ESCI/Ertl
   
The most complete release of the ESCI kits was by the Ertl company under the name ESCI/Ertl. Over 75 kits were released in this lineup, with only about a dozen earlier releases not included. As shown in the following descriptions, I ended up repeating myself with the praise of many of the kits. Until recently, ESCI set the standard for quality 1/72nd scale armor kits. The ESCI/Ertl line of kits saw the introduction of hard plastic, link and length style tracks. Many of the ESCI kits are unique. A few are not, and for those kits, I have tried to add a statement comparing them to the alternative(s). The first 14 kits on the list were never released by ESCI/Ertl, but I include their reviews here for convenience.

Beneath the first table is a second one that list the vehicle-troops combination sets.

Kit Number Kit Name Comments In-Box Previews Construction Reviews Articles
  Fiat Ansaldo 75/18 One of ESCI's best kits. Superb detail and accuracy. Unfortunately, it is only available with vinyl tracks. Preview    
  Fiat-Ansaldo M13/40 One of ESCI's best kits. Superb detail and accuracy. Unfortunately, it is only available with vinyl tracks. Gives option to build standard M13/40, or command version of vehicle. Preview    
  KV-1c Excellent kit. Surface detail is one of ESCI's best. Represents mid-series KV-1 with cast metal turret, and early-style rear hull.     Dave Showell
  M1A1 Abrams See Abrams Comparison Article.     Doug Chaltry
  M4A3 Sherman 75mm turret. Late style, 47 degree, wet-stowage hull. Preview   Albert Boone
  Matilda Mk. II Exquisitely detailed model. The chassis alone is a kit all of itself.     172shermans.com
  Panzer 35(T) Skoda A superb kit. Only available with vinyl tracks, which are quite poor.      
  Panzer II Represents an Ausf. F. The detail on this kit is abundant. Comes with vinyl tracks, and an Afrika Corps commander figure.      
  Wespe Based on the Panzer II hull, this kit is also very well detailed. Preview    
8300 Leopard 1 Dutch version. Rare kit.    
8301 Leopard 1 A2 (OTO Leopard) Overall level of detail is great, but plagued with many sinkholes. Each pair of bogie wheels is represented by a single, double-wide wheel. See Leopard Review Article.     Doug Chaltry
8302 Leopard 1 A3/A4 Same kit as Leopard 1 A2 (#8301), but with new style turret and side skirts. See Leopard Review Article.     Doug Chaltry
8303 Leopard 1 A1A1 (LEO Turmverkleidung) Same kit as Leopard 1 A2 (#8301), but with applique armor for the turret, a new gun mantle, and side skirts. See Leopard Review Article.     Doug Chaltry
8304 M163 AAV M113 with a Vulcan AA gun on the roof. Same comments as below for the vehicle; the Vulcan is fairly basic. It has the right shape, but needs extra detail added to it.      
8305 M113 A1 APC Superb kit. Exterior detail is great. Limited interior detail (walls and floor). Each pair of bogie wheels is represented by a single, double-wide wheel, but with the side skirts on, it is barely noticeable.      
8306 M901 Hammer Head M113 with a TOW launcher on the roof. Same comments as above for the vehicle; the TOW launcher is fairly basic. It has the right shape, but needs extra detail added to it.      
8307 M1 Abrams Basically a good kit. Better than the Revell and Hasegawa kits in some areas, not as good in others. Each pair of bogie wheels is represented by a single, double-wide wheel. See Abrams Comparison Article.     Doug Chaltry
8308 M4A1 Sherman A major disappointment. As far as engineering and detail, this is one of ESCI's finest kits. Despite persistent rumors, its scale is mostly accurate to 1/72nd. However, the vehicle represented by this kit never existed. See Article. Preview  

Doug Chaltry

Faustnik

8309 Panzer IV G The overall level of detail on this kit is pretty good, but I have to score it low on its accuracy. It seems to be a conglomerate of different versions of the Panzer IV. With the exception of the nice chassis on this kit, the Hasegawa Pz IV G is the superior kit. See ESCI Pz. IV Article. Preview  

Doug Chaltry (1)

Doug Chaltry (2)

Stephen Brezinski

8310 Flakpanzer IV Wirbelwind Good model, though not as fine as the Hasegawa Wirbelwind. Turret interior has a fair amount of detail, although it could use more. Preview    
8311 Brummbar Sturmpanzer IV Completely new upper hull on the Pz IV chassis. Excellent kit. Surface detail is top notch, but schurzen are a little heavy. Preview Doug Chaltry  
8312 Jagdpanther Very good level of detail. The Revell Jagdpanther is molded more cleanly, and has more optional parts, but it has scale issues. Better than Dragon Jagdpanther. Preview    
8313 M4 Sherman Calliope M4A1 kit (#8308) with the Calliope rocket launcher attached. See the hull problem described above. Preview    
8314 Hummel ESCI's poorest kit. The overall dimensions of the kit are accurate, but the level of detail is low. A scratchbuilders dream kit. Preview    
8315 M60 A1 Fair kit of early version M60, with the commander's MG turret. Detail is abundant, but is a little soft. Each pair of bogie wheels is represented by a single, double-wide wheel. Preview    
8316 M60 A2 Starship Same kit as M60A1 (#8315), but with the A2 turret for the Shellilagh AT missile. Preview    
8317 M60 A3 Same kit as M60A1 (#8315), but with a new gun barrel. Preview   Stephen Brezinski
8318 M60 Blazer Same kit as M60A1 (#8315), but with the reactive armor blocks and altered commander's cupola for the Israeli version. Preview    
8319 Jagdpanzer IV This is the Panzer IV/70 (V) version, with the long cannon. Detail is very good. Comes with ESCI's standard two tank crew figures, one standing and one seated. See Article.   Till Huber

Doug Chaltry

Stephen Brezinski

8320 Panzerjager IV Sdkfz 162 This is the early L/48 version. Basically the same kit as #8319, but with short cannon and side skirts included. See Article.     Doug Chaltry
8321 British Quad Gun Tractor Excellent kit. Superb overall detail, detailed undercarriage and interior. Driver figure included (in shorts). No clear parts for the multitude of windows. Preview    
8322 M48 A2 Very good kit of an early version M48A2, with the tension idler wheel between the last road wheel and the drive sprocket. Detail is abundant, and sharper than the M60 kits. Each pair of bogie wheels is represented by a single, double-wide wheel. The instructions do not show it, but provision has been made for the extra return rollers for the Marine version of this vehicle (five vs. three).      
8323 Merkava Very detailed and accurate model. Excellent .50cal MG. Each pair of bogie wheels is represented by a single, double-wide wheel. Better than the Galaxy kit.   Doug Chaltry  
8324 Panzer III M A fairly decent kit, about on par with the Panzer II/Wespe. The detail is abundant, but fairly soft. Not as nice as the Revell kit. See Comparison Article. Preview   Till Huber
8325 Panzer III M/N Same kit as Pz III M (#8324), but with schurzen plates, and the short-barrelled gun for the Ausf. N. Preview    
8326 M48 A3 Same M48 kit as all the others, but with a new cupola extension, extra return rollers, and air filter boxes for placement on the rear fenders.      
8327 Panzer III Flampanzer Same kit as Pz III M (#8324), but with a fatter, shorter barrel for the flamethrower. Preview    
8328 Sturmgeschütz III G Very accurate kit, but the detail is soft. Allows the construction of either the standard StuG III G, or the StuH 42 with the 105mm howitzer. Preview Marko Mäkinen Stephen Brezinski
8329 M48 A2 GA2 German version of the A2 version with a 105mm main gun and different turret details. Same comments as M48 A2C (#8336). Preview    
8330 King Tiger

Very good kit. Skimped on the bogie wheels some, but with the side skirts on, it's not noticeable. One full and two half figures are included. Poor tracks.

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If you build the kit OOTB, you will get misaligned drive sprocket teeth. The left and right halves of the drive sprocket (on any given side of the tank) will not line up. - Y.C. Wang

Preview Stephen Brezinski Doug Chaltry
8331 Jagdtiger Does not have the proper lengthened hull. Otherwise, same comments as the King Tiger. Preview Stephen Brezinski  
8332 Churchill Mk. IV Another well made kit. Very detailed; about on par with the Hasegawa kit. Unfortunately, it is a Mk. III, not IV. Preview    
8333 M48 A5 Late (low profile) version of the A5, with the Urdan cupola and M60 MG. Same kit as previous M48's, with same comments, and a new 105mm main gun. Preview    
8334 T-34/76 1942 Very good kit at the time of release.
Fair detail overall.
Early style solid disk wheels. The tracks van be either vinyl or L&L and are very poor.
Hull and turret dimensions are mostly accurate but perhaps slightly overscale (1/71?). - B. Probst
See Article.
Preview  

Doug Chaltry (1)

Doug Chaltry (2)

Stephen Brezinski

8335 T-34/76 1943

Very good kit at the time of release.
Fair detail overall.

Mid-style perforated steel wheels, which are not 100% accurate. The tracks van be either vinyl or L&L and are very poor.
Hull is perhaps slightly overscale and the turret is too tall, too narrow and too short. - B. Probst
See Article.

Preview  

Doug Chaltry

Doug Chaltry (2)

Stephen Brezinski

8336 M48 A2C Same kit as M48 A2 (#8322), but with different markings (Israeli).      
8337 M106 Mortar Carrier M113 with a 120mm mortar inside and an optional open or closed roof. Same comments as above for the vehicle; the interior is spruced up a bit with the mortar. The mortar is very well done, and includes all the parts hanging on the vehicle's exterior.      
8338 Merkava II Same kit as #8323 - Merkava, but with add-on armor for the the turret. Same comments as above; the add-on armor is very good.      
8339 Churchill AMRCR The excellent Churchill kit (#8332) with a very good mineroller on front. Preview    
8340 T-62 MBT Nicely detailed kit, but overscale. The wheels are the major weak spot of this kit. They are the double-wide type, instead of pairs of wheels. Preview    
8341 T-62M MBT Same kit as #8340, with additional parts (side skirts, etc.) and Middle East markings.      
8342 Opel Blitz 3, 6 Ambulance Same cab and chassis as the standard Opel Blitz truck, with ambulance body. There is no interior to the ambulance body. The exterior detail on the body is simplified. Preview    
8343 Sd.Kfz. 251/7 Pioneer Vehicle Same comments as kit #8359 - Sd.Kfz.251/1. This version contains the bridging equipment for the engineer version of the vehicle. Bridging parts are well done, but the mounting brackets seem over-simplified. Preview    
8344 Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Rocket Launcher Same comments as kit #8359 - Sd.Kfz.251/1. This version contains the rocket equipment for the nebelwerfer version of the vehicle. Rockets are not very accurate in shape. Preview    
8345 Sd.Kfz. 251/10 The "door knocker" version of the 251. Standard 251 hull, with a 37mm AT gun mounted at the front. Same comments as kit #8359 - Sd.Kfz.251/1.      
8346 Sd.Kfz. 251/16 Flamethrower Same comments as kit #8359 - Sd.Kfz.251/1. This version contains the launchers and interior equipment for the flamethrower version of the vehicle. The flamethrower parts are well made, but could use a little more detail.     Stephen Brezinski
8347 Sd.Kfz. 251/8 Armored Ambulance Same comments as kit #8359 - Sd.Kfz.251/1. This version contains the interior equipment for the ambulance version of the vehicle. Adds a little bit of detail to the interior, but it is still a little sparse. Preview    
8348 Sd.Kfz. 11 3-ton Halftrack The kit is shaped well, and accurate, but the detail is a little heavy. Interior detail is sparse, but chassis detail is very good. Includes Afrika Corps driver figure.    

Stephen Brezinski

Peter Van Kempen

8349 Sd.Kfz. 11 3-ton Halftrack & Pak 40 Same vehicle as above (#8348) with the PAK 40 75mm AT gun from the Weapons Set (#8350).      
8350 German Weapons Set PAK 35 (37mm) and PAK 40 (75mm) AT guns are very nice, but the PaK 40 is in full recoil. FLAK 38 (quad 20mm) AA gun could use some more, and finer, details. Crew figures are pretty good. Includes a prone MG 34 gunner and spotter.      
8351 Nebelwerfer 41 w/crew Average kit for detail. Package contains two rocket launchers and two full crews. Crews are dressed in winter parkas.   Al Magnus  
8352 Diorama Acc. WWII A collection of sign posts, power poles, sand bags, barrels, boxes and Normandy beach obstacles.      
8353 Iwo Jima A representation of the flag-raising event on Mount Suribachi. Hard plastic figures.      
8354 British 25 Pdr gun & crew Excellent kit. Outstanding detail. Crew figures are good, and are dressed for the desert.   Doug Chaltry  
8355 Opel Blitz This kit is just a little plain. The cab interior is very bare, and the chassis detail is sparse. Shape and construction are good. Preview    
8356 US Recce M3 French/Soviet The White M3A1 Scout Car. Excellent kit. Detail is great, both interior and exterior. Good machineguns, mediocre figures. Walls are a little thick. Preview Stephen Brezinski  
8357 U.S. Light Truck WC 51 3/4 ton Very good kit. The level of detail is splendid; the undercarriage and chassis are fully detailed, but jacked too high.      
8358 37mm GMC M6 This kit is the same as #8357 but with a 37mm AT gun mounted on the cargo bed. Same comments as above for the truck; the gun is fairly nice, but the shield is very thick.   Doug Chaltry
Al Magnus
 
8359 Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Kit represents an Ausf. C. It is very accurate in shape, and the exterior detail is very well done. Interior is unfortunately sparse. Preview    
8360 Elefant Overall level of detail is nice, but there are a couple of minor inaccuracies, and the bogie wheels are represented with single, double-wide wheels. Both Dragon and Trumpeter kits are superior. Preview    
8361 Valentine Mk. II Superbly detailed kit. The chassis is very well done, but the hard plastic tracks do not fit under the fenders without some sanding and grinding.   Doug Chaltry  
8362 M12 155mm SP Another one of ESCI's finest kits. Detail is without compare. Full gun compartment detail, and an excellent early-style transmission housing. Preview    
8363 Panther A Good kit. It is better than the Revell kit in some ways, not as good in others. It has excellent surface detail, but the tracks (both vinyl and hard plastic) are poor. Minor scale problems.   Doug Chaltry  
8364 Panzer IV H This is the same kit as #8309 - Panzer IV G. It is not an accurate Ausf. H, just as it is not an accurate Ausf. G either. See ESCI Pz. IV Article. Preview  

Doug Chaltry (1)

Doug Chaltry (2)

8365 Bishop Mk.I Same comments as the Valentine for the chassis and hull; the box-like turret is excellent, but some of the detail on the gun mantle is a little heavy. Preview    
8366 Opel Blitz w/Flak 38 AA This is the standard Opel Blitz truck with the quad 20mm mounted in the cargo bed. The AA gun is the same as from the Weapons Set. Preview    
8367 Modern War Accessories        
8368 Panzer IB

The chassis has a serious issues: the rear engine deck is far too short -- about 5mm (on the model). ESCI must have used the dimensions of a Pz.IA, not a Pz.IB. However the overall length of the vehicle is correct, so to make the too-short engine deck "fit" they have introduced completely spurious upper hull shapes that need to be removed.
The chassis feature the "tropical" modifications used on the vehicles that served in North Africa. The kits do not provide any tools or other
"extras" found on the Pz.I -- no jack, no jack block, no crowbars, hooks, or fire extinguisher. The single shovel that is supplied is grossly out-of-scale, and shaped quite oddly for a standard German item. The supplied (hard plastic) tow cable does not really fit where it's supposed
to go, which is odd considering how specific its shape is. None of the wartime modifications are supplied -- no Notek headlight, no convoy lights,
no rear smoke discharger rack. - B. Probst

Preview    
8369 Sd.Kfz. 250/3 Very well done. It represents the 250 Alte. The 250/3 is the command version with the antenna frame. Although the exterior detail is top-notch, the interior is pretty sparse, but it does include a good radio.      
8370 Sd.Kfz 265 Panzerbefehlswagen I The chassis has a serious issues: the rear engine deck is far too short -- about 5mm (on the model). ESCI must have used the dimensions of a Pz.IA, not a Pz.IB. However the overall length of the vehicle is correct, so to make the too-short engine deck "fit" they have introduced completely spurious upper hull shapes that need to be
removed.
The chassis feature the "tropical" modifications used on the vehicles that served in North Africa. The kits do not provide any tools or other
"extras" found on the Pz.I -- no jack, no jack block, no crowbars, hooks, or fire extinguisher. The single shovel that is supplied is grossly out-of-scale, and shaped quite oddly for a standard German item. The supplied (hard plastic) tow cable does not really fit where it's supposed
to go, which is odd considering how specific its shape is. None of the wartime modifications are supplied -- no Notek headlight, no convoy lights,
no rear smoke discharger rack. The prominent antenna rest is incorrectly shaped, with the wrong number of "legs". - B. Probst
Preview

Doug Chaltry

Rob Haelterman

Christopher Benjamin

 
8371 Sd.Kfz. 250/9 Comes with enclosed cabin, and 20mm turret. The turret is very much underscale, and the anti-grenade screen is necessarily cast as solid pieces with a mesh pattern.      
8372 Panzerjäger I Pak L/43

The chassis has a serious issues: the rear engine deck is far too short -- about 5mm (on the model). ESCI must have used the dimensions of a Pz.IA, not a Pz.IB. However the overall length of the vehicle is correct, so to make the too-short engine deck "fit" they have introduced completely spurious upper hull shapes that need to be removed.
The chassis feature the "tropical" modifications used on the vehicles that served in North Africa. The kits do not provide any tools or other
"extras" found on the Pz.I -- no jack, no jack block, no crowbars, hooks, or fire extinguisher. The single shovel that is supplied is grossly out-of-scale, and shaped quite oddly for a standard German item. The supplied (hard plastic) tow cable does not really fit where it's supposed
to go, which is odd considering how specific its shape is. None of the wartime modifications are supplied -- no Notek headlight, no convoy lights.
The kit features no interior at all, the opening in the upper hull is completely sealed. Tthe gun shield is far too thick. - B. Probst

Preview    
8373 Sd.Kfz. 250/10 Anti-Tank The "door knocker" version of the 250. Standard 250 hull, with a 37mm AT gun mounted at the front. Gun is very good, but interior is still sparse. Preview    
8374 Marder III Beautiful kit. Note that the box art on the ESCI/Ertl box shows an early Marder, with a Soviet 76mm gun, but the kit is actually an Ausf. H, as shown on the ESCI box.   Stephen Brezinski  
8375 Jagdpanzer Hetzer Like the Marder, this is an outstanding kit. The level of detail represents some of ESCI's best work. A poor commander figure is included, but that is the only negative comment for this kit.

R. Haelterman: The kit represents a vehicle of the December 1944 production batch: no holes in the outer rim of the drive sprocket; late type towing eyes; idler with six holes; 16-bolt road wheels; Pilzen on the roof and extra hatches for the commander; late type exhaust.
    Stephen Brezinski
The following kits consist of ESCI vehicles from the above table, paired with the ESCI soft vinyl figure sets. The ESCI figures tend to be very well detailed, but with fairly flat poses.
Kit Number Kit Name
8601 M113 ACAV w/US Special Forces
8602 M1A1 Abrams w/US Infantry
8603 Panther A w/Panzergrenadiers
8604 M4A3 Sherman w/US Paratroopers
8605 M12 155mm SP w/US Soldiers
8606 Panzer IV w/Afrika Corps
8607 M60 A3 w/Modern US Soldiers
8608 M48 A3 w/US Special Forces
8609 3/4-Ton Truck w/WWII US Paratroops
8610 GMC M6 Truck w/US Infantry
8611 Opel Blitz w/Afrika Corps
8612 Opel Blitz w/Flak 38 AA w/German Infantry
8613 M3A1 Scout Car w/Russian Infantry
8614 British 25 Pdr w/Tractor & Eighth Army
8615 T-62 w/Russian Spetsnaz
8616 T-62 w/Warsaw Pact Soldiers
8617 Sd.Kfz. 251 w/German Infantry
8618 Leopard 1A1A1 w/NATO Soldiers
8619 Bishop Mk.I w/British Soldiers
8620 Valentine w/Desert Rats
8621 Elefant w/German Infantry
8622 Sd.Kfz. 251/1 w/German Paratroopers
8623 Sd.Kfz. 251 Rocket Launcher w/Paratroops
8624 Sd.Kfz. 11 w/German Paratroopers
8625 Churchill Mk IV w/Commandos
8626 T-34/76 1943 w/Russian Assault Troops
8627 M113 ACAV w/NATO Troops
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