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Takom Maus V2

FineScale Modeler reviews the 1/35 scale plastic model tank kit
The word big describes the full-size Maus. It also describes Takom’s kit and its level of exterior detail. Most of the more than 700 parts go into the suspension and running gear; only 50 parts make up the hull and turret.

The build begins with the suspension and road wheels. If you’re careful during assembly, the bogies should be movable. But it’s easy to get a bit of glue in the wrong spot and, given the large number of road wheels, move to the next and fail to notice that one of the arms is stuck. Fortunately, the amount of travel is small, so it’s not a great loss. In fact, it’s probably easier to just go ahead and glue them in position.

The tracks look great and work well, but assembling them is tedious. Each set comprises 165 parts. But the upper run is pretty well hidden by the sturdy body of the tank, so you could probably build about half of each run without anyone noticing.

Deviating from the instructions, I attached both sides of the bogies at the same time. There is a bit of wiggle room in them, and if they dry crooked you’ll have a devil of time getting everything aligned when adding the side skirts.

With the complex running gear done, the upper hull went together quickly. Despite the simplicity, details pack the hull, including photo-etched engine grilles and scale-thin handles.

Turret assembly involved just two quick steps. The shell is a slide-molded part with beautifully molded cast texture on the armor and no seams. The one downside is the gun is molded in halves, which seems like a throwback. However, the halves fit well and the seam was easy to clean up.

Only one Maus V2 was ever completed, but the kit provides several colorful and creative camouflage options. I was drawn to the late-war octopus scheme, but went with my other choice of a dunkelgelb (dark yellow) lower haul and red oxide turret using Tamiya acrylics. To give the colors depth, I modulated them a little with slightly lighter and darker shades.

I took a few liberties with the turret markings, as there are no real photos of Maus turrets in the factory. But I based the main numbers on a photo of a Maus hull.

The lettering was done with a water-soluble colored pencil. The larger, starker numbers were painted with Ammo by Mig Jimenez washable white.

I had fun building Takom’s Maus, and despite the complexity of the running gear and the tedium of the track assembly it went together quickly. I spent a little more than 35 hours finishing it. Any modeler with a bit of experience will have a great time with this kit.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the January 2018 issue.


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