Friday, May 27

New visions expose details of Takom's July items in our preview...

You can tell a lot from a model kit's official box art, & we have learnt a few things from Takom's July new items from the four new box arts we have received today. Check them all out & see what we discovered in our preview...

New visions expose details of Takom's July items in our preview...

Vk 100.01(p) Mammut
From Takom
1/35th scale
Kit No #2156
Photo-etch included 
The Subject: The Vk 100.01(p) Mammut
The Vk 100.01(p) Mammut (the German word for Mammoth) was a version of the Maus from June 4, 1942. The 120-ton predecessor of the superheavy tank existed only in blueprints and never saw service. This vehicle was only an intermittent stage in the development of the Maus. 

A proposed drawing of what may have been the Vk 100.01 (p)
Professor Porsche prepared the first design drawing on June 4, 1942. It had the number K 3381 and was done by Ing. Leopold Schmid. The designation from Porsche for the project was “Porsche Typ 205”. The drawing showed a streamlined tank with up to 120mm armour and 120 tons of weight.

The Mammut in its natural habitat - the snow and ice of "World of Tanks"
The turret’s weight alone was 23 tons, carrying a massive 15cm KwK L/40 – with some modifications done to the ammunition. The projectile's weight was decreased from 43kg to 34kg to increase ROF to 4-5 rounds per minute and the muzzle velocity to 845 m/s. As an alternative, a 12,8cm L/50 with a muzzle velocity of 810 m/s was also considered during the development of the tank. The powerhouse was driven by an air-cooled 16-cylinder diesel engine, with a comparable propulsion system to the Tiger (P) – every track was boosted by a single electrical engine.

A World of Tanks render of the Vk 100.01(p) in the game
Hitler approved of Porsches' concept, but even the thicker armour did not satisfy him. He wanted more armour, which led to more mass, which led to a complete redesign of the tank, eventually becoming the Mäuschen, then later the Maus.

The comparable size of the Mammut & Maus
Made popular by the game "World of Tanks", let us reiterate this tank never existed and was only a mooted development of the latter Maus...

The Kit: Takom's Vk 100.01 (p) Mammut.
This kit is still in the late development stage at takom, but it has already caused a spell with people suggesting everything else (as usual). At least Takom is doing something different!
The 35th scale kit has the choice of two barrels for the gun, one a metal barrel. We also noticed that one gun is smaller than the other one - Maybe like in WOT, there is a choice of 15 cm KwK L/40 or the 12,8 cm KwK L/50? Who knows?
We also noticed that the tracks and the suspension will be very similar to the Vk 100.01(p)'s suspension. the suspension will move up and down if you want to create a moving track.

There are also two choices of engine deck for your kit offered in this kit and four marking choices are included in the box.

Silbervogel Suborbital Bomber
From Takom
1/72nd scale
Kit No #5017 / #5018
Length: 38.6cm
Developed in conjunction with Snowman
Photo-etch included 
The Subject: The Sänger-Bredt Silbervogel Sub-orbital Bomber:
Silbervogel or "Silver Bird" in German, was a design by Eugen Sänger and Irene Bredt in the late 1930s for a liquid-propellant rocket-powered sub-orbital bomber produced for The Third Reich/Nazi Germany. Also known as the RaBo - Raketenbomber or "rocket bomber". It was one of a number of designs considered for the Amerikabomber mission that focused solely on trans-Atlantic-range piston-engined strategic bombers.

Eugen Sänger and his wife Irene Bredt
A significant design, it incorporated new rocket technology and the principle of the lifting body, foreshadowing future development of winged spacecraft such as the X-20 Dyna-Soar of the 1960s and the Space Shuttle of the 1970s. In the end, it was considered too complex and expensive to produce. 
The Silbervogel was intended to fly long distances in a series of short hops. The aircraft was to have begun its mission propelled along a 3 km (2 mi) long rail track by a large rocket-powered sled to about 1,930 km/h (1,200 mph). Once airborne, it was to fire its own rocket engine and continue to climb to an altitude of 145 km (90 mi), at which point it would be travelling at about 21,800 km/h (13,500 mph). It would then gradually descend into the stratosphere, where the increasing air density would generate lift against the flat underside of the aircraft, eventually causing it to "bounce" and gain altitude again, where this pattern would be repeated. Because of aerodynamic drag, each bounce would be shallower than the preceding one, but it was still calculated that the Silbervogel would be able to cross the Atlantic, deliver a 4,000 kg (8,800 lb) bomb to the continental United States, and then continue its flight to a landing site somewhere in the Empire of Japan–held Pacific, a total journey of 19,000 to 24,000 km (12,000 to 15,000 mi).

The design never went beyond the mock-up test.

A wind tunnel model of the Sänger Amerika Bomber, which is still in existence today...
Postwar analysis of the Silbervogel design involving a mathematical control analysis unearthed a computational error, and it turned out that the heat flow during the initial atmospheric re-entry would have been far higher than originally calculated by Sänger and Bredt; if the Silbervogel had been constructed according to their flawed calculations, the craft would have been destroyed during re-entry. The problem could have been solved by augmenting the heat shield, but this would have reduced the craft's already small payload capacity.

An artist's conception of the Silbervogel
On 3 December 1941 Sänger sent his initial proposal for a suborbital glider to the Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) as Geheime Kommandosache Nr. 4268/LXXX5. The 900-page proposal was regarded with disfavour at the RLM due to its size and complexity and was filed away. Then Sänger went to work on more modest projects such as the Skoda-Kauba Sk P.14 ramjet fighter.

Professor Walter Gregorii had Sänger rework his report, and a greatly reduced version was submitted to the RLM in September 1944, as UM 3538. It was the first serious proposal for a vehicle that could carry a pilot and payload to the lower edge of space. Two manned and one unmanned versions were proposed: the Antipodenferngleiter (antipodal long-range glider) and the Interglobalferngleiter (intercontinental long-range glider). Both were to be launched from a rocket-powered sled. The two manned versions were identical, except in payload. The Antipodenferngleiter was to be launched at a very steep angle (which would shorten the range) and after dropping its bomb load on New York City was to land at a Japanese base in the Pacific.
After the war ended, Sänger and Bredt worked for the French government and in 1949 founded the Fédération Astronautique. Whilst in France, Sänger was the subject of a botched attempt by Soviet agents to win him over. Joseph Stalin had become intrigued by reports of the Silbervogel design and sent his son, Vasily, and scientist Grigori Tokaty to kidnap Sänger and Bredt and bring them to the USSR. When this plan failed, a new design bureau was set up by Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh in 1946 to research the idea. A new version powered by ramjets instead of a rocket engine was developed, usually known as the Keldysh bomber, but not produced. The design formed the basis for a number of additional cruise missile designs into the early 1960s, none of which were produced.
One lasting legacy of the Silverbird design is the "regenerative cooling–regenerative engine" design, in which fuel or oxidizer is run in tubes around the engine bell to cool the bell and pressurize the fluid. Almost all modern rocket engines use a similar design.

The new kits from Takom:
Two kits of this fascinating machine are offered by Takom. One, with just the aircraft itself in 72nd scale (with alternate cockpit designs are offered in the first package #5017.
There are four marking choices in this kit:
The second kit is no # 5018 "Silbervogel Suborbital Bomber & Atomic Payload Suite" - It offers this standard kit plus the "full enchilada" of 72nd scale small towing truck with two trailers, both packed with mock-up atomic bombs for their mission on "Amerika".
Seven marking choices are included, five for the bomber and payload, and two for the towing truck.

Versuchsträger 1-2
From Takom
1/35th scale
Kit No #2155
Photo-etch included 
The Subject: The Versuchsträger 1-2
The Versuchsträger 1-2 (abbreviated: VT, meaning "test-beds" or "experiment carrier") were two German prototype twin-gun turretless main battle tanks. Since the early 1970s, a number of West German companies have been working on conceptual designs for a successor to the Leopard 1. This project had the name Kampfpanzer 3 (KPz 3). The KPz 3 project was temporarily a British-German joint project until the UK withdrew because they wanted a turreted tank. The Germans had already developed the Leopard 2 and therefore didn't see the need for another conventional tank. One of the companies involved was MaK, developing the VT 1-1 and VT 1-2. The test programme ended proving that a twin-gunned turretless tank could be created with enough technical effort but had drawbacks in both practical and tactical use.

The business end of the Versuchsträger 1-2 with its twin 120mm smoothbore guns with an automatic loading mechanism.
The first VT tank, VT 1-1, was built in 1974 by Maschinenbau Kiel (MaK). One year later they produced the second VT tank, the VT 1-2. For further testing of the mobility and the concept of a tank with two main guns, five Gefechtsfeld Versuchsträger (GVT, "battlefield test-beds") were designed and built-in 1975 and 1976.

The Versuchsträger 1-2 with double the danger (note the hazard tape on the barrels...)
The VT 1-1 was based on the shortened chassis of the cancelled MBT-70 tank. Since the tank had no autoloaders, a crew of four was needed to operate it. All VT tanks followed to some extent the traditional design of German Jagdpanzers like the post-war Kanonenjagdpanzer. The VT 1-2 featured a turbocharged engine, which was capable of 1,500 PS sustained and 2,400 PS for short periods. The tank had a three-man crew seated at the front, with a driver between commander and gunner. A comparison with the Leopard 2 was held, which proved that the VT 1-2 tank wouldn't have any significant advantages over the Leopard 2. The engine of the Leopard 2 wasn't defining the concept and could therefore be replaced by the stronger 12-cylinder engine of the VT 1-2 if required. The Leopard 2 also had a high first-round hit probability, due to its advanced fire control system, which corresponds to or even surpasses the calculated first-round hit probability of the twin guns.

The VT tanks were designed to:
- Reach a higher weapon efficiency through short reaction times, higher hit probability and higher kill probability by using twin guns in a casemate structure.
- To be more mobile by using a stronger engine and a new suspension.
- To have a higher level of survivability by reducing the crew compartment, using heavy frontal armour and the ability to use the Wechselkurs technique, i.e. driving sideward (like beating on land).

The VT 1-2 carried two 120 mm smoothbore guns equipped with 6-round automatic loaders. The GVTs were not fitted with guns, instead, they mounted two gun simulators. For combat simulations, they used Talissi laser fire simulators. The propellant gases were created with a 20 mm cannon mounted on the roof.

The new kit from Takom:
Takom's new 35th scale kit of the Versuchsträger 1-2. This is another in their range of just "out-there" picks of subjects. No one but the biggest scrooge could call them unimaginative in their picks!
This new kit features all of the 120mm twin barrelled smoothbore meanness of this prototype.  The kit has no artwork yet, just the CAD form and some interesting bits to focus on. The suspension can replicate the hydro-pneumatic stance of the original tank here in three stances to pitch the nose up or down. The pattern of the fume extractor is replicated with some fine detail. The one-piece tracks are also carefully reproduced by Takom. There are four marking choices included in the box.
These kits should be available in July...

That is all we know about this release for now. You can see more about Takom's kits on their website or on their Facebook page