Sd. Kfz.173 Jagpanther Ausf. G1
Meng, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Luke Pitt
F i r s t L o o k
Probably the most aesthetically pleasing of all the German tank destroyers, the Jagpanther has been released before by many companies and in many different scales.
The whole kit has a quality feel. 1,490 sand colored plastic parts are included over 10 sprues, eight parts in clear, together with a 3 photo-etched parts over two frets and one medium sized decal sheet together with two strands of wire.
A big proportion of the massive parts count is made from the individual tracks, which take up 684 parts over 3 sprues.
Comparisons between this and the various other 1:35 scale kits of this type are inevitable, as are the different design and assembly approaches. The selling point with this kit is that you can make any of the mainstream versions straight out of the box; and price. Some of the options include a monobloc gun with a rear turned aluminium barrel that offers two different versions; three different gun collars (a fourth is included but not used); two different gun mantlets; three different hull MG armour covers with a third one not mentioned, hinting at a G2 to come; a choice of cast or welded bump stops for the first road wheels and, lastly, four different exhaust configurations, including the late version with flame dampener.
Each track link features one main part and two separate hollowed out guide horns. The approach is probably the best solution that combines simplicity in construction with full and accurate detail.
The lower hull tub is supplied as a four-piece flat pack assembly. Two clever “T” piece parts are glued to the base and sides to ensure this assembly is square. The upper hull is also very clever as the part (B3) is generic and is used right across Meng’s Panther family of vehicles with the specific engine grilles and sides, top and front plates being supplied for the vehicle it represents. In this case, the front armored plate with its cut-outs is fitted first, followed by the side armor and then the rear armored plates.
A lot of thought has gone into this kit and the sensible use of photoetch is noteworthy. Take for example the Schürzen support ledge that runs the full length of the vehicle. Other manufactures have seen fit to supply this as an overly thick plastic part. Not so Meng. They provide this in photo-etch, which achieves scale thickness.
The hull sides are also moulded with a slight raised portion to attach the supplied skirts effortlessly. The whole kit is like this. Every effort has been made to make the build as painless as possible while still steadfastly adhering to accuracy.
M a r k i n g s
Marking choices are:
The funny thing is, the only photo of the final one I could find has a group of three knocked out vehicles in a two tone scheme of sand and brown, but admittedly this photo was taken well after the battle so, maybe the white wash white had come off by then.
Decals are well printed.
C o n c l u s i o n
You may ask, what would persuade me to buy this kit? Well if you don’t already have a Jagpanther in your collection, this one is probably the best of all the offerings out there today. You won’t need anything in the way of aftermarket to add as, it’s already there.
If you do have a Jagdpanther in your collection with no aftermarket, then this also will be a good option as an upgrade.
Thanks to Meng for the sample
Text by Luke Pitt