Thursday, March 21, 2019

Zvezda 1/100 Jagdpanther

     Zvezda continues to push the envelope on snap-fit models with this kit. I have to admit that I was concerned when I saw that the instructions no longer fit on the back of the box. The model is cleanly molded in hard, pale gray plastic with no trace of flash and only the slightest hint of mold-lines. Detail, fit and finish are all first-rate, as has become the standard with Zvezda kits.  Frankly, when I unpacked the kit and took a look at the way that the designer had sectioned the model into parts and the assembly procedure I thought to myself that the good people at Zvezda had clearly crossed the line into madness. Read on to see just how wrong I was.

       This kit was kindly provided for review by Michigan Toy Soldier Shop and is available to purchase either in their store or through their website

the back of the box

the contents, notice the two sided instructions!!!

the sprues, 
all parts are clearly numbered on the sprue AND the instruction sheet

detail, as always, is tiny, crisp and beautifully rendered

I have 1/48 scale kits without this level of detail

tiny bolts on the gun mantlet

this is where I truly thought that Zvezda had lost it, 
eight snap-tight pieces to get the hull bottom and the tracks together 
tiny errors in dimension or manufacturing would be multiplied by each additional part

the parts, carefully cleaned of all traces of the molding process

they snapped flawlessly into place

more of the exquisite detail that is the trademark of Zvezda kits; 
torsion bar arms are perfectly rendered, but no one will ever see these on the assembled model

the one-piece casting process means that the track-face is lamentably blank, 
but the host of tiny bolts on the road wheels distracts the eye and mind from such thoughts

the acid test, the parts trimmed and ready to go

the hull sides fit perfectly

and the tracks snapped into place with equal ease

then I turned the instructions over to see this;  the upper hull is cast as separate pieces that snap into position, the panels all meet along edges with a 45 degree bevel edge, I was prepared to spend a LOT of time holding the parts together while glue dried

the parts freed fro the sprues, 
I very carefully trimmed away all of the little plastic burrs from the mold points
 hoping to get a better parts fit.

and here they are assembled, to be honest I was flabbergasted, I had no hope that the parts would fit so well, the tiny gap under the nearest hatch is the result of me getting ham-handed when cutting away some sprue aside from the the fit was perfect

the main gun was a single piece and snapped right into place as was the hull MG, 
the mufflers fit perfectly into slots on the rear of the hull

the main gun will need some gentle flexing to straighten out that droop

the amount of detail on the rear of the hull is excellent

as is the  elegant detail on the rear of the superstructure

     I take my hat off to the unrecognized genius who works at Zvezda that designed this kit, kudos are also due to the company responsible for casting the model as the tiniest flaw or warping would have ruined the designers efforts. This kit certainly moves the goal posts when it comes to snap-tight kits and also throws down a gauntlet to any other 1/100 scale model, every aspect of this kit defines superlative. I say with all honesty that I have never seen a kit in this scale (or in 1/72, 1/56/or 1/48th scale) that displayed better fit and finish. This sort of quality, at this price-point, simply destroys the idea of competition. If the rest of the wargaming model manufacturers aren't running scared they should be!

        I simply can't recommend anything more highly.

1 comment:

  1. I think Battlegroup Jagpanther has better detail. Their kits give you a option to make a earlier model. Did report back on March 13, 2016. If done right by using a magnet you and up a panther plus a jagpanther. Excellent article and review