Thursday, February 23

In-boxed: Amusing Hobby's 35th scale Jagdpanther II

Amusing Hobby carries on their line of paper panzers with one of the biggest hitters, and something that World of Tanks players will be familiar with, the mighty Jagdpanther II in 35th scale. We have some the kit to show you what is inside and what to expect before we start to build the kit (too late we have already started) Let's have a look at what's in the box.

In-Boxed: Jagdpanther II
From Amusing Hobby
Kit No# 35A011
1/35th scale
Kit comes with photo etch parts and metal cable,
Decals for four versions from AMMO
Product Link at their great new website!

We have seen a few tanks with a real life limited production (or not at all produced in physical form) from Amusing Hobby and they have really filled a niche otherwise taken on by resin model makers – We have seen the VK series, the Loewe and Luchs in 35th scale that are all great little kits – now they go large and theoretical again with the Jagdpanther II in 35th scale.
The "real" Jagdpanther II:
German designers planned to build the Jagdpanther II (Hunting Panther), armed with 128mm gun and based on Panther II chassis that was in design stages, but its design never reached it past the drawing board. Although THIS Jagdpanther II never left the drawing board, there was one Panther II prototype hull built. It was captured by American Army, and transported to Aberdeen U.S Army Proving Grounds (Maryland) for tests. Later, the hull was taken to Patton Armor Museum in Fort Knox, where it was restored and at that time displayed with a Panther A/G turret.

Factory drawings of the prototype that was never produced.

And the tank in WOT livery…this is a big reason we think, as why people are recently very interested in this tank.

The Kit:
This new lit from amusing Hobby shares some of the parts of the newer Morser and the Panther II kits which have been announced since this kit's inception. The Shared hull is the main benefactor and a smart move by the manufacturer to make this common chassis to these vehicles.There are thirteen grey plastic sprues, one clear sprue, and three sheets of photo etch in this kit along with some metal cable.
The Instructions are a simple to follow black and white paper affair with some highlighted colours on the sprue map only.

There are fifteen steps to the construction, often a few things to a step, but nothing too complex. This is a good kit for intermediate as well as advanced modellers, who might add more tot he kit in surface detail and photo Etch.
Colour Schemes
The colours of the vehicle are displayed on a separate double sided colour paper set of four profiles. All of course, are "what if?" because of course this vehicle never saw service – they were devised by the team at AMMO, and they do look attractive to me. I think the real factor of this kit would be to make up just whatever you like, for me that would be the main selling point.
The small sheet of decals is made up of a simple set of red and black numbers and german black and white crosses. This looks fine, the decals look sharply printed and in register, however, I would like to have some of the heavy tank destroyer emblems or common markings on this sheet if you wanted to keep one of your legs in reality.
The Photo-Etch & Cable.
First of all, there is brass cable included with this kit. Enough to go the whole length of the vehicle and it will fit nicely into the plastic hollowed end two clasps provided.
The photo-etch sheets provide mesh engine grilles, chains ( these never work in PE sorry,) and side fenders to protect the tank against AT rifle fire as spaced armour. These plates can be bent, omitted and destroyed to your heart's content and I think this is a great addition to the kit.

The Plastic Sprues
The plastic in the box is in a light grey colour, and the moulding is fairly sharp, though not the sharpest ever it is fine for the detail needed here on this kit. There are several parts of the kit, like the mantlet of the gun where there is cast surface texture, and the weld seams on the hull, that have had texture added to them. This saves the modeller some work and it is nice to see. There is some flash and some extra material present in this kit for you to trip off. Although most modellers would do this anyway, there are several parts of the tank (spoked road wheels, gun travel lock barrel) that need attention before glueing it all together.

Sprue A
This is the largest sprue in the box, and on it, there are a lot of parts from all around the tank, the rear hull wall, the large gun, the mudguards, panther style stowage boxes, pioneer tools, rear engine hatches (no engine is supplied) and other smaller parts.
See that surface detail on the rectangle block and the gun mantlet? Part 58 – the tool bracket – is a little too thick for many people's liking, and some might want to replace it with something more delicate/ thinner to the eye as these were not much thicker than small plate steel.
The front mudguards are moulded in plastic, and some people might prefer to make these from brass and then simulate wear, but I have found that a goof pair of flat pliers can do just as much realistic damage if you pay attention to how these might bend in real life. Note the Notek headlight socket and electrical wire moulded into the fender, nice.
Notice again the cast surface texture around the gun mantlet. The rear hatch is here also (part 50) and the bolts are hexagons like real bolt heads which is nice.
The last part of this sprue of note is the large 128mm gun. The slide mould technology is good, but in this case, I would like the end of the barrel to be thinner in scale.
This rectangle is the track construction Jig. Some people make these out of wood so as to lower the danger of the tracks sticking to the jig. I have found that these work perfectly if you use thick glue like Revell Contacta instead of the thinner type. That flows just a little too fast and easily for this particular job.
Sprue B (x2)
These two sprues have the front and rear drive and return wheels as well as the final drive assembly.
You may or may not be able to see from this picture – but the nicely moulded drive sprocket has some flash on the inside of the five holes, this needs to be removed before you glue it together. Not a real drama.
Sprue C (X4)
This set of four sprues, is filled with the rest of the running gear of the tank. TheSteel road wheels, the caps of the axles and the torsion bars are all here on these four sprues
The road wheels are interchangeable. They have nice hexagon nuts as per the other nuts and bolts on the kit, and in construction, these are a pretty easy job to clean up ( a seam line on each) and put together. I have already started to put the overlapping wheels together, and it was not that difficult or time-consuming.
Sprue P
Contains the OVM (pioneer tools) of the tank and the "steel" frames that these hang on. These are needed with the tools that are on the steep sides of the tank as there are not too many flat surfaces on this vehicle. Tow hooks, a shovel, sledge hammer, wire cutters, pinch bars, an axe and a fire extinguisher for the engine are all here on this sprue in pretty good moulding quality. Again some might want to use PE clasps but I am not a masochist so I will make these work by thinning the clasps and recreating surface texture on the wooden tools.
Tow hooks are seen here with the hollowed out ends (made with the help of slide moulds) and you can see the twists of metal on the cable in the cast metal look clasps.
Sprue T (the tracks) (x4)
Ok - this is often the chore or the happy surprise with modelling tanks – the Tracks. There are four sprues of tracks, moulded in brown/red colour, and each track is a five-part construction.
A closer look...
There is a lot of cleaning up to go into each track, and this my friends is the only real bummer of this kit. You DO have a track jig on sprue A – but the work that goes into each of these is just so time-consuming. These sure do take the fun out of this kit during their construction phase.

Please model makers - let's learn from our mistakes and make single links that can sag and let's use pins to join them. It can be done, you will win our admiration and probably some more sales the day you do it!

Lower hull
The lower hull of the Jagdpanther II has all of the good things you might want on a modern kit. Access hatches and wild seams on the joins of the slabs of the hull.
Upper Hull
The upper hull is very nice as well. The engine deck is of course on the front of the hull (different from the Panther II of course) and the hatches are provided with the kit to pose these open. However, you will need an aftermarket engine and bay to use these their full potential.
You can see the size of this tank from the handy ruler I placed it alongside – not a small vehicle, bigger than the Kingtiger int he same scale and about the same as the Jagdtiger in height.

Weld seams are visible here on the armoured slabs as they join together.
Here is a rough guide of the angle of the tank with the top and lower halves placed together.
Ok, what to say about this kit – let's start with the negatives. The tracks.....are a crappy solution in my book. However, if you have some free time these could be put together over a few nights on the couch and cups of tea, the jig is a handy tool to have to put them together, and if you always use metal tracks then these kit supplied ones are of no concern to you.

There is a LOT to like about this kit. In their usual style, this is an easy construction from Amusing Hobby but with heaps of sharp detail. No extra parts are needed that seem to be there for the only reason of slowing down the assembly (eg internal parts or gun assemblies you will not see). The detail and added surface texture on some of the parts is a helpful start, and the photo etch is a good addition to the kit. the colour schemes could be anyone's flavour, and that is a massive appeal of this kit - you can make it into whatever you like without armchair enthusiasts tapping you on the shoulder.

I am glad that Amusing Hobby is back to making obscure beauties, let's just get these tracks sorted and we can all be best friends.

Adam Norenberg.

 This kit is now available from Amusing Hobby's Distributors Worldwide.