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Help needed with Jagdpanther ID

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  • Member since
    April, 2013
Help needed with Jagdpanther ID
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Monday, July 22, 2019 2:33 PM

I recently stumbled across a nice looking color profile of a Jagdpanther in one of my books and decided to use that as the basis for my Dragon Jagdpanther (once I get around to actually building the thing)

Luckily, I also managed to find two photos of this particular vehicle in Panzhewrecks Vol.3

According to Panzerwrecks, those photos were taken at Oldenburg on 10th May, 1945 and the Jagdpanther is a vehicle of 1./Pz.Einsatz-Abt.20.

Unfortunately, those are the only photos of "59" that I know of and they only show it from one side.

It appears to be a late Jagdpanther G1, which my Dragon "late" kit (6393) should match.

While I do know a thing or two about the Jagdpanther, I'm in no way an expert and would appreciate any help with identifying just what features can be seen on this tank destroyer.

I already had a long, hard look at both photos and I think I managed to indentify some things on my own. If any of my assumptions are wrong, please feel free to correct me:

It has the large Geschütznische (gun recess) with the 8 external bolts, which makes it a vehicle built in or after October 1944.

While it's hard to tell for me, I believe that it's a MNH produced vehicle. You can't see the characteristic MNH spade cutout in the fenders, but the tool rack that holds it appears to be mounted parallel to the side fenders, making said cutout necessary.

In addition to that, the hole for the left driver's periscope is welded over with a thin metal plate. As I understand it, only a handful of MNH vehicles built in November 1944 had that persicope cover plate installed. (Fgst.Nr. 303001-303020)

Considering those (hopefully correct) observations, here's a list of features I think my model should display:

  • No Zimmerit (as on all late Jagdpanther G1s)
  • Large Geschütznische
  • Single driver's periscope with a thin plate welded over the 2nd hole
  • MG ball mount with the stepped aperture
  • Smaller "universal" muzzle brake
  • U-brackets to hold the towing cables welded to the top edge of the rear plate
  • Panther G rear stowage bins
  • Welded suspension bump stops
  • Deleted rear shock absorbers

Additionally, I'm not sure about a couple of minor details:

  • Would the rear storage bins have the X-pattern ribs or the 5 vertical ribs instead?
  • Some of the vehicles in the Fgst.Nr range I listed had the air vent on the roof moved to the front edge, directly above the gun. Does this apply here?
  • Jagdpanthers produced at this time should have a raised "hump" on the gun mantlet that was threaded to accept a lifting eye. I can't see the hump in the photos however.
  • As far as I understand it, MNH didn't weld any "Pilze" sockets to the superstructure roof at the time. Is Dragon's omission of them correct for this vehicle?
  • Dragon has you add heat shields around the exhaust pipes. With them not being visible in the photos, is there any way of telling if that's correct?
  • The idlers are hard to make out in the photos, so I can't tell if they're the standard type or the later self-cleaning version.
  • The Panzerwrecks book points out that there are foliage loops welded to the hull sides, but I can't make them out.

Most of my assumptions here are based on the Panzer Tracts volume on the Jagdpanther, but I could be horribly wrong regarding all of this of course.

If any Jagdpanther experts are willing to chime in with their knowledge, I would greatly appreciate it.

Clemens

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Monday, July 22, 2019 4:19 PM

now nothing is set in stone, but it looks very much like a G1, but it has the G2 late muzzle brake on, but this could be a replacement to the original or a new barrel/main gun.

The vehicle listing for this particular battle group has only 2 jagdpanthers on strength in April 1945.

If I was going to build this vehicle from those two photo references I would use the Meng G1 kit with the rear equipment boxes with the X on them and standard two exhausts I would look to Aber for the late barrel/muzzle brake for the G2. to fit

Start with this one

http://www.aber.net.pl/detal,1490.html

I would also go with the metal tracks from Friul too

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Wednesday, July 24, 2019 7:54 PM

Thanks.

Is there any reason you'd pick the Meng kit over the Dragon one?

Unless the Dragon one mandates specific external features this Jagdpanther doesn't have, I'd prefer to stick with that. It's a very nice kit imo and I can't see a good enough reason to buy the Meng kit to replace it.

Regarding the muzzle brake, it's the standard "universal" muzzle brake that could be attached to any PaK or KwK 43 and as far as I know, it's not a feature specific to just the G2 version of the Jagdpanther. either way, a matching metal barrel from Aber is available for both the Meng and Dragon kits.

As far as the exhaust setup is concerned, shouldn't all Jagdpanthers built with the larger gun housing have the additional cooling pipes surrounding the left exhaust? I could be completely wrong with that, but I think those pipes were introduced long before the larger gun housing.

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Thursday, July 25, 2019 5:00 PM

The additional cooling/air pipes were on the A panther and Jagdpanther only. The G Panthers/Jagdpanther series had two exhausts only, some with flame baffles, some not etc.

the Meng Jagdpanther is a much better build all round, but if you have the Dragon one in go for that.

I do have RFM's Jagdpanther G2 and that is going to be a stunning build when I get round to it!

There was a slight change of the muzzle brake for late Tiger II and Jagdpanthers that came into use at the end of the G1 Jagdpanther build and seen on the G2.

Early Muzzle brake

Late Muzzle brake

The side vents are smaller and it is a heavier brake. This matches the one in the picture which marks the Jagdpanther as a very late G1 or G2 variant.

Something else which I have picked up on in the picture. The Pz IV with the flak turret - the Whirlwind.... Are those quad Mk 103 30mm cannon barrels?

https://www.das-werk-models.com/products/3cm-flakvierling-103-38/

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Friday, July 26, 2019 6:01 AM

The cooling pipes were indeed a Panther A feature, but considering that all Jagdpanthers built before the switch to the G2 were built with a Panther A engine bay layout, they were also necessary on those vehicles. The G2 then made the switch to a Panther G engine bay and rear deck layout and didn't need the cooling pipes anymore.

Regarding the muzzle brake, the late one is what I was referring to as the "universal" muzzle brake (as it's the same one used on the Tiger II production turrets)
Interestignly, according to Jentz, it's actually smaller and lighter than the earlier model and if both brakes are the same as on the Tiger II,  that is definitely the case.

Either way, those Aber barrels simply look amazing and their late version is definitely correct for this Jagdpanther.

One other thing I managed to find out is that the Aberdeen Jagdpanther is also a vehicle of the Fgst.Nr. range I believe this one to fall in (MNH November 1944 production). It's in very bad shape, but it does confirm a couple of things I wasn't sure about:

  • The gun mantlat has the mounting hole for a lifting eye on it
  • No "Pilze" on the superstructure roof
  • It does have heat shields aroudn the exhaust pipes
  • The idlers are the earlier type
  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Friday, July 26, 2019 6:08 AM

snapdragonxxx
Something else which I have picked up on in the picture. The Pz IV with the flak turret - the Whirlwind.... Are those quad Mk 103 30mm cannon barrels?

It looks to me like they're just normal FlaK 38 barrels with some sort of muzzle cover on the barrels. As far as I'm aware, they only ever built one prototype of the 30mm Wirbelwind.

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, July 28, 2019 6:08 AM

Having got my head out of Lancaster land for a couple of days due to the heatwave here in the UK and not having the will or energy or much else I have been reviewing the above pictures.

Now nothing is set in stone as the different factories were producing panthers with different features at the same time so making a positive ID is not really going to happen without a full walk round and maybe seeing if the military intelligence reports are available as we know when and where the photos are taken.

what do we know.

1. No Zimmeritt. This puts the build After September 1944 and possibly after October 1944 as that is when field applied Zimmeritt was stopped.

2. The Muzzlebrake is the late type which was seen on some G1 but mainly on G2 Panthers. And it is a 2 piece barrel not a single piece.

3. The road wheels are really a typical example of late Panther wheels with 8 bolts In the outside of the hub.

the paint job.

the photos are not very clear, but what is clear enough is that the running gear is much darker than Dunkelgelb base should be. This means that the base coat is the green (RAL 6003) which started on 20 December 1944.

Although there is some damage to the fenders at the left front which looks like a side scrape by the driver rather than battle damage, the paint looks quite fresh and not having been in the field long enough to show real signs of wear and tear.

There is also the possibility that this is due to a recent field repaint.

overall, this vehicle looks relatively new which to me, puts it in possibly a March '45 build which would make it a G2.

this, of course, are just my thoughts based on the photos. The paint job puts the build after December 20 1944.

a request for information to the National Archives could be a very informative excersise for you.... And the rest.

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Sunday, July 28, 2019 10:51 AM

It was built after October 1944 for sure, since that's when the large bolted gun mount was introduced.

The G2 theory did cross my mind at first, mainly based on the date of the photos. However some things don't match up with that.

One of the photos shows a metal plate welded over the slot for the 2nd driver's persicope.
As far as I'm aware, only a handful of G1s had that cover plate on the upper glacis. G2s should only have a single periscope slot to begin with, which means they wouldn't need the plate covering the extra slot.

Also, didn't all G2s have "clean" hull sides without any tool racks welded on?

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Sunday, July 28, 2019 4:15 PM

Yes, the tools were put on to the rear deck etc.

The last batch of Jagdpanthers to leave MNH was I believe February 1945 and were all G2 variants so this one is probably one of the last G1 to leave the factory which would be early January 1945 which then accounts for the patch covering the extra drivers vision block and the RAL 6003 base coat seen on the wheels (In actual fact, never seen a Jagdpanther with 2 blocks!).

It also accounts for the late muzzle brake, so, Yes, go with the G1 build with the late muzzle brake

  • Member since
    April, 2013
Posted by SchattenSpartan on Monday, July 29, 2019 11:49 AM

So this Jagdpanther was produced by MNH between November 1944 and January 1945. As far as I know, changes between production batches during that time should be very minimal, which makes things a lot easier.

Do you think it's possible that the roadwheels and lower hull could simply be left in the red primer or repainted in some darker color?
If that's too unlikely, I'll go with the green basecoat.

Other than the color of the base coat, I'm pretty sure I got all details of this vehicle figured out now:

  • No Zimmerit (as on all late Jagdpanther G1s)
  • Large Geschütznische
  • Mounting point for lifting eye of mantlet
  • Single driver's periscope with a thin plate welded over the 2nd hole
  • MG ball mount with the stepped aperture
  • Late muzzle brake
  • Air vent at the rear of the superstructure roof
  • No Pilze on the superstructure roof
  • U-brackets to hold the towing cables welded to the top edge of the rear plate
  • Panther G rear stowage bins (either with vertical ribs or the standard X-pattern)
  • Exhaust cooling pipes
  • Heat shields around the exhaust pipes
  • Early idler wheels
  • Welded suspension bump stops
  • Deleted rear shock absorbers

 

  • Member since
    November, 2004
Posted by snapdragonxxx on Monday, July 29, 2019 3:53 PM

All Panthers leaving factories were in the base coat in January 1945, so I would go with that.

It is impossible to confirm using black and white photos but that shade showing on the wheels is also seen on the mantlet and gun barrel etc alowing for the sun angle and photographers' angle to the tank. The other colours would have been put on at the field depot by the maintainance company, quite often with patterns that match the operating area. I can't see the much darker colour of the chocolate brown so that it is dunkelgelb that is put on top, doesn't look to be sprayed, more likely put on with a rag of some description in like a sort of bad tiger stripe!

I would use one of the Afrika Korps colours from Vallejo for that last shade of 7028... like RAL 8000 - 71.272. It is pretty close!

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