Easy Model 1:72 - Sturer Emil

Sturer Emil ~

~ Series code: 89005 ~

One of the most peculiar and interesting German armoured vehicles of the Second World War, the 12,8cm Selbstfahrlafette auf VK30.01(H) - which we all know and love as "Sturer Emil", due to frequent breakdowns - certainly represents a great addition to anyone's model collection. Let's see what Trumpeter Easy Model has to offer.

~ Some History ~
As the Second World War was about to cast its shadow upon Europe, the German Army High Command (OKH) started taking a serious interest into heavy and super-heavy bunker-buster artillery pieces; mainly due to the obstacle posed by the Maginot Line: a series of concrete fortifications and weapon installations that France had constructed on its border with Switzerland, Luxembourg and, particularly, Germany.
This interest eventually led to the development of some among the most peculiar and impressive weapon systems ever used, including the famous Krupp 28cm KE(E) railway gun, the massive 80cm K(E) Schwerer Gustav and the self-propelled 60cm siege mortar Karl Gerät. However, it also led to the development of AFVs designed to crack open fortications and bunker while remaining out of range of counterbattery fire; these were the Dicker Max and, more particularly, the Sturer Emil.

As a result, contracts were made with both Henschel and Rheinmetall; for two chassis and two guns respectively.
Henschel decided to use the hulls of the cancelled VK30.01(H), a prototype version of the heavy tank which would later develop into the Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger. the chassis was extended by about 2 meters in order to make room for the massive main gun that Rheinmetall had come up with: the 12,8cm K L/61, derived from 12,8cm FlaK 40 AA gun.
The resulting vehicle was subsequently designated as "12,8cm Selbstfahrlafette auf VK30.01(H)", or, as Sturer Emil, as we all know and love.
Sturer Emil right after being built. The massive muzzle brake needed to reduce the 12,8cm's recoil has not been fitted to the gun yet.
Due to France's unexpected quick defeat, the Sturer Emil met the same fate as all the other weapon systems that had been designed and intended to level the fortifications of the Maginot Line: the only two experimental vehicles built, named "Max" and "Moritz" were sent to the Eastern Front for evaluation purposes as long-range tank destroyers.
The vehicles performed generally well and, despite frequent breakdowns, the Sturer Emil was generally liked by its crew; particularly because of the gun's impressive firepower: during an engagement with a KV, "Moritz" managed to destroy the Soviet heavy tank from the remarkable distance of a mile. Considering the fact KV tanks were highly feared by German armoured units because of their thick armour - and could therefore only be engaged at extremely close ranges - it's plain to see why this was considered quite a feat for the time.

Despite the positive reports, the Sturer Emil never entered mass production: it was ultimately deemed that lightly-armoured vehicles carrying large-caliber guns should have their main armament fitted in a rotatable turret and made more flexible; also, it was requested that the main gun could be dismounted from the vehicle. This concept eventually led to the Waffenträger series of vehicles.

Both vehicles served with the Panzerjäger-Abteilung 521 and met their fate during the furious fightings that took place during the Battle of Stalingrad - it should be noted that the Soviet armoured units operating in this area, as confirmed by several personal diary entries, highly feared the presence of these two heavy anti-tank weapons, blaming the failure of several counterattacks by Soviet mechanized forces on them.
Captured Sturer Emil being paraded in Moscow.
One of the vehicles was destroyed, the other, exhibiting 22 confirmed kill marks on the gun barrel, was captured, brought back for evaluation, paraded in Moscow alongside several other captured German AFVs and, finally, ending up in Kubinka, where it sits proudly to this very day.

~ Model Review ~
The model itself is made of plastic: there are no diecast or PE parts. which is the standard on Trumpeter Easy Model series. These models are very cheap, and an alternative to kits or more expensive pre-assembled models from other manufacturers.
Whereas this is particularly noticeable on several models from Trumpeter, the model quality lacking quite considerably in certain cases, it seems not to be the case for the Easy Model's Sturer Emil.

Details are, overall, quite nice indeed, particularly the overlapping roadwheels; whereas the remaining ones are molded to a good standard: accessories and tools, as well as several details inside the fighting compartment, such as the gunner's periscopic sight, add a realistic touch to the model.

The vehicle is also brought alive by some light weathering, particularly on the superstructure's sides and on the gun mantlet.
The model is painted in a standard German grey factory paint and exhibits a simple white Balkenkreuz along with the insignia of the Panzerjäger-Abteilung 521.

The model does come fully assembled and ready for exposition. However, it doesn't come with any display cases - I used a Panzerstahl 1:72 15cm x 7cm x 7cm display case for mine.
The impressive 12,8cm K L/61 gun doesn't have any traverse, elevation or depression: it's firmly fixed in place.

~ Final Thoughts ~
The model is, overall, one of the best one from Trumpeter Easy Model. Quality isn't generally, and surely, their best feature: they are meant to be a cheap solution to other, more expensive alternatives. 
However, this particular model actually holds its ground and does have a variety of well-molded details: the model does feel realistic, not toyish, and appealing. Also, there are very limited choices when it come to Sturer Emil models; so, this model is definitely alright by me

Model Quality: 


Price/Quality Ratio:

Accessories (display case et cetera):

Copying/Using any part of this review anywhere else is strictly forbidden, unless my proper authorisation is given. Please, contact me in the case.
@2016 Altank

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