Landkreuzer P1000 'Ratte' + Pz VIII Maus...
...building the Takom kit
The first kit in 1/144 from Takom and once you see it you understand why they went for this scale for an armour model. Ignore the flying saucers on the boxart, this was a German design from WW2 by Krupp which was approved for construction, though it was cancelled by the armaments minister, Albert Speer, before it was built. This 1000 ton monster was set to carry a twin 280mm gun turret more normally seen on a ship such as the Gneisnau! Only two guns in the turret rather than three, as the space that would have accommodated a third gun was to have been used for ammunition storage. With mounts for quad 20mm AA guns and a 128mm Kwk 44 L/55 as used on the Maus to be mounted on the glacis plate it was also designed to have no less than three runs of track on each side. Powered by marine diesel engines it would have been a real monster, and I suspect cancallation was a relief for the builders who would actually have had to find the materials and make such a fantastical design actually work. A design drawn up in 1941/42, it was finally cancelled by Speer in 1943.
As for the kit, you get not only the huge Landkreuzer itself, but two models of the 188 ton Maus, which was the largest tank ever to have been built. To see the two side by side, and realising they are to the same scale, makes for one of the most incredible comparisons I can ever remember seeing in a model kit. The hull of the Lankreuzer, even in 1/144 scale, is bigger than most 1/35 armour models. It is very cleanly moulded and the fit of parts proved to be very good. The Maus is moulded on two sprues, one with the hull and running gear, the other with the turret and of course there are two of each. Building these is quick and quite straightforward. Then you have this huge hull for the 'Ratte' which is very well moulded. The hull and the outer road wheels are in a tan plastic, while the tracks, the remaining components of the vast running gear as well as the huge gun turret are all moulded in a reddish brown plastic. There are also etch parts for the guard rails along the hull and the ladders that fit to the sides of the gun turret.
Colour schemes are provided which are of course conjecture, though the two shown for the Maus more likely as that at least was built in reality. Colour profiles are prepared for Takom by working together with Ammo of Mig Jiminez, so colours are keyed to their range of acrylic paints as well. As it never did get to be a reality, you can have fun with this one and make up your own camouflage scheme if you don't want to follow the suggestions given in the kit.
The vast size of this jaw-dropping Nazi project is well served by this combination kit once you see the two subjects together. For anyone who feels they can't do small scale models, well this one is bigger than most 1/35 kits so might tempt you into having a go with something really 'different'. Since it was released, another company, Modelcollect, have added a 1/72 (!) scale model of this monster as well.
I've got the basic colours done, it still needs to have filters and weathering applied...