I started this kit way before the Panther A. Tamiya kits are famous for their engineering and the Elefant is not an exception. As a tank destroyer I like the heavy-look of the design and the lack of a turrent seem to simplify construction which I thought could be a good beginner armor kit to start out with.
The kit did not disappoint, and the main trouble I had in construction is the link-and-length track. Since I wanted to keep it off as much as I can, I left the track into top and bottom assemblies. The length of these subassemblies created stress on the mated surfaces and therefore they fell apart quite a bit. I’m not sure what I’d do in the future to alleviate that.
The kit gives you 3 figures which is quite nice, and the recent Tamiya figure are definitely quite high in quality. However their headphones are a major issue and I’ve already gotten a number of heads with headphones so that I don’t have to deal with this. The driver is very much buried in the compartment so only his eyes poked through a bit.
Although Tamiya provides an inexpensive Zimmerit decal sheet, people have issues with their shallowness and a major flaw in its design. There should be openings in the zimmerit to allow certain raised areas to show through, but they didn’t and created a lot of work. I chose the better rendered ATAK zimmerit instead and they were great to work with. I wish I chipped the zimmerit but because this was one of my earlier works I didn’t realize it until the whole thing was painted and weathered. So next time. The ATAK set included resin pieces for some of the more complex areas such as the front circular patterns that are not going to work with surface add-ons.
The antenna is as usual from RB Model, and I saw a lot of vehicles had make-shift camo with tree branches using Woodland scenic’s tree sets and garden moss.
I’m still working out a system for vignette base and this time I used Elmer foam boards with Sculptamold on top. There was warping still, and I ended up putting the base into a Walmart shadowbox frame.
The Elefant always look as if it couldn’t hold the 88mm gun, so I decided to put it in the travel locked position. When I built this kit I was following the Tamiya’s suggestions for the German camo and found it not very accurate as the 3 colors had more saturation than desired. Filters toned it down a bit but had I used Dunkelgelb and friends I’d have had a more satisfying rendition.