ModelCollect WWII E-75 Heavy Tank with 88 Gun

Reviewed for Military Modelling by Richard Dyer

  The Chinese company of ModelCollect Ltd. is a new manufacturer to me, though I believe that some of their 1/72 scale armour kits have already had some mention in past issues of this magazine. I purchased this specific model for several reasons, firstly I have always wanted to build a model of one of the ‘paper panzers’, the heavy and super heavy tanks proposed by the Germans during the Second World War, most of which never got much further than the drawing board. I was curious to see what one of the ModelCollect kits would be like to build, and most of all to celebrate my ‘unlocking’ the E-75 in the World of Tanks game!

  The model is packaged in a quality cardboard box made sturdy by the card being doubled back in on itself in both the lid and lower box. This is the type of packaging that I would normally associate with a high end 1/35 scale kit. If a manufacture is going the extra mile with the packaging of their products then there is usually something worth protecting inside! The box art is quite plain and understated with the main image being a side view colour illustration of the vehicle within.

  Inside the reinforced box we find a re-sealable plastic bag containing four of the five sprues of parts to build this kit. The fifth sprue, sprue ‘A’ contains most of the parts to build the turret, and is left loose in the box along with the upper and lower hull mouldings. It would appear that the bagged sprues are generic parts common to all the E-75 variants available from ModelCollect. These are two identical sprues ‘C’ containing transmission housing; main drive sprocket, axels, road and idler wheels. A second set of sprues entitled ‘E75/E55 TRACK’ contains just that, track in a link & length format. All the parts are crisply moulded in a hard grey plastic.

  At the bottom of the box, under the fold out sheet of instructions we find two zip-lock bags, one containing a small set of photo etch parts to form the protective grills over the vents on the engine deck, periscope covers, and three lifting shackles that go on top of the turret roof. There is also a turned brass gun barrel. The second bag contains a small sheet of waterslide decals. I believe that the decal sheet is a generic German late war sheet common to all ModelCollect’s range of ‘E Panzers’. The decals look to be of good quality, but sadly the white registration was a little off in my review sample sheet, meaning that the red turret numbers had more of a white drop shadow effect rather than a uniform outline. The white being out of register obviously has a detrimental effect on the Balkenkreuz too. This may just be a one off fault with my kit though.

  There are ten distinct stages covered in the easy to follow instruction sheet, but interestingly the kit must have originally been issued with soft vinyl ‘rubber band’ style tracks as an image of these in the parts inventory has been covered over with two white sticky labels. Turning to the penultimate stage of the build confirms this, but rather annoyingly there isn’t an illustration showing how to attach the hard plastic link & length track supplied. Fortunately I was able to find an image of how to fit the link & length track on the ModelCollect website. The illustration comes from the instructions of another of ModelCollect’s E-75 chassis based vehicles. I include a copy of it here. It looks as though there may be some scope to adjust the position of the suspension too, as each axel is a separate component. So there may be the potential to place the model on more of a dynamically contoured base, though I am not sure if the link & length track would prove flexible enough. I imagine that the original vinyl track would have been more amenable for this task.

  While not one of ModelCollect’s most recent releases, small print on the kit box states two copyright dates of 2012 and 2014, overall the kit shows great potential, but with a parts count of 158 (mostly track and running gear) plus some small photo etch components, I think that it would end up being a frustrating build for the younger/novice modeller. This is a shame as if you shop around the model can be purchased for a very reasonable price. If you are new to the hobby and like the look of this kit it probably shouldn’t be your first 1/72 scale kit, (ModelCollect say on the box ‘Not suitable for children under 14. It contains small pieces’) but if you want to challenge yourself and have already several multi part kits under your belt, then this might just be the kit for you. There are several models in the series based on vehicles sharing the proposed E-50, E-75, and E-100 chassis’, there is even one converted to launch a V1 flying bomb! The ModelCollect website is well worth a look.

  My review sample was purchased here in the UK from eModels Ltd. (www.emodels.co.uk) and at the time of writing cost £11.74, which considering the quality and quantity of the kit parts is very good value for money. Recommended for the intermediate to experienced modeller with an interest in ‘what if’ vehicles.

 

Product: Plastic kit

Ref: UA72017

Scale: 1/72

Parts: 158 + PE & Metal gun barrel

Price: Approx £14

Manufacturer: ModelCollect

Website: www.modelcollect.com