Tag Archive: German tank destroyer of World War II


Tamiya 1/35 German Tank Destroyer Marder III,Kit #35248

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Tamiya’s “Elefant” Tank Destroyer

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Nashorn is German for rhinoceros, pronounced Nahz-horn,was initially known as Hornisse,which is German for hornet, was a German tank destroyer of World War II. It was developed as an interim solution in 1942 by equipping a light turretless chassis with the Pak 43 heavy anti-tank gun. Though only lightly armoured and displaying a high profile, it could frontally penetrate any Allied tank at long range, and its relatively low cost and superior mobility to heavier vehicles ensured it remained in production until the war’s end.

The 8.8cm PaK43 was an outstanding weapon which was the result of a contract to develop a new 8.8cm anti-aircraft gun, awarded to Rheinmetall –Borsig and Krupp, to replace the Flak 37. One of the terms of the contract was that the weapon should be capable of firing in the ground role. The Rheinmetall –Borsig was successful in winning this
contract. The Krupp design lost out due increasing performance demands from the Luftwaffe, however it entered service as an anti-tank gun designated the Pak43 in 1943 and it is now regarded as the finest anti-tank gun of WW2. The Pak 43 was modified by fitting a horizontal sliding breech block, similar to the Pak 40 and the semi-automatic loading system of the Pak 43 was simplified. This simplified gun was designated the 8,8cm Pak43/41.
The chassis chosen for this project was the hybrid Panzer III/IV chassis which had been developed for the Hummel mounting the 15cm sFH18 Howitzer. This was a hull which was the same width as a Panzer III, but lengthened with the engine located in a central position, it utilised Panzer III and Panzer IV components in the drive train and running gear. For example the sprocket was of the type designed for the Panzer III because the transmission was also from the same vehicle, whereas the engine was from the Panzer IV.
They were produced from February 1943 to March 1945; the initial order was for a series of 500, of which 494 were completed before the end of the war.

The Nashorn has also been a very popular subject for scratch building and was Dragon’s first WWII kit,(‘39-‘45 Series No. 6001), back in late 1992.When putting this kit together, I can recall it was a challenge. Parts did not fit or line up, it was nearly impossible to get the tracks on, the fenders were too short for the hull, the gun sat too high, and many of the details were totally wrong. DML was likewise caught off guard by the bad review. In that period they did find that some of their draftsmen were not doing a good job and summarily fired them, replacing them with better researchers and competent ones. When they released their Hummel kit (No. 6004) they corrected many of the hull problems with the Nashorn kit, but it was still considered to be a bear to assemble correctly and to get all the parts to fit right. I built it straight out of the box, and this was my first “soft skin” kit,which added to the frustration. But as we know now, Dragon Kits evolved to become a true work of art.

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