early production with zimmerit

Kit #: 7241

Article by Danilo Carli - 172normandyafv(at)gmail(dot)com
Edited by Marc MERCIER




The box has a nice picture and the moulds are individually packed, with an endearing decal sheet.

The instructions are given with a photographic sequence instead of drawings, not a real improvement I think. The grey plastic mouldings are flash free and include the hull divided in the two classic upper (B1) and lower (B2) parts, wheels with schurzen and exhausts (A) and three “zimmerited” plates.

The soft black vinyl moulding comprises not only the tracks but also the rear bins, so they have the zimmerit also on the sides. There is also a PE engine mesh set and two metallic wire towing cables. The kit derives from the former die-cast hull Dragon production, as visible by the hull fits and the two little screws provided. The kit nicely contains also the parts needed to make a late Jagdpanther plus a second set of sprocket wheels. Obviously with the “zimmerited” surfaces, only the early version can be built, but with some more choices possible.

The model depicts a June-September MIAG production vehicle having the three points pilzen crane on the roof. The single piece barrel proposed was used until October 1944, but already from May 1944 the two piece barrel was also used and this possibly is in the kit too. The multiple exhausts are correct for the batches produced after May 1944. However, the way they are moulded gives us the possibility to cut away the two little pipes on the left one, leaving just a single pipe (like the right one) as in the former batches. A real good hint for a diorama is the engine with the engine deck and its central hatch as separate parts.

A good information source on the net is panther1944.de.

The zimmerit is well done and saves us a tedious job to depict it with putty or the use of aftermarket update set. After mid September 1944 zimmerit wasn't applied anymore, so to make a late batch Jagdpanther we have to use another kit.

Anyway this kit is not perfect. The rear engine deck grates are wrong, being correct for a late production Jagdpanther. The early version had the same grates as the Panther A and D.

But the real problem I found lies with the tracks, which are two-three links too short! At the beginning I though my tracks may have suffered of some problem due the material used, but when I bought a couple of Dragon Panther G kits, I concluded that it was a moulding issue having three kits with the same problem! I don’t know if these kits still has these tracks or if Dragon corrected the problem.

Considering the 1/72 scale, to make my specific Jagdpanther I did the following extras:


• Before closing the hull, I enlarged the bow visor hole, then a little plastic piece was glued from inside to depict the visor.
• The periscopes were added with little plastic pieces. Then the two hull halves were glued.
• The zimmerit pattern is interrupted by the joint of the rear plate E2 and it is missing on the fenders, on the kugelblende and on the rear hatch C14. This was correct by engraving it.
• I replaced the MG barrel with stretched sprue.
• I’ve removed the kit rear engine grates and replaced them with those of an Italeri/Esci one (but any another Ausf. A or D Panther will make the same job). I didn’t use the PE mesh because they still are not thin enough for 1/72 and when used they hide the grates. If you use them replace the rear grates ones.
• The housing of the gun mount need some care having an ejector pin situated under the Saukopf. It was removed with a motor tool and sand paper.
• From May 44, the early Jagdpanthers used both type of gun barrels. The two pieces one needs the re-engraving of the two lines after cleaning the moulding lines. Use the same mount C4 as for the single piece barrel, being the bolted collar used in the batches produced after October 1944. A gun barrel counter weight was added on the inside.

Then I’ve worked on these details:

• A little rain guard was added over the driver visor.
• The MG plug lying on the bow was scratchbuilt with plastic and a metallic wire segment.
• The Bosch light was replaced with a Revell Panther spare one.
• Four handles were made with metallic wire to replace the solid handle on the engine hatch, the solid one on the rear hatch and two were glued over the circular items of the same engine hatch.
• I did add the spare track rails with plastic.
• A plastic scratch build antenna base was glued in the upper left corner of the rear casemate plate E2.
• From June 1944 on, the roof got crane attachment points; these are correctly depicted in the kit. Since my choice of period is post June, I kept them as they are.
• The wooden block C24 is 1.00 mm too narrow and 0.75 mm too thin. I enlarged it with plastic and then I restored the metallic belts with aluminium foil 1.00 mm strips.
• I made new towing cables with copper wire, which is less stiff and can easily bend.
• Also the towing cables holders were added on the hull sides.
• To make the Schurzen more scale like, I had to thin them from inside. I also removed some sections, just to add a bit of operational life. When cutting them, I didn’t follow the kit engraved line, but I'd cut just after the hanging hole, as in reality the plates overlap each other. The kit engraved lines nearer the cut were filled afterwards.

A special feature

Having chosen a Normandy Jagdpanther, I had only one unit to refer: the sPzJgrAbt 654. I’ve modified the location of the tools and I’ve added the non standard bin as shown here.

An Esci/Italeri shovel was used, the Dragon one being strangely incomplete. As seen on photos, the zimmerit pattern was removed where the tool racks are attached and luckily I didn’t have to restore it. Also in this area's, the olive grun/rot Braun camo spots should be absent with only dunkelgelb presence with some red primer traces.

Wheels and tracks

• I used the kit idlers, backed up by photographic evidence.
• On a real Panther, the tracks sagged over the wheels, resting on them from the third wheel till the idler. The black vinyl kit tracks, as already said, are two-three links short. A real pity, because I find them better than those of the Revell or Esci/Italeri Panther kit. If the track is glued like a belt, it will fit hardly, with the upper segment running straight from the sprocket to the idler and the track links around the sprocket warped by the tension.
I choose to glue the tracks wheel by wheel, leaving the ends on the upper segment. They arrive so near that they touch each other, almost without overlapping. The open joint will be hidden to the underside by an outside wheels and from above by the Schurzen.

Another option is to cut out a section on one track to make the other one complete in order to have a complete track on a side. On the other side, the missing part can be filled with plastic and hidden by the Schurzen. I did this on a Panther tank and it works, as long as you don't reveal your secret. However, should your tracks have the right length, forget this part!


The kit gives two set of numbers (red or black, both white outlined) to obtain the number you prefer. The instructions suggest the numbers 302 and 314 of the sPzJgrAbt 654. Both these vehicle are depicted with the single piece gun barrel, but only the 314 had one (with the single pipe exhausts), the 302 was armed with the two pieces barrel. Furthermore the font is also wrong, the real numbers being narrower. The decal numbers have the right font for the 1st company (like the 112 and the 133) of the same unit.


It is a good kit, tracks problem apart. Anyway, a good photographic source is needed if you make a model depicting a real vehicle, because of the production changes between February 1944 and September 1944.

Footnote: in the photos the outer row wheels are still absent. They will be glued after having painted the inner rows and the tracks, before adding the schurzen.

Review sample bought by the author

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Article Last Updated: 18 January 2014