by: Mark [ ]
Originally published on:
The Jagdtiger, or Hunting Tiger, (Sd.Kfz. 186), [officially the Panzerjäger Tiger Ausf. B,] was one of the last of the “Tank Destroyer” family of vehicles to see action. Its development was based on the Tiger II chassis. It was fitted with a box superstructure that housed a 128mm PaK 44 L/55 main gun. This main gun was capable of defeating anything on the battlefield from ranges that nothing else could match. 11 of the first 12 vehicles were produced with the 8 wheel Porsche suspension. Vehicle s/n 305002, 3050013 and up, were produced with the Henschel 9 wheel suspension. Only the first 11 vehicles left the factory with zimmerit coating. Total production varies between 77 and 88, depending on the source and if prototypes and unfinished chassis’ are included. At 71 tons, it was the heaviest AFV on the battlefield during WWII.
The Jagdtiger had a mixed combat history on both fronts. The vehicle suffered from numerous mechanical breakdowns, it was underpowered, and a lack of fuel, meant many would have to be abandoned by their crews.
The kit is from Tamiya and was released in 2010. This is the “Otto Carius” Mid-production (Henschel) version. It includes three figures and a motorcycle. It represents the vehicle that he commanded when he surrendered to Allied forces in April 1945, near Iserlohn, Germany. There are just over 390 parts in the kit. What’s in the box?
7 part sprues molded in beige
2 track sprues molded in gun metal
Upper Hull molded in beige
Lower Hull molded in beige
1 PE Fret of mesh grills
1 set of rubber-band tracks
2 bags of poly caps
1 Decal sheet
1 12 page Instruction manual
1 Painting guide
The quality of the styrene is very good. There is little or no flash on any of the parts. Any ejector pin marks are located such that they shouldn’t be seen once built.
The instructions are standard Tamiya format, consisting of 12 pages. Five variations are identified in the manual as A-E. However, this only comes into play at steps 20/22 for the configuration of spare track links you install. Also in step 23 for the antenna base configuration. You will need to decide which of the five options you will build, so you can select the correct configuration in these steps.
Construction begins with the lower hull. As it is a bathtub style, only the rear plate is added. Eight additional parts are installed to complete the assembly. The molding is very clean and the bolt head detail is well done. I cannot speak to the accuracy of the bolt head count at each location.
Next you assemble all the road wheels and drive train. From pictures I have found, the drive sprocket and idler appear correct. There are two road wheel types. Each is made up of four parts with a poly-cap. You make eight of version A and 10 of version B. This vehicle had the steel road wheels, so no rubber that has to be painted separately.
Installations of the suspension arms are next. Only thing to watch out for here is to make sure that all 18 arms are level with each other, so the hull sits square unless being displayed on an uneven surface.
You have two options for the tracks. The kit includes the rubber band type and the link and length style (26 parts per side). Which you select is down to personal preference. Based on pictures, the tracks look reasonably accurate. There are also a number of aftermarket metal tracks available.
The 128mm PaK 44 L/55 is nicely detailed. The barrel is of the two piece variety, so the seam lines will need to be removed. A one piece slide molded barrel would have been a better option. For those that desire, there are a number of metal barrel options from the aftermarket. The assembly is mounted to a partial floor with a poly-cap to allow movement of the barrel. This is the extent of the interior detailing.
The upper hull is a one piece molding. The detailing on the engine deck is nicely molded. Welds are molded to represent those areas. A front, rear and top section are installed to complete the upper structure. You attach the upper hull by first passing the barrel through the mantlet and then fixing it to the lower hull. A little care is all that is required to not damage anything.
Installation of all the externals is standard fare. It is all the normal panzer tools, hatches, tow cables, etcetera, you should take care when installing the brackets for mounting the spare tracks. There are 18 on each side, and are easy to knock off when handling the turret. You will also need to choose whether to fix the barrel travel lock in the stowed or “in use” position.
Installation of the front fenders is really optional. There are many pictures with them missing, or only one is installed. The instructions don’t have you install the side skirts. If you watch the video “Jagdtiger at Iserlohn 1945”, on YouTube, you see them with and without side skirts and front fenders. So, it is really the builder’s choice. The side skirts are included in the kit. They can easily be cut apart to reflect damage as well.
Assembly of the motorcycle is straight forward. Care will be needed when removing some of the more delicate parts from the sprue. There is only about 21 parts in total for this part of the kit.
Assembly of the three figures is last. None of the figures are designed for installation in the vehicle.
Decals – Options are provided for five different vehicles: All vehicles are from the Western front.
No. 201, 2nd Co., 512th Heavy Anti-Tank Battalion (Lt. Otto Carius’ vehicle)
No. 234, 2nd Co., 653rd Heavy Anti-Tank Battalion
No. X1, 1st Co., 512th Heavy Anti-Tank Battalion (Lt. Albert Ernst’s vehicle)
No. X2, 1st Co., 512th Heavy Anti-Tank Battalion
No. X7, 1st Co., 512th Heavy Anti-Tank Battalion
Painting Guide –You are provided with five options. As this kit represents a mid-production version, it would not have had zimmerit applied at the factory. Its base color would have been the late war Dunklegelb. The five versions all use variations of the green and brown camo patterns for the Western front.