Jagdpanzer IV A-0

Published: September 2nd, 2011     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: 
Greg Wise, IPMS# 44378
Scale: 1/35
Company: Cyber-Hobby
Price: $29.95
Product / Stock #: 9131

The Jagdpanzer IV was a tank destroyer based on the Panzer IV chassis and built in three main variants. As one of the casemate-style turretlessJagdpanzer (hunting tank) designs, it was developed against the wishes of Heinz Guderian, the inspector general of the Panzertruppen, as a replacement for the Sturmgeschutz III (StuG III). Guderian objected to the needless, in his eyes, diversion of resources from Panzer IV tank production, as the Stug III and Sturmgeschutz IV were still more than adequate for their role. After the Battle of Stalingrad in September 1942, the Wehrmacht arms bureau, the Waffenamt, called for a new standard for assault weapons: 100mm of armor to the front, 40-50mm on the sides, wider tracks, ground clearance of 50cm, top speed of 26 km/h, and the lowest possible firing positions. The new Panzerjager (tank hunter) design would be armed with the same 7.5cm gun as fitted to the Panther: the Pak 42 L/70. Initially, a new chassis were planned, but that of the Panzer IV had to be used.

Previous efforts to mount bigger guns on smaller chassis resulted in the Marder series, as well as StuG IIIs. The Marder series were tall and had open crew compartments. The new design had a low silhouette and completely enclosed fighting compartment. The Jagdpanzer IV used Panzer IV chassis 7 (known as BW7), but the almost-vertical front hull plate was replaced by sloped armor plates. Internally, the layout was changed to accommodate the new superstructure, moving the fuel tanks and ammunition racks. Since the Jagdpanzer lacked a turret, the engine that originally powered the Panzer IV's turret could be eliminated.

The new superstructure had 80mm thick-sloped armor, which gives a much greater armor protection than a vertical armor of 100mm. To make the manufacturing process as simple as possible, the superstructure was made out of large, interlocking plates, which were welded together. Armament consisted of a 7.5cm main gun, originally intended to be the PaK 42 L/70, but due to shortages, older guns were initially used - the 7.5 cm Pak 39 L/43 for pre-production, and the 7.5 Pak 39 L/48 for the initial production variant. These were shorter and less powerful than the PaK 42.

Installing the much heavier PaK 42 meant that the Jagdpanzer IV was nose-heavy, especially with the heavy frontal armor. This made them less mobile and more difficult to operate in rough terrain, leading their crews to nickname them Guderian-Ente - "Guderian's duck." To prevent the rubber rims of the road wheels being dislocated by the weight of the vehicle, some later versions had steel road wheels installed on the front. The final prototype of the Jagdpanzer IV was presented in December 1943 and production started in January 1944, with the PaK 39 L/48-armed variant staying in production until November. Production of the PaK 42 L/70-armed variants started in August and continued until March/April 1945.

Product:

Cyber-Hobby has come up with a perfect combination for its next Orange Box release. This set pitches together a 1/35 scale Jagdpanzer IV A-0 with a set of Panzer-Lehr figures. The Jagdpanzer IV A-0 represents a pre-production vehicle with the shorter L/48 gun with muzzle brake, and it's distinguished by rounded edges on the front of the fighting compartment. The 1/35 Jagdpanzer IV is accurately molded, and it comes with decals depicting the Panzer-Lehr-Division as it fought in Normandy after the D-Day landings. Having Magic Tracks available enhances the tank destroyer. There are four figures included in the set, with the soldiers conferring about how best to deploy their vehicles.

The Build:

Following the instruction sheet to the letter except for deviating only where the tracks and road wheel were to be installed, I soon found that all the major building was completed in about 8 to 10 hours. Moving along, I began the painting process by leaving the top and bottom hulls unattached to each other. After several days, I became aware that I might have overdone the weathering a bit. I decided to move along rather than adding further embellishments. I then added the tracks and road wheels - it was here that I discovered the recommended 98 links were short, so I added 2 more to make 100 links per side. I then mated the halves together and found that a clamp was needed to hold the halves from trying to spring apart; the problem was minor, but worth noting since a friend encountered the same problem with his kit. The last major step was adding the photo etch armor side skirting; this work became tedious due to all the small bolt heads and clasp-hinges on each of the skirt panels adding a couple more hours to the overall build. The Panzer-Lehr soldiers are a very nice touch to the kit, consisting of several parts each. They build up nicely and make for an attractive group. Also, Dragon provided several rifles and machine guns, plus ammo belts, for the diorama modeler.

The Bottom line:

More bangs for you buck - you cannot beat the Orange box super value pack from Cyber-hobby

My Gratuitude:

Thanks to Cyber-hobby/Dragon. And thank you, IPMS.
 

  • Left front
    Left front
  • Right front
    Right front
  • Right rear
    Right rear
  • Rear
    Rear
  • Underside and tracks
    Underside and tracks
  • Topside and skirt
    Topside and skirt
  • Left side, skirt removed
    Left side, skirt removed
  • Figure front
    Figure front
  • Figure back
    Figure back
  • Figure scaled to tank 1
    Figure scaled to tank 1
  • Figure scaled to tank 2
    Figure scaled to tank 2