Corporal Overby's Motor Pool
Kit # MP067
|Construction Review by Rob Haelterman|
the Germans were planning for the Ardennes offensive (later known
as the Battle of the Bulge), part of their plans centered on the use
of captured American vehicles. Unfortunately there were never enough
of these around so the Germans resorted to the next best thing: modifying
their own vehicles to look like Allied vehicles. The best known examples
of these are the modification of the Panther to look like an M10 and
the modification of the StuG III to look like... well, I don't know
The model comes in a plastic bag inside a sturdy, top opening cardboard box. No parts were found broken upon opening.
Dragon recently released the "Ersatz M10". I have not seen this model first hand, but some modelers were rather disappointed that the kit offered less detail than the previous Panthers released by Dragon. Ken Overby has written an analysis of the Dragon kit and it is indeed surprising that hatches that were previously separate are now molded closed. The kit we are looking at here is the result of that analysis, as Ken (owner of Cpl Overby's Motorpool) decided to make a correction set for the Dragon kit. Improvements are
Some other mistakes present in the Dragon kit were left untouched, however. More about that when we come to the construction of this kit.
Instructions are not included, which is a weak point of Cpl Overby's Motorpool's kits. Pictures can be found on the Facebook page of the manufacturer however, which might not be to the liking of people without a Facebook account themselves.
5. Detail and casting quality
quality is mainly very good, with crisp detail; a case in point being
the very thin grab handle at the rear of the turret. (I wonder how
this gets cast without being broken.) There are very few air bubbles
and very little warping. Pour plugs are sensibly placed.
comes with other parts that - to my naked eye - are similar to the
Dragon "Ersatz M10". This is actually a good thing, as the
correction set can now be used to convert any of the first generation
Dragon Panther or Jagdpanther kits to an Ersatz M10 without actually
needing the newer Dragon Ersatz M10 (except perhaps for the decals
- more about that later). As the older Panthers can be had rather
cheaply, but the new Ersatz M10 is rather expensive (at least where
I live), this means that it now actually makes economic sense to buy
an older Dragon Panther kit and combine it with this set to obtain
an Ersatz M10 that is competitive in price with the Dragon Ersatz
M10 but with better detail. As an added bonus you will get plenty
of spare parts from that older Dragon kit which you could put to good
Construction showed that the resin behaves almost as plastic when sanding and cutting, which is nice, even though you still need superglue to assemble.
I made the following improvements to the hull:
While the Cpl Overby set corrects quite a number of errors present in the Dragon kit, one annoying blooper wasn't. The Dragon kit has a glacis that slopes a bit too much and the Cpl Overby parts have the same slope. While the slope itself isn't a problem whatsoever, it does create a strange situation at the tip of the nose, leaving a gap on the sides where the towing eyes need to come and creating an upper "lip" that is exaggerated compared to the real thing. The top side extensions where the towing eyes fit onto are flush with the glacis in the kit, but sat proud in the real vehicle. Furthermore, the lip is too wide, making it impossible to fit the towing eyes.
Note that the real vehicles could be fitted with a blanking plate over the opening for the hull MG, which is not included in the kit but very easy to make from a piece of sheet plastic. The cover for the driver's periscope that the kit provides was apparently not fitted to the real vehicles.
Noteworthy is that the Dragon Ersatz M10 doesn't come with PE parts for the meshes on the engine deck as all other Dragon (Jagd)Panther kits do. This is one of the many deplorable simplifications that Dragon chose to implement in this issue and gives us an extra reason to start from a different kit than the Ersatz M10. The Jagdpanther kit I have does contain the meshes, but they are very slightly oversize for the openings on the deck. This can have one of various reasons:
to the Cpl Overby kit are the three supporting rods that held the
turret disguise in place. One remnant of such a rod can still be seen
on the top of the turret piece. As it doesn't go all the way to the
sides it is better removed and replaced with a new, continuous rod.
Some remarks about the Dragon Jagdpanther early production with Zimmerit (kit 7241) which are not specific to its use as a donor for this conversion:
6. Marking options
At the time of writing Cpl Overby has started to release this kit with decals for three vehicles: B4, B7 and B10. Of course, people starting from the Dragon M10 will not need these, but it will allow the modeler to start from any Dragon Panther or Jagdpanther kit.
The best source for info on the Ersatz M10 can be found in . A brief summary is presented here.
I decided to build
mine as "B4" with the ultimate aim of putting it in a diorama
in which the Germans were hiding the vehicle as best they could from
prying eyes. For that I partially covered the vehicle with tarps,
but as I didn't want to hide the decals completely, I went with the
idea that the crew was rather sloppy in their work, so I could at
least show part of them.
 Discussion on The A.F.V. Model Forum: http://tafvmf.forumcircle.com/viewtopic.php?t=59
 Ersatz M10, S. Dwayer, A. Sheedy, Model Military International - February 2010
Sample kit bought by author with permission of his wife.