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Sd.Kfz.184 Elefant Revell 1:35 The Elefant (German for "elephant") was a heavy tank destroyer used by German Wehrmacht Panzerjäger during World War II. It was built in small numbers in 1943 under the name Ferdinand after its designer Ferdinand Porsche, using tank hulls that had been produced for the Tiger I tank requirement which was rejected in favour of a Henschel design. In 1944, after modification of the existing vehicles, they were renamed Elefant. The official German designation was Panzerjäger Tiger (P) and the ordnance inventory designation was Sd. Kfz. 184. In September 1943, all surviving Ferdinands were recalled to be modified based on battle experience gained in the Battle of Kursk. During October and November 1943, 48 of the 50 surviving vehicles were modified by addition of a ball-mounted MG 34 in the hull front for anti-infantry ability, a commander's cupola (modified from the standard StuG III cupola) for improved vision, and the application of Zimmerit paste. The frontal armour was thickened and the tracks widened, increasing the weight from 65 to 70 t. The improved vehicles were called Elefant; this became the official name by Hitler's orders of May 1, 1944. Only two of these vehicles survived the war. One Ferdinand was captured by Soviet forces at Kursk, and is now at the Kubinka Tank Museum outside Moscow. An Elefant was captured at Anzio by the Americans, and is now part of the United States Army Ordnance Museum's collection at Fort Lee, VA. The example at Fort Lee was restored to display condition in 2007–2008, as documented on the show Tank Overhaul, but not in its original paint scheme. It was announced in 2016 that the Fort Lee Elefant would be loaned to the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, UK. The vehicle will be displayed as part of the museum's "Tiger Collection" display from April 2017. This display aims to bring all the members of the Tiger family together in one place for the first time. This has now actually happened, with the exception of one Tiger variant. The Model This kit has got to be one of the oldest moulds I have reviewed, being originally issued by Italeri in the 1960’s. Saying that, the moulds have certainly stood the test of time, as there is no sign of flash or other imperfections on the grey styrene. There are just two large sprues, two separate hull parts, four piece rubber tracks per side and a small decal sheet in the rather squishy end opening box. It looks like it will be a fairly simple build and there are still remnants of the old releases in the instructions where it tells you to melt the ends of the wheel within the hull so that they will rotate. Construction starts with the fitting of the axle inserts and gearbox covers into the lower hull. The sprockets, idlers and road wheels are all two part assemblies. The sprockets and idlers are then fitted to their respective positions, along with the mud scrapers and front stops. The six suspension units are each made up from four parts before being attached to the hull. The twelve road wheels are then fitted to the axles, followed by their hub caps. The four piece rubber tracks are joined together by melting the pins on each section, the tracks are then fitted around the sprockets and idlers so that the teeth on each mesh and around the road wheels. The driver is provided with a six piece seating arrangement which includes the control levers. This is then fitted to the bow section of the lower hull, with a separate seat for the machine gunner. Both crew members are provided each with separate upper and two lower body parts with separate arms. The driver is also fitted with a three piece headset. The upper and lower glacis plates are then fitted to the front of the lower hull along with the two piece vertical section which includes the machine gun position into which the MG34 is glued. The track guards are then attached, followed by the guard supports. The engine deck is then fitted with the centre grille; grab handles and lifting eyes, before being glued into position. The “turret section” is fitted out inside with the commanders seat and support, backplate of the gun and the two piece gun barrel which includes a large ball to fit within the fighting compartment. Externally the section is fitted with the commanders cupola, mantle cover, lifting hooks, gunners hatch and outer gun plates. The travel lock is made up from three pieces and glued to the front decking between the drivers and machine gunners hatches. The completed fighting compartment is them glued into position, and the commander figure assembled before he is placed standing on his seat. The rest of the build includes attaching the towing shackles, storage boxes, exhaust box, spare track links, stowage hooks and coiled towing cables. Decals There are two decal options, the decals are ok, although they appear a little fuzzy around the edges, and they have good opacity and are in register. The options are:- 1st Company of the 653rd Heavy Panzerjager Battalion, Soriano al Cimino, Italy, 27/06/1944 2n/3red Company of the 653rd Heavy Panzerjager Battalion, Eastern Front, Russia/Poland, 1944 Conclusion Considering how old this kit is, the moulds are surviving remarkably well, there is no sign of wear for flash on the parts and everything appears to be as crisp as the day they were made. It’s a relatively simple kit to put together, but with care, a good paint job and weathering, it can be made into a very nice model. Revell model kits are available from all good toy and model retailers. For further information visit
Panzerjäger Tiger (P) Sd. Kfz. 184 Elefant. This is one of only two surviving examples. This was captured at Anzio by the Americans, and is now part of the United States Army Ordnance Museum's collection at Fort Lee, VA. Currently on loan to the Tank Museum in Bovington as part of their Tiger collection. Pictures thanks to Dave Wardle.