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Eduard 1/35 scale Jagdpanzer 38 (t) Hetzer early

RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR | MILITARY
Kit: No. 3711
Scale: 1/35
Manufacturer: Eduard Model Accessories, 420 476118668, www.eduard.cz
Price: $69.98
Comments: Injection-molded, 669 parets (121 photoetched metal), decals, paint masks
Pros: Complete interior, excellent photoetched parts, nicely printed instructions, paint masks for road wheels
Cons: Incorrect tracks, soft details, sprue layouts don't match instructions, lack of turned-metal barrel and photoetched side skirts
Eduard's early production Hetzer hit the shelves after a long-anticipated wait. The model is packaged in a large box and is molded in beige plastic. The periscopes are molded in clear plastic. Eduard modeled a complete interior inside this small tank-hunter, and the majority of the sprues are dedicated to interior details. But most of the detail is hidden within the hull once it is closed.

The sprues are lettered with a small tab on each corner, making the identification of parts difficult. Also, each subassembly uses parts from several sprues, so the parts search took up a lot of assembly time.

The interior went together with little trouble, although I experienced some fit problems with the bulkhead that divides the fighting compartment from the engine bay. A couple of passes with a sanding stick and some test fitting resolved the problem. To save time, I installed only those components I could see from outside the vehicle: the main gun breech, engine and transmission casing, and interior bulkhead details.

Moving outside, Eduard's road wheels are a touch too small, lack detail on the interiors, and lack the defined lip between the steel rim and rubber wheel found on actual vehicles. Eduard includes two later versions of the rear idler, although neither is used in this kit version.

The tracks are link-and-length, and my kit's parts had flash on each side of the guide teeth, requiring clean-up with a sharp blade. The tracks, unfortunately, are the incorrect style for an early production vehicle. It's unlikely that the average modeler will notice, as the early- and late-production tracks are similar.

The highlight of the kit is the photoetched details. Eduard's details are cleanly etched and definitely add to the appeal of the model. I left off the antenna housing and pioneer tools on the right side of the vehicle, as my references showed they were absent on many early production vehicles.

I sprayed the model with a basecoat of Tamiya dark yellow (XF-60), followed by a scribble pattern of dark green (XF-61) and red-brown (XF-64). After the paint dried, I applied a wash of burnt umber and black and a coat of Future acrylic floor polish. I allowed 48 hours before applying the decals, which settled down nicely on the flat casemate surface without setting solution. A final coat of Future mixed with Tamiya X-21 flat base provided a uniform dull coat to the model.

Although not a difficult model to build, I was disappointed in Eduard's Hetzer. The kit lacks a turned metal barrel and photoetched side skirts, even though Eduard produces them as replacements for other Hetzer kits! Advanced modelers will want to replace the tracks, barrel, and side skirts. Intermediate modelers and those not concerned about the tracks, two-piece gun barrel, and thick side skirts, will have no trouble building this model.

- Jeff Herne

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