As part of the ongoing German effort to provide effective anti-tank platforms as the war progressed, the creation of a Jagdpanzer on the chassis of the Pzkpfw IV was pursued. Various designs were submitted with the vehicle armed with the 7.5cm L/70 gun by Alkett and Vomag with each design designated as the Jagdpanzer IV (A) or Jagdpanzer IV (V) to distinguish between them. The Vomag design eventually became the standard for the Sdkfz 162/1 and beginning in August 1944, Vomag would produce 930 total vehicles.
Included in this production total were Befehls (Command) versions equipped with additional radio gear and antennas for the Jagdpanzer company commanders but otherwise the vehicles were identical to the standard Jagdpanzer IV vehicles. Throughout the JP IVs production run changes and modifications were made, some as a result of changes to the standard Pz IV chassis and others specific to the JP IV design itself. The Cyberhobby
kit #6623 Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (V) Command Ver. Nov 44 Production is a white-box, one-run limited edition kit, that seeks to reproduce the Befehls version with specific features to November 1944.
The kit is packaged in the standard slip top cardboard box with the sprues packaged in clear bags, some of which contain multiple sprues per bag which increases the chance that parts may become damaged in shipping. The standard “Dragon card” is also included which has the separate bags of Magic Tracks, PE fret, decals, and clear parts sprues taped to it and resting on top of the sprues. Since Cyberhobby uses OEM sprues from DML and adds in the necessary parts on their own to create their specific releases, the parts count is the same as the DML kit #6397 Jagdpanzer IV L/70 (V)
previously reviewed by Tim Sloan here on Armorama.
The kit consists of over 800 parts with nearly 200 of these marked as “Not for Use” arranged in the following:
• 17 sprues of light gray styrene
• 2 sprues of clear styrene (9 parts)
• 1 light gray styrene hull tub
• 2 PE brass fret of 61 parts
• 1 bag of 12 styrene steel wheel rims
• 2 bags of 108 each of handed Magic Tracks links
• 1 decal sheet
• Instruction booklet
Cyberhobby is known for creating special “niche” kits that address specific vehicles or subjects and this kit is no exception. As the box title suggests, this kit is focused on not only the Command version of the JP IV but also on a specific period of production, November 1944. Building on the OEM kit from DML, there isn’t all that much that CH needed to add to create this vehicle. When comparing the original kit and this white-box special run kit side-by-side, the differences between them are as follows:
- In Step 9, the steel wheel spare holder part used is G8 instead of B8. Both parts were provided in the original kit so this is just a correction in the instructions.
- In Step 10, there are three bolts on the rear deck that were molded on that need to be removed to accurately reflect the November 1944 production details.
- In Step 16, 5 holes on the casemate roof need to be opened up and the Pilzen roof sockets Parts G39/G40 need to be added. In my sample kit, one of the parts G40 broke off from the sprue and was nowhere to be found in the box and is lost to the ages.
- In Step 17, the option of spare antennas (part G38) is provided that is accurate for the command version.
- In Step 19 the 5 parts from the N sprue plus the PE part MB are provided to create the star antenna and armored protective “adler’s nest” mount for the Command radio gear.
Everything else is exactly the same as in the OEM kit, so in summary you get 6 parts needed to create the Command antenna to meet that requirement plus 5 parts for the roof Pilzen to meet the November 1944 requirement.
The kit instructions follow the standard DML mode of fold-out black and white exploded diagrams and sub-diagrams and consists of 19 steps for full assembly. The decal markings are of course different vs. the OEM DML kit and are printed by Cartograf. The Painting and Markings guide provides for the following 2 possibilities:
• Unidentified Unit, Germany 1945 in three tone hard-edged
• Stu.Art.Brig 210, Germany 1945, in winter whitewash
Interestingly enough, the box art and the finishing guide show different road wheel configurations than would be normally seen on the JP IVs. The first two road wheel bogeys on both sides were equipped with steel rimmed wheels due to the nose-heavy aspect of the vehicle and the Unidentified unit/Box Art show all the road wheels as rubber rimmed while the Stu.Art.Brig 210 vehicle shows only the first road wheel as being steel rimmed. I’m not sure if this was done intentionally and advise checking references closely before committing to following that particular example vs. the standard arrangement mentioned.
Given that CH typically targets their white-box releases to a very narrow audience in addition to the collector’s market, it’s still a bit of a stretch in my opinion to assign this particular kit into that “special” category for any other reason except an attempt to get more sales off the existing JP IV molds. No additional interior radio gear is provided and the exterior parts added represent a very small addition to produce this kit.
Since white boxes inevitably command a higher premium beyond the “standard” release kits, I can recommend this kit only to those who just have to have this specific vehicle and don’t already have the DML kit #6397. If you do have the earlier kit, you can easily add the necessary radio antennas to produce a Command version using aftermarket parts for far less than the white box premium and will likely be the better option if you are willing to forego the November 1944 Pilzen option as well.