Welcome to my build log of DML's 1/35 Maus that i'll be overhauling for the Ideal Experiments Campaign.
I've always wanted to build a Maus due to the shear scale of this 188T Monster, but with the DML kit OOP I had kind of given up hope, then on a trip to the LHS shop I luckily spotted one on a bottom shelf, that had apparently arrived that morning from someone who had found it in their attic, so a few quid later I was the happy owner of my very on Maus!
Only two Maus’ were ever built, V1 and V2. V1 had a mock-up turret with weights and V2 was completed with a full turret mounting a 128mm KwK44 L/55 main armament and a co-axial 75 mm KwK 44 L/36.5 and MG-34. Neither tank moved far from their proving grounds at Böblingen and Kummersdorf, and V1 ended the war here when the advancing Russian army overran the grounds at Kummersdorf, but not before it was sabotaged by the retreating Germans. With the war in it’s final days V2 was dispatched for Berlin to help defend the capital but broke down at Stamplager, near Zossen where it was blown up by its crew (The kit transfers and box-art are incorrect as they imply V2 was used in battle to defend Berlin). The turret however remained largely intact, and the Russians combined the turret of V2 and the hull of V1 to produce a complete tank, which after tests was displayed at the Kubinka Tank museum.
It is this V1/V2 hybrid that DML took measurements from for their kit, meaning that overall, it is dimensionally accurate. However, they inadvertedly copied V1 features that V2 didn’t have on the lower hull, and therefore missed others, giving us modelers a bit of work to do.
On top of this, V2 underwent a re-fit at some point which altered some of its key features, including turret roof lay-out and road wheels meaning there are two different variants of V2 that can be modeled.
My intention is to model V2 just before it was destroyed, as it was on its way to defend Berlin. The idea of the beast so close to being used in combat, only to break down before making it (with a power to weight ratio of just 6.4hp/tonne - its not surprising) has a certain romantic/tragic air to it that I would like to convey with my dio.
As I’ll be altering the ‘earlyV2 hybrid V1’ dragon kit to the late/final V2 and will try to do this in photographed steps with reference pictures (both original and of the Maus in Kubinka) to explain my reasons and to help explain what I am trying to achieve.
Sorry to go on but I like to set the scene!