This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Tank Craft series and on this occasion looking at the Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer, German Army and Waffen SS Western Europe 1944-1945. This book as with all of the titles in this series are I feel an attempt to offer the modeller a combination package covering both reference on the vehicles and a look at the models available to replicate the Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer as a scale model.
This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Dennis Oliver, who is an author that has written a number of books in the Tank craft series and I have begun to look forward to his work. This is a soft backed book with a good card cover protecting 64 pages of semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are laid out as follows:
The Western Front 1944 - 1945
The Jagdpanther in Service
Camouflage and Markings
Technical Details and Modifications
Product Contact Detail
The text in this title begins with a look at how the Panther chassis ended up with an 88mm gun mounted in a fighting compartment came about. The actions between 6th June 1944 and May 7th 1945 follows next; this provides a timeline for the modeller to use for placement of a model. The section comes to a close with the typical breakdown of a unit as regards what vehicles and how many.
The next section of this title provides short histories of the various units that utilised the Jagdpanther. This provides another great reference for the modeller that wants to replicate a vehicle that is not covered by the finishing options in a model kit. The information provided covers areas such as when the unit was formed where they went and what major battles they took part in; in some cases there are details on who they locked horns with and the result of that, information that could result in some very realistic dioramas.
A section providing prints of a fair number of Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer is next up. All of the vehicles are shown from the left or right side and I enjoyed this area. The prints provide an excellent selection of camouflage patterns used and to some extent the units that used them; its kind of a one stop reference area. Also in this area of the book we are provided with some period photographs and some personalised markings which are rare for German vehicles in World War 2 to my understanding.
The modelling section starts with a showcase of finished models that are a nice mix of models displayed as stand alone models, and a list of these can be seen after this paragraph. Please take the time to read the provided text on these models as it gives the reader some very useful information on what has been used over and above the base kit.
The section covering the kits available is a reasonable section for the modeller who wants to see where to aim his or her pennies at. Models in 1/72nd, 1/48th, 1/35th and 1/16th scale are looked at and covers injection moulded plastic offerings from a good selection of companies. The aftermarket providers also get a good level of coverage; one of these is Voyager Model who release excellent and extensive sets, I would have liked the book to mention that knowing exactly what is in each set is a bit hit and miss.
Jagdpanther, Oldenburg, Germany 1945 in 1/35th scale by Gary Kwan. This vehicle is a tad odd in colour as the green almost looks like mildew, but it replicates a vehicle at the end of the war and in the hands of the Allies and looks very pleasing.
Jagdpanther , Eastern France 1944 in 1/35th scale by Lim Kian Guan. Another beautiful stand alone model that is not overly weathered by has an excellent level of dirt and detail replicated.
Jagdpanther, Western Front 1945 in 1/48th scale by Seiji Iwadate. I cannot really comment on this one as the photographs are off in my opinion, but I am very pleased to see some of the work done by the modeller over and above what is supplied with the model.
Jagdpanther, Winter 1944 – 1945 in 1/72nd scale by Jaroslaw Witkowski. This is a really nicely painted and weathered model considering the small scale.
Jagdpanther, Schwere Panzerjager Abteilung 560, Ardennes 1944 in 1/35th scale by Du Wei Jie. Another very nicely finished model that has the look of aged paint and subtle weathering.
With the modelling sections out of the way the book as mentioned earlier returns to the unit information. This title comes to an end with a look at various aspects of the Jagdpanther using period photographs with clear captions. Alterations to the Jagdpanther were limited due to the short service history and the fact that it was largely correct from the off, with that said the G2 version that came into service in January 1945 does get a look in here.
Dennis Oliver has garnered a place with me as a firm favourite due to his writing style and how information is presented to the reader. He also tackles subjects that require much larger page counts than these books allow for, but for the most part I am very impressed with his efforts. This particularly offering provides a lot of factual information in both the written and photographic format. The modelling section gives the modeller some directions with the aftermarket being particularly useful. For me the only issue with this title is that model product information can quickly go out of date.
Darren Baker takes a look at one of the Tank Craft series of books covering the Jagdpanther Tank Destroyer, German Army and Waffen SS Western Europe 1944-1945 from Pen and Sword.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...