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Minitanks #760 “Elefant” Review

Please note: The opinions expressed in our reviews are the views of the reviewer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the 1/87 Vehicle Club.

model critique by Jens O. Mehner

Some years ago Roco tried to reach new markets by introducing decorated models and apparently enjoyed some success, since they have added to the line up ever since. While previous models were pad-printed and did not have any modifications as compared to their undecorated brethren, this has changed with the introduction of the “Elefant”. Coming on the heels of their previously undecorated # 688, which allowed you to build either the early “Ferdinand” or the later “Elefant” version, this release comes with the Zimmerit coat so unique and distinctive of German tanks from fall 1943 to September 1944, and which has modellers everywhere pulling their hair, since it is a bear to get right in 1/87.

Enter Minitanks, or rather their ambitious Ukrainian partners, Komo- you not only get a superb Zimmerit coat, but also a professionally airbrushed paint coat in 5 different variants. OK, there are one or two minor nitpicks, like the Zimmerit covering the lower panel line of the rear hatch while missing from the bow MG port, but that is about it. The camouflage is flawless, and those tanks that have decals applied do not show any sign of silvering, the tracks have the manganese look of new vehicles, and with a light weathering, your new “Elefant” is ready for action.

The only other things I am not completely happy about with this release, besides the Zimmerit nitpicks mentioned above, are the unpainted eyes for the towing cable, since it makes paint matching a bit difficult for the novice or occasional armor modeller, and the jack that is not painted in the dunkelgelb base colour, but rather in a completely different shade, unlike the prototype- but since you have already mixed and matched the paint for the towing eyes, you can paint the jack in the same session.

Hopes are high for an undecorated version of this beast, but seeing as Minitanks have the basic unzimmerited model already in their program, your best bet is to get this decorated gem instead. I am usually not a fan of predecorated armor, but already bought another one of these and will probably get another one or two- highly recommended! My sincere thanks to Minitanks for providing one of the review samples and to my wallet for providing the other.

Jens O. Mehner