Wednesday, August 30

Today: Building the Behemoth - Guide to making the E-100 in 35th scale from Amusing Hobby...

Having shown you what is in the box of Amusing Hobby's new German Superheavy Panzerkampfwagen E-100 in 35th scale, we have already built ours up in just a few days. We thought we would share the build and muse over what we thought about the kit in our build guide...

Build Guide: German Super Heavy Tank E-100 “Krupp Turret”
From: Amusing Hobby
1/35th Scale
Product No# 35A015
Plastic Injection moulded kit
Photo Etch parts included
Decals for Four marking choices from AMMO provided in the kit

Today: Building the Behemoth - Build guide to the E-100 in 35th scale from Amusing Hobby

I will take us through the relatively simple build of this tank pretty much as in the instructions, and as most people would build a tank. Starting with the instructions, going to the rear deck, then the top of the hull, join it all together, then lastly the turret, side skirts and extras.

We start off of course with the suspension. This is a coil suspension set up, so there were PLENTY of brown plastic coils on the track sprues. You need sixteen per side for this setup. and it looked pretty easy...

Until I looked closely at some of these coils. SOME of them are in a right rotten state as you can see, but this is a few and not most of them. Most join in tight coils that only require some cleanup. If you DO need to clean up a coil, slide it onto a bit of spare sprue so you can work on it without breaking it - which is easy to do as you can see on the right. The good thing for me was that there are about third more coils than what you need so you can pick or choose which ones are the best off the sprue.

See, most of the coils are as bad as the one I pointed out - so this part of the build passed fairly quickly. The unique look of this suspension is mostly hidden by road wheels or skirts also which is a shame...

Here is the lower hull ready for the steel road wheels.

The simple supension arms inside the tank are all but hidden once it closes up...

The wheels, return roller and the drive sprockets are put together early on in this build as is custom. The nuts on the wheels are sharp in their defined hexagons, and there was just a little flash to be removed from the drive sprockets.

Trust me not to look - For some reason when I aligned the drive sprockets the teeth were not in line - on BOTH of them. Hmm, I'm saying it's my fault, but just double check the alignment of the teeth that they are square with each other, or the teeth will not accept the tracks properly. A Razor saw and some careful scalpel work and it all opened back up, then I resecured it with some 1mm card to make up the gap I made in the cut.

The layout of the wheels here in the instructions, once on, these can be removed so you can paint underneath, However, when the tracks go on it all needs to be sealed up as the tracks do fag and tend to fall off if not fixed in place.

The suspension there laid out in the pattern once it is all together. The overlapped wheels on this are in tandems so not as painful to assemble as a Tiger II for example.

The rear deck is simple, but pretty bare for such a big tank. You could add some stowage, tools and even a set of pool ladder rungs to the rear of this kit to make it look more "lived in"

Most of the parts before they go on. I will add more surface detail with glue to the cast parts.

Here it is all together, Notice that I have added more cast metal detail to the cast metal parts of the rear. IT looks pretty nice, but again it is open to a lot more detail with tools and stowage (what about a bucket hanging off the rear deck hey guys? No one ever adds a bucket do they?...)
The rear hull goes into the body of the tank and then we start to look at the top of the hull roof/ deck of the tank. Those familiar with German heavies will know this layout pretty well. Again from Amusing Hobby, we have the option to open the engine deck, but there is no engine to place inside it. Pretty standard unless a manufacturer gives you an "interior" kit so no harm no foul there. At least there is an option to have it open. The Photo-Etch grills will go on almost as the last step from me.

The front glacis plate with satisfyingly thick welds showing the width of the armour plates, the rolled steel texture of the glacis and the ability of the hatches to be swung open or closed. Note that the driver's periscope is too high here on the port side of the tank?
I simply cut some of the bottom of the periscope ( plastic not clear in this kit) and the periscope sat at the right height.
The side skirts were then needed to be added. I wanted the best of both worlds in my kit. I wanted to be able to take them off or leave them on as per my changing mood. How to do this?

I found that the holes on the lugs that are there are not hollow, so I would have to drill them out. I found that a 2mm drill that I had fit neatly into these holes, and that a regular ol' toothpick was 2mm in diameter. Hmmmmmmmm.

I found that these holes were a 2mm diameter so I got my low powered drill out to GENTLY make some holes in these existing lugs.

I rustled up some toothpicks and nipped off the ends to make them a little less sharp and so they would grip a little better. These ones I have are the perfect dry fit size to fit into these 2mm holes I had drilled.

The toothpicks are jammed in a hard as I could then a little thin superglue seal their fate inside the lugs - I was not sure if this would work...

Here are the side skirts added in place. These can be simply pulled off with the "Ol' Toothpick Technique tm" which I plan to make a name for myself ( as a hillbilly maybe?) on the modelling scene. You know you 'ain't nobody till you invent a technique that everyone else already does in this hobby...­čść

The front Glacis plate - massive hunks of metal joined by large weld seams looks great. The Bosch light in the middle has an electric wire added to it.
Here are the tracks, from top and bottom, 102 links for each side boys and girls, not too hard to snap together without glue, tools or fuss.

Here are the tracks looped over the drive sprocket showing two things, correct tooth alignment, and the flexibility of the links. They do not really come apart once you have secured them together.
And here we are with the tracks in place - they look pretty mean without the side skirts added - however, the slim and top heavy aspect of the kit without these side skirts means that most of these will be hidden below heavy metal on my kit.

Here are the natural sag of the tracks. the 102 links on each side are the exact right amount. You will have to glue these down in place before painting the kit or they tend to sag and have too much play when lifted up. On the deck, as we saw, everything is A-OK.
There are tow cable eyes supplied with this kit but no brass (or any other ) tow cable. I wanted to add something to this kit so I pinched one of my Panther II kit for now and fitted the cable inside the tow eyes. However, the large and nicely detailed shackles that come with them do not fit ( as they are from the Lowe kit originally). I simply cracked these open with my Xuron flat PE bending pliers which have a rounded rear contour. Once I got the shacked inside the eyes I was able to close them back up with glue.

Here is a mock up of the tow cable attached to the kit. These were tensioned by the attachments on the side of the side skirts. They do not look too bad and I do think that cables were an omission that should have not been forgotten.

The photo-etch I added last of all, mostly because it is fiddly and easily damaged or pinged off by a lot of handling by the modeller. I ran over the surfaces with the rounded off end of a scribing point to indent the mesh as it might be when soldiers walk all over the rear deck. I do think that I might damage a few of these perfect surfaces with holes and gouges as well in the future.

The turret is next for me,  but before I put it all together I will detail up the texture of the cast surfaces a little. As a starter I used some glue to dab the surface with, then let it dry as I continued to press on the surface. This enhances the rough cast surface detail already on places like the gun mantlet and the rear turret hatch. This allows me to go further with maybe a Mr surfacer later on if I need more detail.

The simple parts of the turret are nearly all in this photo. The gun is only existent in the barrel and there is no interior, so put a tanker in those hatches or close them up! Some people might want more, but the reality is that the internal detail will not be seen with such small turret hatches. I love the fact it's so very simple to make.

The small hinge parts for the hatch allow the rear turret hatch to be pivoted open or closed. I left mine slightly ajar. But here is how it all works...

Here it is ready to be glued inside the turret. Close it up, boys and girls...
Here is what is called on the box the "Krupp" turret. The weld seams, the cast surfaces and the pitted rolled steel is a highlight. I do think because of the size of the beast I will add some more surface texture and pitting, and even some dent marks from bounced shells to the surface and it will come up brilliantly.
Here is the turret with the option of swinging open or closed (quite small) hatches. I would at some time add some rungs as a ladder on the rear of the turret for crew access to these.

The turret hoist arm does not have a hook, chair or pulley with it, I do think this is a bit of an omission, and it's a shame this small item could not be included. The swing arm however, is a nice thought that just needs a modeller to add the extra flourishes to with these additions.

Good news for us is that the turret spins freely on the mounts. The bottom of the turret is so low that I thought it may be a problem - however, this was an unfounded fear and she span ok...

...Front and back.

Here is the E-100 without side skirts first, and with the turret in place. This MASSIVE boxy turret looks good like this, but I prefer the side skirts as the tank looks pretty top-heavy without them. The detail that is there without the skirt option is still just as nice so that is thoughtful from the model makers.

In comparison of the size with a curious Russsian Soldier...

Also to show you the size, and the development path that was projected in a machine like this - a side-by-side with a (Dragon) Tiger I in the same scale. Wow huh?
Views from the rear of the E-100 with one fender off and one on. Note from the rear there are some gaps that I am not sure whether they needed to be there or not, I would look at adding some large weld seams in here so no one came up to ask me stupid questions about the gaps int he kit at a model meet.

Lastly, the full fender set attached to the E-100. These can be removed or replaced as I see fit with my field alterations of toothpicks. Note that there is a slight gap from me not pushing these in as far as I could so I could easily remove them after. They do push fit together in a gapless fashion, with no "cracks" in the joins between them either..

Well, that is it for this one before I take it to the painting shop. However, I will add some more rough cast and rolled steel texture I think.  Also, some tools, an aerial and that hook and pulley for that hoist on the side of the turret I think. Things like these really add a lot to a kit like these that is kind of almost too smoothly contoured. That is not the fault of the manufacturer though.

Speaking of the job here, I think Amusing Hobby has solved many "What-If" fans and also the World of Tanks" fans out there as well as maybe heavy armour fans. The kit goes together in a weekend, It would take yet another full day to customize and get ready for paint and then the world is your oyster with colour schemes and patterns.

A great kit to bring out your imagination, remember that?

Adam Norenberg

Thanks to Amusing Hobby for sending this kit to us to build and review.