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1/35 Dora Railway Gun


Soar Art Workshop - Metal Troops Creation


Catalogue # MT 9511
Currently out of production, but soon to be re-released. Approximately £500 retail

 

There are plastic model kits, and then there are plastic model kits... this one, claiming to be the biggest in the world is something to behold. The packaging is absolutely massive and the total kit weighs around 24 KG!!

 

Here is a picture of the huge box, that door behind the box is 2ft 6" wide. Note the Tamiya paint pot at the bottom to give an idea of size.

 

Box.jpg

 

As mentioned above, this kit is not currently available at the time of writing, but it will soon be available again through all the major kit suppliers. Obviously the kit is available now on E-bay, with a very wide range of selling price... Postage can be very expensive, so check the kits location before bidding....

 

The kit is advertised as having over 3000 parts, well, I've counted them, and can confirm there are no less than 3315 parts including plastic, PE, wire, screws and springs. The model is packaged in plastic bags, all labelled to describe what is in the bag, these bags are found in four boxes within the large outer box, each box is labelled to describe what bags are in the box. There are no fewer than 91 sprue's in the model, not including the large parts which aren't mounted on a sprue. There  are large PE parts to depict the grids on the second level rail cars and some grating around the rest of the model. We also have three springs, a large bag of screws and some wire for the cranes.

 

As already mentioned, this kit is massive and as a result will require an age to review properly, so I'll do this one in stages, starting today with the instruction manual presentation and the rail cars.

 

The manual is supplied as a 284 x 210mm book, containing 38 pages and 31 build stages and made using very high quality paper.

 

Instructions.jpg

 

When we open the book up we find some great information all about the Dora railway gun. I have included some pictures of the pages here, for discussion only.

 

Instructionsintro.jpg

 

Instructionsintro1.jpg

 

On pages 3, 4 and 5 we find some great pictures which will help you superdetail or correct the kit.

 

Page3..

 

Instructionsintro2.jpg

 

Page 4..

 

Instructionsintro3.jpg

 

Page 5..

 

Instructionsintro4.jpg

 

So moving on to the kit itself, we will see we have many many parts moulded in black plastic. It is worth noting that the plastic used in the manufacture of this kit requires some pretty strong glues to make it melt. Your usual Tamiya extra thin or Humbrol liquid poly will apparently not work... I use this Plastruct liquid poly or EMA plastic weld when I am in doubt about the materials suitability to the other glues.. It is very strong and will melt pretty much all plastics. I would not recommend using superglue to assemble this kit, due to the brittleness of the product.

 

EMA plastic weld..

 

glue.jpg

 

Another note about the plastic.. it is greasy and will need to be washed in the bath tub with some washing up liquid and warm water. If you use acrylic paints, it will not stick to the parts if not washed first.

 

We start the building of the kit with the rail cars. There are four rail cars supplied, each with 10 axles and a total of 20 wheels each. The main chassis of each car is made up of four parts each, left and right sides and two floor sections, top and bottom..

 

Railcarschassis1.jpg

 

There is some nice detail on these parts, with bolt heads and rivet detail nicely done..

 

railcardetail.jpg

 

railcardetai1.jpg

 

OK, let's get something straight.... all this is wrong!! The real gun had eight cars, each with five axles and ten wheels.....the way the kit is made, the gun would never go round a bend, which, considering a curved piece of track was used for aiming the gun laterally, is a big mistake to make. These sections will need to be cut in half and the pivots need to be moved outwards to place them centrally over the middle axle. if I actually build this beast, I will do a WIP here on LSM...then I'll be able to demonstrate what I'm talking about here.

 

There are no less than eighty wheels in the kit..

 

wheels.jpg

 

Moving on to the sprue's, here we have sprue B, with 34 parts on it..

 

SprueB.jpg

 

Those 12 off hand wheels go all along the sides of the model. each one will need to be cleaned up, thankfully the mould seam lines are very faint.

 

There are no less than 20 of these sprue's in the kit!!! Yes, there are 240 of those hand wheels!!!!

 

 

The kit contains three of these C sprue's, with the flooring parts attached..

 

SprueC.jpg

 

The wood grain is nicely done.. will look great under some careful painting and weathering..

 

Sprueccloseup.jpg

 

There are another 29 of the C sprue, without the wood floor parts... yes I said 29!!!

 

Spruecx31.jpg

 

Sprue D covers most of the parts around the endplates, rail car linkages and electric motors.

 

SprueD.jpg

 

There are "only" 4 of these sprue's in the kit. The detail is nice on the endplates.. shame about the ejector pin marks though.

 

Sprueddetail.jpg

 

More nice detail on a gear cover part..

 

Sprueddetail1.jpg

 

Just as a little treat, I thought I'd show you the barrel, here shown against a 1/35 Morser Karl Gerat, which I've nearly finished.

 

Barrel.jpg

 

Barrel1.jpg

 

These parts go end on end together, but there is an error in the length, apparently the barrel is approximately 300mm too long??

 

Back to the rail cars, we'll have a look at the instructions... this is stage one, the start of the braking mechanism.. all very similar to the trumpeter kit parts for the Leopold and Morser Karl Gerat. This is all a little beefier than the Trumpeter parts, I guess it had to carry a LOT more weight!!

 

instructions1.jpg

 

Continuing through the book...

 

instructions2.jpg

 

Building up the chassis... Apparently the track needs to be narrowed to be more accurate and fit the Trumpeter track??

 

instructions3.jpg

 

Buffers...

 

instructions4.jpg

 

Finishing up and starting to move onto the second level car...

 

instructions5.jpg

 

Due to the errors in the kit, I have bought this book by Gerhard Traube, which is apparently the best book out there on this subject? it is currently out of print, but is available from book dealers used. it is quite pricey though...

 

BookCover.jpg

 

Here's a sample of the kind of images you get in this great book, it covers other railway guns including the Leopold. This image is for discussion only...

 

bookinside.jpg

 

Ok, so now we have seen the actual rail cars themselves, and had a quick look at my lovely new book. It's now Monday Feb 10th, and I'm adding some more info, this time covering the finishing off of the rail cars and adding the next step up, what I'll call the bogies. There are four of these, each of which connects two of the rail cars together, (if you've modified your model to correctly depict the eight cars).

 

So, here we are with the four "bogies". They are each a single moulding and all have some nice detailing especially the recessed bolt/rivet heads which will be visible under the PE grilles you'll see in just a minute...

 

Bogies.jpg

 

Bogie.jpg

 

Soar Art supply some PE grilles in the kit, which are intended to cover the "bogies" and some other smaller pieces dotted elsewhere around the gun.. the PE is supplied in a stiff card envelope for protection. It appears to be made of stainless steel so will remain very rigid.

 

There are four of the larger pieces...

 

PEparts.jpg

 

Ok, what I'm going to now for the next few shots is just select the Sprue's that the instructions call up for the relevant steps in the instructions, so will now see many parts that are not applicable to the bogies or rail cars... We'll get there eventually, as I mentioned earlier, there are no less than 91 Sprues in this mammoth kit, that doesn't include the larger parts which don't have a sprue!!

 

This is sprue P, 1-29. The way the sprue's are identified is unusual in this kit, for example there are three P sprue's each carrying different numbers, so we have 1-29, 30-38 and 39-53. We will only use a few of the smaller parts in the bogies, as most of the parts on this sprue are for the interlocking mechanism between the two halves of the main gun structure.

 

SprueP1-29.jpg

 

We get eight of these in the box...

 

SprueP1-29x8.jpg

 

Here's a close up of some of the nice bolthead detail on the sprue P1-29.

 

SprueP1-29closeup.jpg

 

Next up we have sprue R 21-46. There are four of these sprue's in the box. Again, only some of the smaller parts and small railings will be used here.

 

SprueR21-46.jpg

 

Here we can see the smaller detail parts of this sprue...

 

SprueR21-46closeup.jpg

 

Now we look at sprue O20-49, where we will get a couple of small parts from for the windy handle (I assume it's a parking brake?) on the rail cars and some more wooden planking. Two of these are in the kit.

 

SprueO20-49.jpg

 

Not relevant to the rail cars or bogies, but this is a massive solid lump, which will form part of the mechanism locking the two sides of the gun together. Have a look at the original photograph on page 5 of the instructions above, this part can be clearly seen in the middle picture.

 

SprueO20-49closeup.jpg

 

Sprue N 1-6. we will use parts 3 and 4 from this sprue.

 

SprueN1-6.jpg

 

Said parts...

 

SprueN1-6closeup.jpg

 

Sprue S 15-22. Only the planking is used from this one...

 

SprueS15-22.jpg

 

We may as well have a look at the grid detail here..quite nice for an old kit.. I think I'll add to or replace it with wire mesh??

 

SprueS15-22closeup.jpg

 

For the final sprue today we look at sprue R 1-20. We get two of these and it is one big sprue, measuring nearly 600mm wide!!

 

SprueR1-20.jpg

 

More grid detail..

 

SprueR1-20closeup.jpg

 

The instructions are shown here, with the stages required to finish up the rail cars and bogies...

 

Instructionsstage6.jpg

 

Instructionsstage7.jpg

 

So, that's the rail cars and bogies finished.. next we will move on to the actual gun pivot structures, the triangular sections at the top of the massive structure..

 

I shall continue this review in the forthcoming weeks so please keep looking back here if you have an interest in this lovely kit...

 

Thanks to my pocket for this one!!

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Jesus, why do I want to build one of these? It's not normal!

 

Great review Nige. That's a an imposing project.

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You're right James, it is not normal to want to build one of these... but.. to actually go out and buy one is pretty darn crazy :omg: . I've lost the plot I think!!

I'm currently washing the sprue's in washing up liquid. More reviewing tomorrow I hope?

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I also wanted to build one of these. Note that I said "wanted". It is crazy. Maybe it should be a team effort, a group build. I think Nige has knocked some sense into me. This would be way beyond my patience level. Damn nice review though, Nige.

 

Paul

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Hey, I'm not finished with this review yet!! Once you see the rest of the kit you'll be wanting one too!!

 

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On this one, I think I will live vicariously through you, LOL. Plus. at $750, I don't think so. And.........I would have to sell my motorcycle so I have room in the garage for this thing.

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Hi, a quick question on the plastic as im about to buy this kit, it will be the same version as yours based on the SKU number #MT9511. if im not wrong the plastic used in this version are ABS instead of Polystyrene, so could you confirmed on that? Is it true that normal kit cement wont work on ABS? 
 

Finally, how does the kit build up? Is it worth the money? Any problem encountered? Thanks.

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AFAIK, MEK is a lot « hotter » than standard polystyrene glues, and will work on ABS or PMMA (Perspex)

Hubert

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