Tuesday, August 4

Enter the Elefant - Amusing Hobby's new 35th scale kit in CAD & in preview...

We have been waiting for the brother of the Ferdinand to come from Amusing Hobby. Now the Elefant arrives in 35th scale and we have some preview images of the CAD design of the full interior / exterior kit in our preview...

Enter the Elefant - Amusing Hobby's new 35th scale kit in CAD & in preview...

Schwerer Jagdpanzer Sd.Kfz.184 Elefant
1/35th scale
Kit No #35A033
The kit is w/ full interior + Clear Roof Parts
Zimmerit from Def Model included...
From: Amusing Hobby
1/35th scale
Ever since the Ferdinand from Amusing Hobby came out we have been waiting for the Elefant to appear - and here she is! But what is the difference between the Ferdinand and the Elefant you may well ask? We have some history of the Elefant here...

The Schwerer Jagdpanzer Sd.Kfz.184 Elefant in history
At the beginning of the Second World War in Europe, the German Army learned first of the tank battles it had fought in France and Poland. Aware of its weakness in the field of armoured vehicles, Germany wants to equip itself with a heavy tank, called “tank destroyer”. After the work carried out by the German armament engineers, the prototype of the tank SdKfz 184 was built in 1942. In July of the same year, production began, and this huge tank was nicknamed “Ferdinand” (in memory of Dr. Ferdinand Porsche), and latter the "Elefant” (elephant), in connection with its weight.
Hastily built in anticipation of the German offensive towards the Soviet Union, the first specimens had to face many technical problems, which military engineers were unable to solve. However, the Ferdinand was deployed on the eastern front and is particularly effective against Soviet tanks. Despite these successes, he did not at that time have a close anti-infantry defence weapon, and many Soviet infantrymen managed to destroy SdKfz 184 tanks, notably during the Battle of Kursk, where the “Ferdinands” were engaged for the first time.
Red Army instruction book on how to kill a German Ferdinand Tank Destroyer showing its weak spots and the distance from target Russian tank crews need to be before their shell had a chance of penetrating the armour.
A very serious design flaw was the lack of a machinegun for close protection against advancing infantry. It was overlooked because the vehicle was meant to operate behind the front line and take out enemy units at over 2km distance and not come in contact with enemy soldiers. 

An Elefant coated with Anti-magnetic Zimmerit antimagnetic mine paste which is easy to see in this view...
The reality of a mobile battlefield meant that courageous brave soviet troops could run forward and attach a sticky mine or throw on a Molotov cocktail without fear of being machine-gunned by the tank destroyer crew. 

Loading ammunition into Elefant 332 Ukraine 1944
The Elefant changed into a Ferdinand:
Following the proving ground of the Battle of Kursk, the remaining Ferdinands were temporarily withdrawn from service for revamping. In late 1943, 48 Ferdinands were each fitted with an anti-infantry ball-mounted MG-34, anti-magnetic Zimmerit paste (a hull texturing to prevent the attachment of magnetic mines), and a commander’s cupola which provided better visibility. These additions, plus some extra armour, increased the weight of the machine to 70 tonnes (second in weight only to the Jagdtiger tank destroyer). The improved and further beefed up Ferdinands were nicknamed Elefants, and a May Day 1944 order from Hitler made the new moniker official. 

These modifications included:
  • Field modified Ferdinands with mixed Otto and Maybach engines were all replaced with Maybach HL 120 TRMs.
  • Two five litter carbon dioxide remote operated fire extinguishers were installed in the engine compartment.
  • The internal intercom was improved by adding a mechanical signalization system between the commander and driver.
  • A 30mm armoured plate was welded to the driving compartment floor
  • An additional ammunition bay was added to increase the number of rounds carried inside from 50 to 55.
  • An MG 34 machine gun position was fitted to the right side of the driving compartment glacis.
  • A round commander’s cupola (from StuG III) replaced the rectangular hatch on top of the fighting compartment.
  • The narrow 600mm tracks were replaced with wider redesigned 640mm tracks.
  • The gun mantlet shield (an earlier field modification) was reversed so the seams and bolts faced forward.
  • The engine louvre covers were redesigned and reinforced.
  • An additional sunshade was added to the driver’s periscope.
  • All exterior tools and spare tracks were relocated to the rear and more external stowage racks were added.
  • Reinforcement brackets were added to the fenders.
  • The headlight assemblies were removed from the front hull.
  • Zimmerit was applied to the vertical and lower sections of the hull.
Comparison of Ferdinand and latter Elephant
The Elefant had great armour protection and an excellent gun but the weight of the vehicle meant that It was slow. Additional 100mm bolt-on armour plates on the front of this tank destroyer increased the crew's protection to 200mm thickness but added an additional 5 tons of weight (70 tonnes in total). Side and rear armour thickness was 80mm. 

Crew members pose outside of their Elefant tank destroyer. 3/653 Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653, Poland 1944.
These Elefants saw action on the Italian front, in Zossen during the Battle of Berlin, and in the Soviet’s Vistula-Order offensive. Due to the Elefant’s long-range firepower and heavy armour, few were destroyed by enemy fire. But the machine’s vulnerabilities were several: Its weight, which made negotiating bridges and some roads hazardous; general mechanical unreliability; and the lack of available spare parts, which led to many Elefants being abandoned after breakdowns.

Destroyed Elefant 112 Anzio of Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653
It only had a top speed of 30km per hour (19 mph). It could not move around the battlefield as fast as the army wanted it to.
Each side of the Elefant has six large road wheels, one idler and one track drive wheel. Each road wheel weighs about 113 kilos and was very difficult to change on the battlefield without additional equipment. This resulted in some vehicles having to be abandoned or destroyed by their crew as they were just too heavy to recover in the face of the enemy.

A disabled Elefant in Italy, 1944
The Elefant was not able to use most of the roads and bridges. With such limitations to its mobility, the tank destroyer’s superior armour, and firepower proved to be useless in the final stages of WWII.

Elefant of the PzJgAbt 653 Eastern Front 1944
Limited by poor mobility and being underpowered, the Ferdinand-Elefant was plagued by mechanical issues throughout its career; however, the heavy tank destroyer may have been the most successful employed given that it had an estimated kill ratio of 10 kills to every one vehicle lost. Because of this, the Ferdinand-Elefant had a significant influence on the outcome of most armoured clashes in which it was engaged.

Heavy tank destroyer Elephant of the 1/653 Schwere Panzerjäger-Abteilung 653, knocked out at Anzio Italy May 1944.
Only two Elefant Jagdpanzers survived the war. One is exhibited in the Kubinka Tank Museum outside Moscow, and the other is now part of the United States Army Ordnance Museum’s collection at Fort Lee, VA. It was lent to the Bovington Tank Museum for a few years as part of the exhibition there until recently.
Elefant tank destroyer specification
Creator/User: Germany
Denomination: 8,8 cm PaK 43/2 Sfl L/71 Panzerjäger Tiger (P)
Length: 8,14 m / Width: 3,38 m/ Height: 2,97 m
Weight: 65,000 kg
Maximum speed: 30 km/h
Operational range: 114 km
Main armament: one 8,8 cm Pak 43 L/71 gun
Secondary armament: two 7,92 mm MG 34 machine guns
Engine: two Maybach HL 120 petrol 600 PS, 592 hp (442 kW)
Consumption: 833 litres per 100 kilometres
Crew: 6 (driver, radio-operator, commander, gunner, two loaders)
Front armour: 200 mm / Rear armour: 30 mm
This kit from Amusing Hobby
Kit No #35A033 Sd.Kfz.184 "Elefant" with full interior has been listed with Amusing Hobby's distributors from today. It's estimated to be released in September. The box art is drawn by Masami Onishi(大西将美氏) - who is a famous Japanese illustrator. 

We have some cAd drawings of the kit's internal structure which is of course included...The engine and drivetrain are exposed in this image
Two full Maybach HL 120 petrol 600 PS, 592 hp (442 kW) engines are included...
The fighting compartment floor covers the detail underneath
And on top of that, you find the hull casemate insides with full ammo layout and BIG gun 
 The 8,8 cm Pak 43 L/71 gun is fully detailed inside the kit
The ball mounted two 7,92 mm MG 34 machine guns included of course!
 The first edition of this kit will have a clear roof to show off all that lovely interior...
 The kit also contains the very nice Zimmerit designed by DEF model.
The kit is due for a September release, you can pick it up then from Amusing Hobby's Distributors Worldwide...