Sometimes you hope a manufacturer will release that one vehicle you had in mind but nobody did. Enter the infamous Ratte. This land battleship has been on my mind ever since I started building plastic models. To my great surprise Takom has released a 1/144 scale model of it. And now there is a 1/72 kit of this released by Modelcollect. Now if only someone would release a Focke-Wulf Triebflügel please..
The Germans in WW2 came up with a lot of strange ideas, some ideas were way ahead of their time. Like the Ruhrstahl X-4 wire-guided anti-air missile or the Vampyr infra-red system for the StG 44 to name a few. But a lot of projects and ideas were completely bonkers. The P1000 Ratte project falls in the last category. A 1000 ton landcruiser armed with two 280 mm naval guns in a modified turret that was used previously on the Gneisenau pocket battleship. (fun fact: this turret still exists in unmodified form in Austrått, Norway) It had a top speed of 20 km/h which is fast enough to outrun your enemies, if your only enemy is a glacier.
Because even the Germans recognized this thing would be a sitting duck for everything in the air it also had a lot of anti-air guns, depending on who you ask it had two Wirbelwind turrets, or two Panther Coelian turrets or something completely different. Some artists impressions also include two Maus turrets on the back for close protection.
Takom is a fairly new company from China that’s not afraid of making some weird kits. The Ratte in this review has to be one of the weirdest designs for a ‘Tank’ out there.
The kit is very well moulded and despite the size the number of parts is rather limited. There are just a few sprues for the Ratte and a few for the two Maus tanks that are included in the kit. It doesn’t come with the pictured UFO in the background however and that’s a shame, I think it would fit in well with the Ratte. It does however come with four AA turrets from a 20mm armed version of the Flakpanzer V Coelian. The instructions only use two of these, so the other two can be placed anywhere you like. If you do a Google search for the Ratte you’ll find that the design of this tank varies a lot between artists impressions. Some have Kugelblitz turrets and two Maus turrets on the back of the superstructure.
Speaking of the Maus tanks, there are two of these in the kit, despite the box showing three of them. Also lacking in the kit are the pictured Haunebu flying saucer and the V-1. It would have added some ‘Vril’ to the kit so to speak. But the Mice included have more detail and are simple to build. They consist of a handful of parts and don’t pose a problem at all. You could build these in an hour or so. And if you want to change things up a little, the AA turret mounts also take the turrets of the Maus tanks and vice-versa, so you could vary the ‘load out’ a little. You could even source some other 1/144 scale turrets and use them.
If you have paid attention to the boxart you’ll see that the Ratte has three tracks on either side. If you dislike making link-and-length tracks like me and you think ‘this is my biggest nightmare’; don’t worry. The tracks are basic as are the roadwheel of this kit. The tracks only consist of a few parts, and the roadwheels consist of even fewer parts. Thank goodness this isn’t a Dragon kit! The tracks are fairly well detailed, but I don’t know if they are the correct size and or type
PE Parts and decals
There is not a lot to write about the PE in this kit. There are a few ladders to be used on the side of the turret. But they are supposed to be glued directly to the turret, which makes them appear a little too flat for my taste. This can be solved by a few little plastic pieces as a stand-off for the ladders. The other parts are the handrails on the main deck of the Ratte. They appear a little large and I think they will cause some trouble due to their length. But they really add some sorely needed interest on a mostly empty deck.
This is not a mainstream kit, in fact it’s subject is quite ridiculous. This might bother some people who don’t like ‘Paper Panzers’ and this kit has a rather hefty price tag for this kit. It is a *lot* of plastic though and you would probably need to stock up on paints before painting
This kit is a WIP and a reminder that you should always make backups of your SD cards. I lost the SD card containing the photos of this kit..