From what I have seen from Vespid Models in 1/72nd scale, this company are one of the best, if not the best company releasing kits in this scale. This release covers a paper panzer, in the form of a Panzer VIII ‘Maus’, with a twinned barrelled turret being used in the anti-aircraft role. So let’s take a look at what we get…
The model arrives is a cardboard tray, with a separate card lid showing the art work. Inside you are provided with five plastic bags, that contain either one or two sprues, and thus prevents wear and tear on the parts due to excessive contact. Two turned aluminium barrels are provided, the photo etch and decals are provided in are-sealable plastic bag, and the instruction sheet is loose inside. The moulding quality of the plastic parts is of an especially high standard, with a look at the detail moulded on to the road wheels, or for that matter the tracks making this especially clear to the viewer.
Looking at the lower hull of the vehicle, there is a small amount of detail moulded down each side, where the suspension arms are mounted. The suspension arms are individually moulded, my only concern with this area of the model, will be in keeping the wheels structures level, prior to the addition of the outer guards that lock the wheel mounts in place. Despite this detail not really being visible on the finished model, I feel that Vespid Models deserve praise for the efforts they have made in this area. The tracks themselves are provided in link and length format, and have exceptionally finely moulded detail on them.
Moving to the upper hull, photo etch grill detail is added to the inner face of the moulding, and I am very pleased to find detail such as this, in a model of this scale. Splashguards are mounted on the upper hull, I believe in order to deflect rounds and prevent them getting underneath the front of the turret where there is an area which could be a shot trap. The fuel container on the rear of the tank, has been provided as a plastic part, with photo etch restraining straps. The driver’s hatch cover is provided as a separate part, that could be open or closed, but you will obviously need to fill the hole due to the empty space within the model.
Moving on to the turret of the model, and we reach a portion that I believe to be all guess work, as I have never seen a drawing of the set-up, even if it existed. Vespid Models, has designed the model so that the turret can be rotated, and the guns elevated if so desired. The gun barrels themselves are provided in both turned aluminium and plastic for those who do not want to use the metal offerings, should that be your preference. There is a good amount of detail moulded on to the turret itself, and it has been provided with separate rear access doors, and commanders hatch. The same issue remains, in that if you wish to leave it open; you will need to find a way to fill the hole.
Vespid Models has provided three finishing options for this model, with the two tri-colour options being visually appealing, for me at the very least. With the third being a winter white wash look, that if done well, could also be very appealing.
As I said at the beginning of this review, the model is of an exceptionally high quality and offers the modeller with options in the form of materials used, which very few others would include. It does mean that these models are not the cheapest, but this is a very good case of getting what you pay for and I do not believe the purchasers will feel short changed. This is a stunning model of a possible set up for the Mous and even in 1/72nd scale is a good sized model.