OBSERVATIONS ON THE SDKI7Z 205 MAUS TANK
Some controversy surrounds the surviving Maus tank at Kubinka in the former USSR. The exact identity of its component parts still leaves a little doubt in the minds of most enthusiasts. Here I present some observations taken from various sources, but mainly based upon the few surviving photographs and my visit to Kubinka in October 1994. Many of you will have seen Archer Models excellent 1/76 scale kit (£9.95 with 5% discount to members) and Dragons 1/35 scale version. This article is based upon the research I and Maurice Condon did in preparation for building the Dragon kit.
2. The Facts
1. The first Maus (hereon called V1) was completed by Dec 24th 1943. This vehicle had plain road wheels, a dummy turret and no towing eyes at the front, nor the central eye at the rear. Scheme was probably overall red primer. Location; Alketts factory Berlin Dec 43-Jan 44. The centre sections of the deck armour are not fitted, nor is the drivers periscope or the small eyelets and head lights on the upper glacis plate.
2. The vehicle was then tested on rough ground painted Gelb, with a ladder for ease of access. No structural modifications seem to have been made. Location; the Kummersdorf test range (NR Berlin) Jan 1944, then to the Boblingen range Jan-Oct 44. What appear to be welding gear cylinders are normally seen against the front and rear of the turret. They may however be fire extinguishers.
3. The vehicle was then re-painted with large Rot Braun or Oliv Grun stripes. A small hammer and sickle symbol was painted on each hull side and at front and rear. The vehicle still has plain road wheels and at first no towing eyes at the front. These were added slightly latter while the vehicle was still in the same scheme. Location; Boblingen. Note the bar that wraps around the hull rear, add from plastic rod if desired.
4. Maus V2 appears on 1 Mar 44. Sent to Boblingen by train, engine less, towed to the range by V1. Vehicles engine installed and sent back to Kummersdorf for testing. The vehicle is turretless, has plain road wheels and all towing brackets in place. Scheme is probably red primer overall. Maus VI is quite stained on the lower hull sides and may just have non plain road wheels, but it looks unlikely. No headlights or other fittings are in place at this time. Location Boblingen and Kummersdorf. The complete set of angled armour plates on the engine deck are, however already in place.
5. There are photos of a Maus identified as VI in the Schiffer book, If it is VI then why was the entire fuel tank mount removed completely before it was tested in the open. The surviving Vl hull has no fuel tank and shows no weld or bolt marks to indicate that one was ever fitted apart from 4 small brackets that are not at all like the crutches used to support the tank. These photos could possibly show V2 on test with the dummy turret after it had its engine fitted, but still painted in red primer. The fuel tank itself is far lighter than the hull, probably Field Grau or Gelb. It also appears to have the centre section of the engine deck armoured shield missing as are the smaller shields to the side. No lights are fitted either.
The problem is that this vehicle like VI does not have the eyelets on the glacis plate that the V2 has in the photos taken without a turret noted above at Boblingen, which should be before as this vehicle has no engine. It is either VI with the fuel tank added and then removed before painting Gelb or V1 painted in a dark colour before being camouflaged or V2 on test before it went to Boblingen. It can not be V1 repainted after it was camouflaged as the older photos of the Kubinka vehicle show the camouflage and hammer and sickle markings in place. All of these explanations have their flaws, but on balance 1 think it must be V1 as the hull extant at Kubinka has four small mounting brackets in the right place for the fuel tank. It may be that these brackets attach the crutches to the hull and were used for some short tests and then removed perhaps as they were needed to fit the fuel tank to V2. It does not appear that the fuel line was fitted, and they may just have put it on for handling trials. As the vehicle does not have the full set of engine deck shields it must in my opinion be Vl.
6. A Maus (V2?) is seen probably at Boblingen with a fully armed turret. The vehicle also has road wheels with a ring of recessed bolts around the rims. The MG 34 may or may not be fitted. The scheme has been changed to overall Gelb with a Rot Braun or Oliv Grun stripe pattern. In one picture the camouflage appears darker than in the others. It may therefore have been touched up possibly with a second colour. Note that this vehicle has a new paint scheme and different road wheels. Location Boblingen. The rear Notek light array is fitted unlike V1.
7. V2 was then destroyed by an internal explosion. The fuel tank may have ruptured, but it can be seen looking reasonably intact in a Tank Magazine side view. The turret is clearly that used on the V2 in the photos at Boblingen, the MG 34 is fitted. It is unclear from the two pictures if it had plain or bolted road wheels, though plain seem most likely from detailed examination of the best photo in Tank Magazine.
8. The Soviet example. In an old photograph it displays the turret of V2 and the hull of V I as deduced from the paint scheme and the hammer and sickle markings. The vehicle has plain road wheels and intact towing eyes. It is very dirty and is damaged with shell dents in the glacis. Of note is the fact that the front fenders now have large wing nuts at each corner, which are not present on V1 or V2 in German hands. The camouflage on these plates is also slightly different from that on V I. This suggests repair and replacement of these parts by the Soviets after capture. Close examination of the vehicle confirmed this point.
9. Kubinka. The preserved vehicle now in overall Russian Green with fake crosses on turret and hull otherwise as above. It is an empty shell so it is probably impossible to find out if it had a diesel or petrol engine.
10. Another photo in the Schiffer book on the inside cover shows what appear to be plain road wheels on the left side of the V2 vehicle. Perhaps this is V2 before it was rewheeled. The paint does, however look less pristine than shots taken with the other wheels. Or perhaps the wheels were changed back to plain ones before the vehicle was destroyed. A photo published in Forty, Crow and in German Heavy Tanks shows bolted wheels on this side, so 1 suspect that this is a trick of the light or of mud on the wheels. The shot has been airbrushed so anything is possible.
11. Photos on P 144 of G Forty’s German Tanks and P 91/92 of the Japanese book on German Heavy Tanks show the V2 in a plain overall scheme probably of red primer or Oliv Grun as per the incomplete hull at Para 4 above. The vehicle is fully armed and has the bolted road wheels. The shade appears very similar to Tiger ll's in overall red primer seen in various books notably the new Osprey Vanguard book. It is far too dark to be Gelb, but as vehicles were also painted overall Oliv Grun it may be that shade. If this theory is correct then the vehicle was repainted Gelb over the primer and then camouflaged with the Oliv Grun and Rot Braun bands described at Para's 5, 6 and 9.
3. Conclusions and Options
1. Conventional wisdom from before the Kubinka vehicle was seen (E.g. Forty) states that V1 was rebuilt with the turret and this vehicle was the one destroyed by the explosion. The engine less V2 hull was used for the reconstruction in Kubinka.
2. The paint scheme and markings of the extant vehicle before repainting suggest other wise. It shows that the V I hull must have survived to be mated with the V2 turret. Evidence is in the paten of the camouflage and the hammer and sickle markings.
3. It would appear that V2 was given new outer road wheels before it was fitted with the turret and was destroyed in this state. If the destroyed vehicle was not petrol powered then the explosion probably came from an explosive charge set off by the crew.
4. The only other option is for there to be a third completed vehicle to provide components for the extant vehicle. Rumours of a second survivor in Russia add weight to this theory and it may be that the Soviets captured hulls and turrets and fittings at Alklett Berlin and other items as did the British at Essen. Some photos show what appear to be irreconcilable differences between turrets that may be a second vehicle (probably the one in the
uncamouflaged state), but the photos are not good enough to be certain and this idea must be treated with a great deal of caution. 1 personally feel that it is the V2, but lighting conditions and poor photographic reproduction produce what looks like more prominent weld seams than in other shots of the same vehicle.
4. The Kits.
a. Cromwell (availability doubtful)
Cromwells model is of the V2, complete with bolted road wheels. It looks good and accurate, but very expensive. The mantlet is too neat and needs to be altered at the right hand top corner to accord with photos of V2 and the Kubinka vehicle. Its exhaust port seems a little too near the turret in the photos, but this may be an illusion. Some of the modifications listed below are also needed.
They also do a V1 with dummy turret. The turret consisting of a hollow resin casting with etched brass and resin details is available as a conversion kit for Dragons model. Its the easiest way to produce the V1.
b. Dragon (now available under the Shanghai Dragon label)
Dragons kit represents the Kubinka vehicle, but needs some details added. These are:
The turret side pistol ports are too far forward. They appear to line up with the forward edge of the turret roof hatches. They are also too big. 1 suggest that smaller ones are drilled out or that for the V2 as destroyed covers from filled plastic tube are made. A Grandt Line bolt can be used as a securing pivot. From some rough measurements taken at Kubinka the port is some 46 inches forward of the bottom, rear step of the turret, about 60% of the way up. This is a scale 14 inches back from the kit position. 1 suspect that the real position is some 52 inches forward allowing for the crude measurement technique 1 had to use. Compromise and move the hole back below the main crew hatches. The Russians have welded the holes up with metal covers, so the structure is impossible to determine. 1 suspect that the final fitting would have been small kugleblendes as per the E100 kit for MP 44's. The original vehicle may have had basic ones without an armoured cover.
Add cables to the Headlights (possibly replace with Tamiya Panzer IV Ausf H or the new J kit versions). If you do not have Tamiya items spare cut away the bases to the kit lights, sand down the heavy straps and cement in place with a little Green filler to ensure a tight fit.
Towing eyes at rear of lower hull.
Reshape lower turret front to remove step, forming a smooth curve.
Add antenna bases to the holes provided by Dragon behind the smaller engine deck shields at the front of the hull. A section of plastic spur and a large Grandt Line nut head will do.
Add a 20 thou plastic card plate to the bottom of the turret rear overhang, bevel the edges at rear and sides and butt the front against the lower edge of the kit. This is clearly missing from the kit.
The mantlets top and outer edges are machined flat, neither kit represents this feature. The finish is quite smooth with faint tool lines visible in the metal, and that's all. The rest can either be worked over with a steel cuter or coated with Squadron Green Putty, splodged on with a cut down brush. Photos are not good enough to be sure, but as a whole the mantlet is too long and incorrectly shaped., probably due to moulding limitations. At Kubinka 1 saw that the mantlet is a very complex shape, more so than any photos published had hitherto revealed. Please see my sketch for details. Essentially the edge working forwards and machined with fine vertical lines, then a smooth band, where it has been ground down, then a small wedge shaped area of fine vertical lines, then the rough pitted surface of the unworked casting. Currently the mantlet is too far forward on the Kubinka vehicle as the bolts are not driven home. Original condition photos show there to have been only a small gap between the mantlet and the front face of the turret.
The article in MIS states that the suspension units locating tabs are too big. This is incorrect. The small lugs locate correctly with the larger portion sticking out over the bottom edge of the side plate. This is totally correct. 1 can verify this point as the Kubinka vehicle defiantly has them.
Angus Creighton’s work on the rolled plate is too heavy, but the kit does not look right being as smooth as it is. 1 suggest a very light version rather by sanding than the "speckled hen" effect on his model. The Kubinka vehicle is pitted, but its only obvious at ranges of less than 6 feet. In 1/35th and 1/76 a smooth surface is more in scale, with roughness being confined to the mantlet.
Reshape hull front side edges at fenders and reinstate weld seams for interlocking plates.
Add plastic rod/strip or On the Mark Models etched steel rifling to PaK 44 gun barrel. The new Jordi Rubio 128min gun barrel can be added as its a lot straighter than the kit part with no dodgy hard to conceal weld seem.
Drill holes in inner sides of front fenders.
Add chain to rear hatch on turret if pistol port is drilled out, if so add pistol port as well. The chain also seems present when the port is closed. The hatch is also too large, reduce its diameter to the edge of the outer rim to about 8.6mm 0/A
Move the roof sights in front of the hatches back a little so they butt against the edge of the hatches with the cut-outs against the hatches. The left hand sight on the V2 had no sight fitted, the Kubinka vehicle shows only a small hole on the left, without even a base, while the base less sight is present on the right. So to produce an accurate model, fill in the left hole and drill a small (2mm or so) central hole. In production examples square cover hoops as on other vehicles might have been fitted.
Thin down rear Notek light cover.
Superdetail weld seams and machining marks, but note that while the welds are pronounced they are of high quality as befits a hand built prototype, the joints are very smooth welds, while the morticed joints show machining. Some articles have been far too harsh. The terrible effect on the E100 turret welds in MIS is totally wrong. A subtle effect is called for. Look at Bovy's Jagdtiger, the welds are as good as these, if not better.
Mesh screens for engine deck louvers are fitted from underneath the grilles. Examination of unpublished photos of the Kubinka vehicle confirms this as did my visit there. Add some engine detail, below and paint whole hull interior matt black.
Make retaining straps for the fuel tank at the hull rear, add fuel pipe to hull from right side top near the outer strap. Quick release brackets need to be made for all three straps. Plastic strip and Grant Line bolts are useful for this. Note that the main strap widens out at the top where it meets the bracket provide by Dragon.
In the SMI article holes were drilled in the side plates above the mounting brackets that the MIS article said to remove. Examination of the vehicle at Kubinka and of photos of the vehicle both in WW2 and now, shows that these holes are some sort of access for suspension mounting brackets. The Kubinka vehicle has covers over these holes and this matches the wartime photos as well. 1 reproduced them with slices of circular spur, with small pin holes in the centre. The real things are 2.5 inches in diameter. They line up directly with the suspension brackets.
It is worth noting that when travelling the vehicle has a slight tail down attitude similar to modern Chieftains.
Replace turret bomb thrower with Tiger one example from brass detail set (On the Mark Models or Eduard) or Tamiya Tiger 1 or 11 (new versions). A lot of nice detail from the cheap Eduard Tiger 11 set can be added to the kit.
Drill out gunners sight on turret roof, add a sight from plastic tube, and glue in place, after painting the inside of the housing.
Drill out the hole on the left of the turret face for the coax MG 34. If desired add one from Tamiya parts. An MG 42 would have been likely for production variants. The barrel would protrude about 2-3mm from the front. An alternative would be for an armoured tube to be fitted and perhaps a rain shield over the top of the hole. The V2 turret was definitely fitted with an MG 34 before it was blown up. It can be seen in a Tank Magazine photo. It was linked to the main armament by a cog wheel arrangement.
Drill out the exhaust ports as the moulded recesses are too shallow.
To represent V2 before capture the road wheels could have the holes drilled in the outside faces. It is unclear if the vehicle ever had the plain wheels refitted before it was blown up. The poor photos of it in this condition do not allow a firm decision to be made. They may be different wheels, or the smooth plates may be covers. Examination of the Kubinka vehicle did not provide a conclusive answer, but they looked integral parts of the wheels rather than covers to me. MB Resins offered a set (code MB 1107) of these wheels with holes in at £16.50 as an easy alternative.
The square welds on the rear plate of V1 at Kubinka are too deep, reduce by about 3mm. They may in fact be absent from V2, but the photos are inconclusive. The real things are 24 inches wide, by 15.5 inches deep and positioned 7 inches from the top of the plate.
Drill out the bolt heads at the base of the rear hull upper plate and replace with bits of drilled rod.
Wire handles should be added to the insides of the three main crew hatches.
The commander probably sat on the right of the turret on the side away from the breach opening of the 128min gun. This tallies with the Jagdtiger, but it may have had to change had the 150mm gun been fitted.
Add two small eyelets to the hull front if modelling V2. V1 does not have them hence their not being in the kit.
The turret ring protecting armoured wedge on the hull top is in four parts, with holes through the supports than run back towards the turret. A feature not noted in any published source thus far.
The Archer kit is an excellent representation of the real thing. Basically similar to the larger kits it is a lot cheaper than the other 1/76 scale kits so far released. The Maus's slab sided shape and the covering of the running gear make it a very good subject for a resin wargames model. Most of the above comments will apply to the kit, so detail to taste and scare the whatsits out of those JS111's! 1 found that it went together well, with only a few areas needing remedy with filler along the base of the track skirts. Fill and redo the turret gun ports and reshape the mantlet. The wheels have holes in them showing V2 in its intermediate state.
5. Production Vehicles
It seems likely from the texts that some extra items would have been added to the production vehicles. The following are guesses from sources:
The production turrets would have been different with the structural lugs in different positions. At the front fill in the top two and replace with a single one beneath the upper mortice joint, the sides should be filled in at the top and replaced with a single one and the rear treated similarly to accord with the photos of the turrets found at Essen. The Tank Magazine article shows the revised marks very well. A steel cutter used manually is the safest way to make them.
Smoke grenade dischargers as on Tiger 1. For a vehicle of this size any thing to help conceal its movements would have been useful. As a pattern the only late smoke dischargers in use by the Germans was the type used on the Puma armoured car. The Italeri kit can be used to pattern new ones for the Maus. Possibly two sets, with one pair at each end of the turret. The Airwaves brass set provides fine mounts for this vehicle and could be used. Do not forget firing cables into the turret.
Due to the high fuel consumption of the Maus, extra fuel would have been likely. Tigers can often be seen with fuel drums on the engine deck for movement by road so the hull front decking or the hull rear would make a good place to hang Jerry can racks. Italeri parts are best for this modification.
A plate seems to have been placed over the turret side pistol ports, swung into place from inside by a lockable handle. One may just be seen on the destroyed V2 in Soviet hands. Some evidence points to special small kugleblendes being added to these holes on production vehicles. They would have been smaller than the MG 34 type, but similar in shape. Perhaps a 1/48 scale one could be used from the Bandai/Frog Fuman range of kits. The E100 kit parts could also be used.
It is likely that an AA Mg 42 or 34 would have been carried. As there is no turret cupola a simple socket mount similar to very late Tiger ll's and Jagdtiger or the engine deck mount on the Jagdtiger is most likely. There was some evidence of Jagdtigers and Jagdpanther using 20 or 37mm cannon in this role. One taken from an SdKfz 222 or SdKfz 250/9 kit would suit. A pintle mount on the turret top is also a possibility.
There is also some evidence that 20mm cannon were tested as Kugelblende armament on Jagdpanthers. The coax MG could have been replaced with the larger weapon.
Track racks on the turret side or rear were likely as in the Tiger 11. If you do not use the track links for the top run these can be cut up and used with brass strip hooks for the turret. Three links in two sets would seem about right. Hull side stowage as on the Jagdpanther would be too vulnerable to damage.
Tools can be added from the Italeri workshop kit and the hull front around the drivers hatch seems a good place. 1 also added a scratch built axe and crow bars. Given the semi static nature of the vehicles intended role artillery type ranging poles might also have been fitted a in the Hummel. Gun cleaning rods similar to those of the Jagdtiger would also seem likely. 1 think it unlikely that a jack would be carried as the vehicle would have been too heavy to use with the standard German jack. It is my opinion that each troop of vehicles would have had to have a specialist support truck or perhaps an 18 tonne Famo half track with special tools for field wheel changes and a crane to lift engine decks for internal repairs. Other wise I can not see where all the extra equipment would go given the Maus's cramped interior.
In order to board the vehicle some sort of step would have had to be added. The prototypes used a large boarding ladder on the hull side. This would appear to have been too vulnerable to fit in the field, so another method must have been found. The driver and radio operator could have used the belly hatch, but the vehicles low ground clearance would have made it impossible on soft ground. They could have used local features such as walls, banks and trees, but this is a little adhoc and impossible in the open Steppes of Russia. The best bet to my thinking would be for steps to be welded to the hull. Perhaps simple angle iron steps up the hull side or steps similar to those added to some Tiger l's in Tunisia at the front of the hull or perhaps the rear. 1 have had the opportunity to clamber over some of today’s low slung tanks and the WW2 Jagdpanther. They are all a long way off the ground and very slippery when wet. The smooth plates of the Maus would have been impossible for all, but the tallest and fittest man. A simple ladder like this at the back of the hull on the right would be my preferred option as it is out of the way and does not obstruct anything else. At Kubinka it was impossible to get on to and I got some top photos by standing on Karl, which with its ladders is a lot easier to clamber about on!
Zimmerit would not have been used as its use had been discontinued from September 9th 1944.
The E50 and E75 and the very last batch of Tiger ll's were to be fitted with very heavy radiator protection instead of the usual mesh grilles. Some Panthers saw action with metal slats as well. The air vents of the Maus were very vulnerable to overhead artillery bursts and some sort of extra protection would seem in order.
A 150mm gun was also proposed and one was found by the incomplete E100. This would have been more in keeping with a 188 tonne vehicle than the comparatively small 128mrn PaK 44. Use the E100 item if required.
The small brackets at the rear of the hull above the tracks might have been intended to support track guards similar to those fitted to the Tiger 11. I have never seen any illustration of them, so their pattern must remain pure conjecture.
6. Modelling V1
If you wish to model V1 the kits hull can be used with less modification than if you model V2 or a production version. In addition to the basic work on the interlocking plates you should leave off the fuel drum and mounts, but not the locking device on the centre line and the lights. The tow eyes can be left off and holes gouged with a steel cutter if you model the vehicle in its plain Gelb colour scheme. If it is camouflaged the kit eyes must be added as normal. The turret is hollow at least at the rear, with enough depth for a man to stand in it. Accurate Armour will let you buy the turret as a separate kit to ease the conversion. This contains most of what you will need. It costs about £17.00. See above for other details. The ladder much like a swimming pool one can be made from wire. It would appear that if painted in red primer the fuel tank can be added as per the discussion above.
7. Colour Schemes and Use
The Maus was to have been used as a heavy assault weapon. To this end it is likely that small units up to Kompanie strength would have supported lighter vehicles in set piece actions. Its utility in attack over open terrain would have been very limited, so close quarter environments would have suited it better in terms of cover against air attack. This would have course invalidated the superiority of the huge main gun. It all goes to illustrate the half baked tactical ideas that allowed such a vehicle to be considered. In the end they would have probably been used as defensive vehicles much as the Jagdtiger was, but with the advantage of the manoeuvrable electric drive and the fully traversing turret. Its vulnerability to rocket firing aircraft can not be exaggerated. After all suspension damage would make it a useless steel fort, unless the crews were courageous enough to fight on as some KV-11 crews did in 1941.
A typical Kompanie would have consisted of perhaps 4 Maus's (Mice?!) with 12 Panzer W's or Panthers. Stugs or the new generation of Panzerjagers on the Panther, Panzer 1V or Pz 38d chassis. Each Zug consisting of 1 Maus and 3 lighter vehicles. An organic infantry Kompanie in SdKfz 251 Ausf D's or the new Pz 38d APC, for close protection would have been required, plus several 18 ton half tracks, trucks and a Bergepanther for recovery and maintenance work. As the Maus would have been impossible to tow. They would have to have been repaired on the spot or destroyed before abandonment. How about a Bergemaus as a variant?
The Maus would probably have been painted in the late war schemes of overall green with some pattern painting in yellow and brown. Some vehicles would probably have used the basic red primer with camouflage patterns as well. Both these schemes were common with Tiger ll's in 1945. With this in mind any scheme goes, even dark grey.
8. ADDITIONAL NOTES ON E100 AND DRAGONS KIT
E100 shares many components with Maus notably the turret. It is however a more conventional design, really a scaled up Tiger 2. The engine in the prototypes was probably going to be a Panther/Tiger 2 unit for testing, until the production versions had the larger unit installed.
The Dragon kit contains the turret spur from the Maus with the new hull, suspension, same tracks and a small etched steel sheet for the muzzle brake and engine mesh covers. In all it is a better value kit than the Maus as the etched steel is very good and the kits goes together better than the Maus.
References on the E100 are limited as only the hull was built. It was found by the Americans and later sent to Bovington for evaluation. At this time the suspension was completed, but it then languished until the 1950's when it was scrapped. If you can get it the Spielberger book is excellent (even if your German is limited like mine!). Also Dr Robert’s article in Military Modelling and the Schiffer Maus book are useful.
Opinions differ as to the details of the hull roof hatches, engine deck details, turret rear hatch and many other points. If you follow the Bellona plans you will need to use the Maus type rear turret port and change the drivers/codrivers hatches to a Tiger 2 type configuration.
I changed the hull periscopes to Tiger 2 specification as well, which involves modifying the upper glacis plate in accordance with photos. The kit is wrong in this area and does need work to match the single example built.
The side skirts require separating and the addition of end plates. It's tricky, but adds considerably to the appearance of the model. 1 added a Italeri Panther engine below a partially opened hatch and some etched details from a Eduard Tiger 2 set. The engine deck benefits notably from these parts.
The major omission in the kit is the side skirt crane. 1 made this in an hour from Contrail plastic tube, and some bits of Evergreen tube telescoped to make pulley wheels, a Grandt Line hook and some cotton (sounds like Blue Peter!). This fits into the mounts on the turret sides. Scale up the Bellona plan and you should find that its goes together effortlessly.
The etched parts are very useful, except for the muzzle brake part. The real thing, was a massive casting. To fix it assemble as per the kit (carefully without burning your fingers please heating the steel first to soften it to get the curve right), then drill through the etched holes to produce the actual perforated appearance, rather than holes over a sold back as you get if you leave the kit part alone. Fill in the edges and sand to a homogeneous whole.
The side MP44 ports need locating as per Maus and the mantlet needs major reshaping. The rear hatch can be left as is or replaced by the Maus pistol port usefully still in the kit, reshaped as per Maus. Drawings show both types.
Production vehicles were likely to have been completed with a revised drive layout with the sprocket at the back and the turret semi fixed as the hull was too narrow to allow full rotation. Ironically E100 looks more sensible than Maus, but Maus actually worked within its restrictions, as designed E100 would not have been able to function as a tank. At best it would have ended up as a souped up Jagdtiger. In wargames I suggest that it be treated as such with the addition of a bit more traverse to the gun on the frontal arc only. Organisation would probably have followed the Maus model detailed above.
Painting; again anything goes. The prototype was painted in red primer (Humbrol Brick Red is ideal). 1 made mine as if the British had completed it with a turret and run it as they did with Panthers, Jagdpanthers etc after the war. To this end I left it in primer, painted the road wheel centres Gelb (they appear much lighter in the photos) and added some chalked makings (MOS = Ministry of Supply) and numbers as per the other vehicles built and tested by them. A small brass plate might also have been added. Bovy’s Jagdpanther photo collection show the desired effect.
All in all I was very impressed with this kit. Detailing for the turret follows the Maus options above. Please do not follow the awful over detailing of the Military In Scale article. The mantlet looks like it's been attacked with a disc harrow, rather than the smooth machined surface you should see.
Maus is an enigmatic vehicle, there is still work to be done on it as more information emerges from the Russia, perhaps more remains of part built vehicles will surface and detailed information on the events leading up to the destruction of V2 and is subsequent life in Soviet hands. I have seen one photo of the VI in German hands from the Russian archives and more is possible. E100 could have been preserved, but regrettably did not survive. They were white elephants, but still magnificent examples of engineering, even if the tactics behind them were obsolete before the first plate was cut.
Scale Models International November 1993
Military In Scale August 1993
Military Modelling July 1993
Tank Magazine 1991 Vol 14 No 3, plus others
Wheels & Tracks No 23
Maus -Sawondy/Bracher,Schiffer Publishing
Airfix Magazine July 1982
Tamiya Magazine Oct/Nov 1993
Encyclopedia of German Tanks - Chamberlain & Jentz, A&AP 1993
Armoured Fighting Vehicles of Germany - D Crow, Profile pubs
German Tanks of WW2 - G Forty
German Hvy Tanks/German Experimental Tanks & Hvy AFYs - Tank Magazine specials
Tankette Vol 9 No 3
Panzer Prints - original shots of the Kubinka vehicle by T Anderson
Waffen Review No's 16,17, 18
Fine Scale Modeller April 1995 - article on Dragon Maus.
German Heavy Tanks? - Spielberger - German text only
Armour Sonderpanzer Spielberger & Feist Armour series No 9 1968