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1/35 Transportwagen-Maus


Jim H
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1/35 Transportwagen-Maus
Profimodeller
Catalogue # 35007
Available from Profimodeller for 6 990,00 CZK (approx. £245)

 

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The Transporterwagen-Maus was a 14-axle special transport vehicle of the German railways (Reichsbahn), which was developed and built to transport the Maus by the Graz-Simmering-Pauker works in Vienna. On account of the tank’s size and weight, a rail route between Berlin and Böblingen, had to be found, avoiding all tunnels and large bridges. This wasn’t at all an easy accomplishment, and resulted in an extremely convoluted route.

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Well, where do I even begin when it comes to this behemoth? Without a doubt, this is the largest, heaviest and most parts-numerous resin kit that I’ve ever been asked to take a look at. It’s also a subject that I know very little about, being primarily an aircraft modeller (with a spattering of Sci-Fi), so this review can only really look at what is presented, and compare the photos of the completed model, alongside the few images I have of the real thing. When I said this thing was large, it’s actually 720mm in length, with a track width of 41mm. This is a multimedia kit which is largely resin, but also has metal and PE elements, along with a small decal sheet. There are 930 resin parts. Yes, you read that correctly!

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Profimodeller’s Transportwagen-Maus is packed into a long and heavy carton with illustrative line drawings adorning the lid, and upon opening, a 28-page manual is found in the top, folded in half so that the narrow packaging can accommodate it. Underneath this is a plastic back that contains four large cardboard trays onto which the larger, longer and slab-sided components are secured. Each tray also contains an illustration of its contents. Removing this package reveals a set of TWELVE small boxes, each with a lid sticker that again highlights the package contents. Underneath these boxes lays a sleeve with two PE sheets and a single decal sheet, and a decal placement guide is folded neatly next to this. Lastly, some lengths of wire complete the contents inventory.

Tray parts

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There are FOUR trays of very dark grey resin parts included, with adhesive foam being used to hold them in place. This is a neat method of fixing as the parts are slightly elevated from the card surface, so it is therefore easy to slip a knife underneath them and through the foam, in order to release the parts before you clean them up.

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Boxed parts
There are TWELVE boxes of equal size, included with this release. Each box has a label attached to the top, showing an illustration of the included parts, and also a list which includes how many parts are within. I quite like this approach, and for something of this complexity, it’s a welcome inclusion. Most of the boxes have the parts within inside small zip-lock wallets. The only exceptions to this are some of the larger or more numerous parts, such as the railways sleepers etc. Most of these boxes are choc-full of parts, with most of them being connected to some sort of casting block. These look easy enough to remove, especially with a fine razor saw. Some smaller parts are cast onto a sheet, such as is seen with HpH model kits. A small number of other materials are also to be found in these boxes, such as rubber and copper wire. Parts quality is excellent, with only a small number of annoyances, such as some track sleeper clips broken away due to the mass packing of these parts into one of the small boxes. However, this is easily fixed.

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Photo etch and metal parts
TWO PE sheets are included in this release, and whilst some folding is essential, there’s nothing here which will cause any headaches. It all looks like simple bending is all that is required, and the parts are generally large enough not to cause eye strain. PE production is excellent, with clean fold lines and edges. All parts are held in situ by small tags that shouldn’t cause any problem with cutting. A small file will be useful for finally cleaning up the locating points though.

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Two lengths of what looks like piano wire, are also included. This appears to be for various axels.

Decals
A single sheet is included, printed solely in white, and containing various stencils and serials that will be applied to the chassis etc. Printing is quite glossy and also suitably thin. There is no indication as to where these are printed, but having used Profimodeller decals before, I don’t foresee any issue at all.

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A sheet is included which clearly shows where the many stencils are to be placed around this model. There’s certainly enough to enliven what could otherwise have been an empty-looking finish.

Instructions
This comes in the forum of a series of A4 sheets, stapled together, and comprising 28 pages. All illustration is extremely concise in its line drawing depiction, with all parts being clearly annotated, meaning that they will be easy to locate within the numerous boxes and trays supplied in this kit. Colour references are given throughout construction, but not in any specific manufacturer paint codes. Illustrations are supplied at the end of the manual, showing the Transportwagen-Maus in various elevations. No photographic material is provided in the manual, but you can still find a number of historic images in an online search.

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Conclusion
This build will be no walk in the part, whatsoever. It is both a complex and involved build that will dictate the modeller needing experience of working with this media. Of course, it will also require plenty of space for displaying the final result, but I’m not going to insult anyone’s intelligence as they should already have worked that small detail out. It’s also a very expensive kit, and you should be confident of your own skillset before contemplating a purchase. Having said this, if you want a 1/35 trailer for a Maus, then this is not only the only deal in town, but it is also superbly designed and accurate to the reference that I have been sent with regards to this release, but the kit is also very high quality. All resin is nicely cast, and the whole kit is thoughtfully packaged for ease of finding the parts you need amongst the 930 on offer! Current exchange rates put this kit at about £240, and of course, you will need to purchase your own Maus with which to display the trailer.

Highly recommended (for the very experienced modeller)

My sincere thanks to Profimodeller for the review sample seen here. To purchase directly, click THIS link.

Please note that other related sets are available to use with this, and are available separately. These are:

Maus Loading Ramp for 990,00 CZK (approx. £35)
Tow Bar for 159,00 CZK (approx. £6)

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We did actually receive a little something extra with our sample, with the emphasis on the word ‘little’. This was a mini-Maus, seen here in the photos. This was a free gift which I presume comes with the main Transportwagen-Maus.

 

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