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Updating DML's 1/35 Maus 'Super-tank'
Jamesite
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008 - 10:33 AM GMT+7
Hello!
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!
Jamesite
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008 - 10:33 AM GMT+7
First off here is a look at what you get in the box:



A. The kit box complete with Volstad's excellent painting of the Maus in somewhat 'artistic' surroundings.
B. The kit instructions, a fold out leaflet with DML's usual black, blue and grey print to their usual quality (ie. well printed but have your wits about you!).
C. The kits decal sheet, these are past their best due to the kit being 2nd hand, but as they are completely imaginary (There is no evidence it’s not a problem
D. The Turret shell
E. Remainder of turret parts
F. Hull parts and sprocket and return rollers
G. Upper Hull
H. Lower hull
I. Road wheels suspension and tracks (6x identical spruces)

As an early indication to the size of this kit, I lined the hull and turret up with a 15cm / half foot ruler.....



Big ey!
Jamesite
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008 - 10:34 AM GMT+7
From looking at what is contained in the box you can see that the kit is relatively simple, and should build up very nicely into a good representation of the Maus, and it will.
However, for us 'serious' modellers a bit of research will soon start to show that to build an accurate representation of the finalV2 there are very few parts on the original kit that don't need altering or replacing in some way!

With this in mind I set about aquiring the neccesary parts to correct the kit and ended up with the lovely little stash seen here........



These are:

1. Dragon 6007 German super tank ‘Maus’
2. Tamiya 35201 German tank crew at rest
3. Tamiya 35241 German motorcycle orderly set
4. Dragon 6192 Sturmgeschϋtze Crew Reloading, Russia 1941
5. Tamiya 35185 1/35 Pz.Kpfw.IV On Vehicle Equipment Set x2
6. Atelier Infinite 35-0023 Mantlet for E-100 w/Turret Hatches
7. Atelier Infinite 35-003 Maus Road Wheels w/Holes
8. Eduard 35252 Maus detail set for DML kit
9. Verlinden 1053 Maus Engine + Transmission Compartments
10. Jordi Rubio 3524 128mm Pak 44. L/55
11. Verlinden 48 Mesh Wire

The three figure sets were from my stash as was one of the Tamiya1/35 Pz.Kpfw.IV On Vehicle Equipment Sets, however everything else was bought for the purpose.

Feel free to ask away about any of these sets, I’ll be glad to answer.

Now you’ll have to wait until Monday for any build pics as I’m going to get started this weekend!

James
Kuno-Von-Dodenburg
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008 - 11:08 AM GMT+7
James,

I look forward with interest to following your progress, as I have one of these lurking in my stash.

- Steve
AikinutNY
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008 - 12:41 PM GMT+7
Verlinden Engine kit. I installed one in my Maus and I hate to say that unless the covers are off the details are lost.
mark197205
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Posted: Friday, February 01, 2008 - 12:43 PM GMT+7
You have been a busy boy James, your credit card must be in hiding after buying the Atelier Infinite stuff, though I notice you didnt get the tracks too.....
I dont know if you were aware but there were actually another 3 Maus hulls and turrets made before the end of the war, pics of these can be found in Panzerwrecks Vol 5..
These pics are handy as they show details that would normally be hidden...
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2008 - 06:08 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

James,

I look forward with interest to following your progress, as I have one of these lurking in my stash.

- Steve



Hey Steve, thanks, i'll try not to disapoint!


Quoted Text

Verlinden Engine kit. I installed one in my Maus and I hate to say that unless the covers are off the details are lost.



Hi Jim, I know where you are coming from, as the hatches do cover a lot of the detail, however, I beleive they will look a lot better than leaving the area under the grills empty and should provide a nice little 'extra' for anyone viewing the model who notices them.


Quoted Text

You have been a busy boy James, your credit card must be in hiding after buying the Atelier Infinite stuff, though I notice you didnt get the tracks too.....
I dont know if you were aware but there were actually another 3 Maus hulls and turrets made before the end of the war, pics of these can be found in Panzerwrecks Vol 5..
These pics are handy as they show details that would normally be hidden...

#

Hi Mark, good to have you on board mate.
Yes the card is in hiding, mostly because I just bought a new car, but also because I ordered the Atelier Infinite stuff from HLJ only to realise that Lou Sterner has them right here in the UK - doh! never mind whats done is done.
I didn't go for the workable tracks or workable suspension for the kit as I don't need them to be workable and the kit link and length tracks should do fine (although I have heard they are too short - more on this when I get to them). There are also replacment Maus turrets available for anyone who is interested. As for the other hulls and turrets, I do have a few pics of these thanks mate, I didnt mention them before as they were never completed as you say. And yes they do show some insight to the Maus internal layout and construction which is interesting.

Some of this weekend's progress coming right up!

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, February 04, 2008 - 08:58 PM GMT+7
Ok, some of my progress so far;

First up I began at the start of the instructions with the drive and return rollers, nothing too special here, they are made up of two peices each and go together easily with minimal clearing up, I popped in a 1/35 figure for size comparison (Appologies for the pic, the flash had 'blinded' some of the detail so I had to play about with the pic a little).



Next up were the bogey assemblies. There are 12 of these, each with 4 roadwheels, so I thought it best to get started! I've decided to build one each day I sit down with this kit to spread them out a bit as otherwise i'd get very bored!

The first alteration to the kit is here, as the roadwheels in the kit are the 'plain' variety as fitted to V1 and V2 when first built. There is evidence of V2 later being fitted with new roadwheels that feature 12 holes in their outer surface (possibly a weight saving measure?) as seen below:



While photos of V2 as destroyed are inconclusive as to whether the smooth variety were re-fitted or the later type retained, I went with these as I doubt they would have wanted to change all 48 roadwheels again! Here are how the two wheel varieties line up:



The altier Infinite one's are well cast and despite having to remove the casting lugs are easier to clean up than the DML versions that have very pronounced mould seams around their edge to remove. This seems to be an issue with most of the bogey/suspension components which show the kits age, as they are not nearly as well cast as todays dragon kits. Fotunately these are almost entirely hidden and so only exposed parts need properly cleaning up. Here is the first off the line:



After assembling this unit 2 things became apparent.

1 - that the locating holes on the altier infinite wheels are not drilled out to the same depth as the DML versions and so the lugs on the bogey units need to be trimmed accordingly.
2 - The assemblies will be a pain to paint as they are, and so others will be left in sections to be painted and assembled afterwards. This will mean I can airbrush those hard to reach places and properly paint the rubber rims on the roadwheels with minimum hassle.

The Eduard set provides an interior for the Maus driving compartment, and so I began work on this so that I could get it finished and painted and then start on the upper hull proper.
However, this proved to be easier said than done. As shown in the pic below the Maus driving compartment had an escape hatch in the hull floor, at the front right of the compartment in front of the radio operator.



Unfortunately however, the DML kit has the hatch on the left hand side as shown:



So this bottom panel was cut out, and reversed as shown:



However, the hatch is still to far back and has the hinge area incorrectly cut out too. The hatch should just be a circle butted up against the lower glacis plate as seen in the reference pic above.
Therefore the hinge area was filled and the panel trimmed to move the hatch into correct position, with a spare piece of plastic used to fill the offending hole.
Also notice that the two rectanglar cut-outs in the sponsons were filled using plastic and filler, along with some sink marks here that will be exposed within the interior.



That’s all for now!

James
REDDOG15
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 08:14 AM GMT+7
that's.....a beast. ill be following this one !! looking forward to more!

SerpentSix
Joined: November 02, 2006
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 08:38 AM GMT+7
I'm sure someone will correct me on these to points but... I do not believe that the road wheels were rubber rimmed but were steel rimmed as most of the late war German designs (just trying to save you from having to paint all that black). Also I thought I had read that the "holed" version of the road wheels was an experiment and they rapidly went back to the solid version (just for back story, not disparaging what you are doing). I do not have access to my reference books right now but will check when I get home. I look forward to following this build as it looks to be quite fun.
mark197205
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 11:04 AM GMT+7
Good work on the escape hatch James, thats a great pic of the interior of the drivers compartment, considering the size of the beast its quite tight in there....
jointhepit
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 11:28 AM GMT+7
cool I'll follow this up

TacFireGuru
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 03:26 PM GMT+7
James,

Did the MAUS book show yet????? Now I'm starting to get worried.

Mike
SGTJKJ
#041
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 06:49 PM GMT+7
Very interesting James. I am looking forward to follow this build.

Looking forward to see more
Jamesite
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 09:35 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

that's.....a beast. ill be following this one !! looking forward to more!



Thanks Sam, more should be be coming right up!


Quoted Text

I'm sure someone will correct me on these to points but... I do not believe that the road wheels were rubber rimmed but were steel rimmed as most of the late war German designs (just trying to save you from having to paint all that black). Also I thought I had read that the "holed" version of the road wheels was an experiment and they rapidly went back to the solid version (just for back story, not disparaging what you are doing). I do not have access to my reference books right now but will check when I get home. I look forward to following this build as it looks to be quite fun.


Looking at the wheels I'm inclined to agree, they most probably are steel rimmed, i'll allow them to be so I don't have to paint them all black as you say! although i'll still probably have to go with bare metal anyway so its 6 of one half a dozen of the other.
I had read that they may have returned to the solid wheels, although there doesn't appear to be any solid (excuse the pun) evidence for this. and as mentioned, the destroyed V2 pics are inconclusive. At worst at least they add some interest to tank that is otherwise relatively plain.


Quoted Text

Good work on the escape hatch James, thats a great pic of the interior of the drivers compartment, considering the size of the beast its quite tight in there....


Thanks mate, more on this coming up. It is incredible just how cramped it is in there, what with Dr. Porsche's electric drive transmission taking up all of the other room! Its also worth noting that there was no access between the drivers compartment and the turret.


Quoted Text

cool I'll follow this up


Thanks mate, glad to have you on board!


Quoted Text

James,
Did the MAUS book show yet????? Now I'm starting to get worried.
Mike


No Mike it hasn't appeared yet unfortunately. I'm a bit worried myself now. Ah well, i've decided to battle on without it anyway, perhaps its got a bit lost but will find its way to me eventually (most likely as soon as I finish my build!)


Quoted Text

Very interesting James. I am looking forward to follow this build.

Looking forward to see more


Thanks Jesper, hope to keep the posts 'flowing' so to speak, and as mentioned more coming right up.........

Thanks to everyone whos taken the time to post, its good to know someone is actually reading this!

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Tuesday, February 05, 2008 - 09:53 PM GMT+7
OK, I've continued with the drivers compartment now the floor issues have been fixed, most of this has been concentrated on the Eduard PE, which is pretty good at representing the area, although has the usual PE limitations (it is flat) and has missed a couple of things.



The drivers seats and 'plinths' were constructed as per the Eduard instructions, with the tissue paper and white glue method used to create the chair cushions. The drivers operating handles were replaced with copper wire as they should be circular. I began adding detail to the right hand hull side of the hull and will continue with this to represent the detail shown in the photo, although I won't go mad as little will be visible through the hatch and so only an idea is needed.
The escape hatch was detailled with spare PE and wire to simulate a 'submarine style' hatch mechanism, that I think best represents the picture.

I should note that this is just dry fitted at this stage and there are still a few odds and sods to add, such as the large fire exstinguishers to the right of the escape hatch.

See for yourself how it measures up:




Thats all for today,

Cheers,

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Thursday, February 07, 2008 - 10:23 PM GMT+7
Finished the detailling in the interior now, as mentioned I have been pretty minimal with detail as very little will be visible through the hatch:



Here are my attempts at the large fire extinguishers, they are made from what I beleive are spare recoil cylinders from a 88mm Flak 36, but were the only circular bits of plastic I had that fitted the Eduard brackets. However, strangely, despite being the correct diameter for the curve of the Eduard brackets, the Eduard straps wouldn't fit around them (In the instructions Eduard show they should be left empty so perhaps this is why?). No bother I used some lead foil to simulate the straps and added some short peices of rod to the top of the cylinders to make them look more like extinguishers. Again not a 100% match for the real thing, but in my opinion better than nothing!



With the interior pretty much done (need to break out the airbrush on that one now!) I turned my attention to the upper hull.
The Verlinden engine and transmission set provides an (almost) complete set of replacement resin hatch covers, all of which require some cleanup to remove resin pouring found as a film along the underside of the parts, and therefore has to be removed from all of the grill slots, quite time consuming but easily done if you sand down the back of the part then cut out any offending resin from the back with a sharp knife.
The kit hatches then have to be cut out, again use a sharp knife and take your time (slips can be costly in kit and blood terms!) running along the inner edge of the sunken area around the hatch.
With the main engine hatch removed I could now alter the replacement part as can be seen from this refernce pic of the Maus in Kubinka, the supporting struts for the shell deflector shield should have holes running through them, a feature missing on both the kit and replacement Verlinden parts.



In order to do this the central points for the holes were marked, and drilled out with a pin vice and increasingly bigger drill bits. The two central struts had to be drilled at an angle as the outer struts obstructed access.
Here is the kit and replacement Verlinden part:



That’s all for today I’m afraid,

James
koenele
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Posted: Friday, February 08, 2008 - 12:14 AM GMT+7
intresting blog,
following this one!
Jamesite
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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 08:53 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text

intresting blog,
following this one!



Thanks Koen, glad to have you along!

James
Jamesite
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Posted: Sunday, February 10, 2008 - 10:14 PM GMT+7
Continuing from where I left off.....

With the replacement engine hatch modified and fitted the central shell deflector shield was installed. The DML kit part is incorrevt as it is in one peice when the real part was in three sections, I cut along the join which runs parallel with the engine hatch to seperate the part into three. The middle peice was then fitted onto the drilled out supporting struts.
The two side portions were then fitted alongside with an extra support made from the supports on the removed DML engine hatch, which were cut from the part, sanded to shape and had the same sized hole drilled through them. Once fitted they much more accurately represent the real central shell deflector on the Maus:

From the front:

And the rear:


With this done, all of the replacement hatches had noe been fitted to the upper hull:



Just a note, if you are adding the Verlinden set to the Maus yourself i'd suggest against replacing all the hatches. Unless showing them removed there is no extra benefit and the Verlinden parts are a bit undersized making fitting a bit of a chore, I battled on as i'm stubborn and wanted to use the set I had paid for, plus I figured I should follow it through for this blogs sake if nothing else, but I wouldn't recommend it!

Meanwhile the interior was completed:


Along with the crew hatches:

the floor escape hatch has already been mentioned, but the main hatch has just had some weld beads added as my only reference pic of the inside face of the hatch shows it was devoid of detail, I did however leave the DML detail in place to add some interest.


Now with all the replacement hatches fitted and the interior complete it was time to break out the airbrush for a coat of red primer...........
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 02:29 AM GMT+7
Ok, so I mixed up a red primer colour using a mixture of the Tamiya acrylics, flat red, hull red and buff.
Preperation for painting was minimal, though as I wanted to paint the inside edges of crew hatches, they were masked with blue-tak to minimise overspray onto the model which may cause issues later on in the build.



So the entire turret interior along with the drivers area were airbrushed, here is the interior after spraying (and some intial brush painting), the camera has made the colour look a little to light, in reality it is a bit darker, and once washes etc. have been appled it should be a good shade.



Along with the interior areas the Verlinden engine and transmission set was given a base coat of the primer, firstly so that the resin would be easier to hand-paint, and secondly as the edges of each 'unit' would be primer coloured anyway this would be an easy way to paint them.



Finally here is a shot of the upper hull after spraying. Here you can see that the two side shell deflector shields have been added around the fuel filler caps. All shell deflectors have also had the impression of the subtle weld beads present on the deflectors, added with Mr. surfacer, this was also added to the raised cast areas around the engine hatch.
Also note the aerial bases added from Tamiya's Pz IV equipment set as the kit doesn't include any despite leaving holes for them.



All comments on my progress so far are more than welcome,

Cheers,

James
MrMox
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 03:06 AM GMT+7
Looking very good so far.

I´m wondering if that drivers hatch in the pic actually is made of wood considering the lack of any latch etc. on the inside ?

Keep ém comming
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 04:46 AM GMT+7

Quoted Text

Looking very good so far.

I´m wondering if that drivers hatch in the pic actually is made of wood considering the lack of any latch etc. on the inside ?

Keep ém comming



A very good point Jan, it is quite possible. Although if so it would be temporary as V2 definately appears to have been fitted with a robust enough hatch to withstand the explosion that destroyed its hull, and the V1 in Kubinka also has a metal hatch. I'll do some research on this and see what I can come up with,

Thanks for your comments,

James
mark197205
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 04:59 AM GMT+7
Looking good James, the drivers compartment is cracking.
Jamesite
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Posted: Monday, February 11, 2008 - 09:14 PM GMT+7
Thanks mate, I started some chipping in there last night but probably went a bit overboard, didnt have chance to photograph it but will update y'all soon.

Cheers,

James