Manufacturer: HäT Industries (Armourfast) (Kit #99002)
The second of HäT's new line of wargamer kits is this new Jagdpanther. Like their earlier M4 Sherman, this kit was designed to be a simple, yet accurate and durable replica, which it certainly is. As you can see in the parts scan, the kit is composed of only 13 parts, yet the amount of detail molded onto these parts is really quite impressive considering the simplistic nature of the kit. The molding quality is a definite improvement over the earlier Sherman kit, with all of the hatches and other hull details molded quite sharply, and with good relief.
The kit depicts a late version of this tank destroyer, with all of the details appropriate for this version, such as the gun, mantlet, engine deck, and muffler arrangement. There is no hull machinegun included, and like the Bosch light on the left fender, it is rather obscurely molded onto the hull. I think these the only two parts I will cut off and replace. All hatches are molded shut. The only deficiency I have noted so far is the engine deck has no panel lines denoting the engine access hatches and panels. There are hinges present, but no hatch. There are four small grooves molded onto the engine deck waiting for the addition of the small lift hooks, which can be obtained from an etched brass set, or scratchbuilt. Same for the periscopes on the hull roof. The periscopes are molded onto the hull, and there are small locator marks next to them for the periscope covers.
The tracks are the only parts that will possibly disappoint some modelers, being molded in the style of Roco Minitanks, that being all one piece with the wheels. But keeping in mind the intended audience of this kit, I think it is perfectly acceptable. The wheels are superbly detailed, but given the way the parts are molded, of course there is no individual track link detail (but the guide teeth are present this time). The two plastic strips on the bottom of the scan are the rails for the side skirts, which are not included. Also missing are tool storage racks for the hull sides, but I believe that some late-production vehicles lacked these anyway.
At first look, the dimensions of the kit are perfect. It is larger than the Revell Jagdpanther, and just about 1mm smaller in each dimension than the ESCI Jagdpanther. Referring to the preview for the ESCI kit, I see that I measured it as being 1mm too large in each dimension, so that would imply that this HäT kit is perfectly 1/72nd scale. I will confirm that during construction.
The instructions are printed on the back of the box, and no decals are included. Note that each box sold in stores includes two complete kits.
All in all, I am quite impressed with this new kit. It improves upon the molding quality of the earlier Sherman kit, and it is more accurate than the other two Jagdpanther kits. Prior to building it, I will prepare a comparative review article between the three plastic Jagdpanther kits, with some more in-depth research.
Thank you to HäT for providing the review sample.
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