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Takom Blitz "Ersatz M7"

Catalog Number: 8007 Manufacturer: TAKOM
Published: Tuesday, May 17, 2022 Retail Price: $37 (preorder)
Scale: 1:35 Reviewed By: David Morris

Takom Blitz “Ersatz M7”1




In late 1944 Hitler's obsession with splitting the Western Alliance led to the poorly conceived and poorly executed Ardennes Offensive, launched with inadequate logistical support and a heavy dose of wishful thinking. Most wishfully of all German command approved Otto Skorzeny's “Panzer Brigade 150”, hoping to strike deeply and sow confusion by using captured American equipment manned by English speaking troops. Unfortunately, there were near total shortages of operable captured American equipment and fluent English speaking soldiers; even more unfortunately, they went ahead with the plan anyway.


When push came to shove, Panzer Brigade 150 had to settle for 5 Panthers and 5 Stugs decorated with sheet metal and green paint.2 Thanks to planning slippages, route congestion, and the frictions of real combat the “lightening surprise and infiltration” unit didn't deploy until well into the battle's second day and the AFVs ended up fighting in more traditional roles.


Although they did get to have extra sheet metal and green paint.



"Those tanks would only fool very young American recruits -- and then only very far away, and at night."

Otto Skorzeny


"You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig."

American politician




The box is solid, and is packed tight with individually wrapped sprues of gray plastic. Takom includes 11 sprues, three separately molded hull parts, a small photoetch sheet, an actual copper braided cable, and a decal sheet. Consistent with the simpler “Blitz” branding, tracks are link and length.  Instructions are strictly pictorial and are presented in a 5.5 x 8.5 inch booklet; while the parts identifying text is clear the font is a bit small for older eyes. The foldout last page includes color images of the vehicle with painting and weathering callouts for Mig's AMMO products. Decals are crisply printed and appear to be of good quality, though the stars' outlines are much too sharp compared with the sloppy field applied ones seen in historical photos.


Although not explicitly denoted, the kit can be used to make two variants, with the primary differences between the instructions' designated option “-1” and option “-2” being the presence of the gun tube blast deflector and a completely covered engine deck in the latter.


The lower hull is sharply molded and doesn't look like any cleanup will be needed. Details are crisp and should take washes quite well. The side hull has notches to positively locate the suspension arms, and the inner aspect has ridges to likewise positively locate a block that eventually will support the gun assembly.



The upper hull and superstructure are similarly detailed separate pieces.



There are two Sprue As, making up the sprockets, road wheels, and suspension parts. Molding is crisp and detailed, including easily legible tire brand marks. There is no flash, though many pieces will require cleanup of molding separation lines.



The two Sprue Bs make up the track lengths and individual links. The upper run includes molded in sag between return rollers, although the schürzen will likely cover this completely. The individual links are secured to the sprue by relatively thick attachment arms, but I believe these will clean up well regardless.





Sprue C downright dainty, and will provide a variety of hull details.





Sprue D contains components for the vehicle's rear, as well as the mantlet and blast deflector. There are two “hog's head mantlet” parts provided, but both kit variants use Part D29 (with the MG port).





Sprue E is also doubled, and contains the outer half of the drive sprockets, return roller parts, hull details, and components of the towing assembly.





Sprue F was abandoned at the curb for this kit, so we move on to Sprue G to find the side skirts and the engine deck covers. Those choosing the blast deflector containing “-2” build variant should use the complete cover part G3, while those preferring their barrels to be naked will construct the more open deck cover from parts G2, G4, and G5. The one piece barrel for the no-deflector option is on this sprue, and as the mold separation line is very faint I'm expecting the clean up to be easy on my example.





Looks like Sprue F, bummed at being left out, called up his buddies Sprues H, I, J, K, and L for the frat party....because  none of them showed up here. (Rock on, guys.) Sprue M didn't get the invite, though, so he's in the box providing a variety of tools, pipes, plates, and fittings.






Sprue N rounds out the plastic parts. It provides parts for the gun carriage, the hatch ring, the MG, and the blast deflector and the barrel that uses it. The odd shaped polyhedral block goes inside the hull to provide hidden support for the gun assembly.




The photoetch sheet contains engine vent grills, and parts to make clamps that are empty of tools. (The tools themselves have clamps molded on.) We also find a tow cable made of braided copper wire – a nice touch. The decals appear to be printed on fairly thin film and should not pose problems, though given how crude the stars look on the reference photos I've found I may well just hand paint the suckers.




Lastly, the instruction booklet itself. As noted it's fairly small but is readable, especially since the text is essentially limited to parts numbers. Locating arrows for parts placement look to be clear, and I'm hopeful that the “cut this off” icons and arrows will not prove confusing. We'll see when build time comes! The only color images are simple, and paint call outs appear straightforward as well.






The Blitz product line is designed to give accurate builds with uncomplicated construction and low parts count, so those getting back into the hobby will find the kit fun and challenging without being overwhelming. More advanced modelers may enjoy the unusual subject and palate cleansing aspects, but may especially be attracted to the painting and weathering possibilities of an old tired workhorse with a brand new, bright, field applied coat of green. Chipping, anyone?


1I looked it up. “Ersatz” just means “substitute.” I encourage readers to have their kids use this word with their substitute “ersatz” teachers. I am not responsible for any resulting detentions.

2Parker, Danny S. Battle of the Bulge , 1991. P. 194


Highly Recommended for Beginner to Advanced builders, pending full build.

Thanks goes out to Takom for this review kit.

Reviewed by David Morris


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