Tuesday, April 18

Preview: Hetzers - Early, Mid & Late on the way from Takom

OK we know they really are the Jagdpanzer 38(t)  - but most of us call them the 'Hetzer' when no one is looking. These three diminutive tanks are the subjects of three of Takom's new releases. The Early, Mid & Late variants of the Het... Jagdpanzer 38(t) are the next in line. See the differences between them in our preview...

Preview: Hetzers - Early, Mid & Late on the way from Takom

Hetzers - Early, Mid & Late 
From Takom
Kit No's 2170, 2171 & 2172
1/35th scale
Photo etch included
Full Interior included
We do not know anything more about the kits than the silhouettes on the art here. But we do know a little about the tanks, so here is a quick run-down the timeline of this tank....

The Subject: The Jagdpanzer 38(t) series...
A German light tank destroyer from the latter stages of World War II, the Hetzer was built on the 38(t) tank's Czech Skoda chassis. They were allocated to Panzerjager troops in both infantry and armoured divisions, and about 2000 were constructed. Some Hetzers were subsequently sent to Hungarian battalions and the Russian Liberation Army (ROK), which was formed from Russian POWs, towards the end of the war.

Top View of the Hetzer
The Hetzer was utilised by the Swiss and Czechoslovaks after the war and was named as the G-13 and ST-1, respectively. A total of 2,827 Jagdpanzer 38 were produced by BMM and Škoda. About 2,612 were Jagdpanzer 38 tank hunters, 14 were Jagdpanzer 38t Starr, 181 Bergepanzer 38 and 20 Flammpanzer.

"What's in a name?"
Some sources say the nickname given to this tank by the troops appears to be "Hetzer." General Guderian reportedly confirmed this in a memo to Hitler dated December 4, 1944. Confusion is also caused by the official title. The Panzertruppen utilised "Leichte Panzerjager 38(t)" at first, while the WaffenAmt used "Sturmgeschütz neuer Art mit 7.5 cm PaK 39 L/40 auf Fahregestell PzKpfw 38(t)". 'Jagpanzer 38 (Sdkfz 138/2)' was used as the common name in November 1944.

Jagdpanzer 38 assembly line in Böhmisch-Mährische Maschinenfabrik AG plant, June 19 1944.

A vague breakdown of the Jagdpanzer  38(t) timeline during WWII.
-May 1944 version with all the features of an early Hetzer from either plant. Early versions of the exhaust system at the rear of the Jagdpanzer 38(t) had the pipe coming down the back of the vehicle into a tubular silencer box that ran along the top of the rear armour plate, mounted horizontally. 
-July 1944 version that has extra bolt heads on the mantlet. The muffler no longer has a perforated sheaf.
-September 1944 version made by BMM. This has the early rear idler, driver’s visor and exhaust, but the late toolbox, mantlet and engine deck. This is a mid-production version. September & October saw the phased introduction of several changes.
-December 1944 version made by BMM until the plant was captured. It has all late details including flame-retarding exhaust, revised road wheels, and simplified rear idler with 6 holes.

These three kits from Takom:
Although we wish these full interior (!) kits are in 1/35th scale, we do think they would sell so well in 16th scale also! Not since the Eduard kit has there been a full interior kit, and we think it is high time for these to come to the market in an upgraded and new design.
That is all we have on these three for now - keep tuned for more info on the kits themselves. You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page