German Medium Tank VK. 3002 (DB) with suspension type II
OKB Grigorov 1/72, Ref. 72086
What an awkward surprise for the Germans to face the unexpected T34/76 during the Barbarossa’s invasion of the Soviet Union in spring 1941. Pretty rapidly, in November 1941, the Heereswaffenamt outlined specifications for a whole new 30-35 tons class tank with sloping armor, large tracks to move on soft ground and a gun with a high muzzle velocity. Two industrial firms Daimler Bens (DB) and Maschinenfabrik Augsburg Nurnberg (MAN) were selected for the design of such new panzers and this resulted, in april 1942, in the presentation of two prototypes. The VK 3002 DB project, the subject of this OKB Grigorov release, showed a much higher degree of similarity with the actual T34/76 features than the MAN project (the one that would become the well-known Panther). This DB project was characterized by a turret with a 75 mm gun of 48 caliber located rather forward on the chassis, a running gear made of large road wheels mounted on external leaf springs and a MB 507 diesel engine. If this DB project was technologically more attractive and was at first favored, the issues with the development of the engine and the turret, as well as the use of diesel fuel, not standard with the Wehrmacht, led to the selecting of the MAN project for mass production.
This VK. 3002 DB kit counts 82 parts nicely cast in a grey resin, with very fine details particularly the chassis or the hull and the tracks.
A photo-etched fret brings in an additional 12 parts, mostly for the benefit of the engine grids, tracks guards and the cupola lid; the latter two are too thin for my taste and may be reinforced with small layers of plastic card to give them a bit more consistency. A nice metal barrel is also included and will do justice to the nicely detailed turret parts.
The instructions are clearly drawn and should ease the assembly.
Overall, this model is a very good and interesting representation of the unfortunate VK 3002 Daimler Bens project that, despite innovative and modern technical features, was not chosen for mass-production in 1941.
Panzer, The German Tanks Encyclopedia; Caraktère, 2015;
The Spielberger German Armor & Military Vehicles Series. Vol. I, Panther & its Variants by Walter J. Spielberger; Schiffer, 1993.
Review & pictures by Jean-Paul Oudinet.