of the VK4502(P)
This vehicle is another legacy of Porsche's failed attempts to win
the Tiger contracts. Using the early style suspension from the VK4501(P)
and with a more ballistic design, this was put forward for the Tiger
II contract. Again believing that the contract bid would be successful,
fifty turrets were supplied by Krupp. These were subsequently used
on the "Porsche" Tiger II but were criticised for their
"shot trap" at the turret ring, but as is evident on this
hull, this problem did not occur on the hull for which it was designed.
Only one complete vehicle was built and according to authoritive sources
this vehicle saw action, albeit briefly, at Kummersdorf in 1945.
Porsche and Henschel were once again
in competition on this project. Porsche offered two versions of its
prototype VK 4502(P), one with a turret at the front as the Tiger(P)
Type 180, the other with a rear turret, the Type 181. The turret was
developed by Wegmann. Both versions retained the electric transmission
developed by Porsche. Very confident in himself and in its success,
Porsche immediately began to build a batch of 50 turrets. This was
hardly prudent in view of the harsh realities of war and the consequent
supply of raw materials. Indeed, Germany at that time was already
cut off from everything and shortages were frequent. Copper needed
for any electrical equipment did not escape that reality, making it
impossible to mass produce this vehicle.
The kit is packaged in a strong cardboard box (20x13x6 cm). There
is no instruction sheet; the only reference is the color picture on
The kit is cast in a hard yellow resin and contains 34 parts. The
parts are separately packaged in sealed plastic bags. The casting
of the turret and hull is without air bubbles. Tracks are poorly cast,
have some small air bubbles and are easily broken.
The kit is available
by the manufacturer www.7starhobby.com
and from time to time also on E-Bay.
A distributor is unknown. The master is made
by Zhenmin Han.
The lower hull, gun, tracks, wheel
units and springs are based on the 1/72 Trumpeter Elephant kit (or
possibly the Dragon kit).
The rest of the kit and details are built from scratch by 7Star.
(source German Tanks of World War II – F.M. von Senger und Etterlin)
|Top hull to ground
Note that the height of the hull itself
ought to be around 19mm.
The kit pretends to be a copy of the VK4502(P) with the front turret.
But we can speak more about a “lookalike” kit. The hull
is a disaster. It is too high (around 22.5mm while it actually must
be around 19mm), warped and damaged. The layout of the rear is absolutely
wrong. The model has the rear from the Elephant/Ferdinand and not
the layout of the VK4502. The front angle is around 43 degrees while
it must be around 35 degrees.
The hull is around 3.5 mm too long.
As a result the overhang of the rear is too big in comparison with
the length of the track units.
This seems extraordinary to me. The
master maker Zhenmin Han has shown me pictures of the VK4502 with
a correct rear layout and with correct length of track units. (See
It seems to me that the master which is used for this kit is different
from the VK4502 pictures I received (and different from the vehicle
pictured on the box).
Another and bigger mistake is that
the master, possibly due to earlier mould makings is damaged and was
used to made new moulds without repair. As a result the cast hull
has many problems which are difficult to correct. In fact, the hull
is not usable and you have to rebuild the hull completely to make
it a correct one.
The other parts as turret, barrel and wheels are acceptably casted,
but the tracks are poor and are broken quickly.
Building the kit
In first instance it looks as if it is impossible to build a correct
kit with the provided parts.
Rebuilding the kit
To show that it is possible, I have reworked and rebuilt the kit to
an acceptable and more correct model. I started by lowering the hull
from the top by around 3.5mm. Then I reshaped the front angle and
rebuilt a correct rear. I also rebuilt all details on the model as
engine deck etc.
I also added some tools as towing cables and other tools, which are
not included in the kit.
Working with the tracks was hard. The tracks were a little crudely
casted and had small air bubbles. The resin was a hard quality. It
was necessary to heat the tracks to a high temperature with a hairdryer,
but the tracks broke quickly nevertheless.
I hope that other hulls for this kit are correct. In the kit I have
received the hull is not acceptable.
Note: The hull in kit 72011 (VK4502(P)
model with rear turret) has the same problems.
Advice to 7StarHobby –
Check if the master of the mould is correct before using it to construct
Customers pay money for a model
and expect a correct kit. If the master is broken or damaged by making
earlier moulds, repair or rebuild the master correctly and control
the quality of the parts after casting. Don’t use damaged parts
for new moulds; that’s just not acceptable!
Thanks to 7Starhobby – 5Mhobby for the review sample.