By Evert Jan Foeth
For some reason I could not resist building this strange vehicle. It might be because of its impressive size, dwarfing even a Königs Tiger, or simply to have a unique prototype on my shelf. But one thing is clear; this vehicle is huge, weighting a massive 188 tons! The Maus is protected with heavy armoured plates, up to 180mm thick. The Maus is a remarkably 'empty' vehicle; no external storage, and almost no detail to be seen. This speeds up construction of DML's model, which is of the quality we have come to expect over the years. There are but a few minor omissions on Dragons part, which can be added without much trouble.
I used two references:
For this vehicle I bought two aftermarket products:
I will follow Dragons instructions step by step.
I made some track in advance, to use as a guidance to align the bogeys, as almost all parts of the bogey can still rotate before the glue has set. The reason Dragon chose to have them 'workable' is quite unclear to me, the track is certainly not moveable after completion.
The sideplates actually have a towing eye at the rear of the vehicle, one of the two more major things Dragon forgot. These were made from 1.5mm styrene. The towing eyes in front of the vehicle received a welding seem, made from putty. The sideplate has the correct shape, but here the eyes themselves are missing, and need to be drilled.
I finished Step three before I fitted the bogeys to the hull (Side skirts to upper hull). I fitted upper and lower hull, and then glued the bogeys to the lower hull only, and added a piece of track to make sure all bogeys were aligned. I put the model aside to dry for a few hours before continuing.
These welds were made in the following way: I drew a line with my pencil where the seams needed to go. With a 1mm millerhead and my automatic drill, I engraved a shallow line, by pulling the miller along a ruler. I then used a 0.3mm millerhead, and one by one, engraved the small lines perpendicular to the welding direction, to simulate that rough effect of crude welding. After all welds were done, I used the same miller to simulate the edges of the armour plates, which were cut with a torch, by engraving thin lines. You may want to take some time for this. The weldings on the turret were of a better quality, and only a few welds were redone, to be sure that all of them would look the same after painting.
I then smeared all non-horizontal sides with a thick layer of Tamiya putty, which I removed after a few minutes. The result is a rough finish. I also treated the turret sides in the same manner.
Connecting pins of the bogeys pierce the side skirts, and small disks were added. These must be very thin, and should be hardly noticeable. They can be seen on certain pictures of the Maus during trials, but they are really there!
On the front fender, two small lifting eyes were fitted.
Next, the engine cover was removed, to fit VP's engine compartment. Be careful with the cover, because Verlinden's replacement is, as always, too small. The engine cover needs some refinement. There are 4 supports for part E3.The outer supports are way too thick, and are to be replaced with supports as thick as the inner ones. Be careful with the grill as you remove these supports. The new supports need two lifting eyes. This might also be a good time to cut up part E3, which is actually a 3-part steel shell-deflector. The parts of E3 that need to be placed on the hull part need a reinforcing support too, made from styrene. A small welding seem from putty completed this part.
On the inner side of the upper hull, a mesh was applied to each open panel. I used some spare Tamiya mesh wire, but an etch-set has been recently released, although these parts can hardly be seen. I you do not wish to use the PE set, make sure to glue the mesh at a 45° angle.
You need to drill 4 extra boltholes around the driver's hatch as shown in figure ???. I inserted a small bolt (Histored Hexagonal Punch&Die set smallest bolt) in each of the boltholes in the upper hull. I do not have a photograph to back this up, but it seemed the logical thing to do.
We now arrive at Dragons Second 'major' omission; the antenna mounts. I have no photographs of them, and they were copied from a Tiger tank. I gave the headlights a new support and added wires. These should go from the back of the lights, through the two gutters to the small holes next to the driver's periscope.
The rest of the parts can now, be fitted. I thinned down parts E24 a little.
But before gluing the tracks on the lower hull, I painted all tracks and lower hull. The roadwheels, idler wheel and sprocket got a black rim, drybrushed black/silver to simulate worn paint off.
This subassembly was washed and drybrushed, as described in the Painting part, and is now partly finished.
Each D7 part should be backed up will a small square steel part.
I discarded E8 and made a better version from styrene. As you can see above, you'll need a second strip. The handles on part F5 were replaced by brass wire, and a small VP tow chain was added.
During it's existence, the Maus has appeared both completely in German yellow, and in yellow with brown/green camouflage. I have not seen any picture of the Maus with markings on her, thus my vehicle has none.
Lower hull color
Upper hull and drybrushing
Then the laborious task of drybrushing started. The entire vehicle was drybrushed as a whole, including the already painted lower hull. I started with plain Humbrol 72 Khaki Drill. In the following 4 drybrush runs, I added increasingly more Humbrol 63 Yellow. After this, more white was added in 3 extra drybrush runs. I finished drybrushing with almost pure white with a little chrome, to give the effect of worn-down paint.
I added a little black with my airbrush at the muzzle ends, and exhausts.
The tracks were washed with a heavy Black/Burned Umber mixture, and together with the muzzle-ends, drybrushed with a black/silver mixture.
Oil stains are pure Burned Sienna oils.
Dragon's Maus is a good model, which can be detailed with some small extras. It sure does look nice between the other tanks, making everybody ask if it is really in the same scale as the rest of your models.
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