mid-2013 WarGaming's World of Tanks (WoT) video game debuted this
vehicle as a special end-game reward, touting it as "A rear-turreted,
100 ton Löwe design." Immediately suspicions arose about
the historical accuracy of such a design. WarGaming defended it as
coming from Walter J. Spielberger, a historian specializing in German
World War II vehicles, and more in particular hsis book "Spezial-Panzer-Fahrzeuge
des deutschen Heeres".
Unfortunately, WarGaming's representation of the tank is where it
all falls apart. In their game the vehicle weighs 120 tons and has
240mm thick frontal armor. As one can see by even briefly looking
at the "source", the real VK72.01, which was one of many
different Löwe designs, would have weighed 72 tons, as the name
the tank can perhaps best be described as a model of WoT's
fictional rear-turreted version of the VK72.01
Löwe. The latter, incidentally, is far better documented,
even though it also remained a paper Panzer.
sample that was sent to us arrived before the official release of
the kit and while the sprues are the production items, they came without
a box or instructions. The following CAD drawings (received from Armory)
were used as a guide instead.
(Note that this kit was created in collaboration with Sabotage Models.)
is a multi-media offering, with injection plastic, PE, metal barrel
and decals. More specifically, you get:
sprues with the running gear. Detail is a bit softer here than on
the other sprues and there is more flash, which has to be carefully
removed while keeping a perfect round shapes of the wheels.
Of all the sprues this one feels most like a "short-run kit",
even though mainstream manufacturers like Hasegawa offer a similar
quality of running gear in their Panther kits, for instance.
and lower hull. The link and length tracks are well done, although
I would have expected a tank of this size to have had larger guide
teeth. As the vehicle was never built, it is difficult to judge,
though. The lower hull is well done, again reminding me of Hasegawa.
hull and turret. These two sprues are the crispest of all sprues,
although they are also the ones where the striations that can be
found on most sprues are the most obvious. They remind me of the
(by now) typical striations of a 3D printed kit and will require
a little bit of careful sanding to disappear. The two triangular
parts on the corner of that sprue have sink marks (unless they were
part of the original design, although I doubt that). Comparing with
the pictures of the VK72.01
Löwe, the engine deck of this kit does not have the casting
imperfections of the front-turreted kit. On the turret sprue, three
muzzle brakes and two mantlets are given.
with small parts: tools, tow shackles, .... These are also crisply
barrel and PE. Both very well done, although we still need to fit
a plastic muzzle on the barrel.
decal sheet is substantial with artwork that seems based on Tiger
units. Only a tiny fraction of the decals will be required to finish
the model. The decals are almost in perfect register, with just
a very slight misalignment seen on the Balkenkreuze. The latter
appear quite small for a tank this size, by the way, but until historical
pictures of the tank surface, no-one can say this is not correct.
thing that struck me is that the plastic is quite hard reminding me
of... Did I already mention Hasegawa ?
hull went together nicely, even though (lacking instructions) I wasn't
quite sure in which direction I needed to fit the lower glacis. It
seems both ways fit equally well.
After assembling the hull, there is a gap under the rear of the hull
that needs filling.
I also added a bit of detail to the nose by engraving an interlocking
pattern of the armor plates and roughened up the flat armor plates
a little to create something of a "cast" texture (and to
better hide the striations).
A slit was scribed into the driver's visor, as well as a pane line
The most difficult part of the construction process of the hull were
the round deflectors that go in front of the turret ring. These didn't
fit very well and some puttying and sanding was required.
To attach the fenders to the hull, I had to trim the tabs a little,
and this is a constant feature of the kit: almost all the tabs are
very slightly too large to fit the holes in the kit.
The fenders were thinned down at the edges, more prominent hinges
for the mudflaps were made from stretched sprue and small springs
were added from copper wire between the fixed part of the fender and
the movable flaps.
After adding the running gear (see below), I noted that the inside
of the mudflaps (that attach to the hull) got in the way of the tracks,
so I had to remove them belatedly. The rear mudflap was also uncomfortably
close to the idler, so I ended up replacing it with some plasticard.
The fender supports are in PE, but need to be filed into shape where
they meet the curved deflectors. They also have the tendency to sit
on top of the fenders (which is partly due to thread pattern being
continuous). After some trial end error, I ended up carving slits
into the mating surfaces of the hull and fenders, something (I believe)
the kit should have provided in the first place, and which the modeler
would better do before installing the fenders and adding all the tools.
Identifying the exact location of these supports is also difficult,
but this problem is mitigated by the what-if character of the kit.
ring is slightly too large for the opening in the hull, requiring
some sanding. As the turret lacks any retaining pegs, the turret just
sits on top of the hull, but with the weight of the metal gun barrel,
the turret will just nose over. The modeler can either glue the turret
firmly to the hull, or add a peg to the turret ring (like I did).
The lower front of the turret fits the rest of the turret rather badly.
Some puttying and sanding was needed, and to make my life easier I
added a prominent weld seem between the two parts and added a rough
texture to the turret.
Without instructions, I had to figure out, the best way I could, how
to fit the mantlet to the turret and which mantlet to choose. (The
kit provides two mantlets and I chose the short one that corresponds
to the CAD drawings, while I think the longest one corresponds to
the tank in WoT.) A bit of work was done on the mantlet, not because
it's inaccurate (it's a fictional tank after all), but because I wanted
to personalize my kit:
texture was created by softening the surface with Revell Contacta
and then dabbing it with a stiff brush
seams (from stretched sprue) were added to the sides
collar was scribed (complete with bolt holes) where the gun barrel
enters the mantlet
orifice for a coax MG was added
bolts were added to the sides of the mantlet (where the recesses
small stubs on the turret cheeks were replaced with Grandt-Line
lifting hook was added
lifting hooks were added to the turret roof.
The turret hatches are all closed, which I decided to live with, but
I added a turret ring and an MG. The latter is actually an MG3 from
a Revell (post-war) Luchs 8-wheeler. The recess for the rear turret
hatch needed to be enlarged a bit to make the hatch fit.
I didn't personally like the "Dumbo ears" too much, which
I think are only there to give the crew a way to get into the turret.
I reasoned that the first prototypes might have been built without
them, resulting in complaints from the crews, in which case makeshift
field expedients would probably have been found. I added ladders to
the rear of the hull and turret to create this effect.
As the kit comes with a fair number of spare wheels, I put two pairs
on the rear of the turret, Pz. Regt. I./24 style.
gear was the biggest challenge.
the kit provides (extended) hubs for the roadwheels, removing them
from the sprues and the resulting clean-up was something that went
beyond my skills, so I replicated the hubs with Grandt-Line bolts.
(Paper Panzers have certain advantages.)
Fitting the tracks was a time-consuming affair. The individual tracks
have either pegs or notches, but these don't match and this results
in assembled tracks that look very different (i.e. spaced more widely)
from the lengths of tracks that are provided. They will not fit the
drive sprocket either. There seemed to be no other solution than to
carefully sand the connecting links (the one without teeth) until
instructions I managed to install the tracks incorrectly around the
idler, which resulted in an idler that sat too close to the hull (requiring
modification of the axle stub) and with tracks that stuck out beyond
the idler in an unrealistic manner. Fortunately the idler seems to
be identical to that of the Tiger Ausf.B and my spares box contained
a spare idler of that vehicle. A fourth idler wheel was added to get
a more realistic appearance.
before, the tracks interfere with the inner side of the mudflaps,
requiring some cutting and have little clearance with respect to the
that struck me is that the tracks are wider than the fenders. I cannot
claim that this is inaccurate, but it looks strange, that's all.
Details and personalisation
minor improvements/modifications were made to the kit
drilled out the exhausts
tools are rather poor in my opinion and the hammer that could be
seen in the CAD drawings was not found on the sprues. I replaced
all the tools with items from the spares box.
Clamps were made from metal sheet. The lay-out that I chose differed
from the boxtop and CAD drawings.
section of spare tracks was added to the bow, held in place with
a rack found in my spares box.
antenna was added from metal rod.
fender support was removed
mentioned earlier, I replaced the "Dumbo ears" with ladders
and added an MG and spare wheels on the turret.
hull MG was made from hollow brass tubing.
that the tarp that is shown on the boxtop is not included.
to paint the tank in a classical late-war three-color camouflage and
used a selection of kit decals, except for the Balkenkreuze which
seemed rather tiny for a tank of this size. The latter were replaced
with those from a Dragon Maus.
The kit decals went on very well, without any issues whatsoever.
sample kindly provided by Armory.
model can be purchased from