The Panzer VIII Maus is one of the financial black-hole Paper Panzer projects that actually progressed to a working machine. Two Mauses were completed to operational hulls, one equipped with a weight-test turret, and the other with a real turret armed with the fearsome 128mm KwK 44 L/55 gun with a coaxial 75mm KwK 44 L/36.5 gun. A Maus currently resides in the Kubinka Tank Museum, and is a combination of the two vehicles captured by the Soviets.
As a fantastical and completely impractical vehicle, the Maus makes a great subject for WWII’46 fantasy projects. If the war had actually gone into ’46 and beyond, without some of the crippling setbacks that set the Third Reich up for defeat, many projects could have seen completion and implementation. In reality, the E-series of tanks would have begun to replace the aging Panzer fleet, and the E-100 would have fulfilled the role of super-heavy tank. The Maus likely would have not made it past the handful in production during development, but it’s fun to speculate. Even in ’46, operational Mauses would have spent most of their time avoiding harassment by Allied bombers and would probably not have been useful for anything much more than near-static reinforcement of positions.
This Maus is sporting an Olivegrun-based scheme like that of some late-way King Tigers. I added etched-brass turret-side machine-gun covers, and a machine gun to one of the hatches, as well as light conduits and fuel lines, and aerials, and that is really all that the DML 1/72 Maus needs. Even the figure came with the kit! The weathering came out a bit too heavy, with more drybrushing than I should have done for the scale, but I am otherwise happy with it… it’s interesting to note that the 1/72 Maus is about as long as a 1/48 Tiger I. Included in the pics are some shots with the Scaletiger.
Along with the sci-fi stuff, I really enjoy doing historical armor work. This is Tiger I number 332 of the Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 “Feldherrnhalle” on maneuvers near Bjelgorod, Russia. This is the 1/48 scale Tamiya Tiger I with the Voyager PE set and Tamiya figures and accessories.
This diorama is based on two sets of photos from the reference book Tigers In Combat I, one set showing a number of closeups of Tiger 332 being pulled from the mud, allowing for a very comprehensive set of closeup walk-around photos to allow maximum accuracy in the details. The other photo is the basis for the dio, of Tiger 231 from the same unit leaving a staging area in Bjelgorod on a dusty road in August with some rather casual looking infantry moving along with it.
The King Tiger/Tiger II was a late-war development, and just about the scariest thing an Allied tanker could run into. The Tiger I was big and strong, but the Tiger II was monstrous, which became more of a hindrance than a benefit. Early vehicles featured a curved turret designed by Porsche, which was superseded by the Henschel production turret because the Porsche turret featured a weak spot in the armor around the complex curves of the commander’s position. Because of when they were introduced, Porsche turreted Tiger IIs were almost always covered in Zimmerit anti-magnetic paste coating.
Last year DML began releasing Injection Plastic kits with Zimmerit coatings already applied on the sprues… before this a modeler would either have to sculpt his own coating from putty, carve the coating in with a heating tool, or buy an aftermarket Zimm set, either in resin or etched metal… all to mixed results. The new Zimm-applied DML kits allow even novice modelers to build German WWII subjects from the Zimm period with ease. My King Tiger represents a vehicle from the 503. I painted the base color with a rattle can, and then hand brushed all the camo with thinned acrylics. Weathering and details were done with oil paints and weathering pigments. DML provides most of their kits now with comprehensive etch sheet and a turned metal gun barrel, so the only thing I added was the stowage from Verlinden’s resin sets.
The Sdkfz. 234/2 was was one in a line of 8-rad recon armored fighting vehicles used by the Germans in WWII. They featured independent steering and both front and rear driving stations for speedy getaways.
Dragon Limited Models made a fantastic line of 234s in 1/35 (standard military scale). The 234/2 is named the ‘Puma’, and features an enclosed turret with a light cannon. The DML kit features a modest interior that is missing some features (such as ammunition storage racks and the battery) because there was no record of the ‘real’ interior of the vehicle. I added the battery based on conjecture and photos of the rest of the 234 series, but the ammo storage is pretty much a mystery. The kit does feature both the front and rear driving positions, which are pretty neat. I also added some gear to the interior to give it a ‘lived in’ feel.