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In-Box Review
135
Panzer VIII Maus
Panzer VIII Maus
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by: Mark [ D111298PW ]

Introduction

The first recorded mention of a 100 ton class tank was in early March 1942. In early January 1943 Porsche’s 170t design was selected. Porsche was contracted to design the vehicle. Krupp-Essen was contracted to construct the hulls and turret. Alkett was responsible for final assembly. The first test vehicle, V1, began trials in February 1944. Since the turret wasn’t ready, a substitute weight was installed. Test vehicle V2 joined the program in September 1944 with the first production turret installed. These are the only two vehicles ever completed.

Sometime in the spring of 1945 V2 was sent to Wunsdorf. It was found by the Russians in the Hindenburgplatz where it had been destroyed by the crew. While the hull had been heavily damaged, the turret had been blown off, but relatively undamaged. The Russians also captured V1 intact. It appears that they then installed the turret from V2 onto the V1 hull for transport back to Kubinka for testing. This combination still resides at the Kubinka museum today.

The turret contains a 12.8cm KwK 44 L/55 main gun with a 7.5cm KwK 44 L/36 gun mounted coaxially.

What’s in the Box

This version of the kit is from Cyber-Hobby, one of their orange box series value kits, and released in 2011. This kit was originally released, by Dragon, in 1992 and they reissued it in 1997. Cyber-Hobby has added the Dragon tank hunter team figures set (6034) with this release. What’s in the box:
Tank:
8 sprues molded in gray
1 upper hull
1 lower hull
1 turret
1 Decal sheet
1 6 page instruction manual

Tank Hunter Team:
2 sprues molded in gray

Looking at the Kit

Review

The quality of the styrene is ok. It is on the soft side and attachment points are thicker than needed. Mold lines are heavy and have visible steps that will be difficult to remove on some parts. There is some flash on several of the parts. There are ejector pin marks on many of the parts that will have to be removed as they will be visible, especially on road wheels and tracks.

Instructions – Standard Cyber-Hobby format, consisting of 6 pages of line drawings. The instructions are on the small side, being similar to an A5 sheet. Tank assembly is broken down into 8 steps. The kit is only 276 parts. Figure assembly is shown on the painting guide page. The figures are an additional 63 parts.

Step 1 of the assembly begins with the road wheels/suspension boogies. There are 12 boogies, six per side. Each boogie is comprised of 10 parts. The road wheels are the solid disk style and look correct when compared to pictures. The real road wheels do have a rubber ring molded on them that will need to be painted separately. The wheels are not designed to rotate. Ejector marks are on the back of the road wheels and will need to be removed. You also assemble the idler and drive sprocket. This step alone accounts for 128 parts, or 46% of the total parts count.

Step 2 installs all the parts from step 1 on the lower hull, along with the front escape hatch, and front tow hooks. I would recommend not installing the idler and drive sprocket until step 4.

Step 3 begins work on the upper hull. You add the driver’s hatch, shot deflectors, headlights and other external parts for the forward deck area. There are no PE screens included in the kit.

Step 4 assembles the tracks. Each side comprises 42 parts. You use 14 each of parts D1, D2, and D3 per track run.

Step 5 adds the jettison able fuel tank, convoy light and additional parts of the rear structure.

Step 6 begins the turret assembly. Both the 12.8cm and 7.5cm barrels are of two piece construction. This means you will have a seam on both that will need to be removed. The barrels are then installed in the mantlet. This assemble is then installed in the turret.

Step 7 adds the bottom turret plate and all of the turret roof parts.

Step 8 completes construction with installation of the side armor skirts and turret.

Painting – Color call-outs reference Aqueous Hobby Color, Mr. Color, and Model Master.

Decals – You are provided a set of white numbers and white Balkenkreuz. Some additional placard markings are also included.

Pictures of V2 show that there were no turret numbers or Balkenkreuz visible on the tank. The modeller is free to do whatever they like with these decals.

Tank Hunter Team
These sprues are of the same styrene as the tank, too soft. This leaves the details being soft and not as sharp as they should be. The edges of the pieces will need a lot of clean-up to get a decent fit.

Reference Books
Panzer Tracts No. 6-3: Schwere Panzerkampfwagen Maus and E 100, development and production from 1942 to 1945
SUMMARY
Highs: This is a simple and quick build kit with a low parts count. Link and length tracks. Not expensive. For those interested, the figure set is a nice bonus.
Lows: No internal details of any kind. Quality of the kit is not the best available.
Verdict: This is a very basic kit that allows you to add a Panzer VIII Maus to your collection. Takom has released specific kits of V1 (2049) and V2(2050) at a similar price point and looks to have better quality. Trumpeter is releasing a V2 version (9541).
Percentage Rating
80%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 9133
  PUBLISHED: Oct 06, 2018
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 88.33%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 87.43%

About Mark (d111298pw)
FROM: DELHI, INDIA / भारत

I'm from the US, but have lived most of my adult life around the world due to my work. I'm currently in India for the last 2 years. I started building models when I was 6. Took a 30 break as other priorities took hold (work,family, etc..). Got back into it a number of years back building F1 kits (...

Copyright ©2018 text by Mark [ D111298PW ]. All rights reserved.



Comments

I enjoy reviews on older kits like this as much as reviews on what's hot & new. Thanks for the insight into this admittedly older kit.
OCT 06, 2018 - 12:26 PM
I assume this is the 1990s Shanghai Dragon mold? That probably explains the meagre quality and detail.
OCT 06, 2018 - 05:57 PM
Got that one right. The "Orange Box" kits are merely reissues of the long-of-tooth early kits with some extra thrown in and seem to be a great deal when compared with new releases -until you compare details.
OCT 08, 2018 - 11:26 AM
We broke our quick reply box. Working on it. Until fixed go to topic to reply.
Thanks.
   

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