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DML 1/35 scale Jagdtiger SdKfz 186 (Henschel type)

Kit: No. 6050
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: DML, distributed by Marco Polo Import Inc., 532 Coralridge Place, City of Industry, CA 91746
Price: $39.95
Comments: Injection molded, 558 parts (43 photoetched), decals.

WORLD WAR II Germany's military machine had a tendency to produce large weapons. The Jagdtiger tank destroyer was the largest operational tank of the war, but, as with all the Third Reich's super weapons, there were too few too late.

DML's kit is the first large-scale Jagdtiger to correctly portray the lengthened chassis of this Tiger II variant. It features a convincing replication of the texture of the armor plate and a basic fighting compartment with the massive breech of the 128mm gun. Also included are photoetched brass parts for the engine-deck screens and other exterior details.

The main kit components go together without problems. Be prepared, though, as there are many small parts to be added to the hull; the real vehicle was festooned with hooks and attachment points. Use care when attaching the wheel axles to the hull (parts G1 -- note the instructions label them as A1). There is a lot of vertical and horizontal play. I used a protractor to keep the axles 90 degrees to the hull. You may also want to use a spacing jig to set the vertical position of the axles. If this is not done, installing the tracks will be difficult.

The kit includes separate track links accurately representing the two-piece design. They fit together tightly, though, requiring more effort than I expected. I created four track subassemblies per side: top, bottom, around the drive sprocket, and around the idler wheel. Wrapping around the sprocket and idler sets the proper curve before the glue dries. I painted them next, then glued the subassemblies together.

Mixups on the instructions might confuse you. Step 13 shows mounting four B22s to the left side of the upper hull -- only two mount forward, two B23s mount aft. In step 9, part D12 should be B12. The mounting holes for tools C30, C31, and D34 don't match the locations shown, and the tow cable and sand shields shown on the box top are not included in the kit.

I painted my model with Polly Scale and Floquil Classic Military Colors. Decals are included for five vehicles and they adhered without a gloss undercoat.

It took me 33 hours to finish this monster, a lot of the time going into the individual track links and small detail parts. My main references were Michael Green's Tiger Tanks and the January 1994 Museum Ordnance magazine.

I was pleased with the convincing scale replica of the Jagdtiger that can be made from this kit. I recommend it to experienced armor modelers.

Jim Zeske

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