The E-Serie program was conceived by Oberbaurat Kniekamp (Wa Pruef 6) in May 1942 and authorized as a project in April 1943. Contracts for the smallest Panzer in the Series, the E-10, were awarded to the Klockner-Humboldt-Deutz Magirus Werk in Ulm.
The E-10 was primalily developed as a Panzer Chassis to test components, especially engines, transmissions, and suspensions. Many parts were to be shared by E-10 and E-25. According to Oberst Holzhaeuer (Head of WaPruef 6) the reason for converting to rear drive was to compensate the heavy frontal armor.
A Magirus drawing shows the E-10 outfitted with the 7,5cm Pak 39 L/38. The type of weapon for series production was still unsettled in Jan. 1945 but was to be based on the most modern weapon available......
....Maybach was adding fuel injectors and improved cooling to create the HL 101 rated at 550 hp at 3800 rpm for series production. With this powerful engine, the E-10 was to be especially suitable for employment as a "Hetzer" (chaser) against the new fast enemy "Hellcat" tank.
Four large 1000mm diameter rubber cushioned steel tired road wheels were overlapped to reduce the track ground contact lenght to 2,55m wich, combined with the wheelbase of 2,46m provided an optimum steering ratio of 1,04.
The E-10 was unique in having an auxilliary drive coupled to the suspension in order to lower and raise the vehicle. Ground pressure was exceptionally low due to 400mm wide tracks.....
....According to Kniekamp in postwar interrogations, the drawings for the E-10 were completed in Summer of 1944 and contracts given to Magirus to complete three trial vehicles. The three hulls were made in Silesia (Schlesien), but were not finished when russian troops arrived.
The Cromwell Modell comes in cream coloured resin with a Jordi Rubio metal barrel. The cast quality is good but not perfect. Some air bubbles were found, but they are easy to repair. The track is a resin link and length type that had to be replaced by a Friul track i had in stock for a model with moveable suspension. Using a metal track means also using a different sprocket, because the resin sprocket was head some casting defects and the number of teeth did not match, so it was easier to replace it.
It took a while, until i found a way to make the suspension poseable. My first attempts were far too complicated, so i decided to keep it simple. I drilled holes into the hull for the axles. Then i drilled every suspension unit twice, once for the axle on the hull, one for the wheel axle. I decided to use two axles for every wheel to get the suspension stable. the hull axle would be stable, the wheel axle will be moving up and down through the hull. sounds complicated...but it is really simple. On the finised model, two "S" shaped hooks will hold the axles 2 and 4 on the hull floor when in raised position.
But then the track tension came into my mind. When moving the suspension up, the track will loosen and will look funny hanging down from the idler wheel.
So i coupled the Idler wheel with the first suspension unit using a U-shaped metal rod - when the suspension unit moves up, the idler wheel moves forward to compensate the track tension a little bit. The system works not perfect, but it is enough for the model.
When i started the model, i did not know exactly how the roof should look like....it is a paper panzer, all evidence probably long gone or lying in a shelve of a so called "collector" hidden forever. So i first made the facts by cutting the roof out and then figured out how my vehicle would be. The glacis visor was sanded off, engine cooling vents and ventilator were drilled out to be replaced by E-100 grills and a ventilator grill by a Leopard model.
The drivers rotating periscope was from a Tamiya Panther G hull, so are the hatches and the drivers 10 o´clock periscope. I installed a six visor cast cupola from a Panther F, the hull defense weapon also. The roof ventilator is from the omitted hull roof. The radial sliding cover for the gun sight was made from sheet styrene. Aber grills are used for the engine screens.
Why do the manufacturers make models with fixed guns? I do not know, but i do not like it. So I used the gun outer and inner mantlet from a Dragon Hetzer Kit (that will be used for the Berge Hetzer) and a big styrene tube, fixed with a vertical and horizontal axle. Now the gun is moveable and will be balanced a little bit.
The model is painted with my Triplex airbrush. The basic painting was done with Tamiya dark yellow. The camouflage is a wavy pattern of Tamiya nato green and Gunze chocolate brown.
Dust and dirt where sprayed with Tamiya flat earth and buff. I sprayed the markings with stencilit PE stencils.
The figure set from Paolo Parentes Dust build up very nice and show very good poses. Their equipment is shaped to fit to specific figures and fits very good. The weaponry looks interisting and cool. These figures are good to build and a more talented figure painter than i am can achieve stunning results
(C) 6/2006 Frank Forster