Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Hetzer (early version) German Tank Destroyer

Hi again, my dear friends!
This is a model kit from exUSSR manufacturer UniModels.
Here are you welcome.
Hetzer tank destroyer in 1/72 scale!

This kit contain 112 light grey plastic parts on four sprues, 16 PE parts on one fret, decals for six or more vehicles and a 4 page A5 instruction booklet with history, parts plan, 11 clear build diagrams and 3 paint/decal drawings.
Highly detailed, The only early production Hetzer in 1/72 scale and machine gun shield plus side skirts in PE.

First issued in 1944, the Hetzer was a very successful tank Hunter (Jagdpanzer). With a very low profile, a 75 mm gun and a remote controlled MG it could take on anything the Allies could throw at it. Even though it's armour was quite thin, it was sloped at such an angle that it gave it's crews good protection.

Although the Hetzer was based on the 38(t) light tank, very little of this kit is from the earlier UM 38(t). Even the two track/suspension sprues are new with only the tracks themselves, bogies and a small number of add-ons carried over from the older kit. Marketed as an early production model, the sprues also contain all the parts for the Late Production Hetzer and the flame thrower Hetzer.

Therein lies the first minor problem. The early vehicles had road wheels with 32 bolts securing the armour plate to the wheel, but it was found that these bolts loosened in combat. Later vehicles had the armour riveted to the wheels, and the number was reduced to 16. Unfortunately, the kit comes with the late wheels only. You do get the late and early gun mantlet, engine deck, idler wheel and exhaust. You also get an optional non-perforated equipment box in plastic and the perforated box on the PE fret as in the earlier 38(t)s.

All the parts are nicely detailed and flash is at an absolute minimum, but care will have to be taken assembling the lower hull to make sure everything is aligned or the upper hull will not fit.
You can check this molds on pictures.

The PE fret contains some very nice side skirt armour, (Shutzen, not sure if that's the right spelling), the MG shield, a perforated heat shield for the early muffler, periscope shields, guard supports and the afore mentioned equipment box.

As usual for UM, they give you more vehicle markings than there are instructions for, but I guess to many is better than not enough.

My one criticism of this kit, apart from the wheels, that is, the hatches are all closed. Again, nit picking, as they shouldn't be hard to open.

Esci's Hetzer was one of their best. This kit from UniModels, I believe, will leave it for dead.

Thank you for attention!
Good luck and comment my post please in any questions!