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The Jagdpanther (literally, “hunting panther”) was Germany’s ultimate expression of a WWII tank destroyer. Its sloping armor plates were better able to deflect enemy rounds, and this sleek design was combined with an extremely potent 8.8cm KwK43 cannon. This was the same long-barreled weapon mounted on the Kingtiger. As the tank destroyer was based on the running gear of the existing Panther tank and also featured an upgraded transmission, the vehicle was relatively reliable. Development of the Jagdpanther commenced in late 1942 and the first of 415 production examples began rolling off factory floors in January 1944. The 45.5 tonne Jagdpanther was operated by a crew of five. These tanks served on both fronts in the latter part of the war, but were primarily deployed on the Eastern Front.
Dragon has created an Early Production (i.e. G1) version of the Jagdpanther in 1/35 scale. As such it has the smaller internally bolted mantlet, a monobloc gun barrel and an engine deck based on that of the Panther Ausf.A. The aforementioned mantlet is produced by a four-directional slide mold that bears a realistic cast texture. What sets this latest release apart is its coat of Zimmerit, which was applied to Jagdpanthers up till September 1944. The typical square-pattern Zimmerit is astonishingly rendered in 1/35 scale. Zimmerit is also correctly pre-molded on the lower hull, saving modelers the burden of this undertaking. Even the stowage boxes at the rear of the hull receive a Zimmerit layer. To finish off this fine Jagdpanther, Dragon has supplied two complete runs of easy-to-assemble DS Tracks suitable for this Early Production variant. Thanks to its molded-on Zimmerit, this Jagdpanther will save modelers hours of putty hassles. Indeed this “hunting cat” is ready to spring into a suitable diorama or display case.