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Zvezda Elefant

Review of the 1/35 scale simple and straightforward armor kit
RELATED TOPICS: ARMOR
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Just as the German army updated the Ferdinand tank destroyer based on experiences from the Battle of Kursk, Zvezda has updated its 1/35 scale Ferdinand to produce the Elefant. New in this kit are a bow machine gun, commander’s cupola, and Zimmerit provided here as decals. Other kit features include clear vision blocks: a one-piece gun barrel; posable hatches; link-and-length tracks; and markings for two vehicles.

The chassis builds from several parts. Gaps showed up at each side of the upper transmission piece, but the fenders covered them. The road wheels come in two styles, so be careful to get the correct ones in the right places. I painted and weathered the lower hull along with the road wheels.

Each track run came up about half a link short and the drive and idler sprockets are locked in place with pins so the fits can’t be adjusted to compensate. I suggest removing the locator pins from the rear sprockets and leaving them loose until the tracks are fitted.

Instructions indicate applying the Zimmerit decal at this time before painting. The relief of the 3D decals was apparent on the sheet, but it relaxed after being applied to the model and are hard to see. I also had trouble with the sections lifting after painting; applying them to primed plastic might alleviate that problem.

I added the hull top next and installed the engine grilles. Separate posable hatches for the driver and bow gunner make it easy to add aftermarket figures. The clear plastic periscopes resisted paint.

I assembled the main gun breech and attached it to the casemate, which is made up of six plates that fit well. Periscopes and their hatches, and the commander’s cupola, came next. Note: If you pose the periscope hatches closed, omit the clear parts.

The main gun consists of a solid barrel and a three-part muzzle brake. Optional parts allow for the gun to be posed in the travel lock or ready for battle.

After painting with Tamiya acrylics and weathering supplies, I added decals for an Elefant in Rome in summer 1944. The other marking option is a vehicle captured by the Allies in Italy in July 1944.

I spent 31 hours building my Elefant. If you are looking for an easy Elefant, especially for a diorama, Zvezda’s kit would be a good choice.


Note: A version of this review appeared in the October 2019 issue.

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