There are numerous methods for recreating Zimmerit coating on German panzer models and water slide texture decals offer the easiest way to complete the task. This review covers one of such decal sets produced by DEF Model and designed for Zvezda’s Elefant kit: Elefant Zimmerit Coating Decal Set (DD35018).


After the Battle of Kursk, the surviving Ferdinands were recalled to be modified and overhauled. The upgrades commenced in January1944, in the Nibelungenwerke factory in Austria. Among the most visible exterior upgrades was the application of Zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste. The new and improved vehicles were renamed from Ferdinand to Elefant.

A disabled Elefant in Italy, 1944. (source:


Elefant Zimmerit Coating Decal Set (DD35018) is packed in a resealable plastic bag.

The set includes a decal sheet and decal application instruction manual.

The decals are printed using epoxy resin on the transparent adhesive film. The slightly raised details are well defined.

The instruction manual briefly explains that working with 3D decals is the same as working with classic water slide decals. The use of decal setter is advised, and for even stronger adhesion to the model, a bit of Tamiya Extra thin cement can be applied. Also, the instructions suggest adding battle damage on several places to enhance the realistic appearance of the model.

The instructions show the Zvezda model with decals applied, noting each individual decal placement with number callouts. The images are large, clear and easy to follow.

The set was designed to fit German Tank Destroyer "ELEFANT" Sd.Kfz. 184 from Zvezda (#3659). The Zvezda model does come with a set of Zimmerit decals, but all the reviews I read on-line claim the texture on these is too uniform and not thick enough. I’m not sure how DEF Model set compares to Zvezda decals regarding the 3D effect and thickness of the decals, but I do know DEF Model set features a slightly different Zimmerit pattern on the hull sides of the vehicle (vertical and horizontal), so if modeling a particular vehicle, this could make all the difference.

Elefant 102 of the Kampfgruppe Ulbricht, Italy 1944. The most unusual feature of Elefant 102 was two patterns of Zimmerit on its hull side with both horizontal and vertical rows (source:


In conclusion, Elefant Zimmerit Coating Decal Set (DD35018) from DEF Model is a waterslide decal set which offers an easy way to recreate Zimmerit coating on 1/35 scale Elefant model from Zvezda. The raised Zimmerit details are well defined, and by simply applying the decals and then painting the model, a realistic Zimmerit effect can be achieved.

Finally, the set provides an instant plug-and-play solution and will be welcomed by many modelers. However, those who want a more unique Zimmerit pattern will still use putty and Zimmerit tools instead.


A big thanks to DEF Model for this review sample:



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