Since both Jagdpanzer kits share a common hull, suspension, tracks and detail fittings, it makes sense to do a combined review on the kits and point out the differences between the two.
First is the lower hull. It is a nicely detailed tub. My sample had several slight sink marks on the bottom. There are a couple of holes that are molded on the underside, most likely where the pre-built kit is attached to a display base. The amount of detail on the underside is amazing, but seems a shame that it would be unseen on a built kit.
Both kitsí lower hulls assemble in the same sequence. The slide molded dual road wheels are attached to the suspension arms. Separately molded road wheel hubs are then added to the road wheels. This feature aids in painting the road wheels. The Jagdpanzer IV L/70 includes six smooth faced steel road wheels, but only four are used on the first two road wheel stations on each side.
The lower hull is completed by attaching the rear hull plate. The Jagdpanzer IV L/48 includes a muffler; the Jagdpanzer IV L/70 includes two slide molded exhaust pipes. Both kits require drilling out certain holes on the rear plate. Use care to ensure that the right holes are opened for the respective variant.
The one piece tracks are made of the tan DS ďDragon StyreneĒ. They are nicely molded with ample detail on the inner and outer surfaces. They are slightly wavy. I recommend testing the fit of the tracks before cementing the suspension onto the lower hull. Iíve had experience with Dragon kits that have had both loose fitting tracks and too tight tracks.
The upper hulls are the same for both kits, but each one includes a different superstructure. There are some storage differences on the engine deck like cleaning rods. The engine deck has separately molded grill doors that would be useful if an aftermarket engine detail was added. For some reason, the L/70 includes an unused engine deck with the grills molded in place, but this part is not included in the L/48. This isnít important but it does add another bit to the parts box.
The L/48 includes two gun tubes, one with and one without a muzzle brake. The one with a muzzle brake is used and the other goes into the parts box. Both L/48 barrels are very nicely slide molded and one piece. The plain barrel hints of a future L/48 Late Version.
The L/70 includes a nice turned aluminum barrel. It also includes a plastic version of the same barrel for the purist.
Besides the gun and superstructure, the major visual difference between the two kits is the side skirts or schurtzen. The L/48 includes heavy side skirting. Dragon includes one piece photo etched side skirts for each side. They also include plastic skirts for modelers who do not wish to use metal. The skirts give the Jagdpanzer quite a Teutonic look.
The L/48 includes paint schemes for four different vehicles; two for Normandy, 1944 vehicles and the others for Germany based vehicles in 1945. The Herman Goring division 3-color paint scheme looks interesting. The simple black and white markings look well printed, but are very minimal.
The L/70 includes markings for five different vehicles; four based in Germany, 1945 and one winter white washed vehicle in Hungary, 1945. Again, the markings are well printed and much more comprehensive than the previous kitís markings. The white washed vehicle includes red tactical numbers.
Having recently completed the Hasegawa Jagdpanzer IV L/48 Late Version, both of these kits are far superior in terms of hull detail and especially in the level of detail on the suspension and tracks. While the Dragon kits are a little more money than the Hasegawa Jagdpanzer ($12 for a Dragon kit vs. $10 for a Hasegawa kit), the quality and extras are well worth a couple of bucks.
In conclusion, both kits are very nice models I recommend each one without reservation. The only consideration is choosing an early or late tank destroyer.
My thanks to Dragon for providing the review sample of the Jagdpanzer IV L/70 late production and thanks to Winston Vermilyea of Wings'n'Treads for the Jagdpanzer IV L/48 early production.
Dragon brings us two versions of the Jagdpanzer IV in 1/72 scale. The first one released is the Armor Pro Jagdpanzer IV L/70 Late Production (#7293) and more recently, the Armor Pro Jagdpanzer IV L/48 Early Production (#7276).