Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Monday, June 10, 2013

559. Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung Jagdpanthers

While waiting on some decals to finish a couple of other projects I'm working on (namely my 150. Panzerbrigade and my 761st Tank Battalion), I decided to go ahead and start working on some Jagdpanthers for my 559. Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung.  I'm using a mix of the Jagdpanther Platoon Box [GBX41] as well as the single Jagdpanther (with ruined building) [GBX22].  As I really love the tracks on the new Panther sprue - I had several lying around and decided to use mostly plastic components for the Jagdpanthers. 

I've always loved the Jagdpanther tank destroyer, and the 559. list from Bridge by Bridge is nice because you can round out the very expensive Jagdpanthers with less costly Stug III assault guns.  The downside is, like most of the German Market Garden lists, there is no recon option.  However, you get enough tubes and some decent artillery, infantry, and anti-aircraft options.

As always I'm keenly interested in the modeling aspects of the unit.  Research data on the 559. is scarce, but as they were the second unit equipped with the Jagdpanther, the few pictures show that they were all the early version with the monobloc gun barrel.  Unfortunately while Battlefront's Jagdpanther does a good job of representing most aspects of the early model, their gun barrel is the later two-part version.  However, with the new plastic barrel removing the sleeve and narrowing the barrel slightly is child's play, enabling an accurate rendering of the unit's vehicles.

As for the rest of the plastic parts, so far it is a bit of a mixed bag.  The spare track links are a bit larger than their metal equivalents.  As I mentioned before, the tracks are marvelous, but you generally have to sand down the plastic backing to get them to fit on any panther hull designed for the white metal tracks.  One interesting thing I found out recently is that the GBX22 SKU is now provided with all plastic parts.  Battlefront has also modified the hull slightly to accept the plastic tracks.


The other downside is that the plastic hatches for the Jagdpanther are way too small:


The old metal ones also gapped a bit, but they were better:



I'll likely try and use metal hatches - and if all else fails, I have punches the right size and can make them out of styrene. 

I'm hoping to get these done in the next week or two and off to the painting bench as the markings for this unit are fairly simple.  I plan on dressing up the Stug III hulls with zimmerit as well, but that will be a future blog entry.