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Jagdpanther - Sd.Kfz. 173

built by Andreas Tupy (1:35)

Jagdpanther - Sd.Kfz.173
In 1943, the High Command began to think about how one could effectively deal with the heavy Russian armor at distances that would make the range of their guns fall short. The simple answer was to take the 8.8 cm flak and incorporate it into an anti-tank vehicle. The first of these was the Nashorn (on a Panzer IV chassis). The problem was that the armor was too thin and it was open in the rear and on top which afforded little protection for the crew.

Further failures were experienced with the Tiger chassis of the Porsche production run (Ferdinand and Elefant). They were too slow and heavy. Finally the chassis of the Panther G was tested and proved very successful. Thus the anti-tank "Jagdpanther" was born. It received as its primary weapon the new single part 8.8 cm Pak 43L/71 (later the two part 43/3/L71) the gun with the most penetrating power in the German arsenal. The speed was 50kmh, the engine a Maybach HL 230 P 30 with 700 Ps of horsepower. The weight was 45.5 tons and despite that it was quite fast and maneuverable. 328 units were produced by MIAG and MNH.

This Hunting Panther is still considered a masterpiece of tank construction today.
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The Model

The kit from Tamiya is molded in their usual beige polystyrene and looks good upon first examination. Even the vinyl tracks are nicely done but not usable for my purposes.

The Construction

I used the following after market items: Hunting Panther by Tamyia,photo etch by Aber, tracks by Friulmodel and barrel by Eduard. Well, where does one begin? I began with the study of as many historical photos as I could find and the reading and evaluation of available literature. I decided from the beginning to do a "Jagdpanther" of a rather late vintage: the one with the bolted gun shield, the tool box and barrel cleaner in rear which was also intended for antenna stowage, with the heater in the crew area as well as the upper hatches and the opening for the driver's periscope.

After a dry fitting of the rear parts of the kit and the study of the photo etch instructions, I began with the rear of the vehicle. First I installed the brackets for the wire cutter, the C-hook, the starter hand crank and the lift jack. The headlights were a special challenge since they were completely formed from photo etch but the lamp had to be scratch built. I used a round clear piece of sprue and gave it a cylindrical shape. After that I joined he rear lower and upper parts together, I began to detail the interior of the upper superstructure. Mainly this encompassed the installation of the periscope and the base for the commander's figure as well as the painting of the interior ivory color. After the upper part was dry the two main parts were joined and then filling and sanding cannot be avoided.

I also could not ignore to provide the model with surface texture which is a by product of the manufacturing process and after that I removed the more obvious surface defects with fine sand paper. I followed this up with the production of welding seems from thin and heated stretched sprue. Then I finally tackled the rest of the upper superstructure. Since I started to get bored I decided to replace the hatch locks with photo etch as well as the winch. Eventually all of this was finished and I put the superstructure aside and concentrated on the wheels as the track. Oh, I also added the gun barrel.
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In order to achieve contrast I airbrushed the tank lightly with black. After this had dried I used Tamiya dark yellow as my base color. I made sure that all the black shadows did not disappear under the yellow. I set the model aside for two days and started to work on the Friul tracks. Again I airbrushed them black and then lightly over sprayed them with a thinned red brown in order to get the first effect of weathering. The camouflage scheme was next and after all this had dried well, the usual weathering techniques such as dry brushing and washing etc. was applied. Only then did I begin to install the wheels which had all been painted and weathered. Finally, I added the finished and weathered tracks.

Final touches

Finally the tank stood on its "own feet". And now one can begin to paint the fine parts that ones added as an afterthought but which give the tank special character. I left it at a few additions. The last touch was to add the commander figure to the turret to give the thing a little life. In order to achieve more realism I added earphones and a throat mike made with photo etch. The cables were made with stretched sprue. A layer of clear matte was the last touch and the tank was ready for the display case.


Overall this was an easy to build model and one that looks good when finished. Important is the correct placement of the brackets for the particular version you are building. The "Schürzen" should be replaced with Aber photo etch because Tamiya's are much too thick. The container for the gun cleaner demands some attention because it can be placed either on the left side or on the rear of the tank. The last choice is a field modification. There are many possibilities and nothing is written in stone. Does it matter whether the angle plate was remounted after conversions took place on the tank?
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Jagdpanther - Sd.Kfz.173 (1:35)

  Model built by Andreas Tupy, photos taken by Wolfram Bradac  
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  meet the modeler      

Andreas Tupy

  Born 1977 in Vienna. After I got an aeroplane kit when I was a five years old boy, I did not come loose from this passion for a long time, until I inserted a break of many years because of my modified interests. In 2001 I again bought a kit (king tiger from Tamiya) and lightning struck again: Since that time I am concerned very seriously with the topic tank modelling and construction, whereby I often spend hours to search for suitable reference material. My emphasis is with the models of the German Wehrmacht.

Beside modelling i discoverd another interesting passion: photographing
  Andreas Tupy  
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This page:  GALLERY: Jagdpanther - Sd.Kfz.173, built by Andreas Tupy
was last modified on: Mar 4, 2005
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