Forces of Valor 1/72 Elephant

The Elefant was a heavy (Schwere) tank hunter (Panzerjager) built on a Porsche chassis.  It was originallly names the Ferdinand, after the designer, Ferdinand Porsche.  After some modifications, in particular the fitting of the machine gun for self-defence in the front plate, it was renamed the Elefant.

It was originally the chassis designed by Porsche as their entry for the competetive tender for the Tiger I, but they went ahead and built about 100 chassis in advance of any confirmed order.  When the order went to Henschel that meant these were left over.  So, to make use of them, they designed this heavy tank hunter which mounted the then new 88mm Pak 43/2 L/71 anti-tank gun.

Built in 1943, when they also went into serice, they suffered a number of losses on the Russian Front during the battle of Kursk.  The survivors were recalled as a result of the battle experience to have the machine gun fitted, along with a proper cupola for the commander, and the application of Zimmerit paste to add protection against enemy infantry.  It is this updated version, then re-named the Elefant, which we see prepresented in this model.  Two of the real thing are known to have survived, one in America at Fort Lee, VA (captured in Italy) while the other is in the Russian armour collection at Kubinka.  They saw action on the Eastern Front and in Italy, but this is a vehicle type that despite beeing used between 1943 and 1945, did not see action in North West Europe amidst the Normandy campaign.

The zimmerit, which was an anti-magnetic paste, was applied to the hull to prevent enemy infantry fixing magnetic anti-tank charges to it.  You get a good idea of the size of the real machines as it doesn't extend all the way up to the top of the superstructure as this was well above the height that most people could stretch up to fix the mine.

The model itself is not at all bad, with the zimmerit nicely represented.  The aerial has the rounded top for safety purposes if chlidren were to have ne of these, and save getting spiked on a sharp wire.  if you plan to keep it safe in a cabinet, then you could just snip that top loop off.

Forces of Valor 1/72 Elefant Forces of Valor 1/72 Elefant

See also the Forces of Valor website