Chasseur de Chars Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer
Sd.Kfz. 138/2

Revue de la Maquette ESCI au 1/72

Chasseur de Chars Jagdpanzer 38(t) Hetzer

Jagdpanzer Hetzer (literally Chaser) was a fast, well armed, et adequately armoured tank destroyer variant based on the reliable char léger CKD/Praga TNHP. La Wehrmacht captured a great number of these véhicules during the annexation de la Tchécoslovaquie, et re-designated them Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) en service allemand. Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) was found to be so reliable that the Praga factory was ordered to continue to produce it avec only minor modifications. Pz.Kpfw. 38 (t) participated in the invasion of France en 1940, but its 47 mm gun proved inadequate against the well armoured chars T-34, KV-1, et KV-2 which surprised the Wehrmacht only a year later, pendant l’invasion de l’URSS en 1941.

Obsolete as a tank, the 38 (t) chassis continued to serve as a Geschützwagen (Gun Carrier). It became the basis for a number of self-propelled gun et howitzer conversions, like the Panzerjäger Marder III, the Bison 150 mm self-propelled howitzer, the Flakpanzer 38 (t), et the Hetzer. Les Hetzers tchèques remained in production even après la guerre, they were exported à la Suisse et la Suède.


Jagdpanzer 38 (t) Hetzer et 2 Crew

  • Type: chasseur de chars
  • Longueur: 4.87 m (6.27 m overall)
  • Largeur: 2.63 m
  • Hauteur: 2.17 m
  • Poids: 16 000 kg
  • Vitesse: 42 km/h
  • Armement: 75 mm PaK 39 L/48 + MG
  • Équipage: chef de char, conducteur, tireur, chargeur
  • Déploiement: Mai 1944 – Mai 1945


  • Scale model avec superb detail. Weld seems, rivets, hinges, et armour plates are well defined. Hull et chassis fit together very nicely, no filling was required. Road wheels et sprockets had a very tight fit, which can be fixed by scraping the mould lines off the pegs.
  • The Hetzer is compatible avec 1/72 scale, although the chassis scales out 98 mm longer than it should be.
  • Tracks consist of plastic links, 27 parts per side, of which 21 are individual track links et the remaining 6 are larger track segments. Assembly was surprisingly easy, et the result looks much more realistic than comparable rubber track. It’s important to mount the track correctly, not backwards. Track links have an open et a flush end which is important to differentiate. Starting avec part No. 1, hook the flush end into the top of the drive sprocket, et glue the open end to the return roller. Continue laying individual track links around the drive sprocket, 8 pieces, avec their open ends facing up. The rest should be easy, provided that the proper facing of track links is maintained at all times. Running gear et chassis consist of 82 parts, et they took 80 minutes to assemble. The work was actually a lot of fun, because the sprockets et road wheels took the track very well. If you have never tried plastic track before, the Hetzer is likely to get you hooked on it. Plastic track puts no strain on any part of the running gear, et it may be mounted on the véhicule immediately, without the risk of bending the sprockets.
  • Compatible avec Hasegawa, Italeri, Revell, et CDC.
  • The tracks are a little too long. The Hetzer ran on two tracks avec 98 links each, the model uses 107 links. Accordingly, the model has 82 mm more track on the ground than the original, the chassis is 98 mm longer. Véhicule width, height, and track gauge are scaled correctly.
  • The Hetzer had two return rollers, but the model only has one. This is not a noticeable problem, because the track skirts hide the second roller completely.
  • Crew figurines do not fit into their hatches. The remotely controlled machine gun overlaps avec the commanders hatch, et it will be difficult to fit the man in there as well. The gunner’s hatch is very narrow, et the figurine would have to be taken in at the waist to fit. An alternative is to mount the gunner’s periscope in his partially open hatch.
  • The superstructure required as much time to build as the running gear et chassis, even though it consists of only 33 parts. Much time was lost studying the assembly instructions. Part No. 3 had to be mounted on the superstructure, but it was not on the superstructure sprue when its time came. A lost part?! Upon inspection of the printed sprue inventory it became clear that No. 3 had already been used, it was one of the chassis side walls. A mislabled part then? In the drawing, No. 3 looked like a hatch cover ou grating, but nothing on the sprue resembled it. To make a long story short, it turned out that No. 3 comes from the track sprue. Duplicate part numbers in a model kit are not a good idea, especially when the required part cannot be easily identified in the drawing. Once the mystery surrounding No. 3 had been resolved, it was obvious that No. 31 (track link holder) had to be attached over it, although the drawing would have you place it next to No. 3. Finally, part No. 17 (shovel) cannot be attached where the drawing shows it, the part belongs further to the rear of the Hetzer, underneath the antenna. This is a great kit, but it deserves better instructions.
  • When all parts are fitted on the superstructure, one hole remains. The photo on the box covers shows an antenna mounted there. Stretched sprue makes a convincing, but very fragile antenna. Bristle cut from a paintbrush is a more durable alternative, but it is more irregular in shape, et very difficult to keep straight.
  • The manual includes four sketches of the elaborate camouflage pattern used on the véhicule. Unfortunately, the sketches are misprinted, two of the colours are run together. The third colour of the pattern is shown in white, et its contours can be followed. Unfortunately, the colour reference is duplicated, suggesting that the white areas be painted in Light Olive et Middlestone. One ou the other may be correct. The drawings are also intended to facilitate decal placement. The position of decal B cannot be located.
  • The manual recommends Panzergrey (67) as one of three colours to be used for the camouflage pattern. The drawing is virtually useless, but the box cover shows the Hetzer in ambush pattern, using dark yellow, olive green, et chocolate brown, not panzergrey.
  • If the 75 mm KwK 42 L/70 had been included, either of the two Hetzer variants could have been built, adding value to the kit, et encouraging modélistes to buy the kit twice.

Déploiement Historique

  • Armée Allemande, Mai 1944 – Mai 1945
  • Armée Hongroise, Octobre 1944 – Mai 1945
  • Armée Suisse
  • Armée Suédoise

Possibilités de Conversions

  • Jagdpanzer 38 (t) mit 75 mm KwK 42 L/70 (late version)
  • Jagdpanzer 38 (t) (Fl), Flamethrower, Décembre 1944 – Mai 1945


Jagdpanzer Hetzer was a successful tank hunter, a cheap expedient, mounting a powerful gun on a readily available chassis. The Hetzer replaced the Marder III, based on the same 38 (t) chassis, but which offered its crew much less protection. Its compact design, et the extremely sloped armour plate give the Hetzer a very futuristic look. La maquette d’ESCI le représente very well, et it can be painted in a variety of very attractive schémas de camouflage. Joueurs de Guerre will want at least a platoon of these important véhicules.

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Figurines et Maquettes Allemandes de la Seconde Guerre Mondiale