The Entwicklung series, more commonly known as the E- series, was a late-World War II attempt by Germany to produce a standardised series of tank designs. There were to be standard designs in six different weight classes, from which several specialised variants were to be developed. This was necessitated by the extremely complex tank designs that had resulted in poor production rates and mechanical unreliability.

The E-series designs were simpler and more efficient than their predecessors, however they did not represent a significant technological leap forward compared to earlier efforts. Nonetheless the Entwicklung series tanks were still ahead of contemporary Allied designs such as the British Comet and Soviet IS-2 tank, especially when it came to armour and armament, the E-75 & E-100 both being significantly better armed & armoured than any Allied design from the same period.

The E-100 was the heaviest vehicle in the Entwicklungsfahrzeug series. Prior to the design being proposed, Krupps suggestion for a Panzerkampfwagen “Löwe” (with a weihgt on about 70-90 t.) had been turned down. Krupp became aware of Porsches design for the Panzerlampfwagen “Maus” (at that time known as the Typ 205), as they were contracted to deliver the turret to the vehicle.

In 1942-11, Krupp suggested a 155 t. Panzer (as oposed to the 188 t. of the Maus), with the same turret as the Maus. Later, on 1942-12-18, Krupp sugested another vehicle. This used many of the same components as the Tiger, as well as the turret of the Maus – hence, Tiger-Maus. This vehicle was, however, 25 tons lighter; 130 t. This was done by using thinner armour, narrowing the vehicle, as well as shortening the entire vehicle with 88 cm.

Despite the vehicles advantages to the Maus, which can be seen by comparing the Maus technical data table to that of the E-100, Hitler decided to go ahead with the Maus on 1943-01-03. There is no apparent explanation to this, but possibly, Hitler did not like that Krupp designed a vehicle by themselves when another company already had the contract. Although Hitler favoured the Maus, Oberbaurat Kniepkamp obtained permission from Waffenprüfung 6 to go ahead with the Tiger-Maus, under the name of E-100, as a part of the Entwicklungfahrzuege series. It is at this occation that the name changes from Panzerkampfwagen Tiger-Maus to E-100. There were some modifications to the original design, such as mounting a double external coil spring suspension. The Maus turret was still to be used.

The company Adler was chosen to design the vehicle – a company with no experience what-so-ever in the field of heavy vehicles. Their work began by the end of 1943, and they did not comple the hull until 1944-05. By then, however, the Maus series had been cancelled, and there were no turret to be fitted on the hull. Therefore, it was left at the factory near Paderborn, where it was found in 1945.

As far as this Dragon kit is concerned,it have very little flash, and an incredibly tight fit between the parts.The hull is made up of several pieces instead of the single casting and the details so superb as to be almost unreal, especially the turret. Figures of  SS support troops are included with the tank .

Unusually, there are very few parts to this kit, unless you add in the link and length tracks. It would have been nice to have turned barrels for the main guns rather than the two piece plastic type, but with a bit of putty  and sanding  they turned out quite nicely.The metal etching is very well done, and with some cleanup. The tracks were that of the individual type,and went together very nicely,and draped around the spoked driving wheel with no problem. Quite a lot of the detail that is well done is covered up by armor or covers, which is somewhat sad, though it does open up the door for a number of after market items.

I used Testors Model Master Enamels and MiG Pigments,with a very light almost translucent.Overall I am satisfied with the result,despite the fact I did not use the night vision Uhu style light amplification gear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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