JagdTiger Henschel Production Type (6285)
by Frank De Sisto
1/35-scale injection-molded styrene kit containing 337 plastic parts
(including eight clear and some “not for use”), two bags of
individual track links, seven turned brass or aluminum parts, one length
of wound metal wire, four metal parts, one photo-etched brass fret, six
decal/markings options and eight pages of instructions in 21 steps.
DML has released and re-released several variations of their very well-done
Jagdtiger kit since its inception well over ten years ago. I have owned
the Porche version and one of the Henschel versions; both of which are
fine kits. This latest release has taken advantage of DML’s evolving
philosophy regarding what should be included inside of the box of a mass-market
scale model kit.
So, to start with, they have included a very finely done turned-aluminum
12.8cm PjK 80 L/55 gun tube, which fits the mantle with the proper amount
of the tube “sticking out” (the original kits had the gun
in recoil, being designed to represent the damaged Aberdeen Jagdtiger
which exhibited this feature). All periscopes can now be replaced by newly-provided
clear parts. The tow cables are now replaced with wound and pre-weathered
brass wire, which attach to cable loops with pre-bored ends, thanks to
slide molds. The previously-included styrene “U”-shaped tow
shackles have now been supplemented with optional pre-formed metal items
that include turned-aluminum mounting pins. The etched brass fret seen
on previous iterations of this kit is also included but it does not include
tow cable or tool clamp mounts. This is odd since DML not only includes
new multi-media tow cables as described above, but they also include the
recently introduced tools without clamps (from the Tiger I kits). However,
Eduard markets a set of very easy-to-use one-piece tool clamps in its
“Zoom” range, for those interested. Another item seen in only
some of the previous Jagdtiger kits are the side skirts. They are included
here as multi-part assemblies. As a final touch, a single turned-brass
two-part 12.8cm round is provided.
Of course, the DML hull and superstructure parts were the first to be
properly longer than a standard Tiger II. But another rather subtle (but
major difference) has also been accurately captured. The line of the engine
deck (in profile) is at the normal height for a Tiger II-based vehicle,
which DML correctly captures. However, the height of the area forward
of the casemate is slightly lower, which DML has also correctly captured.
This means that the upper glacis plate is shorter and the MG blister is
closer to the top of it, something else which DML (yet again) captured
correctly. Well done!
DML has also included the re-tooled set of road wheels from their recent
Tiger II kits. These are complimented by a new set of dual-link “Magic
Tracks” depicting the Gg 26/800/300 cross-country or “battle”
tracks. They all have small ejector pin marks which will require labor
intensive clean-up. There are also options within the kit. For instance,
the parts for the command version are provided as are extra track hangers
for the final production version. In fact, if building a replica of the
final version, for which the “X7” markings are provided, the
modeler should delete the vehicle jack (fill in the mount slots) and its
associated block, as was done on the prototype. So, although not marketed
as such, this offering could certainly qualify as a “3-in-1”
The remaining parts are as given in previous issues. All hatches are
separate parts including those for crew access, engine access, rear of
the casemate and the binocular periscopes. The engine deck features the
pedestal-mounted MG42 anti-aircraft machine gun. Other highlights are
the multi-part gun travel crutch and movable main gun with nicely textured
mantle. The armor plate interlocks with their weld beads and flame cut
edges are very nicely represented. However the texture of the superstructure
plates is over-done; careful weathering will minimize this. The suspension
features separate torsion bar arms as well as idler wheel mounts. This
last item will ease the fitting of any types of individual-link tracks
as long as it is not fixed in place until after the tracks are fitted.
There are some basic interior parts such as a gun breech and floor, but
lots of work will be required to finish it in a complete fashion.
Overall, the fit of the parts is quite good. On occasion, the fit of
the superstructure front/internal mantle (D-38), to the main upper superstructure
part (C-36) can be tricky. On my example, the fit only required a tiny
amount of tweaking and filler. It’s really not a serious issue.
There are a few knock-out pins that will need removal, but that’s
nothing major. Otherwise, overall fit is good-to-excellent.
The instructions are the conventional drawn style and are quite straight-forward.
The color and marking options cover a total of six vehicles. At least
five are accurate. They are:
• White “X7”, of s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 512. This is a very late-production
vehicle that lacks the jack and block, but carried the MG42 on the AA
• Black “211”, of 2./s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 512.
• Black with white outline “301” of 3./s.Pz.Jg.Abt.
numbering style does not match the type used by 3. Kompanie,
nor do any of the solid numerals given on the decal sheet, especially
the very distinctive “3”.
• Black “115” of 1./s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653.
• Un-numbered vehicle from s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653.
• White “Nr54 16I45” of an “unknown unit”.
This is actually taken from a photo of a nearly-completed later vehicle
on the production line. It should have six sets of spare tracks per side
and no jack or block.
The decals are cleanly printed by Cartograf of Italy and come on a thin,
matte carrier film. The painting instructions are keyed to Testors Model
masters and Gunze paints.
This is the “best yet” iteration of this kit from DML. If
you don’t already own one of these, the extras make it quite attractive.
If you do own one, the extras will also be a good reason to “trade-up”.
Reviewer’s note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books
for Concord Publications, a sister company to DML. The reader may wish
to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain
an objective viewpoint when writing these reviews.
DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details
see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.