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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
Hosted by Darren Baker
Maus 1:35 with interior
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
KitMaker: 376 posts
Armorama: 202 posts
Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:16 AM UTC
I have always liked the Maus. Partly because of its futuristic looks, unlike any tank built before or after it (although we are starting to see those slab sides in modern tanks), partly because of the many engineering superlatives. The Dragon kit (I'm using the Orange Box edition, 9133), first issued 20 years ago, while lacking in details and with minor things that need to be corrected, has its dimensions accurate and is thus a good, solid basis for improvement. As provided in the box, it represents the spring of 1946 hybrid put together by the soviets from the hull of V1 and the turret of V2. I intend to build the second prototype, the V2, the one with a turret, as it was on 21st of April, 1945 prior to being blown up by its own crew in Wunsdorf, 30 kilometers away from the Kummersdorf testing facility. It will have a scratch built interior that will be as complete as possible.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:20 AM UTC
A bit of history:
Most people tend to ignore or dismiss the Maus as a "Paper Panzer". The truth is that it has the dubious honor of being the only German tank whose production was stopped by the allied bombing campaign. This tank is the creation of a genius engineer, Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, its in-house designation was Typ 205. It all started on 8.6.1942 in Berlin at a Führer Conference. The armor thickness was specified (20/18/15 cm) with a 12.8 or 15 cm main gun, with the possibility to upgrade to 18 cm. The go-ahead for the production was given at the Führer Conference held on 3rd January, 1943. Things progressed quickly, a wooden 1:1 scale mock-up was presented on 14th of May, 1943. It was decided that 120 Pz.Kpfw Maus should be produced at a rate of 10 every month, a figure later reduced to 5. Mass production started in early July,1943. A bombing raid that took place in early august 1943 was successful in killing off the production program by destroying vital machine-tools. Repeated attempts were made by Porsche to reinstate the production, ultimately to no avail. Production ceased after 2 vehicles were completed (the first did not receive its turret) and 7 hulls (Wanne) with their turrets and another 8 Wanne that were ready to be welded. The completed machines were tested at Böblingen and Kummersdorf. Maus V2 has actually fought in a delaying action against units of the 3rd Guards Tank Army, part of Kampfgruppe Kahler on 21st of April 1945. The inventory of Kampgruppe Kahler at the time was: one T34/43, two M4 Sherman, one Sd.KFz 222, one Sd.KFz 231, one Sd.Kfz 234/2 Puma, two Sd.Kfz 251/1, one Sd.Kfz 251/17, one Sd.Kfz 251/22, two Hetzer, one StuG IV, one MobelWagen, one Ostwind, one Pz IA, one Pz IIC, one PZ. IIIL, one Pz IVJ, two Pz. V Panther. More exotic vehicles were: one VK 3001(H), one immobile VK 4502(P) V, and the two Maus prototypes. The supporting infantry was a mixture of VolksSturm and FallschirmJaeger, while the vehicles were manned by what remained from the elite instructors from Kummersdorf. The Maus V1, used as support for the V2, broke down in a field and was blown up by its crew, without significant damage however. The V2 was also blown up by its crew in Wunsdorf, at the Hindenburgplatz, in front of the Maybach I bunker, 30 kilometers away from the testing facility. The damage to the hull was significant as it still had ammunition left. Please note that its fuel consumption was 350 liters of Diesel every 10 km. After the war, the soviets took the more or less intact turret of Maus V2 and mated it to the hull of Maus V1. The hybrid was put together by a German work force under soviet supervision. It arrived at Kubinka on 4th of May, 1946 on its specially designed railway car, built in late 1943 - early 1944. It was then extensively tested, including being used as a target for all the soviet antitank equipment of the day, to which unsurprisingly it proved impervious. In the early 1950's in a sorry, gutted state, its carcass was donated to the Kubinka tank museum, where it lies today. There are rumors about the existence of another complete Maus somewhere in the depths of Russia, that was captured intact in Berlin after the end of the battle.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
KitMaker: 376 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:24 AM UTC
There is a widespread misconception that the Maus was a lumbering beast, barely crawling due to its weight. Nothing could be further from the truth! Its top speed of 20 km/hour was quickly reached, it could climb slopes of 45 degrees with greatest ease, and it had deep wading capability. Its minimal turning radius was 7.25 m, almost twice that of a Tiger I at 3.55m, but significantly less the 18.6 m for a M4 Sherman mid production. Note that the T34 with its "legendary mobility" could only do skid turns. On 15th of March, 1944 the Maus V1 has sunk in swampy ground up to 90% the height of its hull, due the driver not knowing the terrain, avoided even by light tanks. After laying timbers under the tracks, the vehicle quickly and effortlessly pulled itself free under its own power, without the need for external help. The Maus could be steered with great accuracy, even when it had sunk half a meter into clay, as evidenced during a test drive on January 15th, 1944. The steering was already proven to be sublime when the Maus V1 was maneuvered around the Werkhalle at Alkett, as well as during a trial on the Ruhleben. It had neutral steering when the vast majority of tanks didn't - it could perform on the spot turns by engaging the tracks in opposite directions. When the V2 was delivered at Böblingen on the 10th of March 1944, it was driven without problems over the icy road, including inclines of 12% on iced-over surfaces. With intuitive controls that made it very easy to drive, it didn't need any specific driving skills.

Dimensions are as follows:

Length 10.2 meters
Width 3.71 meters
Height 3.63 meters

The armor was cut from naval plating of the finest quality, the "Wotan hart neuer Art" (WhnA).

Hull armor:

- Frontal armor 200 mm
- Lateral armor 180 mm
- Posterior armor 150 mm
- Roof 100 and 50 mm
- Floor 100 and 50 mm
- Tracks are protected by 100 mm armor

Turret:
- Frontal armor (round) 220 mm
- Lateral armor 200 mm
- Posterior armor 200 mm
- Roof 60 mm

Without a doubt an engineering triumph, it was however hampered by the strain of its 188 tons weight on the infrastructure (roads and bridges). For railway transport a special car was designed and built for it.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
KitMaker: 376 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:30 AM UTC
The hull tub, imperative correction: cutting and then flipping the front section of the floor, as the escape hatch is located on the wrong side, in spite of having the right size and correct position relative to the front edge of the hull. Dimensions of the section that needs to be cut are: length 4.2 cm, and width 2.9 centimeters.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:36 AM UTC
Two drain holes were drilled and a new lid for the motor access hatch was made, as the kit represents the contour of the hatch itself.

FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 01:43 AM UTC
Another correction that must be operated is at the back of the hull tub: the two circular hatches must be re-positioned, as they are too far apart and do not mirror each other as they should have, specifically the front one needs to be rotated 180 degrees. A weld mark that shouldn't have been there needs to be puttied over.


This would be the correct position:
SDavies
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England - South East, United Kingdom
Joined: January 09, 2010
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 02:20 AM UTC
A 1/35th Maus with a full interior, wow thats going to look impressive and I am following this thread with interest.

I would imagine that interior references are hard to come by? I know with some experience that getting references for the Tiger 1 is hard enough. Is your main source the Russian maus?

I always thought that the Maus project was a complete waste of time for many reasons the main one being complete Allied air superiority. The tank would have been destroyed long before it could fire at Allied armour.

I never understood the German fascination with super heavy tanks, the Tiger, Panther and Tiger II were excellent AFV and no one complained that they were under armed or underarmoured.

I believe that the Maus represented a disserpation of scarce German resources that could have been better used producing improvements Panther and Tiger Tanks but that will not affect my enjoyment of this build

S
DazzaD
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South Australia, Australia
Joined: June 17, 2007
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 04:13 AM UTC
I will be following this one too. The Maus tank was a weird beast as you have mentioned and I have always been interested in it. I built one a few years back but never went into the interior... I thought that would be way out of my league.

I look forwards to seeing your progress and GOOD LUCK!
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
KitMaker: 376 posts
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 09:07 AM UTC
The references I use are: Wafen Revue no 17-20, Panzer Tracts 6-3, Panzer Wrecks 5, Kampfpanzer Maus by Michael Frohlich, russian books and publications, period drawings, a couple of photos of the interior and engine compartment, and some pictures of the Kubinka vehicle.

@SDavies: No tank that was -or will ever be- built is invulnerable to air power, not just the Maus. Tanks are built to fight tanks, and the Maus was supremely capable of that.

The reason for the existence of the Porsche Typ 205 Maus was given by Hitler at a conference with Albert Speer on 3-5 January 1943. I quote: "Technical superiority can only be assured for a combat period of one year. Therefore one must now already plan for achieving superiority in 1944. For this year the Tiger and Panther are superior. The "Maeuschen" and the new Tiger with the 8.8 cm L/71 gun must bring this superiority for 1944." As you can see it was an unfounded fear and not megalomania that produced this beast. And when this fear proved unfounded the project received a low priority. In March 1944 Porsche tried to resume production of the Maus but was not allocated the necessary work force.
The "fascination" for heavy tanks is simple to explain, the German leadership rightly acknowledged that in a war man matters the most, machine could be replaced, while skill takes a lot longer to develop. Then there is the morale factor - how would you feel if you went to war in a tin can firing a peashooter? Not good at all knowing that you could die the very second the enemy fires at you while you do little or no damage in return! Things are at the opposite if you went to war in an armored behemoth that obliterates everything in its path!

@DazzaD: This build will take quite a while, as the Maus -other than radio equipment, the 12.8 cm gun, close defense weapon and headlights - has very little in common with the other German tanks.

I've worked a little on the lower hull

FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 09:11 AM UTC
The escape hatch is now detailed. The handle is not glued.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 09:16 AM UTC
The escape hatch is now in its place. Getting ready to replicate the scale thickness of the lower front armor:

FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 11:16 AM UTC
The lower plate now has its scale thickness.

Note how the position of the escape hatch has changed, being close to the armor. Sadly the vast majority of the modellers tend to ignore the scale accuracy of armor for their interiors and this leads to discrepancies.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
Joined: August 01, 2011
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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 11:17 AM UTC
The rear plate was also thickened to be scale correct




FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 03:46 AM UTC
Since the floor of the kit is uniformly 2 mm thick and it should have had been made of two plates, the front one 2.8 and the other 1.4 mm thick I've decided to remove it and do it right. Off it went!

SDavies
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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 05:08 AM UTC
That is some serious surgery and very impressive.

The internal layout of the tank seems to be very strange, and suprisingly small considering the size of the tiger tank.

S
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 08:28 AM UTC
The Porsche Typ 205 was indeed a remarkable vehicle. Its width was 3.71 meters, while the Tiger was 3.70 m wide, the maximum permitted for railway travel. Each track had to be as wide as possible (1.1 m), so not that much room left...
Its internal layout is as follows: in front were the driver and radio operator, to their sides were the fuel tanks, the internal combustion engine was next, with its auxiliary systems to the left and right. The generator was behind the engine with some ammo storage above the tracks. The electric motors were last, you can see the rectangular depressions where they were located in the picture above.

I've finished the escape hatch, this is how it looks on the outside:

...and the inside:
TankSmith
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Florida, United States
Joined: August 17, 2010
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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 09:16 AM UTC
This is seriously intense. I'm looking forward to it! PLEASE complete it. We've all seen builds with this intensity fizzle out in time. PLEASE finish this tank! It till be fantastic!
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 09:38 AM UTC
You have my word on it! There is so much to do and things will slow down somewhat (that darn MB517 engine and the generator), but how I want to see it done! And I do hope you will enjoy this build log up to the completion of the beast that is the Mouse!
TankSmith
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Florida, United States
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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 11:05 AM UTC

Quoted Text

You have my word on it! There is so much to do and things will slow down somewhat (that darn DB508 engine and the generator), but how I want to see it done! And I do hope you will enjoy this build log up to the completion of the beast that is the Mouse!



I'm enjoying it so far, that's for sure!

One question as I know nothing about this tank. Why would they name it 'mouse'? Such a silly name for a monster tank.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 11:27 AM UTC
Very early in its project stage (April 1942) what was to become the Maus received the name "Mammut". The Mammoth then changed into "Mäuschen" in December 1942, and in February of 1943 The Little Mouse became the Maus. It could be that it was named Mouse to trick the allied intelligence services or maybe they found it humorous to name the biggest, most heavy tank in the world after such a small creature. Or maybe because Mice give such a terrible scare to Elephants?
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Friday, October 12, 2012 - 09:45 AM UTC
The hull tub as it should have been rendered by Dragon. Note the way the lower rear ventral plate interlocks with the side armor.

Unlike the Panther and the King Tiger whose plates were aligned on the inside, the belly armor of the Maus was flush on the outside.
FlorinM
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Bucuresti, Romania
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 10:40 AM UTC
Addressing one of the few major issues of this old kit that was first released 20 years ago, lack of towing eyes on the rear hull. They were cut from the now redundant belly plate, that has the same thickness as the side of the hull:

FlorinM
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 10:42 AM UTC
This is the improved hull with the towing eyes in place
Braille
#135
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California, United States
Joined: August 05, 2007
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Posted: Saturday, October 13, 2012 - 06:39 PM UTC
@FlorinM – Florin,

First of all I’d like to welcome you here on Armorama and hope your visits will always be positive and creative ones.

I must say you are doing a masterful job with this kit. I see you are taking the time to render this vehicle as accurately as is possible. Please do not rush, take your time and do the best you can, it will pay dividends in the end and you’ll have a piece of art to be very proud of having in your personal museum. Many of us out here on the net, I’m certain, are enjoying this build. I know I am. I have the original release in the stash and will be putting mine together hopefully soon so I’m very interested in following your progress.

Thanks for providing us with this vehicles history, this makes your build log that much more interesting and provides us with an optimum idea of what the real vehicle would have looked like both externally and internally. You’ve even provided us with the vehicles hull and turret armor dimensions. The shear size of this vehicle and its weight could easy turn my car into a rather large sized pancake or scatter it throughout the city with either of its cannons, without me being in the car of course! To be on the receiving end of this beast’s larger caliber weapon, even behind any of the allies best armor plating, would have been like living a nightmare without the benefit of waking up and finding some comfort in knowing that it was only a horrible dream.

Listen Florin, if you’re interested here’s a link to James ‘Jamesite’ McFarlane’s Maus build log entitled Updating DML's 1/35 Maus 'Super-tank'. He’s still not finished with this project but there is plenty of information that you might find of value for your build if you don’t already know about it? Also if you don’t already know about the photo-etch mesh screens set for the Maus from Yoshida Designs you’ll find that information, photographs and a link on the second page of James three page blog posting. I recently made a purchase using Yoshida Designs email address where he provided me with both update price information and his Paypal account for purchase of this set, he quickly had my order out to me. This mesh screen set for the grills is the most accurate aftermarket one available that I know of and well worth the purchase price. Below I’ve provided you with his current contact information in case you’re interested?

Yoshida
P.O. Box 2312
Winnipeg, MB R3C 4A6
Canada
Fax: (204) 452 – 2991
Email: yoshida@ee.umanitoba.ca
Web: http://home.cc.umanitoba.ca/~yoshidab/

Atelier Infinite offers an accurately detailed Manlet and turret hatches set for the E-100 Dragon kit, which as you probably already know, is rendered as the No.2 Maus turret with the opening for the MG34 machine gun, so this set can be used for your project as well. With your scratch building skills and references you may be able to make the Atelier Infinite items yourself, your choice? Dragon’s E100 kit provides the modeler with the Maus’s V2 turret. The MG34 and opening on the turret for this weapon is missing on your kit. This modification to the turret for the MG34 is rendered on the E100 Dragon kit, being the only external difference between the two Dragon kits sharing the same turret. I think you already know that you’ll need to modify your kits turret for this weapon. This company also produces workable cast resin tracks, these are rather pricey and the kit items are only lacking a few opening on each of the links, which I’m sure you’re quite capable of doing over a couple of modeling sessions. The Atelier Infinite items are available thru HobbyLink Japan, you’ll need to check and see if they are in stock?

Lastly, If your interested in replacing the kits Kwk 12.8 cm & KwK 7.5 cm barrels with aftermarket parts, RB Models has them listed as a set as item# 35B88 and are both well detailed complete with spiral grooves, a plus at this scale as this could easily be seen on these larger caliber guns. The 7.92mm MG34 is listed as item# 35B38; this is a short barrel piece with muzzle. They also produce a brass 2cm antenna as item# 35A02 and their respective antenna mounts as item# 35A15, you’ll need two of each, as these parts are not included in the kit although there are holes on the hulls upper roof panel in the proper locations for them. All of these items are available thru them online at extremely reasonable prices including shipping.

Anyhow, I’ve subscribed and I’m going to take a seat and watch you do your thing!

~ Eddy
FlorinM
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Posted: Sunday, October 14, 2012 - 01:00 AM UTC
Thank you so much for the interest in this build log and especially for your willingness to help!
I think I know all the after-market products for the Maus and I can say that few are really useful.
The Yoshida Designs photo-etch mesh screens, while looking nice are no good for me, being flat in the wrong way and too broad, as they should represent a grating rather than a "mesh". These will be made from Evergreen strips, it will take a while, I know...
The Atelier Infinite mantlet is OK, I might get one. My turret does have the opening for the MG34 machine gun, and it's already been drilled through.
I have a much, much better alternative to the workable resin tracks: the Spade Ace metal ones. They will add much weight to the finished vehicle!
The RB Models barrels I already have. For the 7.92mm MG34 I'll use a DML Gen2 one, with the possible addition of a brass barrel for it.
Also there is a PE set from Eduard for the Maus, but it is utter, total garbage!
The antenna mounts are on my shopping list.
Enjoy this project, I'll do my best!