Jagdpanzer Elephant kit opinions

I’m currently selecting model kits to put on my birthday list for the month of April.
But there are some difficult choices facing me.
Currently I have decided to focus on the subject of Jagdpanzers.
And I have selected a few kits modelbouwkrikke.nl has availlable on Jagdpanzers.
But they are very few.
And most of them are the cheaper kits in comparison to others on their site.
Although I’m still recognizing I can use these kits to try new things and practice with new skills.
I’m not sure if this is the right call.
Currently I’m hesitating between 2 kit choices.
This one: Sd.Kfz.184 Elefant (2 in 1), Dragon 6871 (2018)
And this one: "Elefant", Tamiya 35325 (2012)
The Dragon kit is newer and more recent. But it also seems more complicated with more parts to assemble. But it adds also detail, which I would really like.
But the instructions are not as good compared to the Tamiya ones, at least in my opinion.
The Tamiya kit is older compared to the Dragon one, but I’m familiair with Tamiya kits since I have build more of them.

I also think my airbrush skills can use a lot of work and training to make it improve. And to troubleshoot problems I’m probably encountering with my next sessions when I’m going to start the first one in this year when the weather is good for it and temperatures.

Weathering is another point on the agenda to get started with.

And doing more research before building as well.

I think these things are the more important variables I’m considering for adding model kits to the birtday list. I’ve started early with this because experiences are that if not started early. I don’t have enough time to do all of this properly.

I’am still open to switching choices, for example because of there are more Panzerjäger kits for sale at modelbouwkrikke.nl and there are more German artillery guns for sale. I’am open to switching if there are good reasons for it. And if it might be currently better for me.

Actually, the Dragon Elephant is the older, it’s origin being pre-2010. Even though this one is a recent release I’m sure there are few improvements in content. Dragon does this all the time - re-releasing an older kit, maybe with some new parts (or, even less of the original parts re: PE!). But it is still the better of the two. Tamiya will look good, too, and is an easier build with fewer parts. Dragon certainly has more parts (better detail), but could be a more fiddly build, especially as their instructions are often not clear, and can even contain errors in parts call-out. Tamiya instructions are usually much easier to follow.
In addition to this, Google as many build reviews as you can on each model, and decide for yourself.
:grinning: :canada:

If it were me, I would purchase the Amusing Hobby Elefant since it is more recent than either of those kits, includes a full interior, offers individual link tracks, and costs $54.56 from Amazon with free shipping.

Having built Dragon’s Porsche Tiger, I am of the opinion the base kit here is pretty good. On the plus side, the molded Zimmerit means no obnoxious decals to place. It appears this edition also includes an aluminum barrel. The DS (Dragon Styrene) tracks may spontaneously disintegrate two or 20 years down the road. I consider that a huge negative as it requires paying $20+ to replace the tracks or rolling the dice on a future chemistry experiment. Getting track sag right with Vinyl runs is tough.

The Tamiya kit actually looks quite nice. The Zimmerit decals are a bit of a bother but whatever. The Link and Length tracks are a nice compromise between Vinyl and Individual Link. It appears some modelers were able to get good sag with them while others messed it up. The kit has a two part barrel which turns off many model builders but I never considered that a big deal. Based on the pictures I saw, this offering can build up into a very nice looking model.

The Amusing Hobby kit includes a full interior. If used, it ratchets up the difficulty a couple notches. I consider the Individual Link tracks a big plus because they simply look better than the alternatives, but most modelers find them challenging (as in, they would rather eat glass than built the fiddly things). The decal Zimmerit is annoying but whatever. I have never built an Amusing Hobby kit before but like what I see. Based on a very quick internet search, I could purchase this kit for a significantly lower price than the others.

So, based on 15 minutes of searching and reading, I would go with the Amusing Hobby offering for myself but for a new modeler, I would go with … dunno … dunno … probably the Tamiya kit. I really detest Vinyl tracks. A couple people stated the Tamiya kit builds quickly and easily and I think getting an easy win is really important for newer modelers. It is a really tough call. Sucks to be you. :slight_smile:

Edit: On the Tamiya kit, the backs of the road wheel trucks are hollow. That will really bother some people.

Edit: In my opinion, the best way to rapidly improve modeling skills is to build up, paint, and weather a bunch of cheap kits instead of one expensive kit. When starting out, you simply cannot hope to build ‘The Best Model Ever’ ™. On the other hand, you have a much higher chance of completing a vehicle you care about over one that was purchased for the sole virtue of being cheap.

A good question to ask might be, “What accurate, cheap, easy to build German World War Two tank destroyer models would you recommend to a modeler seeking to improve painting and weathering skills?”. Unfortunately, I do not know the answer to that question because I am returning to the hobby.

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I have the Tamiya elefant in the stash. It’s pretty simple but really crisp and has nice details.

I hope this doesn’t come off rude but you seem to be newer to building and are trying to build your skills. For this reason I’d recommend the tamiya. It will go together very well, won’t be overly complex and will look great when done. Dragon kits are nice but as others said not newbie friendly since they are fiddly and can have instruction issues which ends up sending you to the Internet to find that one picture that shows the angle of the part. This takes time away from building

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I much prefer the Tamiya kit over Dragon. Dragon seems to have a policy to make kits more complicated than they have to be, using multiple pieces when one would do.

I also recommend that you look at the Zvesda models, which market not only the Elefant but the Ferdinand as well. They are as crisply molded as the Tamiya kit, a little more complex but not too bad, and they are cheaper. But the Tamiya kit is excellent!

Bill

Choose your poison. As Mead93 said, you talk of working on skills which hints that you are growing your building skills. I would choose a simpler kit and detail it yourself. That would improve some skills and you would not get burned out on a 1200 piece kit that you were overly worried about messing up. Go with the Tamiya kit. You are familure with how Tamiya kits go together and would be comfortable with the build. This allows you to be bolder when it comes to detailing and weathering.

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Thank you so much for your reviewing and providing me with good advice. I will go for the Tamiya kit. I don’t know Zvezda, I have seen some posts online about qualities of their kits widely varying. And I don’t really want to take the risk. I have to order te kits online. And if it is not what I needed, I just can’ 't simply send it back. That would complicate things to much. The idea however, of building the Ferdinand and Elefant would be an interesting one. I have the Academy Jagdpanzer 38 from Academy on my list as well. And I have watched the video reviews on scalemates.com. And there was also someone who made the different models of the Jagdpanzer 38. And that idea got my attention, because I will be learning more about the subject when doing this. I learn from building the different models. But that is something for another time. The most important is, thank you for helping me out and providing me with good solid advice. And I will strike out the Dragon kit and replace it with the Tamiya kit. Thank you so much and will be happy to seek out more help if needed.

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Having now looked at some more builds of the Tamiya Elefant, I think you made the right choice. :slight_smile:

Edit: Having just learned the Tamiya kit does not include Zimmerit, I am back to sitting on the fence with regard Dragon versus Tamiya Elefant.

The Academy Jagdpanzer 38(T) kits are on my ‘To Purchase’ list as well. Some reviewers ding those models for lack of detail but, in my opinion, a small amount of scratch building will make shine.

The Dragon Elefant kit was a fun and trouble free build,no complications.When I built it it had a nice metal barrel,and very good molded on Zimm.DS tracks were new,I used them and they have held up for a decade.If the new kit has them though,I wouldnt trust them.
But not taking in price,I couuld highly recommend the Dragon kit.

I’m reconning that the cheaper kits. And especially the Jagdpanzer 38 from Academy is still great to practice some weathering and airbrushing on.

If you’re interested in building a really correct model you should take note: the Elefant requires Zimmerit. Although Tamiya’s box art shows the model with Zimmerit, none is supplied. You will have to buy AM, or Tamiya’s Zimmerit sheet designed for the model. Either way, it’s an added expense, and you will have to apply it yourself. Dragon’s Elefant has molded-on Zimmerit and it is extremely accurate (maybe better looking than Tamiya’s Zimmerit). If you are interested in the Dragon kit, look for one of the older, original, releases. I think they may contain more PE, and might be cheaper than the recent release.
:grinning: :canada:

I forgot about that aspect good point! I had planned to do mine using a putty mix and Tamiyas Zimmerit tool so this requirement completely slipped my mind

All the online reviews of the Tamiya kit I looked at show Zimmerit included as decals. The instructions also show installing Zimmerit from decals. If those decals are not included, that is a serious negative for the kit.

Ayup. I just read the instructions more closely. Although they show the Zimmerit decal installation, the fine print makes it clear the decals are a separate purchase. I see now the fine print on the box top also reads, “Model does not feature Zimmerit”. Bummer.

For $10 - $15 more, Tamiya could have released a “Deluxe” edition which included those Zimmerit decals! Another dropped ball!
:grinning::canada:

I have built Italeri, Dragon and Tamiya versions over the years.
Tamiya is the best kit straight out of the box. I added an Aber metal barrel and the Atak zimmerit to my build of the Tamiya version.

I have both the Amusing Ferdinand and Elefant and have yet to commence the build/s. From purely a review of contents and reading instructions, it is an easy kit if you only want to do the exterior. If you go for the full interior build then be prepared for a long (but, if you have a bit of experience, not necessarily complex) build. Following the instructions for the Amusing kits is highly recommended.

I don’t have the dragon kit and am not a German afv expert, so take that for what it is. I have the Tamiya kit and it builds up quite nicely OOB. The link/length tracks go together easily and are pretty well detailed, and the kit generally captures the profile of the Elefant quite well. Weld beads and all, it’s quite nice. Also comes with two good torso figures, if that’s what you’re into.

What the kit doesn’t have are things like a single piece cannon barrel and zimmerit. Tamiya makes a metal scraper if you want to add zimmerit with putty, and if memory serves they make a set of 3d decals for the zimmerit as well. I’m sure the Dragon kit has more parts, so if that’s what you’re into you could go that route, but personally I like the Tamiya kit.

Or, for $9.00 more, purchase the Tamiya Zimmerit. I did. It is easy to apply, looks great, and I recommend it highly.

Bill

Thank you for replying. I think I’m still going for the Tamiya kit, since I have build more Tamiya kits now. And I like them very much. The ‘drawbacks’ mentioned here, would be actually nice challenges to improve my model making skills. I’m planning to do some studying of the subject anyways. And there sure could be details spotted which I probably have to buy aftermarket after all. I’m currently working on my Sd. Kfz. 9 Famo from Tamiya again after a very long time now. And I’m planning to be purchasing the set with jerry cans etc. to put in the cargo area of the vehicle. But I will see in time.