Trumpeter 1/35 E-100 Super Heavy Tank Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|E-100 Super Heavy Tank
|Another installment in the German armor designs that might have been
While the Germans faced a serious armor threat from the British and US forces to the south and west, commanders were able to mitigate the threat with a combination of tactics, anti-tank weapons, armor and numbers. The scope of this threat was limited by what the allies could be transport via ship to the continent.
The Russians were another matter. They could simply drive or rail transport whatever they developed to the front lines. The Germans were facing a growing threat from heavy Soviet armor and they pushed to develop effective combat vehicles to try and blunt the Soviet drive.
One of the first in the heavy tank series was the Panzer VIII Sd.Kfz.205 Maus (the original name 'Mammoth' was more descriptive). While the Maus was to be armed with a 128mm KwK44 L/55 main gun, development was halted because an engine could not be found to propel the Maus' enormous mass.
The E-100 was to be a parallel development based upon an up-scaled Tiger II chassis and fitted with the turret of the Panzer VIII. Only the hull was completed by the end of the war.
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-100. 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. Interestingly enough, DML was first to market with their rendition of the E-100 and it definitely is different in shape and configuration from Trumpeter's version, especially the main gun, but since this vehicle never even completed the prototype stage, who can say which one would have been correct (if not both).
The kit consists of 256 parts on six sprues molded in light gray styrene, separately molded upper and lower hull halves and turret shell, 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 definitive wide-footprint tracks to offset the weight of this tank. The photo-etch fret provides grille vents for theengine deck.
One of the main features of this kit is the rather unique and nicely detailed suspension. This will only be visible from underneath since the overlapping road wheels were employed to provide additional protection for the lower hull.
It is strange how one simple detail can set the tone of your subject. As you assemble the tank, the turret and hull retain that German Panther/Tiger heritage in its shape, but add those curved fenders and suddenly the tank looks like it belongs in a Soviet heavy armor regiment.
Generic national markings and hull numbers are provided to round out this kit.
If you're looking for a fun project that will be nearly impossible to research and will therefore not trigger an AMS impulse to superdetail the model, here is one to cleanse your palate. When you're done, this will definitely look ominous of what might have been had the war drug on any longer. Personally, I would only want to see this beast in combat only if I was seated in an M1A2 and about to introduce the E-100 crew to Mr. DUR (Depleted Uranium Round).
My sincere thanks to Stevens International for this review sample!