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REVIEW
Ersatz M10
CMOT
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 06:25 AM UTC
Todd Michalak takes a look at the Ersatz M10 in 1/72nd scale from Dragon''s Armor Pro Series.

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If you have comments or questions please post them here.

Thanks!
SHarjacek
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 07:07 AM UTC
Great review Todd!
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 07:40 AM UTC
I would have rated it lower. This is just another kit with all hatches moulded shut. This is a really cheap and lazy trend Dragon has gotten into in the last few releases. So now it's up to the individual modeler to cut, drill, file, and sand, and fabricate new hatches and hinges, etc., if he wants to put a commander figure in the hatch? And as for the radiator grills, didn't Dragon supply them with earlier Panther releases? Are times getting that tough that Dragon has to cut corners and costs? I find this very disappointing coming from Dragon!
TRM5150
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 08:13 AM UTC
Thanks Sven...glad you like it!

Thanks for the feedback B!! I can agree to a point with maybe the screens and as I would like to see removable hatches and such, I am still feeling for 1/72 scale this is a nice little kit for the money. These tens to be cheap weekend builds, start to finish IMHO. If I felt I was interested in hyper detailing a braille scale, the scratch-work probably wouldn't bother me too much. I suppose it is a preference call.

I did managed to crack the box last night and most of the assembly is actually done including removing the solid molded lift rings and replacing with wire. Couple hours and a bunch of FUN...what it's about. Couple small items and I will be good to go on some paint. I will start up a build thread and pop the finals here in the review for references only!

tread_geek
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Posted: Friday, May 17, 2013 - 09:03 AM UTC
No reflection on the review but extremely disappointing to see Dragon pawning off what is almost a war-gaming kit as a member of their Armor Pro series. Armor Pro was always renowned for giving you "everything, including the kitchen sink" in a kit. This offering sadly appears to be their "strategy" with quite a few of their more recent releases. A truly Armor Pro version of this kit in the past would have at least had the sheet metal plates provided with a PE equivalent, to say the least. Again, disappointing!

Thanks for the review Todd. At least with them the reader can make a smarter purchasing decision!

Cheers,
Jan
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Posted: Saturday, May 18, 2013 - 04:10 AM UTC
Thanks Jan! Thanks for your thoughts on this too. I will agree that they may have rushed the kit out and this is for the lack of PE Plating or maybe they are just suffering in some areas to the "cutting back" fate. Odd because I have the chance to work with a Pz.III no too long ago and it was a gem of a kit I thought.

I have made some minor alterations such as some lift ring modifications and whatnot. These tanks are a stripped down Panther G with a costume on..LOL!!



I am looking at laying some paint down at some point soon! Still pretty fun slapping this around!
tread_geek
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Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 04:31 AM UTC

Quoted Text

...or maybe they are just suffering in some areas to the "cutting back" fate.



Possibly the above but I have read on a few other sites that the prebuilt market in Asia is driving this drop in quality. The "simplification" in the kits is driven by Dragon's desire to simplify construction and thereby increase the productivity of their assemblers (ie- Fewer parts, faster build). At least from the one sprue picture of the running gear I can see that they at least "reused" it from their kit # 7205, the Early Panther G.

The newer Panzer III's, while not too bad when done, have many "shortcuts" that have lost detail when compared to Dragon's previous Stug. III's. They eliminated several detail parts on the engine deck alone on the III's, Including all the engine louvres (to name some) and just moulded them on. I guess that for many of us that have been into Braille Scale for a while, this turn of events is disheartening.

Glad your having fun with these kits and I'll be interested to see how this one progresses.

Cheers,
Jan
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Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 05:00 AM UTC
Thanks again Jan!

I can see more now how if you are into building 1/72 for your choice of poison in this modeling world, then the "simplification" of the kits is a drag to say the least. I had not build the StuG in this scale and judged the Pz III on it's own merit. This M10, albeit a plain tank to begin with, is much more simplified than the last kit. I also have the VK.45.02[P]V to take a look at for the Big A here. There is not a heck of a lot of parts in this as well, but there is molded on cables and a few other parts to add including open hatch options.

All of this talk is opening my eyes to a number items on the braille scale front. This will most certainly help when looking at some other kits and reviewing still more in the future...thanks!

BTW...if you are interested, I have started a build thread on this kit in the "Constructive Feedback" board: http://www.armorama.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=SquawkBox&file=index&req=viewtopic&topic_id=207601&page=1

Here is where I am at with it...



Thanks again!!
tread_geek
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Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 11:30 AM UTC
Todd,

I "accidentally" found your post in the CF forum this morning. It's coming along very nicely. Being new to Braille, you might consider viewing some of the offerings in that scale as you would with a larger scale kit. They are by no ways the same but they were closing until about a year or so ago. BTW, I've started on the review of the VK.4502(P)H sample and it also sadly has the moulded on details. You might like to check out the Henk of Holland site for the fact that the suspension is from Dragon's Elefant kit and the turret is from their King Tiger (P) kit. That latter will show where Dragon was going in the past as the entire gun interior details are provided.

Cheers,
Jan
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Posted: Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 09:51 PM UTC
Thanks Jan! I will have a look into soe of the othere. Looking forward to your review as well! I looked over the VK.45.02[P]V and Pretty much the same as with the H I would suppose...molded on tools and tow cable but there is a seperate shovel! The breach is present and with the option of open hatches it can be shown off which is nice...of course I think we might have to press the eyeball directly on the turret to see in there but the option is nice!

I will be updating the blog as soon as I am done with the road wheels which I started last nigght. Clear coated too, so decs will be going on then the fun can start...weathering!!
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Posted: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 - 02:45 AM UTC
I see that you worked very hard on this,
and the fished product looks very good.
But this kit had Too Many short comings.
I can only Asume that you have not seen this review.....
http://www.network54.com/Forum/47210/message/1364017243/Dragon%27s+New+Ersatz+M10+%28Pic+Heavy%29

Or this Up-Grade which would have great helped you on this build.
http://www.network54.com/Forum/47210/message/1365952927/Ersatz+++%26quot%3Bthe+Resurection%26quot%3B+%28Up-Dated+19-42%29

As you can see in this Up-Grade, I have opened all the hatches, corrected the "lack" of the Bow MG, as well as replacing all the solid lifting points.