by Chris Beaumont
The command version of the late type Jagdpanther had extra provision for extended radio communications. The kit contains a 2-part plastic umbrella or "star" aerial and it's mount for the portside.
This kit was made specially for an out-of-box competition so only glue and paint was added. You should be able to get a fair idea of the quality of Dragon's moldings by the detailed model images. The only thing that was discovered curiously lacking was the 6 bolts on the final reduction gear covers on each side of the front of the hull.
The soiled condition of the hull undersides had to be imagined. I cannot recall ever seeing a photo of this area of any type of tank. The only photograph that I have ever seen that came remotely close to it was that WW2 image of the Panther on it's back in Normandy reported to be flipped as a result of rocket firing Typhoons - page 28 of Squadron/Signal's Panther in Action. Unfortunately you only see a side view.
Special attention was given to the painting of the tracks. It was intended to make them an interesting feature. For those unfamiliar to Dragon's AFV kits, hard plastic individual links have to be glued together to make up the tracks. It was not until gathering and studying a greater batch of AFV references like those illustrated below that I began to notice for the first time that a great deal of the inner side of the tracks could become nicely buffed to a shiny metal finish by the running gear. This effect was particularly evident when the tank had been travelling over sealed roads and cross country over firm, dry, mildly dusty fields. Of the few existing wartime photographs of the Jagdpanther a good majority are seen in exactly this environment. Lucky the Jagdpanther was from the Panther family of which there are many photographic images in publication. Those references were my initial starting point but then I looked to modern tanks on manouveres in color photographs to get a greater feel for tank track weathering. Some examples seen in the publications of the modern tanks were like seeing them wearing silver bracelets the inside of the tracks were so shiny !
I had observed in the past when looking at tank
references that certain parts of tank tracks and the running gear, like the sprocket
teeth, could become highly polished steel. If you want to see some in your face actual
proof of how shiny those teeth can get then click
on the thumbnail image(89k). It's not from a tank, more a close relative and
probably more publicly accessable and likely to be on the move or parked somewhere in your
Jagdpanther and Panther family references.
The "Achtung Panzer" series is available from HobbyLink Japan and speciality hobby shops.
color photographic reference.
If you are interested in the photography of this model about 55 photos were taken
spread over 8 x 35mm films shot under varying degrees of natural lighting - predominantly
direct sunlight - to extract the best photogenic and detailed poses from the model in a
non-professional studio, a neighbour's backyard to be exact. Anyone that understands
lighting and photography should know the many moods a subject can experience under
different lighting conditions, camera settings and photo lab processing. The end result
was out of the 55 shots taken about 20 had something sharp and worthwhile to offer.
Click this image (55k) to see how sunlight was directed into the chassis areas; the model was propped up with a 35mm film container which was painted out in the photo editing phase. At times cooking foil reflectors - dull side exposed - were used to bounce more light onto the model and to help tone down harsh shadows.
Click on the thumbnails below to view the image full sized. Click on the "Back" arrow of your browser to return to this page:
See more images of this Jagdpanther at Track Link
Model, Images and Article
Copyright © 1999 by Chris Beaumont
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