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ModelCollect E-75 heavy tank

RELATED TOPICS: REVIEW | MILITARY | ARMOR | TANKS100
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Proposed in 1942 and accepted in 1943, the E series of tanks was Germany’s attempt to standardize armor production. Six different chassis weight classes were proposed and used many standardized parts to simplify manufacturing and maintenance. Although the series never entered production, several types had reached the prototype stage by the end of World War II.

One in this series was the E-75, weighing 75-100 tons on a chassis similar to the Tiger II but with a revised suspension.

ModelCollect’s 1/72 scale E-75 with a 128mm gun is available in two versions. The basic kit includes a beautiful turned-brass barrel with a finely perforated muzzle brake and photo-etched engine screens, periscope covers, and turret lift rings.
 
The ultra kit — the subject of this review — has all of that plus another PE fret with replacement fenders, grab handles for the hatches and turret sides, and spare track hooks.

Typical of many models in this scale, tools and tow cables are molded on the hull. One-piece vinyl tracks can be joined with regular plastic cement.

Starting with the turret, the main-gun mount is loose and will not support the barrel in any raised position. Fortunately, the gun is level in the lowest position.

To form the half-round lift rings, I bent the PE parts over thin brass tube.

Fine moldings mark the position to hang spare track links on the turret. These can either be fitted with injection-molded links or PE hooks.

You’re on your own when it comes to positioning the grab handles/steps on the turret. I sketched the locations with a pencil, then impressed marks at the spots with dividers. I drilled shallow holes to give the super glue something to grab and anchor the handles. PE replaces solid plastic handles on all of the hatches except the loader’s.

Using a fine razor saw, I carefully removed the fenders from the upper hull in preparation for PE parts. I suggest referring to parts PE-14 and PE-12 when cutting off forward fenders. I took a little too much off the front plate and had to fill gaps with square styrene pieces. Folding the PE skirts is easy and doesn’t require any special tools.

The screens on the rear deck fit well.

The kit offers no help to align the suspension. I did my best to center the axles (parts C14 and C15) on each suspension unit (C13). I added the rear plate but left the running gear off until after painting.

The E-75 never existed, so you’re free to paint the model any way you want, from basic red primer to what-if camouflage. I stuck with a basic late-war three-color scheme similar to the kit’s painting diagram.

The decals went down well over a coat of Vallejo clear gloss with help from Microscale decal solutions. I slit the turret numbers to fit them over the grab handles.
 
I found the tracks the most difficult part of the build. The attachments for the road wheels and idlers were weak, so I reinforced them with super glue. The drive sprockets’ teeth don’t match the holes in the tracks. So I removed the teeth on the mating surfaces.

The tracks were too long, so I removed two links from each side. I super glued the tracks to the road wheels, idlers, and drive sprockets, inserting wood spacers to set sag while the glue dried.
 
I spent about 12 hours building the E-75, and it’s a nice replica of a tank that never was. If you are interested in “paper panzers,” I highly recommend you add this kit to your collection.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the February 2016 issue.

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