German E-50 Panther III Ausf.F 10.5cm KwK "Pantherzahn"
Modelcollect Fist of War, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Brett Green
The E-50 Standardpanzer was intended as a standard medium tank, replacing the Panther and Tiger I and the conversions based on these tanks.
The E-50 hull was to be longer than the Panther, in fact it was practically identical to the Königstiger (Tiger II) in overall dimensions except for the upper and lower glacis plate layout. Compared to these earlier designs however, the amount of drilling and machining involved in producing these Standardpanzer was reduced drastically, which would have made them quicker, easier and cheaper to produce, as would the proposed conical spring system, replacing their predecessors' torsion bar system which required a special steel alloy.
A new turret was to be designed for the E-50 and E-75, but drawings were never made and the turret was never even conceptualised. Armament is also not confirmed in any sources.
As indicated by its name, the weight of the E-50 would fall between 50 and 75 tonnes.
The engine was an improved Maybach HL234 which had 900 hp. Maximum speed was supposed to be 60 km/h.*
Modelcollect is a new company name to me.
They offer a range of Paper Panzers, hypothetical German tanks and tank destroyers that might have entered service after May 1945.
Some of these are based on designs in the late stages of developments while others are purely speculative.
Modelcollect's 1/35 scale Fist of War German E-50 Panther III Ausf.F 10.5cm KwK "Pantherzahn" is a little bit of both. The hull is based on drawings, but the turret is 100% imagineering.
The kit comprises 248 parts in grey plastic.
The plastic parts are cleanly moulded. Surface textures are basic. There are a few recessed weld beads on the turret roof and the interlocked armour on the front of the hull but no attempt to depict cast or pitted rolled steel texture.
The detail is quite crisp but a little bit sparse. The rectangular engine deck grilles are moulded solid.
All hatches are separate parts and may be posed open or closed.
Contrary to some other simplified aspects of the model, Modelcollect supplies 24 small individual track link hangers for the turret sides. These will require some care when handling and attaching to the turret sides. I'd be tempted to fill and sand some or all of the recessed locating positions, perhaps replacing them with camouflage net loops bent from fine copper wire.
Running gear should be fast to build. The road wheels are the steel rimmed style and are moulded in one piece each. Detail oooks really good. The bogie trucks are made up from just two pieces, each mounting four paired interleaved road wheels. It looks like you'll have four road wheels left over so you could mount them as spare wheels on the turret or the hull.
Tracks are link and length. These sprues appear to be generic to a number of kits in the series. The sprues are attached to the edges of the tracks, making cleaup fast and easy.
The tracks are very cleanly moulded with crisp detail and no visible ejector pin circles on the inside or outside surfaces.
Track guards are supplied in once piece for each side. These are in the style of the King Tiger's guards.
A decal sheet is included with crosses, two sets of black and white digits and a nice selection of unit badges although the white markings are hard to see in the photo below. These are printed by Cartograf and they are matt in finish.
Illustrated instructions are supplied on an 8 page folded leaflet. . These include a full illustrated listing of the parts and 15 construction steps that are illustrated with helpfully captioned photos and drawings.
There is no doubt that there is a growing interest in Jagdwaffe '46 and wargames. Modelcollect's new series of Paper Panzers will appeal to fans of both.
The kit is fairly simply designed although less experienced modellers might find the individual track hangers to be challenging.
To me, the kit feels like the level of detail and quality that you might expect from Italeri rather than Tamiya or even Dragon, but the price point is low so this is probably a reasonable compromise.
Whether you are looking for a powerful weapon on the wargame table or you want to go crazy with super detailing and texturing surfaces, Modelcollect's Pantherzahn will offer a sound base.
*Historical summary courtesy of Wikipedia.
Text and Images by Brett Green