Trumpeter 1/35 E-10 Entwicklungsfahrzeug Kit First Look
|Date of Review||August 2007||Manufacturer||Trumpeter|
|Kit Number||0385||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Another installment in the German armor designs that might have been||Cons|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$39.95|
The Germans learned from their combat experiences that while their tank killers like the Marder were somewhat effective against allied armor, their high profile made ambushing more difficult and were easy prey once discovered. The lack of a fully armored crew compartment also made these tank killers easy prey for commando teams and air support.
A new class of combat vehicles were underway near the end of the war with the intention of providing crews with better protection. This was accomplished by creating a fully enclosed crew compartment as well as by reducing the height of the vehicle as much as possible without sacrificing ground clearance. The smallest of this new class of vehicles was the E-10.
The E-10 was armed with a 75mm main gun which was mounted into the glacis plate and eliminating any of the over-the-hull structures of earlier tank killers. While this vehicle never entered production before the end of the war, the same design philosophy was also applied to Soviet tank killers like the SU-85 and SU-100 and even the more modern Swedish S-tank.
Trumpeter has been scratching an itch with armor modelers over the last several years, providing kits of either limited prototype German combat vehicles or concepts that never made it into production. One of these topics is covered in this release, the E-10. Since the vehicle never got off the drawing board, it will be difficult for many people to argue the accuracy of Trumpeter's rendition of this vehicle.
The kit consists of 130 parts on nine sprues molded in light gray styrene, a separately molded lower hull, two sets of vinyl track, and one fret of photo-etch parts.
The design of this kit is very simple and is going to be a relatively quick build. There is no interior since it never existed. The vehicle does come with a nicely detailed suspension and your choice of 'early' and 'late' design tracks. The tracks are also provided in vinyl or as individual track links molded in styrene.
The photo-etch fret provides a few grille vents for the hull, but the majority of the parts are for the optional armored side skirts. Since use of photo-etch on the vehicle (aside from the skirts) is at a minimum, plus the option of vinyl tracks, this is actually a good kit for modelers wanting to experiment with limited photo-etch work.
Generic national markings and hull numbers are provided to round out this kit.
This is a very nice looking model and does not appear to be difficult in its layout. Even with all of the detailing, I'd have to say that this would not be a bad choice for modelers wanting to try out a more complex kit.
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!