by: Matthew Quiroz [ ]
Originally published on:
Trumpeter E-100 Super Heavy Tank
A little History As WWII progressed Germany was facing armor threats from U.S. and British forces to their south and west, but German commanders were able to deal with these threats thru a combined use of armor, anti-tank weapons, tactics, and sheer numbers. The drawback for the allies was that they were limited by what could be transported by ship to the continent.
To the east was an entirely different matter with the Russians as they could simply drive, or transport by rail, to their front lines whatever they needed or anything newly developed. With the Germans facing the ever growing threat from heavy Soviet armor, they pushed to develop bigger and more effective combat vehicles in an attempt to slow the Soviet drive.
Among the first of their heavy tank series was the Maus (Mouse) which it was anything but small as the name might lead some to think. The Maus was to be armed with a 128mm KwK main gun, and a coaxially mounted 75mm gun. In a parallel development, Germany also began work on the E-100 which was based on an enlarged Tiger II chassis and was supposedly to mount the turret of the Maus as well. Try as the Germans did, only the hull of the E-100 was completed by the end of the war.
The kit Trumpeter has been releasing these “paper panzers” pretty regularly for some time now. Since these vehicles never saw completion, some are going to have a hard time arguing the accuracy of it. One thing that is apparent is the difference between the Dragon offering and this one. The new Dragon kit features the turret of the Maus with a slightly different looking gun tube, while the turret of this kit resembles a Henschel turreted King Tiger, albeit on steroids. You can see the resemblance in the pictures and also the difference in the Dragon Maus turret, which is on the left and the Trumpeter E-100 turret on the right. My first impression of the kit when I cracked the box open was how big it was, and how few parts there seemed to be. The box top states 102, but I have read anything from 170ish, to 256 and I was not about to count each individual piece. Suffice to say there aren’t that many, so construction should move right along.
There are a total of six sprues with two containing the side skirts, turret bottom, gun tube, night sights and assorted smaller parts such as the pioneer tools. The remaining four sprues are the road wheels and suspension. Everything else is separate. The one piece tracks are nicely done and about as wide as the day is long, measuring in at a whopping 29.45mm or just over an inch. The small fret of photo-etch brass for the intake screens, looks very well done and usable. The turret and hull interiors are cavernous and since this vehicle never came to fruition, the modeler has ample room to outfit an interior however they see fit. A simple looking gun breech is included as part of the kit. It would definitely be an eye catching piece should one be built with an interior.
Assembly is carried out in 26 steps and finishes up with the attachment of the massive side skirts. The included color painting guide features one vehicle with dark green over dark yellow camouflage and green smoke rings on the skirts and another vehicle in the standard three tone camouflage of dark yellow, red-brown, and dark green. Both illustrations show the main gun tube as being in dark red primer, along with both vehicles sporting the IR night vision scopes mounted on the TC cupola, but no IR parts are included for the driver’s station. Either paint scheme will make for an attractive model. Decals provided are generic white outlined red numerals and four Balkenkreuz’.
ConclusionIf you're looking for a fun project that’s near impossible to research, and leaves ample room to super-detail the interior if so inclined, here is one to tempt your taste buds. When finished, you’ll have one serious looking piece of armor. Couple this with some figures and you’ll have the makings for an interesting diorama. Having faced armor on the battlefield I can safely say this is one I would not want to have come across.