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Found 6 results

  1. Hey guys, This is Takom's new Maus, and it's a nice kit! Resembling something of an IKEA item, the vehicle is pretty much flat-pack with sides slotting into each other and the most complex bits being the running gear and track, where the track is made from 3 pieces per link and each piece is secured by at least six points connecting it to the sprue... The paint scheme is off the top of my head, a splinter camouflage influenced by an ambush scheme, then painted in Mr. Hobby Colours. The weathering was grimy enough as I created various airbrushed effects and then using oil paints, washed, filtered and streaked the rest. Thanks for looking guys! Sam
  2. Here is my Dragon 1/35 Porsche type 205/2 "Maus". - Added Eduard photoetch grills, fuel tank bracket and straps, ladder etc. - Added wiring for headlights, plumbing for external fuel tank - Paint scheme from photographs of prototype - Added welding detail on hull top/side skirt joints - Added tow lugs on rear hull - Painted with Tamiya acrylics, weathered with pastels and oils Hope you like, Colin Here's an interesting size comparison, both 1/35 ... The Maus turret is actually larger than the Stuart! Cheers, Colin
  3. Tail-Dragon

    The Maus that roared!

    Hm ... Very interesting! I'm working on a 1/35 CyberHobby Porsche Maus V2, and thought I'd just do a size comparison with a Churchill Mk VII in the same scale. My goodness, that think is huge!
  4. Here is what might happen if you come across a 1983 Bandai Gundam 'Mobile Suit' with the funny trunk - I nearly built it as intended by Bandai but then had an idea.. And now it is no longer a 'Mobile Suit' and no longer in 1/144 but rather a Schweres Bergegerät 'Rübezahl' in 1/72. The story behind the diorama is the first appearance of one of the Rübezahl machines when US forces tried to capture a secret Luftwaffe airfield in Germany but became stuck when this Maus tank blocked the only road leading to it. A day later, the Maus suffered mechanical breakdown, observed by the US troops so they decided to advance with two Pershing tanks and some infantry. Unknown to them, something else had arrived during the night and has been waiting in the treeline beside the road to tow away the disabled Maus with first daylight. Having advanced to the Maus position, the US still had not seen the Rübezahl - the diorama is the scene just seconds before the three Maybach engines of Rübezahl come alive and along with them all it's internal e-motors, hydraulics and what else got stuffed into the heavily armoured skin of the giant. As the story goes, there was not a shot fired, but two Pershing tanks got new owners and a few GI's joined a POW camp. No wonder the GI's were too stunned to put up any reststance with the Rübezahl towering over them, wielding it's 'arms' bristling with weaponry. Despite such Wunderwaffen as the Rübezahl and the surprisingly successful Maus tank (124 produced, this is an early production model) the war ended soon after. There were only three Rübezahl heavy recovery machines built - one never left the factory, hidden deep in the Harz mountains and was later shipped to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in the USA. The second also never saw action but was damaged by aircraft and taken away to Russia. The one seen here successfully towed the Maus to the airfield for repairs and then was ordered to cross the Harz mountains for another assignment but never arrived there. According to a former crew member, interviewed after the war, the machine tripped over large rock in a remote part of the mountains, fell down and had to be abandoned by the crew. He claims it is still up there somewhere. By the way - the Maus is by Pegasus models, the Pershings are Trumpeter and the US and german infantry are mainly PlasticSolider Co.
  5. Hello All, This kit appeared to make some waves when it was announced. Anyways here is some progress on it. The build itself so far is going smoothly and Takom gets plenty of gold stars as the engineering is pretty good with a logical parts breakdown. The kit is moulded in dark yellow and a fetching hull red. The kit comes with 2x 1/144 scale Pz VIII Maus. Fit is good and it would help if I wasn't quite so ham fisted but we live and learn. Here is the hull compared with a 1/72 scale nashorn!!! Maus Not much filler needed, mostly my fault and they look a treat. Landkreuzer Running gear AA installations The Main guns in their turret! Upper deck fit out That's where we are at for the moment. Ian
  6. A39 Tortoise Heavy Tank 1:35 Meng Models The Tortoise was designed in 1943, in the middle of WWII, and was designed to be a heavy assault tank with massive frontal and side armour that rendered it safe from the withering fire of the dreaded German '88. It was one of a string of proposals from the Nuffield Organisation, which became larger and heavier as the series continued. The Tortoise started life as proposal 16, which got the go-ahead to proceed to production without a prototype having been built - instead production was ordered from the drawings and a mock-up of the completed vehicle, and 25 were specified for the first batch. As it happened, the war was over before the Tortoise saw service, and production was cancelled after only 6 examples were built. They were taken to Germany for trials following the war, and the reports that returned were favourable, with good reliability and handling. Sadly, all but one were scrapped, with the remaining A39 kept in running condition at Bovington tank museum. Weighing in at 78 tons, the Tortoise is a monster of a tank, with broad tracks to help it spread its massive weight over the ground to prevent bogging down. The superstructure is fixed in the same style as the Hezter and Stug, although there is a small machinegun turret on the top that has full rotation, sporting two BESA machine guns and a six-barrelled smoke dispenser cluster, plus a further two on the front corners at each side of the gun. A further BESA is mounted on the front of the hull in a ball mount, which brings us neatly to the 32-pounder gun that dominated the front of the vehicle. The huge mantlet bulges forward, and frontal armour is an eye-popping 228mm, with 155mm on the side skirts, which made it impervious to almost anything the Germans could launch at it. Although powered by a rear mounted Rolls-Royce Meteor, a development of the Merlin engine, the transmission at the front could only pull this monster along at a paltry 12mph, with a range of only 140 miles. The speed dropped to 4mph off-road, and because it was so wide at almost 4m, it would have been near impossible to transport it by rail, and road transport wasn't much easier requiring a special trailer and two trucks daisy-chained together, resulting in a long and unwieldy wagon train, as seen below: Whether the Tortoise was partly designed as a counter to the super-heavy Maus tank that was being developed in Germany is moot, but there would have been some spectacular stand-offs if the two had ever met. The Kit This release from the innovative and unusual Meng Models was quite a shocker when it was dropped into the schedule some months ago, but it's what we have come to expect from Meng. The kit arrives in a rather attractive dark green/grey box, with a large painting of the behemoth on the front, and various other views on the sides of the box. Inside is a lot of plastic, comprising of the two part hull, six sprues in olive green styrene bagged in pairs, plus a further three in a medium brown colour for the tracks. There are no decals with this release, and a length of nylon string is slipped in between the sprues to make up the towing cable, although my piece almost ended up in the bin because I didn't notice it in the bag. The final item in the box is a glossy covered instruction manual with a picture of the real thing and some descriptive text in English, Chinese, and probably Japanese… I don't read Kanji, so there's no way to tell. Detail on the upper hull is excellent, with rather nicely done rough casting texture on the armoured citadel where the seven crew members resided. Despite the size of the tank, it still must have been quite a squeeze getting them all in and out. Having shown the texture to a number of friends, they were all of the same opinion, and the addition of some casting marks already moulded in shows excellent attention to detail. The hull also has numerous weld seams moulded in, which again improves the detail out of the box, as well as saving work for you the modeller. The underside of the hull is comparatively simple, having only a nice cast surface added to the front where the final drive bulges are, and a very fine rolled steel look to the fenders, finished off with some small access panels and associated bolts on the bottom. There are a lot of ejector pin marks on this part, but Meng have carefully sited them to ensure that they are hidden by the upper hull once built, thereby avoiding any clean-up. Construction of course starts with the running gear that must carry the prodigious weight of the beast, so is necessarily bulky and numerous. The large idler wheels are first, and because of the wide track they are doubled up, and have a dual-spring suspension arm and tensioner trailing behind their axle. They mount upon some substantial looking brackets that are added to corresponding recesses on the hull, and the offset suspended axle is then attached to the hull via a short peg/hole arrangement. The dual-wheel drive sprocket affixes simply to the other end of the hull, into a very beefy 7mm diameter socket, to ensure it stays put. The road-wheels are then built up in pairs of inboard and outboard on offset suspension arms, two of which then attach to the sponson that is glued to the triangular mounting points on the lower hull. These build up into two types, A and B, that are interleaved with eachother along the hull, in four assemblies. In all there are 16 wheels along each side of the hull in groups of four, which should test your tyre painting skills! After the wheels and their diminutive return rollers are attached to the hull, the tracks can be assembled. Tracks are provided as individual links on three sprues of brown styrene, with 48 links per sprue. Each link has five sprue gates to ensure there are no short-shot parts, but they are all devoid of any ejector pin marks, which can be the bane of anyone constructing individual track links. The attachment points are small and sensibly placed, while detail on the outer face is excellent, replicating these large slabs of steel very well. The inner face of the track links are fairly smooth, with only a single guide horn in the middle of the part, which is very chunky compared to any of its contemporaries. Each track run takes 62 links according to the instructions, and they recommend gluing them all quickly then draping them around the running gear, which also happens to be my preferred method. Make sure you have plenty of tape and bits of sponge or cotton buds to keep the track in place until the glue cures. Because of the large sponsons and side-skirts it is entirely possible to build up only sufficient track to wrap around the idler wheels and drive sprockets, leaving the top run of track off, which will enable you to paint the track separately and install it later if you wish. Once the running gear is complete, the glacis plate is installed on the lower hull, and this too has the lovely casting detail present on the turret area. Various lifting eyes are attached to the plate, and the removable (on the real thing) cover that gives access to the final drive mechanism for maintenance. Building the upper hull is quite simple, requiring the modeller to first install five clear vision blocks in the starboard front access hatch, which should all be painted a clear blue to simulate the glass found in the real thing. The huge gun is built up from a solid barrel, with a large circular plate that slides down to the aft end of the barrel to protect the mantlet opening, and a two-part flash-hider that attaches to the business end. The mantlet itself is a single donut shaped part that attaches to the upper via two locating pegs, and has a ball mounted behind it to which the barrel is glued. This whole assembly is then locked in place by a large cylindrical block that attaches to the inside of the turret area behind the mantlet. Careful gluing will result in a gun that can elevate as well as traverse the limited amount that it was able. After installing, don't be tempted to skip forward to mounting the upper hull on the lower, as you will need access to the underside for some of the following tasks. There are four holes on the roof of the beast, with the rear starboard one being the mount for the machine-gun turret. The rear port is for the commander's cupola, which has a set of nine clear vision blocks set into the ring, which are protected by an upper ring, which is broken by the hinge for the hatch. Detail is excellent here, and the hatch has the same casting texture as the hull, and again, with careful gluing can be mounted so that it opens and closes. The cupola attaches through the hull onto a lower ring, which allows it to swivel if you are again, careful with the glue. A pair of stereoscopic vision ports for the bow-mounted BESA machine-gun are also built to be movable, although whether this is practical depends partly on luck if you are using liquid glue. The bow-mounted machine-gun itself builds up on a studded ring, with a ball behind it, which should again allow it to traverse once finished. The usual caveats apply regarding glue of course! The gun itself doesn't have a hollow barrel, so either a brass replacement from RB Models or a steady hand with the pin-vice will be needed. The rear of the turret area, with a very nicely cast data plate is added during assembly of the gun, but it could almost be overlooked as it just looks like a flat panel in the diagram. It is because of its raised detail and casting texture that it is a separate part, rather than further complicating the already impressive mould that was responsible for the main upper hull part. With the movable accessories on the hull added, the hull can finally be closed, and the rear bulkhead installed to close up the hull forever. The detail on the rear bulkhead is again very nicely done, with a cast textured rear escape hatch moulded into the part, and some rather large towing hitches and lifting lugs added to substantial slots in the bulkhead to give some extra detail. A few sundry parts are attached to the rear of the turret area, as well as some spare track-links on the sides of the hull. Here I would have preferred the slots into which the links fit to have been flashed over, in case the modeller wished to leave them off for whatever reason. A little filler and some careful sculpting would be the order of the day if you decide to follow that path. The side skirts are each made from a single part, and the outer surface is festooned with bolts that attach them to the suspension assemblies. The lower are has hinges moulded in, which would have made inspection and cleaning of the tracks somewhat easier, but of course these are fixed for the model's purposes. Inside the skirts are festooned with ejector pin marks, but none of these will ever see the light of day, so you can ignore them. The large exhaust that attaches to the rear bulkhead, an impressive looking towing hook, and the front-mounted travel lock for the gun are built up from a large number of parts to be added during the following steps, that sees the detail added to the outer hull. A crew telephone is also attached to the rear bulkhead, which is a feature the British pioneered with their Main Battle Tanks to allow easy communication with the troops that they were in support of. There are a number of cables added to the outer hull during the following steps, which are all supplied as very delicate styrene parts on sprue D. Great care will be needed to remove them from the sprues and clean them up, or you could use them as patterns for replacements made from wire. The two remaining hatches on the top of the tank are added, with the starboard one having the ability to remain mobile after the build. If you are planning on installing a crew however, the port forward hatch will need to be glued open at this stage. Another pair of huge towing hooks are added to the front, and the travel-lock, the driving lights and various other small parts are added to finish off the main hull. As mentioned earlier, some nylon string is included with the kit to replicate the towing cables present on the Tortoise, which are cut into two 108mm lengths and then attached to the towing eyes by drilling 0.8mm holes in the part. The eyes have corresponding attachment points on the starboard fender, with pins and brackets holding them in place. If you prefer to replace them with some real braided wire from your stash, you now know diameters and lengths to choose. The small machine-gun turret is the last part of the model to be constructed, and of course it also benefits from the excellent cast texture that covers a lot of the rest of the hull. A complex viewing periscope is built into the top hatch and a large sprung hinge to the hatch is also depicted. The two BESA MGs sit in a protective mount that allows them to elevate, while the turret's motion provided the traverse. To the port side of the turret are a sextet of smoke discharging tubes, which are replicated on the front corners of the turret, with the activating wires provided in styrene. The turret is a twist-lock fit, and if left unglued, can rotate once installed. Painting of the A39 is simple if you are following the six instances that actually existed. Any shade you like as long as it is olive drab. The tracks and exhaust will of course be in various stages of rusting, and dirt is of course likely to make an appearance. If you decide to go down the What-If route, you can do whatever you wish with the beast. Be aware that on some pictures, including the front of the box, there is a pale grey/green colour painted under the barrel, with a wavy demarcation between the top colour. Check your references before committing to that diversion from the painting instructions, and also ask those in the know whether Olive Drab is indeed the correct colour for British AFVs of this immediate post-war period. Conclusion Since seeing this monster of a tank a couple of years ago during a wander round the internet, and then finding out that there was one at Bovington Tank Museum, which was being restored to running condition, I have been curiously drawn to it. When Meng first announced that they would be kitting it in 1:35, I was very excited but wondered if they would actually bring it to market, as it is (supposedly) a very niche product. However, now that I have actually held the kit in my hands and perused the detail, I am very happy that it has made to market, and if the AFV model market can support THREE editions of the similarly short-lived German NeubauFahrzeug, I'm pretty certain that the Meng A39 will sell very well, and it deserves to. If I was to have a moan, it would be that there aren't any decals, but that really is about all I can find to moan about, and even then, the sheet would probably have to be filled up with speculative markings of tanks that saw service in an alternative timeline. This is a great kit from a great company, and I really do have a lot of respect and admiration for them, not only for kitting this unusual vehicle, but for doing it very well. Meng will be a force to be reckoned with if they carry on doing what they've been doing so far. Very highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of