One area of armour that the German Army pursued in the Second World War, was the so called Self Propelled gun, a large calibre cannon mounted to a tracked chassis with a limited traverse, due to the intended use being to engage enemy tanks from a hidden position at long ranges. This tank destroyer was built on the VK3301 chassis which was the basis for the Tiger tank. The main gun was a 12.8cm L/61 anti-tank weapon. To put this into perspective, 8,8cm was the caliber for the Tiger’s main gun and for the family of Flak and anti-tank weapons that literally devastated US and allied armor. The gun on the Sturer Emil was nearly 50% larger in caliber! From another perspective, the main gun on today’s M1A1/M1A2 Abrams and Leopard II tanks is ‘only’ 12.0cm. This was a big gun and would have likely devastated the T-34s had the Sturer Emil had been produced in any numbers. Only two prototypes were built, both were sent into action on the Eastern Front, one of which was subsequently captured by Soviet forces. Trumpeter has released the ‘Sturer Emil’ in 1/35 scale. Molded in light gray styrene, the kit consists of 245 parts on five parts trees plus the upper and lower hulls and armor gun shield. The tracks are the standard ‘rubber’ track molded in black. interior is very well supplied coming with very nice looking ammo racks holding the separate shells and cases. You get a wide range of personal gear attached to the interior sides such as MP40s in the mounting frames, handgrenades, gas mask containers, MP40 mag pouches, canteens, and a very nice radio. As well as ten shells mounted in the racks you get four individual shells, four individual cases and one assembled complete round. It is good to see mainstream kits of lesser known vehicles, with this kit having nicely detailed parts with details on both sides of major parts reminiscent of the detail in Trumpeter’s Karl with very well detailed main gun and should build into an impressive model. Modelers of German armor and self propelled guns in particular will enjoy this big gun on their shelf. I had no problem whatsover with this kit,and the interior is a treasure and the detail on the massive gun is very impressive. You can add so much inside because of the huge area. The vinyl tracks did not need any clean up and fitted like a glove,just like the main panels. I used Model Master enamels,and weathered with MIG washes and pigments. I recommend this kit highly.

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