Wednesday, December 9, 2009

FineScale Modeler 03 1994

WITH THE GENERAL SUCCESS of the Tiger tank it might be difficult to understand why the German army wanted an even heavier weapon. Nevertheless, design work on the Porsche Type 205 "Maus" (mouse) began in the summer of 1942, and two prototypes were completed and tested. The Maus was massive. It weighed 188 tons and was fitted with a 128 mm gun - compare that to the 88 mm weapon of the Tiger! It is possible that the prototypes saw combat against the Red army; they were eventually captured by the Russians. A restored Maus is on display in the Kublinka collection, and that vehicle is the basis for this kit. The kit features excellent moldings. Everything went together without a hitch and all the parts fit perfectly. The well-illustrated instructions show each piece with the right viewing angle needed to align the parts. Decals include numerals, German crosses, and kill markings. The most difficult aspect of construction is the track. There are many three-link pieces that go together along the straight sections above and below the wheels, plus dozens of individual upper and lower link halves that go around the drive and idler wheels. When I realized that much of the track would be hidden behind the side armor skirts, I left those sections off, saving hours of work.