Corporal Overby's Motor Pool


Kit # MP051

Preview by Rob Haelterman 

1. History

From Wikipedia: "The E-10 design was developed as a replacement of the Panzer 38(t) and the designs based on it. The designs based on this new chassis would all be in the 10 to 25 tonnes weight class. The intention was to create several new light tank destroyers as a replacement for the Jagdpanzer 38(t), as well as a new family of Waffenträger armed with heavy anti-tank guns.

A very particular feature of the tank was its ability to "squat": lowering its running gear so it could lay on its belly in ambush."


2. Packaging

The parts came in a plastic ziplocked bag. As this kit was part of an order, the whole order came in a sturdy cardboard box.


3. Parts

I believe the parts lay-out above speaks for itself. The hull is a single block, without notable imperfections and apart from the running gear there are very few parts. I am actually very impressed with the hull. It is perfectly straight (no warping, concavity, etc.) and with very crisp detail. Air bubbles are very rare (meaning I could count them on the fingers of one hand) and easily dealt with.


4. Building experience

I started by cleaning up the major parts.

The hull does not need much in the way of cleaning up, except for
- a small imperfection on the lower rear part of the hull. Being a flat area, this was easily rectified with putty and sanding;
- an air bubble that had nested itself in the body of the fire extinguisher which can either be filled in, or, if you are lazy like me and have spare parts, replaced. In my case, a CMK set provided the necessary parts;
- an air bubble in the corner in the mantlet that was corrected with superglue and scraps of plasticard;
- adding some texture to the jack block;
- the MG shield, which is too thin. (One doesn't need say this often, that parts are too thin.) I only dared to remove it from the casting block after beefing it up with some layers of superglue.

There is almost no assembly needed for the hull apart from the gun mantlet, the hatches and the rundumfeuer MG. The hatches can be left open or closed. There is inside detail to them and in the closed position the rectangular hatches can just be kept in place by friction, which is practical if you want to paint the hatches in a camo pattern but would like to have them opened in the end. There is a small difference in shape between the hatch and the opening though.

The track units come as single units to which the outer roadwheels and outer halves of the idler and sprocket have to be added. Casting is very nice, with a nice straight assembly and good detail, even including the track pins and track face detail.
Imperfections are limited to an ocacsional half-formed track-tooth or a pin hole. One of the wheels did not have an even thickness.
A lot of work will go into cleaning up the track units, though, as they are cast onto a carrier plate which has to be very carefully removed. This can be done without damaging the parts, but it needs a lot of careful sanding. I was very happy to have a motor tool at my disposal to speed up this process. The outer idler and sprocket halves come marked as L&R; the sprocket, which goes in the back by the way, has some teeth removed where it meets the track, to give a smooth joint. I can only assume the "left" and "right" refer to the position when the tank "stands up". Why ? Well, the way the kit is engineered, you have to swap the track units from left to right, while turning them upside down to give the builder the option between a "standing" and a "squatting" tank. As there is no manual, the builder is left to figure this out for himself. I tried to have a "convertible" model, by installing axles to the idler and drive sprocket and corresponding holes in the hull, which all came to nought, because it is actually not a matter of just turning the tracks upside down after all. The reason is simple: the axle of the drive sprocket and the idler are not at the same height, the idler being slightly higher. If you turn the running gear upside down, while keeping the axle of the drive sprocket at a fixed height, then the axle of the idler will be lowered, thus no longer lining up with it's original position. A simple cure exists though, in heating the resin in the area around to idler to correct its position for a squatting tank, but this means that you have to chose how to configure your tank.
Apart from that, I noticed that the final drive on the hull and the axle of the drive sprocket didn't line up exactly.

5. Personal touch

As I noticed there was a rather prominent gap below the gun mantlet (in the design, not just in the kit), I decided to add some spaced Vorpanzer made from plasticard and metal rods. I added two layers, the front layer also giving some protection to the tracks.

6. Painting and marking options

No painting/marking options or decals are provided. Then again, the vehicle was never built, so let your imagination run wild. I mixed some colors together, and added Slovak decals from Aleran's AX-2 (Axis Minors) set.



Sample kit bought by author.

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Article Last Updated: 24 May 2013

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