Monday, April 3

Build Guide: Making the Amusing Hobby 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. The best review is a build review - so see how we fared in our build of the kit in today's story...
Build Guide: Jagdpanther II
From Amusing Hobby
Kit No# 35A011
1/35th scale
Kit comes with photo etch parts and metal cable,
Decals for four versions in "what -If?" schemes from AMMO

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

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.

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

Pt. II - Guide: Making the Jagdpanther II from Amusing Hobby
Last week we gave you a look inside the box of the Amusing Hobby "what -if?" version of the paper panzer, the 35th scale Jagdpanther II. Here is the link to that review if you want to see clearly what is in the box, however today we thought that we would show you step by step how we built the kit and our final thoughts on it. I mean, the best way to review a kit is to build it right? So let's do what we do best, and show you how it went together.

There are not that many sprues to this kit, and as we look at the sprue map we can see a few of the typical German WWII era overlapped wheels and torsion bar suspension being the most steps in the build.

The kit starts off in a regular way for most tank models, the main parts of the suspension, springs and the torsion bars which hold on to the road wheels are installed. An easy process, with not much in the way of problems occurring. The Torsion bars went into their slots quite well, however, I did think that if I did not secure them with a ribbon of glue the whole tank might sag and sit a bit low so I glued them at the place where the curved arm emerges from the side of the hull.

Each of the suspension arms had seams to be removed from their swinging arms. Though not too bad it was time-consuming, the suspension coils also had to be cleaned of their seams.

Steps three and four are concerned with the running gear of the tank and more specifically the overlapped roadwheels. There are twenty-eight road wheels and an idler wheel sand drive wheel for each side to be trimmed off the sprue and set in place. If you are used to German tanks of WWII this will be the norm for you, and I had no problems.

The drive sprocket is made so that it can revolve on the model, I secured mine so it could not, though some with different track setups like Fruil tracks may want to keep it rotating to aid in placement. Here is the sprocket and drive a little closer.
A period picture of the real thing from a reference book.
 Here is the whole suspension and roadwheels laid out for you to see them on, and off the tank. I toyed with installing them with tracks as one piece so I could remove them for painting, but "ass" to that, as the tracks were going to play ball. The whole lot looks pretty effective with nice bolt detail. I secured the swinging arms in place as they would not hold up the weight of the tank as they were when loose. if you want a "weighted" look you can always place the tank on an uneven surface with some weight inside the vehicle to recreate that sag.
Steps five and six are centred around the construction of the rear plate and everything that is attached to it. The Jack is the usual fare in six parts, while the option of opened engine ports are there, but mine were quickly closed up, as was the rear loading hatch due to the fact thaat there is no internal gubbins to show off.
You can see here I added some variety and unevenness to the rear by leaving one of the Panther-style stowage bins with their photo-etched latches are prized slightly open.
Steps seven and eight were the securing of the rear plate to the hull and the making up of some tools and tracks to fit to the tank. I left these for later as no one needs this stuff breaking off while you are still manhandling the tank. I don't know why this was not left to the last or second last in the instructions.
I used some handy wide clothes pegs to secure the back to the rear of the hull. No glue was needed in the end wash up and the lower seam was seen to after these side gaps were neutralised.
More tools, hatches and vents to make on steps nine and ten, also aerials for Jiminy crickets! leaving those off 'till the end as well, but the Photo-etch grates on the engine deck is a good one to crack on with.
The tools and OVM were then made. A simple exercise as most of the parts came on the same sprue - I suppose to be used with a variation of Amusing Hobby's "What-If?" German vehicles. They are pretty well detailed, enough for me anyways.
You will notice the photo-etched parts on the finer pieces of the tools. this adds a little of the fine detail needed in this scale to represent fine parts. I used my Xuron PE benders which save time and are useful as hell.
The Photo-etch slipped in neatly without any hassle. It is a little hollow in there, so I will obscure these as much as possible and a spray of the blackest of blacks inside the hull might help. You can see from this close up the texture on the gun mantlet and the weld seams on the hull joints.
Steps eleven and twelve keep the focus on the top details of the tank and the massive gun. Again we leave the smaller, more fragile details 'till the end, but the gun can be made up.
You can see here the simplified innards and workings of this gun. Nothing will be seen inside, so I am happy as Larry to see the gun not being a mini-kit in itself. Simplicity and common sense here has won out.
Notice the slight notch on the gun to make sure it is seated in the right orientation.
Again in the offensive weaponry department, the simplification continues here, with the bow MG42 seen on a simple cast textured plug that fits right into the upper front plate. Simples!
As one randy reader pointed out, the changing of the engine would be a "tad" difficult in the way that it is depicted in this model by Amusing Hobby. I had a think about this and I decided to investigate a way of getting around this poser.
This was the highest elevation the gun could make in its original incarnation, a plate goes over and covers this hole, so I thought I might have some vertical "wiggle-room"...
..And a little higher as I cut an arc into the top of the elevation, not much of an improvement but significant enough to make the gun more useful in the "real" world.
In the end here were the angles of the gun at lowest depression...
 ...And at its highest elevation
As my own solution, I would simply remove the barrel to make any engine changes, pretty simple to do really, as the barrel on a big gun like this would be changed quite a lot anyway. It's my model and I can think what I want about maintenance to a tank that never was...

The top of the hill was embellished with hatches (not glued in here but firmly in place,) MG port, and tools. I worked with the large barrel off the gun to keep handling of the large kit easy.
A side view, notice I have added some side mounted track link carriers from the kit, however not the ones above it, as they would be s high up on the tank, as to be unfeasible to be used and taken on/ off the vehicles. Notice those weld and cast textures with the details on the hull topping it all off.
The rear of the upper hull. Notice the lower and upper hull rectangle hatch is closed (sensibly in this case) and the top hatches in place. I have left the commander's hatch open as I would like the option to give this kit more life with a figure on the top of it. Again the welds seams around the turret rings and the handle detail inside the opened hatch along with periscopes.
It was at this point that things got a little more difficult for me. Track time baby! In preparation, I secured the rotating road wheels to the suspension arms.
The tracks are a five piece construction. I hinted at this in the Inbox Review, and they are not that easy to make.  Amusing hobby has thankfully given us a 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 of glue like Tamiya thin. That stuff flows just a little too fast and easily for this particular job.

There is a lot of cleaning up to go into each track, and 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.

I made several short links that I could bend around the road wheels as needed.
The sections were then secured with Tamiya extra thin this time. Once the tracks are joined it does not matter how much glue goes in those cracks. It seemed to discolour the tracks, but that does not matter once it is all painted.
...and here is the lower hull ready to be secured to the upper half. I left this as late as possible so I could work on the two halves without fear of breaking anything and that worked out well for me.
The two halves ready to be secured together. Most of the joints are invisible which is helpful.
I wanted to give the tank a little of the "Lived in" feeling, so I bent the front fenders with my Xuron flat PE bender tool, I wanted to have some asymmetrical dissimilar look tot his vehicle as it looks kinda pretty in stock condition.
A view of the side with everything installed in place.
This is a representation of the different side photo-etch options for the anti-tank rifle protection (which were one of the reasons why the up-armoured Panther II was designed)
 ...and even with a see-thru wire mesh version, of which there are two sheets.
Soooooo - here is my Jagdpanther II all made up and ready to roll. I can not think of too much more I would want to add to the kit other than some foliage wire on the sides and a crewman.
Here it is from every angle (with all of the little fragile bits added) for you to get a better look.
Look at this beast in comparison with a Marder TD from the start of the war, a Tiger I from mid-war vintage, and then this 1946 version of the tank destroyer.
The firepower and weight difference of only half a decade's military research is clear to see here.
So what do I think of this kit? If you like a simple "what-if" model that can be super-detailed, if you don't mind sourcing your own tracks (I would ­čĹÇ) then this is a great subject. I like this kit very much and the places where the kit has been made very simple make a lot of sense. there is enough detail here for this kit to suit most modellers, and if not then add some more of your own. 

I like it a lot, and I think many readers out there will like it also.

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

Adam Norenberg.

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