by: Darren Baker [ ]
Vespid Models is a new one on me, beyond the recent news story of upcoming releases. I then got my grubby little paws on the Pz.KpFw VIII Maus V2, a 1/72nd scale model of the vehicle that from first glance looks to be impressive. So letís dig in and see if it lives up to first impressions.
The model arrives in a good cardboard try with a reasonably stiff card lid that has the art work on it. Inside of the box, you find the sprues for the model in 5 separate bags, some of which are re-sealable. A further Ziploc bag contains a turned aluminium barrel for the main gun, and a second Ziploc bag containing a second turned aluminium barrel for the secondary gun. Lastly there is a bag containing a decal sheet, and a photo etch fret.
At least one of these vehicles was produced and is on display at the Kubinka Museum in Russia, and as such there is reference available for it. The lower tub of the model is provided as a single moulding with a separate upper hull and hull sides. The ground wheels are individually provided with separate suspension units which are then attached to the lower hull. I would suggest taking your time on this aspect of the model, as it would be easy to get a disappointing outcome in this area. The drive and idler wheel can be glued in place, and is the method I recommend due to the tracks being provided as link and length offerings with a very high degree of detail that should more than meet expectations when it comes to this scale. The detail present in this area is very impressive to see in a 1/72nd scale model, and I would humbly suggest that as we progress through this review that you will agree with me that this a high end Braille scale offering.
Photo etch is provided for the vents on the upper surface and interestingly is secured to the inside of the hull rather than the outside, which is the more common approach. The deflector guards on the upper hull have been provided as separate parts as has the drivers hatch, and light fixtures. The rear fuel drums have been provided with photo etch strapping that adds a nice level of detail.
The mantlet that houses the nicely turned aluminium barrels has that meaty look to it as we are accustomed to seeing, and once applied to the turret assembly can be elevated/depressed if desired. Vespid Models has also supplied the option of plastic barrels if preferred, but why would you.
The turret itself has most of the detail moulded as part of it, but this has not detracted from the model due to it being well executed. The hatches in the turret, and the sighting optics are separate items and I know that this will be appreciated due to the number of complaints made by modellers in relation to moulded on hatch covers. Another nice feature of the turret are the cut marks in the armour plate and the weld detail provided, which is truly stunning in a model of this scale.
As regards finishing the model, Vespid Models has provided three finishing options and provided locations for the finishing options, and I have no idea where this information came from. The options provided are:
Boblingen 22nd June 1944,
Test Centre Kummersdorf and Berlin March 1945
Test Centre Kummerdorf early 1945
I feel this model from Vespid, is a very high quality opening gambit in 1/72nd scale that I suspect will gain them a following very quickly. Details such as photo etch and turned aluminium barrels will prove popular, due to there being no need to clean seam line on the barrels and photo etch grille detail and straps for the fuel drums are nice touches that will gain approval. All told this is a great opening offering from Vespid models, provides high quality and good packaging. The price of the model comes in at around Ä20 and so competitively priced for what is a very nice and high quality model.