|Scott Van Aken
The 12.8 cm Selbstfahrlafette auf VK 30.01(H) "Sturer Emil" (German for "Stubborn Emil"), also called Panzer Selbstfahrlafette V (Pz.Sfl. V), was an experimental World War II German self-propelled anti-tank gun. It was based on the Henschel VK 30.01 (H) chassis and armed with a Rheinmetall 12.8 cm Kanone 40 L/61 gun (based on the 12.8 cm FlaK 40). This gun could traverse 7° to each side, elevate 10° and depress -15°. It carried 15 rounds for the main gun.
The hulls were left over from Henschel's submission for the canceled VK 30.01 heavy tank program - development of a 30-tonne tank which led to the Tiger -, but the hull was stretched and an extra road wheel added to its overlapped and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk roadwheel-based suspension system, to accommodate the large gun, which was mounted on a pedestal ahead of the engine. A large, open-topped fighting compartment, much like that fitted to the Panzer IV-based Hummel self-propelled 15 cm howitzer, was built where the turret was intended to go in the original design.
Two vehicles were built (and named after Max and Moritz, the storybook characters); both of which served on the Eastern Front. Max was destroyed in 1942, Moritz was captured at Stalingrad in January 1943, with 22 kill marks painted on the barrel. This captured vehicle is now displayed in the collection on the Kubinka Tank Museum.
Trumpeter's kit is molded in dark grey plastic and has nice detail. The hull has the suspension molded in place to which you attach the considerable number of road wheels. Tracks for this kit are the 'rubber band' vinyl type. The upper hull is a single piece onto which you attach the various bits and pieces that make up the vehicle.
The gun is nicely detailed for this scale. You assemble the rear section that includes the breech and after the shield is attached, the barrel and mantlet is glued on. The shield is a single piece and there are quite a few items to attach to the inner walls. This includes ammunition holders, radios and the such. When this is attached, followed by the gun barrel, there are some small final bits to glue in place. In all, there are 110 parts, but a fair number of those are road wheels so this kit is not parts intensive as it would be were it a Dragon tooling.
Instructions are well done and provide clear drawings to show were everything goes. You can model either of the two panzerjaegers. They are in overall panzer grey with one of them having the kill markings on the barrel as shown on the box top.
In all, it should make for a nice model of this interesting experimental vehicle. One thing for sure, it will be one of the longest pieces in your collection.
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