DML 1/72 Maus Heavy Tank Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Maus Heavy Tank
|163 parts (155 in grey styrene, 4 in etched brass, 2 in tan DS 100 plastic; 2 in grey vinyl)
|Nice state-of-the-art kit of this vehicle; provides both test and production turrets; crew of two included
|Entering a market with at least two other competitors plus resin kits
The Maus – one of the most bizarre offshoots of "just because we can" thinking – has been a popular subject with modelers for years due to the over-the-top design placed in the vehicle. Even the name shows that the Germans themselves had a sense of humor about a vehicle so large no reasonable local bridge in Europe could effectively support it, so it had to be designed to ford from the beginning. Weighing in at 188 metric tons (or 207 short tons) it does hold the record as the biggest tank ever built.
DML did a very nice job of a 1/35 version of the Maus some years back, but this kit does not appear to be a pantographed version of that kit. It is a new kit in its own right, and has some nice touches. It comes with DS 100 tan glueable vinyl tracks, so many will be happy they do not have to do single-link tracks on this kit. All of the road wheels are separate as are their bogies.
The model comes with the usual nice DML touches, such as essential brass screens and a vinyl crew of two in casual poses. But it also comes with a choice of the "production turret" as found on the V2 survivor at Kubinka with coaxial 12.8 cm and 7.5 cm guns, both of which come with the now-traditional DML pre-drilled bores, and the option of the V1 test turret weight block used on the prototypes. That is complemented with a VIP access ladder for the side of the vehicle as well, made from a single section of etched brass.
This is open and has no interior, so not sure whether it was like that or this is just a case of DML giving the modeler what it had information on at the time and not making things up as some other companies have done over the years. One of the better known photos of the V1 Maus shows a man walking around inside the weight mockup, so it may have had a temporary deck of some sort installed in there.
The model actually offers three different finishing schemes: one for a Maus about the time of the Seelowe Heights , one for Berlin 1945 with simulated kill marks, and one for the V1 tank at Kummersdorf Testing Grounds in 1945 with hastily applied Soviet stars. The markings are off of a pretty good size sheet with two sets of numbers and many other detail markings for the kit. All are pretty much hypothetical except for the test model. The only confirmed paint color anyone really has for this tank is the Soviet Protective Green ("Khaki No. 2") color the V1 with V2 turret (or according to the Soviet records, this is what they have) is currently painted in at Kubinka.
Overall, this is a good "complete the collection" kit and I am sure many modelers will use one or the other hypothetical schemes. One could do the Kubinka green scheme with a note "for sale, cost US $5 million, inquire within" which is what the Soviets were rumored to have told the German government when they asked if they could get it back!
Thanks to DML for the review sample.