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Paul A H

German WWII E-100 panzer weapon carrier with Flak 40 128MM Zwillingsflak - 1:72 Modelcollect

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German WWII E-100 panzer weapon carrier with Flak 40 128MM Zwillingsflak

1:72 Modelcollect

 

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The E-100 was a super-heavy tank, designed as the Second World War drew to a close. It was to be the heaviest of the proposed Entwicklung (E) series of armoured fighting vehicles, the aim of which was to simplify tank design and production around standard components. The chassis was intended to serve as a tank, mobile artillery system, anti-aircraft vehicle and heavy tank destroyer, although ultimately just a single prototype chassis was manufactured, and this was captured by American forces a month before the end of the War and then scrapped following evaluation by the British Army. The Flak 40, on the other hand, was a tried and tested anti-aircraft artillery gun, over 1000 examples of which were produced. The twin-gun Flakzwilling weighed in at 26.5 tonnes, which made it very difficult to move across country, hence the idea of mounting it on the large E-100 chassis. The guns were most famously deployed in static mountings such as on the flak towers of Berlin, Hamburg and Vienna.

 

Modelcollect are a Chinese firm who are largely known for their highly detailed and well-regarded 1:72 scale AFV kits. They have long specialised in post-war Soviet/Russian subjects, but have more recently shown a flair for producing kits of the prototype tanks and associated vehicles that were in the design stages at the end of the Second World War, or which could conceivably have appeared had the War lasted longer than it did. This particular kit uses Modelcollect's existing E-100 and 128mm Flak 40 kits as the basis for the Zwillingsflak E-100 platform. Inside the top-opening box are eight frames of parts moulded in grey styrene, along with decals, rubber tracks and a fret of brass parts. The mouldings are clean, crisp and finely detailed.

 

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Construction starts not with the chassis, but with the zwilling gun mount. This comprises the rotating ring mechanism, crew platform and guard rails, stowage boxes and the mount for the guns themselves. A pair of Flak 40 guns is included (obviously), with each barrel split lengthwise and a seperate elevation mechanism. the guns themselves are nicely detailed, with each made up of well over twenty parts. A couple of 128mm shells are supplied and are shown fitted in the breech loading mechanism in the instructions. Once the hefty Flak 40 Zwilling has been assembled, it's easy to see how it would have taken a tank chassis as large as the E-100 to move it anywhere. 

Once the gun mount is complete, assembly turns to the hull. The E-100 design was essentially mid-engined, with the engine positioned forward of the turret but behind the main crew compartment. The engine deck is moulded separately to the roof of the hull, as are the crew access hatches. Photo etch parts are used to depict the grilles on the engine cover. The running gear is next, and the road wheel arrangement will be instantly familiar to those who have built a Tiger or Panther tanks as it comprises overlapping wheels with steel rims (great if, like me, you find painting sixteen pairs of rubber tyres a tiresome task). The tracks are manufactured from a flexible rubber-like material, which isn't my preference, but they look quite decent for the scale. 

 

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The decal sheet is generic and includes a range of numbers and licence plates, although the instructions do not show any arrangements for the placement of decals. The painting diagram shows two examples, one with a dark yellow hull and grey Flak 40 Zwilling, the other completely dark yellow with patches of camouflage on the lower hull. Of course you are free to paint yours in whatever scheme takes your fancy as this is essentially a paper panzer. 

 

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Conclusion

 

Builders of 1:35 AFVs have had a range of kits in the E-5/10/25/50/75/100 series to choose from for a few years now, so it's good to see builders of the gentleman's scale being afforded an even better choice of subjects thanks to Modelcollect. The kit looks as though it will go together with minimum fuss and it will certainly be a talking point when built and painted. Recommended.

 

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Review sample courtesy of 


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