|Home > Reviews > Germany WWII > Osprey Modelling 10: Modelling the Jagdpanzer 38(t) ‘Hetzer’|
The latest “tank” title in the series has just reached me for review and is well worth your attention. It follows the usual layout with the first section giving a brief history of the few Hetzer kits and the second noting the materials and tools used for the models described.
Then comes the first of the four builds: an Intermediate one to reproduce a May 1944 production vehicle built by BMM, built from the DML Early Hetzer kit. One very important point made is the sit of the vehicle, which was noticeably nose-down due to the weight of the gun. We are shown how to reproduce this by a simple method of making new front springs, and it’s worth getting the book for this tip alone. We’re also shown what needs to be done to detail the backs of the kit roadwheels, another very useful point that’s often overlooked. All the correct details for this early production vehicle are noted and their making described, and suitable etched sets etc are noted.
The second build is at Advanced level and produces a May 1945 Skoda-built vehicle from the DML “mid production” kit. Again, all the correct features for this late production vehicle are pointed out and how to make them is described. But, as suits its advanced level, this model also incorporates a full interior combining and modifying the Verlinden Hetzer interior and engine bay sets. All the work is described and illustrated, but although you’re expected to scratchbuild the radio sets there isn’t enough data on their size and appearance to allow this without extra references. An unfortunate omission, no doubt caused by the need to squeeze as much as possible into these pages.
Then at Master level there’s a 15 cm siG auf Jagdpanzer 38(t), built from the DML “early” with the New Connections conversion set. This one has a lot of interior work to the fighting compartment – well, it is open-topped – but no engine bay. There’s a very good description of how to do all this, and the well-made point that for this particular vehicle one needs to check photographs to see the exact features of the one being modelled. In other words, remember that any conversion set may need changing a bit to build a specific example!
The final build is a special project, making a Bergehetzer from the DML “command version” kit and the New Connections conversion and putting it into a scenic setting reproducing the BMM factory where the original was photographed in 1945. There are more useful hints here on copying a specific original, in this case meaning that the engine deck layout had to be changed from that of the kit. The section on building the factory is equally good, and worth noting for the building’s simplicity – no fancy, long-winded stuff but just a simple structure to show how very good a simple scene can be.
Colours and camouflage patterns for each vehicle are discussed in the appropriate sections, with the author’s own recipe for dunkelgelb starting with matching an original piece of equipment. The usual colour chips are included at the end of the book after notes on reference material (including this website), surviving Hetzers in museums, and the kit and accessories currently available.
Gary Edmundson has done a good job here – recommended to all Hetzer fans!