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A7V Sturmpanzer
1/72 Scale German WWI Tank

 

Emhar

 


Emhar's 1/72 scale A7V is available online from Squadron.com

 

S u m m a r y

Catalogue Number: EM5003
Scale: 1/72
Contents and Media: Each
Price: USD$9.96 from Squadron.com
Review Type: First Look
Advantages: Ultra-simple parts breakdown; crisp detail; four nice marking options; excellent fit; moving guns; minimal moulding flaws; plastic is pleasant and easy to work with.
Disadvantages: Location of some parts is vague; some detail (especially underneath) simplified or missing
Recommendation: Recommended

 

Reviewed by Brett Green

 

FirstLook

 

The recent resurgence of small scale armour kits has been appreciated by modellers and wargamers alike. As the range of 1/76 and 1/72 scale kits increase, it seems that the parts count of each model goes up correspondingly. It is not unusual to see a newly released 1/72 scale tank model, with link-and-length tracks and detailed suspension, comprising 200 parts or more.

 

 

While this is undoubtedly a good thing for detail, some modellers may be frustrated by hundreds of tiny parts.

Emhar's new 1/72 scale A7V Sturmpanzer will be warmly welcomed by these modellers. This kit will never be accused of being overly complicated. Two sprues contain just 30 parts in dark grey, injection moulded plastic.

 

 

Surface detail is very good. The panel lines for doors and armoured flaps are engraved, while other features such as rivets, hinges and vents are appropriately raised.

The first thing to grab my attention was the one-piece suspension and track units for each side. Although these are largely hidden by the superstructure Ehmar has done a good job with detailing the running gear, tracks and sprockets. The fact that they have achieved this on a single part is quite remarkable.

The lower hull is supplied as a single part, while the superstructure must be assembled from separate pieces. Each major piece is bevelled on the edge and the top to simplify alignment with its neighbors. The lower hull includes side sponsons which block off the interior of the superstructure. This is especially important as the top of the superstructure features large vents which are open to the interior. Any gaps in the lower hull would be visible from the top of the completed model if the sponsons were not blocked off.

The lower hull also has the centre section of (what I assume to be) the final drive moulded in place. Curiously, the short axles that should logically join the sprockets with this final drive are not supplied. The result is that the drive sprockets and idler wheels are miraculously suspended in mid air! Fortunately, this is only obvious if you are viewing the model from underneath.

The remaining pieces make up the machine guns, main gun and the box on top of the main superstructure.

Markings are supplied for four vehicles. These all include artwork or individual names. The colour schemes add more interest. They all include a large mottled finish over a base green colour.

Instructions are called out over eight construction steps. Diagrams are used exclusively. A few notes might have been helpful.

 

 

Construction

 

I liked the look of this kit and, considering its simplicity, I decided to build it straight away.

The plastic was very pleasant to work with and easy to clean up. With the major parts removed from the sprues, I had some trouble figuring out which side was which for the suspension units. My second problem (and, as it turns out, my last problem) was working out the exact positioning of the suspension units on the lower hull. I eventually decided to centre them on the hull. This worked out okay.

 

 

I deviated from the suggested construction sequence and added the machine guns to the superstructure parts before they were glued to the hull. Although the instructions do not mention it, the six machine guns can remain workable by simply snapping them into their mounts, and snapping the mounts into the holes in the superstructure. The mounting method is quite secure - there is minimal risk of pushing the guns back into the sealed vehicle after the model is finished.

With the weaponry in place I added the front and rear superstructure walls, followed by one sidewall. I added the sidewall before the cement had dried on the end pieces so that I could adjust the alignment. The second sidewall was installed, and the superstructure edges were taped with Tamiya masking tape.

 

 

While I was waiting for this main assembly to set, I constructed the armoured box on top of the superstructure. The edges of these parts were bevelled too, and the sub-assembly was quickly finished.

The last major part was the superstructure roof. I thinned down the inside edges of the roof at the front and rear, just in case. After dry-fitting, I applied glue and pressed the piece in place.

 

 

The fit of all the superstructure parts was close to perfect. I only needed to add a few spots of Mr Surfacer to address some tiny gaps that I had missed.

 

 

Conclusion

 

The A7V was an important step in the evolution of the armoured fighting vehicle. It is nice to see it available in this scale. It was a big vehicle and is a decent sized model at around 4" long even in this scale. In fact, it is not much smaller than the Tristar Panzer I Ausf. A that I built last month.

 

 

Emhar has managed to produce a nicely detailed kit with an impressively small number of parts. The suspension is especially simple. Not only that, the fit of the parts is excellent, although you might have to juggle with the superstructure parts somewhat.

The total time for construction was less than two hours. I look forward to painting this beastie on the weekend!

Recommended.

Thanks to Squadron.com for the review sample.


Model, Review and Images Copyright 2002 by Brett Green
Page Created 09 October, 2002
Last updated 22 July, 2003

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