1:72 Jagdpanzer E-25/88 (early) a.k.a. SdKfz. 310/2 ‘Dachs’, vehicle ‘136’ of the Schwere Panzer Abteilung 654; The Seven Mountains region near Bonn, Western Germany, summer 1945 (Whif/Kitbashing) - WiP
The kit and its assembly:
It does not look spectacular, but this compact tank hunter is a major kitbashing, inspired by - but not necessarily an exact model of - the real but unrealized German E-25 Jagdpanzer project.
Things started with a leftover chassis from a Trumpeter "Sturer Emil" SPG with an early interleaf suspension design and a relatively long hull. I wanted to save it and incorporate it into a Heer '46 design, and soon the idea of a Jagdpanzer IV successor was born. Selling it as an E-25 design and incorporating a bigger gun was a logical step.
The build was very pragmatic. The lower hull with the wheel attachments was taken OOB, but it was shortened by 5mm. This was achieved by simply taking away a plug behind the last road wheel and in front of the sprocket wheel, which was moved from the front to the rear end. While this sounds simple, the attachment points’ different diameters and the need for a sturdy construction (due to the kit’s vinyl tracks) posed quite a challenge. In the wake of this modification, the track’s support wheels were deleted, too, for the E-25’s simplified “slack track” layout. The tracks were shortened accordingly, and mounted/fixed with super glue (as one of the final steps after painting).
The upper hull comes basically from an Armorfast Jagdpanther, after several trials with a Jagdpanzer IV, a Brummbär and even a potentially scratched casemate. The Jagdpanther hull was reduced in height, though, and also slightly shortened, so that the new tank would be more compact than a Jagdpanther and also differ in the silhouette.
In order to change the look even more, the “Saukopf” gun mantlet from a Jagdpanzer IV/70 was implanted (even though with an 8,8cm barrel), as well as the vehicle’s protective shields for the motor deck. Overall hull width was adapted to the Sturer Emil tracks through mudguards.
The machine gun turret was scratched, and some other details changed or added, including some periscopes, a Panzer IV commander cupola and some equipment pieces on the mudguards.