In December of ’44 as part of the Nazi Ardennes Offensive, more commonly known as the Battle of the Bulge, there was to be an embedded Panzer Brigade created that was to wreak havoc in the Allied lines and secure important bridges over the river Meuse before the Allied forces could destroy them all part of Operation Grief..
This unit was known as Panzer Brigade 150. This unit would be attacking behind the forward units; 1. SS-Panzer-Division, 12. SS-Panzer-Division and 12. Volks-Grenadier-Division. Panzer Brigade 150 was to be well equipped with 3300 men split into three battalions with support from captured allied armor and equipment as well as modified German armor made to look like the allied forces.
The Brigade turned out to not be equipped with the forces that were planned. The infantry was cut down by almost a 1/3 and there would be only 10 modified tanks; 5 Panther G tanks and 5 Sturmgeschütz III. Other equipment would be smaller captured allied equipment and German armor and artillery painted green in an effort to deceive the allied forces.
The Ersatz M10 would be made up using the Pz.Kpfw V Panther Ausf.G as the base frame to mimic the US’s M10 3 inch gun motor carriage based on the M4 Sherman chassis. Sheet metal was fashioned to the turret giving the Ersatz M10 a very convincing look. The commander’s cupola was removed and sheet metal placed in its place, the Panther’s glascious plate was modified with a false bow and the mantlet was altered. The equipment was then painted with the allied attack stars and there was at least two of the turrets of the 5 German M10’s painted with just the star and no circle around it.
Due to the limited size of the brigade the objective of the bridge captures was abandoned and the brigade was ordered to capture the town of Malmedy. The results were disastrous, to say the least for Panzer Brigade 150. Losing all of their heavy armor and around 450 men the unit was forced to retreat and subsequently disbanded.
has supplied another addition to their 1/72nd Scale Armor Pro Series with the Ersatz M10. These newer braille scale kits are becoming more highly detailed boxes of fun. This kit is packaged in the standard pop off top box with an artist’s rendition of the B7 Ersatz M10. There is 85 parts contained in this kit, less the Dragon
DS tracks and decals. Out of the 85 parts, 65 parts are actually used to construct this tank.
- 1 – Lower hull section molded in light grey styrene
- 3 – Sprue trees containing 62 parts molded in light grey styrene
- 2 – Dragon DS Tracks
- 1 – Decal sheet
- 1 – Set of instructions
At first glance this is up to Dragon’s
normal standards with the molds. The lower hull with the swing arm suspension molded in place is crisply cast with no flash. For this scale this part is nicely detailed.
The wheels are straight forward Panther road wheel layout. The sprockets, idler and road wheels are molded with all the detail of its 1/35th scale counterpart with raised bolt patterns and center cap features.
The upper hull section is laid out nicely with plenty of details on the engine deck. The fine screening for the intake vents is void from the cast for the obvious reason of being too small and delicate to mold. With a dry fit, I notice the front plate is a tad loose meeting the lower hull but would be and easy correction once glued in place using some filler and a quick sanding.
The turret is another fine mold. The faux M10 add-on plates are modeled to the turret already. There is a slight bit of flash along the side plates but will clean up easily with a quick sanding. There are three lift rings on top of the Panther turret on at least two of the 5 modified tanks as well as two large rings located on the forward section of the side plates and glacious plate. These molds made the attempt at these rings; however they are solid, half-moon shapes. My suggestion would be to carefully remove these three pieces and scratch-build the rings out of small gauge wire to give the appropriate appearance. The instructions call for part C6 to be installed at the rear of the plates as a support like seen on the original tanks. At best this will be difficult to remove from the sprue tree and clean up. I would suggest using a small piece of tubing or wire to simulate.
supplies the Panther G rear plate with the exhaust installed to be used under the rear plating. The exhaust is not hollowed out. Drilling these out would be one option. The second option is to remove the two top sections of the exhaust tubing just above the top bracket and use one of the extra parts supplied on sprue A. There actually 5 different muffler and pipe sets included with this kit. Simply take the top pipe sections off of parts A11 (X2) and glue onto the rear plate to replace what you removed.
The barrel is a one-piece slide mold with one attachment point on the side of the barrel itself. The muzzle brake is hollowed out for the vents but is not molded with an opening into the barrel. A quick, careful drilling would solve this issue.
The tracks are Dragon’s
standard DS set. They may need to be modified by stretching or cutting to fit accordingly.
The instructions are laid out with a standard black and white photo, exploded view of the construction. There are only five parts to the construction of this kit; installation of the road wheels, upper hull and rear plate, lower turret mount and barrel, exterior turret parts and finally turret to hull installation and the addition of the spare tracks on the side plates. The last page of the instructions shows the layout for two configurations of the Ersatz M10, both from the 150 Pz.Brig. in the Ardennes for 1944. One option is for representing the Ersatz labeled as B7 and the other for B4. B7 had a forward painted US attack star on the glacious plate and the star with no circle on the turret while the B4 tank had the circled attack stars painted on both sides of the turret, on top of the turret as well as on the glacious plate
has hit the mark with the newer 1:72 Armor Pro series. Clean molds with loads of detail for the scale have become standards of this series and the Ersatz M10 is just one more great little model. There is a tiny bit of scratch work alterations that may be needed by some but is not needed to build up a decent model rendition of these late war behemoths. The low part count and lack of excessively overcomplicated part constructions make this kit a plus in my book!
A build of this model by the reviewer can be found via the link below.
Dragon 1/72 Ersatz M10 Build