Originally called the Raketenjagdpanzer, this was a contemporary of the Kanonenjagdpanzer and its relatives and shared the same chassis. Originally brought into service in 1967, by 1978 the Raketenjagdpanzer 3 was considered obsolete and was subject to having an upgrade. This was focused both on protection and firepower, with add-on armour to the front glacis and hull sides, side skirts, and had a brand new HOT missile system. Conversions ended in 1982, after the conversions, the Raketenjagdpanzer 3 was renamed the Jaguar-1 and remained in service until the 1990’s
This 23 ton vehicle was operated by a crew of four (commander, driver, operator/gunner and loader). Powered by a V8 500hp diesel engine it had a top road speed of 70 kph (44 mph) and a range of 385 km (240 miles). Armament consisted of 1 HOT missile launcher with eight ready rounds and twelve reloads. Secondary armament was 2 x 7.62mm MG3 machine guns and 8 smoke-dischargers. From 1993 to 1995 new optics and a thermal imaging system would be added.
The kit arrives in a clear, rectangular, end opening box. Inside can be found the following:
- Single page instruction sheet and painting guide
- 1x Large hull casting
- 2x Left and right side suspension/running gear
- Casting block with 9 detail parts attached
- 1x HOT missile launcher piece
- 3x Tarps and camouflage nets
- 1x MG-3 casting
- 1x PE fret with 8 pieces
- 1x Small waterslide decal sheet
- 2x Wire antenna
The painting guide provides a choice for two vehicles. One vehicle represents a total green vehicle that would have been seen until 1984. The second scheme is for a vehicle from 1984 onward and is in a three colour NATO camouflage. Paints referenced in the instructions are for the Humbrol and Revell range.
The subject of this review is the Artitec
resin 1/72 Jaguar 1 Bundeswehr, Kit #172003. Artitec
have done a very nice job on this kit but it is not for the novice or beginner. Resin models are subject to their own set of techniques. Resin is generally harder than styrene and its dust produced from sawing, grinding or sanding is dangerous to the respiratory system. For light sanding, a particle mask is probably sufficient, but if you're using a belt sander, grinder or buffing wheel, a respirator will be more appropriate since the resin particles will be finer. Resin does capture fine detail exceptionally well and it is this area where it is finer than styrene.
The three main hatches can be posed open or closed and have both external and internal detailing. While cast as a single unit, the road wheels, sprockets, return rollers and idlers are moulded in a fashion that gives the impression of being in pairs instead of single solid piece. While all the tools are cast on the hull, Artitec
does provide some stowage such as tarpulins and camouflage nets to enhance the exterior of the vehicle.
Some parts do show a light flash on their edges, this is particularly obvious on the running gear and a few detail parts. Mostly it is quite light and removable with a sharp hobby blade, however, a major job for the builder will be taking care of the large remnants of the body’s pour plug and cleaning up the track’s pour points.
For the bottom of the body, the use of wet/dry sandpaper and a chisel was necessary on my sample. To straighten up the contour lines after the sanding process, I decided that the bottom plate and lower, front plate might be best enhanced by cladding over both with sheet styrene to smooth the two panels.
A number of parts have mounting pins but these appeared quite brittle when trying to remove them from their casting block and the pins were damaged. As the parts count is quite minimal there should not be any major issues other than the clean-up of some, what some people may find, rather small parts. A few test, dry fits with the hatches showed that they fit very well.
After cleaning up the tracks and suspension runs, dry fitting was also required on the channel for the suspension components. This was straight forward and after completion the running gear fit quite nicely. The gunner’s sight, HOT launcher, smoke dischargers and front hatches all had a good fit.
Then there is the photo etch pieces to deal with some of these are small, fragile and prone to bending. Having completed a dry fit the rear rack, it is obvious the need for time and patience will be required with placing those parts. It does require some bending into the proper shape but was accomplished with minimal effort. A front PE rack has a positive fit and requires no bending or folding.
This is not the first incarnation of Raketenjagdpanzer in a smaller scale as ROCO
had produced an earlier version in 1/87 (HO) scale years prior. However, this one in 1/72 is by far superior in details. Many will appreciate the extra stowage pieces. Further, a few not used pieces may be parts for a later version of a Jaguar that including a large imaging module. The potential modeller will find that the chassis components clean-up and fit is superior to Artitec
KaJaPa 90 mm.
While possessing a limited number of parts, the nature of resin possesses it own sets of unique challenges. While some parts fit remarkably well, the running gear did require a fair amount of attention to look and especially fit well. With proper care and knowledge of resin peculiarities, this kit will create an excellent representation of this unique vehicle.