Friday, 28 August 2015

P1000 Ratte - Nazi thousand-ton megatank

The Ratte is one of those things that barely counts as a 'paper-panzer', given that it consisted of a design sketch on a napkin and some speculative number run up from someone's imagination.  Years ago before regular internet access I read about Hitler's supposed 1000 ton super tank but never found any detail on it, the legendary Maus was mysterious enough.  While a few resin models exist, an injection plastic model has been released in 1/144 and there are lots of mock up photos of the Ratte online.

Apparently, Hitler really was interested in an absurdly massive super tank in the style of the fictional Bolo or Ogre tanks from books and games.  It was to be armed with naval artillery guns, armoured by nearly a foot of steel and powered by a series of engines similar to those used in U-Boats and E-Boats.  All the problems with the Maus would have been magnified many time in the Ratte.  Impossible to transport it would have had to move everywhere under its own power, crushing all bridges and roads it attempted to cross.  And frightening as it might have been to initially encounter, I suspect it would be vulnerable to air strikes and bombing.

Apparently Albert Speer thought similarly and threw the idea in the bin in 1943.  Hitler's interests had probably moved on to some other pipe dream by this point and it was forgotten about.

The model from Takom comes crisply cast in two colours of plastic and looks a straight forward build.  This is all good quality though the model does rather lend itself to being featureless in places.  They have attempted to create suitable detail where possible and there are good features such as hand rails that run around the edges.

The colour scheme for this vehicle is open to interpretation.  I have no plan as yet, but feel its important that it look like a very large vehicle, so no intricate camouflage schemes with swirls and spots.  Painting it in a scheme more suited to a 1/35 model will betray the true 1/144 scale, this has to be painted like a battleship.

The Ratte is enormous and dwarfs the two Maus tanks included - these are a nice extra!  Given they are nearly 200 tons each themselves, the vastness of the Ratte by comparison is probably closer to 10,000 tons!  But it does appear accurate to the speculative sizes given by various sources, the model is nearly 10" long even in 1/144th.  As it's a bit featureless, I located a dozen 1/144th germans that originally came with the Dragon Karl Mortar kit a few years ago.

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