Pegasus 1/72 Porsche P-245-010
By Will Perry
The armored vehicles used in Germany's early Blitzkrieg victories were late 30s designs – the Panzer 1 through IV series. Czech and French equipment was also incorporated in these early war years. By 1943, however, these designs were getting dated, and thousands were disappearing into the maw of the Eastern Front as the Panzerwaffe encountered increasing numbers of powerful Soviet designs. Faced with the need to produce large numbers of more modern designs, the Wehrmacht asked German industry to develop equipment that could efficiently and economically replace older designs by 1945. This effort lead to a number of late war designs known as the E series. Some prototypes were built; most remained paper.
The Porsche P-245 never made it to the E-list, but it seems to be part of that same push to rationalize and economize. The family of light panzers weighed in at around 16½ tons, with a crew of three. Info is scarce – one WW2 in Color forum post has a low-resolution sketch and short descriptions of the family tree. The most unusual aspect of the design was its armament – the Rheinmetall Borsig MK 112 – a 5.5 cm automatic aircraft cannon designed to knock down Allied bombers. There's no indication that the P-245 ever progressed beyond the paper stage, but that hasn't stopped Pegasus Hobbies from producing a competent kit of this petite Porsche paper panzer.
The kit has 16 parts, molded in a slightly soft gray plastic. Molding quality is good, with one very visible exception- a massive sinkhole on the very top of the turret that demands some tricky filling. The 1-piece hull uses a rough and lumpy surface texture to simulate the look a quick casting job - due to molding limitations the sides of the hull are smooth. The tracks and the main suspension components are molded as one piece, with outer road wheels as separate pieces. This makes for quick assembly, but with scant detail on the top and bottom of the track. Instructions consist of a single exploded diagram – it's enough. There are no decals. Pegasus' approach with this kit is reminiscent of the HäT series of 1/72 wargaming armor – simple construction and cheap kits – 2 kits come in the box and the retail price is just $10.
Those looking for some quick wargame models can accomplish this in about 10 minutes – the major parts snap together precisely and securely. Filling in the sinkhole on the turret was the most finicky chore, since it involved a couple of hatches. I also decided to do some simple detail enhancements, beginning with the sides of the cast hull. Thick pigment from the bottom of a jar of acrylic paint was daubed on to match the lumpy casting look. The kit's MK 112 cannon is not very crisp or round, but some aluminum tubing provided a quick, effective substitute. The hatch on the hull side was indistinctly molded, but a thin plastic disc made for quick improvement. I cut the vague lifting rings off the turret and hull and replaced them with appropriate size bits of wire.
Paint / Weathering
I wanted to depict a vehicle hastily assembled and rushed into combat, hence the combination of unpainted hull, primered suspension, and thinly painted turret, with a few recycled components sprinkled in for effect. Model Master enamels, turpentine and burnt umber wash, and powdered graphite were used. A white artist pencil was used to add the chalked on tactical number.
This kit makes a great rainy weekend project. Or a quick fleet of little Wehrmacht '46 wargaming pieces. It's über-cute, well engineered and bound to get heads scratched at your next club meeting.