Dragon E-100 Heavy Tank, 1/72 Armor
by Cookie Sewell
96 parts (86 in grey styrene, 6 etched brass, 2 in tan vinyl, 2 in grey
vinyl); price about $8.95
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in this scale in styrene; inclusion
of brass and crew figures nice touches
Disadvantages: "Panzer 46" tanks always a tough call on finishing
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all small-scale German fans
While there are still those that consider DML an "also-ran"
to Tamiya, most of them are pretty much silent these days. DML was the
first to come out with some kits that the Big T was never interested in
doing, and did a respectable if not excellent job with those kits. Among
them were the ones usually called "Panzer 46" in model shows,
as the tanks were either never built or never entered service in time
to see combat (e.g. they would have been the tanks in service in 1946,
hence the name; aircraft modelers refer to their equivalents as "Luftwaffe
46" for the same reason.)
They are not really "fantasy" armor as some have called them,
as the designers had completed all major work and the blueprints were
found for the vehicles where they were not completed. But since they never
got into service, colors, markings and units of assignment are pure speculation.
Such is the case here, where DML has matched its nice 1/35 scale effort
of producing a kit of the E-100 super-heavy tank with a 1/72 scale version.
From the parts breakdown, it appears that DML may have originally intended
this kit to use a diecast hull, but this is not present and in its place
comes a nice two-piece hull form. All of the rest of the parts attach
to this form, such as the suspension units that consist of one piece per
side with all suspension arms and components cast together.
The hull carries all of the details seen on the captured prototype hull,
so the modeler does have the choice of mounting the skirts (parts D1 and
D2) or leaving them off. Brass screens are provided for the engine deck.
One of the nicer touches is the inclusion of two vinyl figures for the
crew, one commander with peaked cap and one crew member with side cap.
While the directions suggest using the camouflage pattern on them, in
this scale you are on your own! A nice marking sheet is included, along
with suggested paint schemes for a completed tank. (Note that Soviet markings
are also included if you want to show the model as "captured."
Overall this is a nice effort and will fit in well with most small scale
collections, albeit it is the size of a 1/35 scale light tank.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.