1. Maus Heavy Tank
Kit # 7255

Preview by Rob Haelterman

Picture from Henk of Holland website, used with permission.

The Maus (German for, yes, mouse) was one of those rather extreme project the German Waffenamt launched during the war. Contrary to most "Paper Panzers", this one actually got built. Two were more or less finished by 1944, while seven were under construction. Of the two finished examples, only one apparently carried the production turret (with a 128mm and a 75mm gun), while the other had a dummy turret. (Both are included in the kit.) The latter was captured by advancing Russian troops and somehow got fitted with a production turret afterwards. It is this vehicle that is preserved at Kubinka. (Source: Wikipedia.)

This Dragon kit can be considered as "second generation": no longer do we get vinyl tracks and metal hulls; all parts are already plastic, the tracks are DS, and the price is not yet off the charts.

The main parts are shown in the scans above. As you can see, the hull consists of two massive parts. (Notice the rather ill proportioned dimensions of the Maus design; I've always wondered how difficult it must have been to turn this tank.). The sprue for the turret and the turret body are shared with that other monster, the E-100, with with another section blanked off. (The E-100 carried a slightly different gun.)

Above we see the sprue with some smaller bits, and the test turret, which was a body to simulate the weight of the gun turret. Note how massive those Schürzen are.

Two identical sprues with the running gear are included. The running gear is what is going to take most time to assemble.


A small PE sheet for the engine grilles and a boarding ladder is included. The tracks are DS; one is slightly distorted.

It is rare to find figures in Dragon kits, which is a shame, as the two figures in this kit (which are the same figures as in Dragon's E-100 kit) are very nicely done, even though they are in some very flexible material.


Pictures from Henk of Holland website, used with permission.

The instructions are the (now) typical Dragon instructions. The decal sheet is the same as in Dragon's E-100 kit. The red stars and sickles were apparently used by the Germans to disguise the vehicle as a captured Soviet vehicle when it was tested at Kummersdorf. There is a certain irony in the fact that it was eventually captured by the Russians, which saved them time when it came to adding new markings. (I cannot judge their accuracy, though.) The other markings are purely circumstantial.  

As mentioned above, most of the construction work will be in step 1/2: the running gear. Step 3 (the upper hull) is only a very small amount of work. Step 4 is for the turret. I already built the E-100 turret for a diorama, and as it is very similar to this turret, I believe the ease of assembly of that kit carries over to this one. It's nice, with the two figures you get, that the turret hatches and driver's hatch can be opened. The turret hatches appear very small, given the size of the turret and compared to the figures.
What the optional turret is concerned. I am not sure if this was only a dead weight or that it could turn. (I've never seen it in any other position than 12 o'clock). The Dragon turret cannot turn, so this is probably correct. It does not have any interior. I am not sure if this is correct, but it might be. I am also unsure if the bottom of the turret was just a blank plate, but again it might be.



More references
Achtung Panzer

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Article Last Updated: 21 October 2012