Home > Reviews > Germany WWII > Dragon Sd.Kfz.186 JagdTiger Henschel Production Type (6285)


Dragon Sd.Kfz.186 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” kit.

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 mount.
• Black “211”, of 2./s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 512.
• Black with white outline “301” of 3./s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653. The 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”.

Highly recommended.

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.