicle due to lack of fuel or breakdown.
As with other kits, Dragon have reworked this kit from the previous release (kit #6050) which represents a late production Henschel type with features such as the nine tooth drive sprocket, front travel lock, covered rear deck ventilator and no zimmerit although there are a few earlier production details remaining such as the smooth front fender and only two grab handles on the hull crew hatches.
The kit consists of 264 parts in the usual light grey plastic, 8 in clear plastic plus 12 metal parts, a fret of photo etched parts and a couple of bags full of Magic Track links.
Quality of the mouldings is excellent overall with nice surface details and virtually no pin ejector marks to contend with but there is some minor flash on a few of the older parts.
The lower hull tub has nice details included with all the bottom plate access panels and side panel details with separate front hull extensions that include the inner final drive bolts and tow shackles. All the axles are separate to allow easy articulation if you wish with separate final drive housing and idler wheel mount.
The drive sprockets are the correct nine tooth type but do have quite a bit of flash present due to the age of the moulds and this is quite unusual for recent Dragon kits but is quite easy to clean up. Detail on the pairs of road wheels is excellent with retaining bolt details on the outer sides of all wheels and separate hubs for the outer set of wheels. The three part idler is also nicely detailed but watch the instructions as they show to fit the middle wheel (part A10) the wrong way around.
The large rear hull plate has separate exhausts with nicely textured armoured covers as well as a three part jack with separate mounting brackets plus the tow shackles and wood jack block.
The fit of the rear hull panel is very good and won’t require any trimming or filling.
The upper hull is a massive single moulding with just the rear and front superstructure plates as separate parts for the main structure with the front crew hatches and engine bay door also being separate parts.
The details on the main hull is very good with subtle cast texture on the large flat sides and well done weld seams around the top plate and interleaved hull plates front and back. The detail on the engine deck is also well done with separate ventilator covers and etched intake screens provided.
The rear super structure plate has separate doors with internal detail and separate latches if you want to show these open with the fit of this plate to the main hull being very snug.
The front superstructure plate features nice cast texture around the bulged gun mounting and is also a very good fit with the sides incorporating the large interleaved plate welds.
At the front the machine gun fairing is a separate part for good definition and there is the large travel lock with alternate upper supports and the centrally mounted Bosch headlight as well as separate covers for the front hull periscopes. The two crew hatches have separate grab handles but only two are supplied (well three really, parts B8) but you need four handles for the later style crew hatches applicable to the version. The hatches actually have the locating holes for the four handles but the instructions only show to fit two, so it is an easy job to add the other two handles from copper wire.
The big 128cm gun is provided with either a two part plastic or a single large machined metal barrel although neither has rifling in the muzzle. The barrel length was an issue with the previous kits and comparing the plastic and metal barrel in this kit to available plans shows them to be the correct length. The large mantlet is in three parts with very nice cast texture on the main mantlet with the two collar parts fitting on the front, but there are a few small pin marks around the front collar which will have to be removed. The small lifting eye on top of the mantlet also has a fairly large pin mark that will need to be filled before fitting in place.
On the inside is a basic compartment floor with large gun mounting, gun and breech assembly to which the barrel is fitted through the mantlet and this provides some interior detail if the hull hatches are left open.
As with the recent Tiger kits there are alternate pioneer tools provided, those with the tool clips moulded on and bare tools that allow you to add etched tool clips although these aren’t included in the kit.
On the hull top are separate ventilator and periscope covers and crew hatch with all periscopes being provided in clear plastic inserted from inside the hull.
There are numerous other smaller detail parts fitted to the hull such as the spare track mounting brackets on the sides, front and rear tow shackles which are provided in plastic or pre-formed metal as well as 28 very small etched tie down cleats added around the top of the superstructure walls with the instructions giving measurements showing the location of these to help get them in the right place.
The plastic side fenders are in segments with the rear two as one part and forward three segments in another as well as separate front curve fenders which does allow you to leave some of the fenders off as is often seen on wartime photos of Jagdtigers. The front curved fenders should have a raised centre lip for the late type and not the smooth early type provided but this is fairly easy to fix.
The two cables along the hull sides are provided as metallic cable with separate end shackles, these have the end holes added using slide moulds so the cable fits dead centre for a better look.
A very nicely detailed MG42 is provided to mount on the rear engine deck but it would take very brave or stupid crewman to stand on the open deck with a Typhoon or P47 bearing down on him. As a bonus there is one brass shell case and separate round that can be fitted together to pose next to the vehicle or wherever.
These are the Dragon Magic Tracks which are individually packed without any cleanup required with well defined detail on each link and the guide teeth details captured nicely. There are some very shallow pin marks on the inside of each link but these are easy to remove and hard to see from some angles.
The tracks are not workable but simply designed to be glued together to form the track runs which can get a little frustration when assembling the track around the drive sprockets and idlers as the links just want to come apart. I found the best way for this was to glue a length of track together using slow drying liquid cement and allow to partly dry and then bend around the sprocket. Some links may try to escape but can be coaxed back into position and allowed to dry completely.
The decal sheet is nicely printed with good colour register and close cropped carrier film with a large selection of vehicle numbers and balkenkreuz and while the instructions show markings for 6 vehicles a variety of number combinations is possible.
Another excellent kit from Dragon with well detailed parts and the nice surface texture and weld seams on the hull add character on what is a fairly plain vehicle.
The usual selection of metal parts adds further definition to the kit and while there aren’t any extras such as figures and equipment the kit still offers excellent value for money.
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The Modeler's Guide to
Part 1: Closed top vehicles
Ampersand Publishing Company Inc.
Thanks to Dragon Model Ltd for the review kit.
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Page created 2 August 2005