Hetzer DAK "Afrika Korps"

Academy (1/35)

 

 

♦ Detail: 5/5

♦ Fit: 5/5

Highlights:

  • Friul tracks
  • Extra track
  • Jerry cans/rack
  • Resin stowage
  • Spare road wheel
  • RB barrel
  • Styrene schurzen
  • Stencils for markings

Construction

I came up with the idea for a DAK hetzer after seeing some of the stowage the Swiss placed on their G-13 variant. When I bought this kit, Academy’s Early Hetzer, I also found some cheap early Hetzer Friul tracks. I also purchased a metal RB barrel, which looks a lot better than the kit version.

Apart from the above, I replaced the schurzen with sheet styrene, added a jerry can rack made from PE, added a lot of stowage from Value Gear sets, added a Dragon 38(t) road wheel, and piled on the extra Friul track wherever I could.

For painting, I primed it, then painted a dark grey undercoat. This was covered in chipping effects. Then I painted a modulated dark yellow. After chipping the paint, I painted the other details. I used masks to paint the markings (no decals used).

I then weathered it with a lot of dust and fading effects.

History

The Hetzer was a German modification of the Czech 38(t) chassis in an attempt to field a fast, small tank destroyer. It never actually served in Africa, as it began service in March 1944. The Hetzer was one of the few vehicles to meet production numbers with 2,827 built in roughly 14 months.

The single 75mm PaK 39 L/48 was a capable gun, though not as powerful as the L/70 on the Jagdpanzer IV. Still, it’s low silhouette and cheap cost made it a very important tank to the German forces.

After the war, the Swiss adopted the vehicle, calling it the G-13. Other countries used it as well for a multitude of purposes. The last one was decommissioned in 1990, making it one of the longest used tanks in history.

Neat fact: the weight of the drive made it sit a few centimeters lower in the front than in the back.

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