Jump to content
ARC Discussion Forums

Quailane

Elefant Walk: 1/72 Sd.Kfz.184

Recommended Posts

I've always liked the Ferdinand/ Elefant. I remember seeing one, in a very sad and sorry state (like all the other dozens of extremely rare and historically significant armored vehicles), at the US Army Ordnance Museum at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Unfortunately I lost all the film rolls I used there before even getting the film developed. I've never made a Ferdinand model before, but I've made the Italeri 1/35 Porsche Tiger I which shares the same chassis at the Ferdinand. 

 

Let's get started. The box art all looks eerily similar, and the boxes are all the same width and height. At least Trumper's tank is facing a different direction. I like Trumpeter's box the most since it is top opening instead of side opening. That helps me keeps things organized a lot better.

 

NstHpvRCJPR0semUU9sONX70giPT0r7aVElTJbUm

 

The Italeri arrived yesterday and the others arrived today. After taking a look at the kits on the sprue, I think so far I like the Zvezda the best. Of course it is a lot newer than the other kits, with the plastic being marked 2018. I'm looking forward to trying the tracks, which are made in hard plastic, but are thin and put together the way rubber tracks would. The only issue is that some parts look a bit fragile and I wonder if the top compartment might be difficult to assemble correctly since the other moldings all do it in a single piece.

 

m2y6fzxP-x54AqibV-PFuULzSnm9PLjqzCZkqhZR

 

In second place is the trumpeter. It come with rubber and plastic tracks, but the rubber ones were all bent and looked of poor quality, so I need to use the plastic ones. Quality looks good, but not quite as sharp as the Zvezda.

 

aeO9w6xhxpBizoPA8LeAWIyBRNDNHpMKVp7kyaFr

 

In third place is Italeri. I thought it would be the worst because of its age, but the plastic tracks are good and although the tiny detail isn't as good as the other kits, it is passable unless you use a magnifying glass, really. There is just a bit more flash that needs to be taken care of than the other kits. The only issues that bother me so far are that the tank treads are flat on the inside, the double wheels are molded as very wide single wheels, and there are a few easily correctable sink marks due to careless manufacturing.

 

15sidXtaGPp7KEkGEYuJefSzT-bhc7RnrrlTQBkp

 

So far in last place is the Dragon kit. I was under the impression that it would include rubber and plastic tracks in the kit like some previous releases I found on the web had, but this one does not. Maybe that's why this kit was half the price of the older Dragon 1/72 Ferdinands. At least the rubber tracks look to be of reasonable quality.I read there were some accuracy issues with the kit, but I can't comment on that yet. The kit looks more fiddly than the Italeri kit without offering up higher quality detail, and some of the detail on the Dragon is quite soft. In my mind it is hands down worse than the Zvezda and Trumpeter kits. I would rate it higher than the Italeri kit if it came with plastic tracks.

 

42VvWlMLY1coN2Q8x3i0Ak6PGmfUT43aJV5k-E6v

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good thing, but I can´t see any pictures...?

 

 

HAJO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Hajo L. said:

Good thing, but I can´t see any pictures...?

 

 

HAJO

 I'm trying to host them from Google. Is it working now?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 I see them now 👍

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, no, I can´t.

 

 

HAJO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all, Welcome to the GB, I am glad you are here.

 

Nice comparison of all the kits. Interesting observation about the box art,  kinda of neat how 3 of the 4 have the same pose.

 

I look forward to seeing what you do with these.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The week after I joined this group build, I didn't get a chance to work on these kits because I was busy with work and trying to finish up this 1/72 Trumpeter Late Tiger. These pictures are just to show my lack of skills and the standard that these Ferdinands and Elefants will be build to. This Tiger was the first German armor I have ever painted that wasn't a monotone scheme! With the Ferdinands and Elefants, I need to be careful to not let the washes darken the camouflage this much. I really hate rubber tracks and other rubber detail pieces, and those were the bane of this Trumpeter kit. I'm so thankful that the Trumpeter Ferdinand has plastic link tracks!

 

ACtC-3dRp2aHCJM1Kd47N3ec4-THuRYOPJaFr4kW

 

ACtC-3erjLuH6Rz7RtKzLnJ0Xzh5z_lrdIkYlBH0

 

ACtC-3emqSUqqEmdSHFSPwQ2JYIAP7H0Akpb0H81

Edited by Quailane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

The following pictures are current as of a week ago. I have gotten more work done after these pictures and have finished the main bodies of all four tanks. I had lots of trouble uploading photos to Google since it is blocked in China.

 

These tanks basically had two versions. The first version is the Ferdinand. Later the surviving tanks were modified and a name change to Elefant roughly coincides with the modification. The modifications from the Ferdinand to the Elefant were:

1. Commander's hatch upgraded to a cuppola with periscopes.

2. Machine gun added at the front of the hull.

3. Engine grates were made larger and stronger to protect against ricochets.

4. Tools were moved from the front and sides of the tank to the rear where they were less likely to be damaged in combat.

 

All of these kits have pros and cons. Let's talk about them one by one:

 

Dragon: Maybe I'm a glutton for punishment? The Dragon kit has undergone several changes since it was first released. The original version was maligned by reviewers for inaccuracies and poor detail. This is not the same kit. There are so many new parts added, that it is basically a new kit, but you still get the old pieces as well. There are the pieces to accurately make either a Ferdinand or Elefant. Everything about the new parts is better except for the holes in the bottom of the tank to screw it together and mount it to a display base for the pre-assembled versions. This means that the kit has lots and lots of extra parts and it can be a bit confusing about which to use. I knew this would be a problem, but it is much worse than I imagined when I first took a look at this kit. The directions that came with this tank are garbage and must be thrown away. Really, no joke. The directions show the older version of the chassis and superstructure which have a few assembly differences to the newer parts that ship in this kit, and the directions tell you to use a lot of the older parts instead of the newer ones. It is very confusing. Luckily on Scalemates I found the instructions to previous releases and it helped cut through a lot of the confusion. It was really a chore to figure out the best way to make this tank. I still messed up and have the engine cover for the Ferdinand even though I'm building it as an Elefant. Maybe I can pry it off, and maybe I can't. The front armor plate on the casemate doesn't fit well, as you can see in the pictures below. Besides including all the parts to build either the Ferdinand or Elefant, a big plus to this kit is the ability to model all of the hatches either open or closed.

 

Italeri: This kit is very old, predating the Trumpeter and Dragon kits by nearly 30 years. It has poorer accuracy and detail than the other kits. The Italeri is the only kit besides Zvezda to get the spiky bolt detail accurate. It goes together very easily besides the lower chassis and fenders. The tank builds quickly and has the fewest parts. Luckily because there are spare parts on the Dragon and Trumpeter kits, these can be used to improve the level of detail. A few other small modifications can make the tank better as well, such as moving the position of the headlights to be more accurate. This kit can only build the Elefant and not the Ferdinand unless you modify it with parts from other kits. The big bonus is that it includes a crew figure and a front and rear interior! Unfortunately the hatches are all sealed up. A big weakness of this kit is the gun. It is mounted in an entirely fictitious way in the interior and not in a big ball mount. This makes the gun a bit recessed into the tank. The armor plate mounted on the gun is a bit inaccurate too. The gun barrel itself is the worst among the kits. The engine grates are the correct type for the Elefant, but are too large. The driver also lacks a periscope. You can see that I already added a hatch from the Dragon kit to help improve the detail. 

 

Zvezda: The crisp detail, fit and accuracy of this kit makes it a pleasure to build, until you get to the casemate. Just as I worried, it is a pain to get it to fit together properly. I don't think that Zvezda had multi-part mold technology, so the only way to make the casemate with the level of accurate detail that they included was to make it five separate plates that you press onto a frame. This way of assembly works perfectly on the lower hull. It is so satisfying to press ever hard together and just have it fit perfectly with no fuss. The frame supporting the casemate is very weak and bends easily, the pins fit very hard into the five panels, and you can push the panels until the pins bottom out like you can with the lower hull parts. I could do a better job with it if I tried a second time. Other than this, the kit is just superb. Best fit, accuracy, and detail. The gun is fully articulated and can move up, down, left, and right, the only kit able to do this. Besides the casemate construction, so far the only downside is that the kit can only build the Ferdinand version and not the Elefant.

 

Trumpeter: This kit goes together OK. Not bad but not great either. There is a huge annoying gap between the casemate and engine deck. Acurracy-wise, it is at the same level as Dragon, but the plus side is that the directions are accurate, and it comes with the correct parts for the version on the box and not the parts for the other version. Most parts are the same between the Ferdinand and Elefant, but there is a separate sprue for the different parts and the tracks are apparently different between the Ferdinand and Elefant kits. Another plus versus the dragon is that Trumpeter got the kit right the first time. The molding is a little bit cleaner and crisper than the Dragon too. The Trumpeter and Italeri tanks are the only ones to have the casemate come as one single piece. Trumpeter has the nest looking gun barrel, so I'll use this kit to make a Ferdinand as it came off the assembly line before the armor plate was introduced to the gun barrel. One last thing to note is that the Trumpeter lacks any steel plate pattern on the fenders, which even Italeri attempts, but to be fair, the steel plate pattern is so faint that it will probably disappear under any paint.

 

Left to right: Dragon, Italeri, Zezda, Trumpeter. In these pictures the Italeri sits a tiny bit higher because the suspension is already molded onto the sides of the lower hull.

ACtC-3cr84r5bEBInDVwCZUliRvK-7gXv2v-McbL

 

Front to rear: Trumpeter, Zezda, Italeri, Dragon

ACtC-3dMy4xTv3SAuhmYkHysmWn5lvZXkm2P8ekn

 

Left to right: Trumpeter, Zezda, Italeri, Dragon

ACtC-3f96pZP6W_jzzJYUpT2Zl5kp3rYUS3RWByW

 

Front to rear: Dragon, Italeri, Zezda, Trumpeter

ACtC-3eG0phiM02JmseciSjLMPMU7UmxVDtlY03a

Edited by Quailane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately it is difficult for me to host the pictures and I don't have a lot of free time on the computer these days, so I have to do three updates at once. I got the four hulls ready for priming. I added some bits to the Italeri kit to bring it up to par. I just used spare pieces from the Dragon and Trumpeter kits. This includes the top hatch, gun mantlet, and lifting hooks. I also added the reinforcement plates between the hull and casemate. I ripped the casemate off to remove the original mounting for the cannon. I used superglue to hold it in place sticking out a bit further that it does if built OOB:

ACtC-3c7HUmIa2Ay5ztCL-TNleEPuP3_NalUFvR9

 

One thing I tried to fix on the Italeri which was in error was the headlights. I fixed the mounting location to be more accurate. Unfortunately later I realized that the Ferdinand had the headlights while the Elephant, which the Italeri represents, had them removed:

ACtC-3ePjGVeaOP5VJIdYhrxq4TBEbWVEpEmUyEd

 

I drilled out the gun barrel of the Italeri. I divided 88mm by 72 to figure out that I should use a 1.2mm drill bit:

ACtC-3enIuQHhgjTHEWwqtYlxWcrV53u9ehM_pxU

 

I also drilled out the gun barrel of the Zvezda. Unfortunately I was too enthusiastic and drilled it too far. The barrel became too thin and snapped later after I was applying pressure to install it. I glued it back together but you can see where it snapped off:

ACtC-3e8goVmAhyouIXeq0yL_y2dCVG2bq1lwniU

 

The Dragon and Trumpeter barrels don't need drilling out, but I have to say that the Dragon gun barrel is the worst one after I drilled out the Zvezda and Italeri ones. The Trumpeter is pretty good as-is, but maybe could have been improved by drilling it. The Dragon is too small and would look weird if it were drilled out to the correct scale size.

 

The Dragon is an Elephant, and all Elephants carried zimmerit. I put some Tamiya limonene cement on the outside and used a knife to scratch the zimmerit into the surface. It was my first attempt at this technique. It didn't turn out so well, but it looks a lot more like zimmerit than just leaving the tank as-is:

ACtC-3c84qZ-Vpz0wsnIdIaaU2-mdMphb1LOlRgC

 

After doing the Dragon zimmerit, I was way too lazy to try again on the Italeri. The Dragon had already taken me 2.5 hours. One more thing about the Dragon is that I was able to sway out the engine bay cover for the one in the kit with the correct grills. I know I didn't add anything about the Trumpeter kit. It just was so easy and required zero modifications. Also if you look closely you can see that I played musical chairs with the gun travel locks to depict the tanks in the way that I wanted. It took looking through a lot of old pictures to figure out how it was attached and used, to try to get it to look right on the models.

Edited by Quailane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All of the tanks were primed. You can see them in the same order I posted them before. From left to right, Dragon, Italeri, Zvezda, and Trumpeter:

ACtC-3diYNliGmJHqZZ5RwyxzVfcsF97kw-qkS2n

 

Left to right, Trumpeter, Zezda, Italeri, and Dragon:

ACtC-3e_UsSLke3l4r90fhlzi-5K_KFWtSZ0_RSg

 

The "zimmerit" on the Dragon doesn't look too hideous:

ACtC-3cyg0qzMdrLc0pu0x4Dq_-YcSLLo8zTsr4g

 

ACtC-3dFbNjY3H2SNV0daMnY8r_Xpel_Uh59-Rko

 

Tonight I spent some time putting on the first coat of Dunkelgelb 1943 on all four tanks. Left to right, Dragon, Italeri, Zvezda, and Trumpeter:

ACtC-3cmmxdFfwDX83kAZYjr_P3RBoS0_FBFIR6h

 

ACtC-3cBX_04x7AEXpfuSiRel20HjtL1JSvyZJxB

 

I also primed and painted the wheels:

ACtC-3fyExGl7NuQgWuWjBIGavOh01DxbBQobc6B

 

Italeri on the left, Trumpeter at the top, Dragon at the right, and Zezda at the bottom. It's hard for me to tell which will be easiest to complete and look best on the model:

ACtC-3d1uwPgOC6rgkwKD0B0Zn7Cxz9bVas2LlOP

 

In the pictures I've seen, the tracks look black with shiny parts that come in contact with the ground. I primed them all black and painted the raised parts with steel or iron Citadel paint. The Italeri tracks are molded in metalic gray plastic, so I sanded the black primer off instead of painting the steel. Maybe I'd better paint the steel on them too! From left to right: Dragon, Zvezda, Italeri, and Trumpeter. I bought a new Trumpeter Elephant kit just to look at the tracks. They look very similar to the Ferdinand tracks pictured here, but have a slightly different pattern. All of these kits have the Ferdinand pattern tracks, and not the Elephant tracks! I haven't measured any of the tracks, but the Elephant tracks are a tiny bit wider than Ferdinand tracks.The only one that looks odd here are the Italeri tracks, being obviously too narrow, but maybe they are narrower tracks for transportation? I don't know if the Porsche Tiger ever had that option like the normal Tigers did.

ACtC-3c25b-VEBF0Cl4ttBWN4shHUTWb0_quP-zy

Edited by Quailane

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...