Thursday, March 8

In-boxed: Modelcollect's 72nd scale "Fist of War" E-75 Heavy Panzer Walker

Modelcollect has really gone into some weird territory with their latest series of "Fist of War" kits which give us a way beyond "What-if?" territory with their heavy tank walker E-75 concept. Andy Moore quite likes these kits, and he has given us the inbox of this new kit before he gets building the kit...

Fist of War E-75 Heavy Panzer Walker
Manufacturer – Modelcollect
Kit Number - UA72107
Scale - 1/72
Price -  ¥1,506 • US$14.10 • £9.85 • €11.34 from Hobbyeasy

Modelcollect have made paper panzers something of a speciality for themselves over the last few years. There have been countless releases of E-50s, E-75s and E-100s with a wide assortment of turrets and configurations. I build a couple of the more outlandish (but interesting) of these last year, one with the Rhientochter air defence missile, and one with the V2 flying bomb.
While those kits were essentially fantasy, they still kept one foot in reality. Now though, Modelcollect have gone full ahead into Sci-fi territory with their latest releases. These come from the Fist of War range and comprise armoured walkers with a distinct Star Wars look to them, but utilising German panzer hulls and turrets. There are several available, or about to be released, and the one we're looking at today is the E-75 bodied Heavy Panzer.
Inside the box you'll find a varied assortment of sprues, some re-used from previous kits and some newly tooled for this release. The overall moulding quality is generally excellent, with just a few small traces of flash on a couple of the sprues. The sprue gates, while not tiny, are fairly well placed and shouldn't pose any problems with part removal and clean-up.

Sprue A
This is a newly tooled sprue with the main upper and lower hull, along with the engine deck, rear panel and exhausts. You can see the four mounting points on the lower hull for the legs, and also the cut-out for the lower secondary turret.
The detailing on these parts is very nicely done, especially on the engine deck. The one disappointment here though is the lack of any photo-etch parts for the grills. The inclusion of PE parts has always been a selling point with previous Modelcollect releases, so I was surprised to not find any in this kit.

Sprue A (again)
Yes, another sprue A. This one is a re-use from the regular E-75 kit. Having sprues with the same reference letter can be a little confusing and that's exacerbated by the fact that some parts, such as the rear hull plate, aren't required for this build. Although there's a sprue map in the instructions, Modelcollect hasn't highlighted the unused parts, so double check you're fitting the right ones as you go along.
The turret has most of the detail parts already moulded in place. This could have been an issue had they been poorly rendered, but here everything looks sharp and clean, and this way will certainly speed up assembly.

Sprue B
Another new sprue for this release. This one holds the parts for the secondary ball turret that mounts under the main hull. I personally like the look of this turret more than the main one, and I think, with a little modification, it would be possible to mount this one on the top of the hull instead. That would give the build a far more science fiction look than the regular E-75 turret.
The twin barrels have been moulded in place with the turret housing. There are some fairly heavy mould lines to remove, but otherwise, they look fine. They are very delicate though, and you might want to source some brass replacements. Oddly, the instructions describe these as 30mm anti-aircraft guns. Quite what the rationale of mounting AA guns on the bottom of a tank is, I have no idea.

Sprue D
This is another sprue that's carried over from a previous E-75 release, and only a few of the parts on here are actually needed for this build. Most Modelcollect kits tend to have quite a few unused parts, and you can soon amass quite a collection of spares that can be used on other builds. Some might see that as a waste, but these kits are so cheap to start with that I see these extras as a bonus.

Sprue D (x2)
Yes, more sprues with the same code letter. These ones are a new though, and carry the parts for the legs. These are quite complex little assemblies, and look to be, at least partially, articulated. How that will work with the single part shroud though remains to be seen.
As mentioned above, the leg shrouds are single part mouldings. To me, it seems like they might interfere with the leg articulation. I imagine it will be possible to leave them off altogether if you want a more mechanical look to the legs.

Sprue E
This small sprue carries the barrel for the main upper turret. Actually, there are two barrels on here, but only the longer 128mm barrel with the perforated muzzle is used on this build (I guess you could use the other instead if you preferred).
The barrel's muzzle is another area where the lack of photo-etch shows up. When this barrel is included with the regular E-75 kits, a perforated PE panel is supplied to wrap around the moulded muzzle. With the PE fret absent here, you'll have to make do with the more simplistic moulding on the kit part.

Sprue H
The final sprue is another older sprue and, again, many of the parts won't be required. The extra engine deck and the side skirts can all go straight into the spares box.

The instruction manual comes as a small portrait format booklet which is a fairly standard style for Modelcollect. The build is spread over 19 steps, with clear and easy to follow line drawings. From a brief glance, it looks like a simple and straightforward build.

Interestingly, despite this being a purely fictional vehicle, Modelcollect has created a brief history and list of statistics for the vehicle.

Modelcollect have included the same generic decal sheet that they supply with all their paper panzer kits. I did find this a little disappointing given the more fantasy nature of the subject. I'd have preferred to see something a little more creative done with the markings. The decals themselves are okay, but not spectacular. Some of the black printing is a little fuzzy and there's a slight registration issue, meaning the crosses and numbers have uneven outlines. Not the end of the world, but a little annoying all the same.

There are two marking options shown in the instructions and, as usual for Modelcollect, they've been designed by AMMO. I have to say, like the decals, I find both a little uninspiring. The standard late war/panzer '46 style schemes are a bit predictable, and I'd have preferred to see something more overtly science fiction inspired as an option. Of course, you can paint these any way you wish, so it's not really a problem, but a bit of inspiration wouldn't have gone amiss. The paint listing for the supplied schemes come from Mig J's AMMO range.
This is definitely a kit that you need to orientate your mindset to when you first open the box. I did have one 'doh' moment when I was searching through the box, trying to find the tracks, which of course aren't there. It's that slight culture clash of WWII and science fiction that is the overriding impression you get from the kit. This isn't the first time this kind of thing's been done of course. Paulo Parente's Dust line springs to mind, but I think this is the first time a mainstream manufacturer has gone down this route. Overall though, I really like the concept, and I'm looking forward to building up the kit, although I think I'll be going in a more science fiction direction with it.

Stay tuned for the build, coming soon on TMN.

Andy Moore

Check out Modelcollect's kits on their website for more info.