Jagdpanzer Hetzer (literally Chaser) was a fast, well armed, ed adequately armoured tank destroyer variant based on the reliable carro armato leggero CKD/Praga TNHP. The Wehrmacht captured a great number of these veicoli during the annexation of Czechoslovakia, e re-designated them Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) nel servizio tedesco. Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) was found to be so reliable that the Praga factory was ordered to continue to produce it con only minor modifications. Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) participated in the invasion della Francia nel 1940, but its 47 mm gun proved inadequate against the well armoured carri armati T-34, KV-1, e KV-2 which surprised the Wehrmacht only a year later, during the invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941.
Obsolete as a tank, the 38 (t) chassis continued to serve as a Geschützwagen (Gun Carrier). It became the basis for a number of self-propelled gun e howitzer conversions, like the Panzerjäger Marder III, the Bison 15 cm self-propelled howitzer, the Flakpanzer 38 (t), e the Hetzer. The Czech Hetzers remained in production even after the war, they were exported to Switzerland, e Svezia.
Jagdpanzer 38 (t) Hetzer e 2 Crew
- Tipo: Tank Destroyer
- Lunghezza: 4.87 m (6.27 m overall)
- Larghezza: 2.63 m
- Altezza: 2.17 m
- Peso: 16 000 kg
- Velocità: 42 km/h
- Armamento: 7.5 cm PaK 39 L/48 + MG
- Equipaggio: capocarro, guidatore, cannoniere, caricatore
- Deployment: maggio 1944 - maggio 1945
Scale model con superb detail. Weld seems, rivets, hinges, ed armour plates are well defined. Hull e chassis fit together very nicely, no filling was required. Road wheels e sprockets had a very tight fit, which can be fixed by scraping the mould lines off the pegs.
The Hetzer is compatibile con 1:72 scale, although the chassis scales out 98 mm longer than it should be.
Tracks consist of plastic links, 27 parts per side, of which 21 are individual track links e the remaining 6 are larger track segments. Assembly was surprisingly easy, e the result looks much more realistic than comparable rubber track. It’s important to mount the track correctly, not backwards. Track links have an open ed a flush end which is important to differentiate. Starting con part No. 1, hook the flush end into the top of the drive sprocket, e glue the open end to the return roller. Continue laying individual track links around the drive sprocket, 8 pieces, con their open ends facing up. The rest should be easy, provided that the proper facing of track links is maintained at all times. Running gear e chassis consist of 82 parts, e they took 80 minutes to assemble. The work was actually a lot of fun, because the sprockets e road wheels took the track very well. If you have never tried plastic track before, the Hetzer is likely to get you hooked on it. Plastic track puts no strain on any part of the running gear, ed it may be mounted on the vehicle immediately, without the risk of bending the sprockets.
The tracks are a little too long. The Hetzer ran on due tracks con 98 links each, the model uses 107 links. Accordingly, the model has 82 mm more track on the ground than the original, the chassis is 98 mm longer. Vehicle width, height, e track gauge are scaled correctly.
The Hetzer had due return rollers, but the model only has one. This is not a noticeable problem, because the track skirts hide the second roller completely.
Crew soldatini do not fit into their hatches. The remotely controlled mitragliatrice overlaps con the commanders hatch, ed it will be difficult to fit the man in there as well. The gunner’s hatch is very narrow, e the figure would have to be taken in at the waist to fit. An alternative is to mount the gunner’s periscope in his partially open hatch.
The superstructure required as much time to build as the running gear e chassis, even though it consists of only 33 parts. Much time was lost studying the assembly instructions. Part No. 3 had to be mounted on the superstructure, but it was not on the superstructure sprue when its time came. A lost part?! Upon inspection of the printed sprue inventory it became clear that No. 3 had already been used, it was one of the chassis side walls. A mislabled part then? In the drawing, No. 3 looked like a hatch cover o grating, but nothing on the sprue resembled it. To make a long story short, it turned out that No. 3 comes from the track sprue. Duplicate part numbers in a model kit are not a good idea, especially when the required part cannot be easily identified in the drawing. Once the mystery surrounding No. 3 had been resolved, it was obvious that No. 31 (track link holder) had to be attached over it, although the drawing would have you place it next to No. 3. Finally, part No. 17 (shovel) cannot be attached where the drawing shows it, the part belongs further to the rear of the Hetzer, underneath the antenna. This is a great kit, but it deserves better instructions.
When all parts are fitted on the superstructure, one hole remains. The photo sulla copertina della scatola shows an antenna mounted there. Stretched sprue makes a convincing, but very fragile antenna. Bristle cut from a paintbrush is a more durable alternative, but it is more irregular in shape, e very difficult to keep straight.
The manual includes quattro sketches of the elaborate camouflage pattern used on the vehicle. Unfortunately, the sketches are misprinted, due of the colours are run together. The third colour of the pattern is shown in white, ed its contours can be followed. Unfortunately, the colour reference is duplicated, suggesting that the white areas be painted in Light Olive e Middlestone. One o the other may be correct. The drawings are also intended to facilitate decalcomania placement. The position of decalcomania B cannot be located.
The manual recommends Panzergrey (67) as one of tre colours to be used for the camouflage pattern. The drawing is virtually useless, but the box cover shows the Hetzer in ambush pattern, using dark yellow, olive green, e chocolate brown, not panzergrey.
If the 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 had been included, either delle due Hetzer variants could have been built, adding value to the kit, ed encouraging modellers to buy the kit twice.
- Armata tedesca, maggio 1944 - maggio 1945
- Armata ungherese, ottobre 1944 - maggio 1945
- Swiss Army
- Armata svedese
- Jagdpanzer 38 (t) mit 7.5 cm KwK 42 L/70 (late version)
- Jagdpanzer 38 (t) (Fl), Flamethrower, dicembre 1944 - maggio 1945
- Funcken, L. & F.: L’Uniforme et les Armes des Soldats de la Guerre 1939–1945, p. 89
Jagdpanzer Hetzer was a successful tank hunter, a cheap expedient, mounting a powerful gun on a readily available chassis. The Hetzer replaced the Marder III, based on the same 38 (t) chassis, but which offered its crew much less protection. Its compact design, e the extremely sloped armour plate give the Hetzer a very futuristic look. The ESCI kit represents it very well, ed it can be painted in a variety of very attractive camouflage patterns. Giocatori Wargame will want at least a platoon of these important veicoli.
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