Dragon Porsche Jagdtiger

Kit # 7250 & 7291 Review by Rob Haelterman - heman_148(at)hotmail(dot)com

A year or two after the release of the original Porsche Jagdtiger kit (7250) Dragon realized that most Porsche Jagdtigers carried Zimmerit and that this would be hard to do for most modelers. They therefore retooled the kit and gave us a new one (7291). Not only did they add Zimmerit and DS tracks instead of the old black vinyl ones, but it seems they also refined almost every sprue. The latter is just an impression; the sprues are clearly the same, I only feel the later kit has somewhat sharper detail. It just might be because they used a slightly different kind of plastic, or because of a minor clean-up of the molds.

 

1. The parts

The upper hull of 7291 is notably sharper than that of 7250, has Zimmerit, but no attachments for spare tracks or tools on the hull sides. The tools that are molded on the hull of kit 7250 are not provided as spare parts in 7291 either.

The lower hulls apparently only differ in the extra notch for the idler that has been added to kit 7291, but for no apparent reason. Both hulls have holes in the bottom which are presumably for the ready-built kits.

The driver's hatch is closed, but there is a spare hatch "not for use" in the kit, in case you like to do some surgery.

The four crane mounting Pilze on the roof need to be removed, as they were seen only on the Henschel vehicles.

 

You get more and finer PE parts in 7291, not only for the engine deck but also optional shrouds for the exhausts.

The tracks seem identical except for the color, and supposedly material. The pale ones (7291) are DS, while (I guess) the black ones of 7250 are the old (but very flexible and well detailed) vinyl.
Even though the tracks are nicely detailed, I have some misgivings about them. Analyzing them, they look most like a 800mm wide Gg 26/800/300 battle track, which was introduced in May 1944 (see Wikipedia for a picture). The trouble is, this track only worked with the 9 teeth drive sprocket and the kit has the 18 teeth sprocket. OK, Dragon has given the connecting link a cut out for the track teeth as well, so it is not entirely the Gg 26/800/300 track, and it will work with the 18 teeth sprocket provided. What is sure, however, is that the track does not represent the Kgs 73/800/152 battle track (which was introduced after the production of the Jagdtiger switched to Henschel suspensions anyway) or the Gg 24/800/300 battle track, which would be the track fitted to most Porsche Jagdtigers (which, with one exception, all had 18-teeth sprockets).
Note that the spare tracks on sprue C are more correct in this respect.

For some reason 7250 comes with two screws too.

Decals are finely printed in both kits. 7250 gives you more choice to assemble your own numbers; you get numerals in black, black with white outline and red with white outline. 7291's decal sheet is more limited. The markings will be discussed in more detail below.

The other sprues are technically identical. You only get more spare tracks in 7250 than in 7291 (which is strange as some of them are "not for use" in both kits), while 7291 gives new fender parts with Zimmerit and new hull parts where appropriate. (The non-Zimmed parts are also provided.)

The cast texture on the mantlet is very nicely done.

Sprue C is common with other Jagdtiger and Königstiger kits, which is the reason quite some parts are "not for use", like tow cables, two (?) MG turret mounts and the MG itself. While not marked as "not for use", you get two (!) hull MG ball mounts, which IMHO are exactly the same. (Should have realized this earlier, I could have used the spare one on another project...). In 7291 you also get a Zimmed ball mount, so we are left with two (...) spare MG ball-mounts.

Another large sprue (B) carries the Porsche suspension parts. In 7250 this sprue also has extra spare tracks, which are not mentioned in the manual (neither in the sprue lay-out nor assembly instructions.)

A smaller sprue (also labelled "C") gives the typical Jagdtiger parts. You even get a 88mm gun barrel there, for the "mythical" 88mm Jagdtiger (based on a Henschel chassis). Something that resembles a Nahverteidigungswaffe is also included, but not for use. Note that both 88mm gun and NVW are not shown on the parts lay-out in 7250, but are there nevertheless (at least in my kit).

The gun travel lock is provided in both traveling and firing position and seems of the late type with cross-bar.

An engine insert is provided for under the engine deck. The engine access hatch is molded open, so a more elaborate engine compartment can be added if one is at hand.

 

 

2. The manual

The manuals show pictures of a model under assembly (or very good CAD drawings) supplemented by line-drawings. Both are largely identical, apart from the use of PE, and spare tracks. Note that the same black tracks are shown in both manuals. Only the radio operator's and commander's hatch can be left open without surgery.

In all, there are relatively few parts in both kits (apart from the wheels), so this looks like a pretty quick build.

 

3. The markings

With only 11 produced (of which 10 operational) you could expect that most vehicles have been individually documented. Apart from 2 of them that indeed seems the case. Dragon's choices of markings are therefore somwhat surprising.

a) Dragon kit 7250:
This is the kit without Zimmerit, so, technically, without adding it you can only do Fahrgestel 305001, 305011 or 305012.

Dragon gives you the following marking options:

Vehicle 1:
This vehicle probably represents Fgst.Nr. 305012, although the latter more likely carried a three-tone camo instead of the two-tone that the Dragon manual shows.
The marking "red 314" is also probably better done as "black 314". This is not really an issue, as the spare black decals are available anyway.

Vehicle 2:
The decal shows Fgst.Nr.305010, which was a Zimmeritted specimen, so there you go... It also appears to have carried a two-tone camo, not three-tone as Dragon suggests.


You might think of doing Fgst.Nr.305001, but that one seems to have seen combat with a refitted 9-teeth sprocket (the only Porsche version to carry it) and issued as a command version with extra aerial on the superstructure rear left-hand side. It carried heavy broad striped bands of 3 (4) color camo.

The other remaining non-Zimmed Porsche Jagdtiger is 305011. So far, few people have seen photographic evidence of it, but given the date of production it would have carried a 3-tone camo.

b) Dragon kit 7291
8 Porsche Jagdtigers carried Zimmerit; of these Fgst.Nr. 305003 and 305004 only carried it halfway up the hull, unlike the kit, so I discard these. Fgst.Nr.305005 was rejected due to problems with the armor plate, and no pictures of it exist, so personally I would not try to build that one either.

That leaves Fgst.Nr. 305006-305010 to choose from.

Based on my info, I would say the following about the six marking options offered by Dragon:

First marking option: probably spurious
Second option is black or red 102, which is a vehicle of which the Fgst.Nr. is either 305006,305007 or 305008.
Third option: Black 314 was a non-Zimmeritted JT (see kit 7250), so get out the sanding paper or switch kits.
Fourth option is the same black or red 102 as the second option but with a spurious whitewash. Why the "102" would be lower and the two Balkenkreuze on the rear omitted is anybody's guess.
Fifth option is Fgst.Nr.305009 according to the decals.
Sixth option is Fgst.Nr.305010 according to the decals, but in that case lacks the hull number "black 301" that you have to find elsewhere (e.g. kit 7250).

I won't go into detail about the fact that some were found with battle tracks or transport tracks, as my guess is that they might have gone into combat with transport tracks, but that they at least carried the battle tracks once in their lives. Either that, or you can't build any Zimmed Porsche JT as documented by Fgst.Nr. Given that "102" was seen with battle tracks, but that its Fgst.Nr. is unsure, and that the pictures of vehicles with known Fgst.Nr. that might be "102" carry tranport tracks this would confirm my hypothesis.

As far as I know all these vehicles were spotted with the early travel lock (no cross bar) except for 305010.

Note that some vehicles had spare tracks on the sides, but I should check my references in more detail to see which ones. This means you can put the redundant spare tracks to good use, but should create some hangers on the hull.

Cross-checking Fgst.Nr. with the kit options, it sort of looks like this:

Fgst Nr Marking option           Remark
  1 2 “102” 3 “314” 4 “102” 5 “305009” 6 “305010”  
305001             Prototype. Zimmerit.
305003             Used for training. Zimmerit.
305004             Used for training. Vehicle now at Bovington. Zimmerit.
305005 Possible, but unlikely       Possible, apart from FgstNr decal, but unlikely.
Modify travel lock.
Possible, but unlikely. Rejected because of poor armor quality. Used for training. Zimmerit.
305006 "102" (?)   Possible.
Modify travel lock.
 

Possible, but unlikely.
Modify travel lock.
Camo spurious

Possible, apart from FgstNr decal, but unlikely.
Modify travel lock
  Pz.Jg.Abt 653. Zimmerit.
305007 "102" (?)   Possible.
Modify travel lock.
 

Possible, but unlikely.
Modify travel lock.
Camo spurious

Possible, apart from FgstNr decal, but unlikely.
Modify travel lock
  Pz.Jg.Abt 653. Zimmerit.
305008 "102" (?)   Possible.
Modify travel lock.
 

Possible, but unlikely.
Modify travel lock.
Camo spurious.

Possible, apart from FgstNr decal, but unlikely.
Modify travel lock
  Pz.Jg.Abt 653. Zimmerit.
305009         According to Fgst.Nr. decal.
Modify travel lock.
White "a" to be added on headlight.
  Pz.Jg.Abt 653. Zimmerit.
305010 "301"          

Fgst.Nr.OK, but turret number not.
Camo might have been two-tone

Pz.Jg.Abt 653. Zimmerit.
305011          

Fgst.Nr.OK, but turret number not.
Camo might have been two-tone

Pz.Jg.Abt 653. No Zimmerit.
305012          

Fgst.Nr.OK, but turret number not.
Camo might have been two-tone

Pz.Jg.Abt 653. No Zimmerit.

 

References

[1] http://www.panzerworld.com/jagdtiger

[2] Jagdtiger Vol 1, technical history, A. Devey, Schiffer

[3] Jagdtiger Vol 2, operational, A Devey, Schiffer

[4] The Combat History of German Heavy Anti-Tank Unit 653 in World War II, K. Munch, Stackpole Books

 

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Article Last Updated:
26 November 2009
15 October 2014