Best tank that never was

Group Build Title: Best tank that never was

Group Build Leader(s): @barkingdigger

Group Build Description: Ever seen a prototype that didn’t quite make it to series production? This campaign is all about those “more than a sketch on an envelope” concepts that for whatever reason failed to make the final hurdle to standard-issue equipment! It can be something already kitted, such as the T29/T30/T32 heavy tanks the US played with at the end of WW2, or something more obscure like the Canadian Skink AA tank or the US T31 demolition tank that require kitbashing or scratchbuilding. Not to mention Maus and other paper panzers (if they got further than a sketch, that is!) or indeed many of those odd Soviet beasts like the Objekt 279 “flying saucer” tank. We’ll need to see photos of it in testing or at least as workable factory blueprints (or as part-built captured hulls…) to weed out the more outrageous Rattes etc, as well as some build pics along the way. And it could be a cancelled upgrade to an existing vehicle (such as the 120mm-gunned Leopard 1) rather than a whole-new platform. There will be a badge (eventually!) and extra kudos to those doing more obscure subjects - plenty of backstory is always welcome. And don’t get too hung up on “tank” - I’m sure we can all appreciate wheeled vehicles, APCs, and other battlefield would-be developments as long as they ultimately failed to go into service!

Event Details: (Remember to click “Going” if you want to join the build!)

Completion Award: There needs to be a badge - anyone got ideas?

A Note about Awards: The following text is a reminder that in order for people participating and finishing their projects to receive a badge on their forum profile, they will need to provide their account username to the group build leader by the completion date of the build. The leader will then provide this list to the site admin who will bulk award the badges to those users who have finished the group build. If you don’t provide your username or finish the project on the timetable the leader has setup you will not be able to receive an award.

1 Like

I would be interested in building a Flakpanzer IV Kugelblitz if qualifies? if not then a Maus would be the next choice.

Hmmmm. Don’t have the Tamiya Sgt. York, but I’ve got their HMMV with the Bushmaster gun on top. I don’t think it was ever fielded. That might work.

I’d build a Maus as I don’t have one yet, but the kits are hard to find outside of China. Should have grabbed the Takom V2 when I had the chance.

Hi Ernie, the Kugel never made it past pilot models, so it’s good.

Mark, that Bushmaster sounds nasty! And since it never got much further than prototype it’s in. But I’d hate to try cornering at speed with all that weight on the roof… :slight_smile:

For myself I’m torn between the Cromwell II (with Vauxall’s cast turret) and the GE entry for the Sgt York competition that mounted a GAU-8 on the M48 hull. So many choices…

Excellent! Thank you.

What about that tank Brazil developed that supposedly was better than the Abrams but they didn’t have the money to produce it? Can’t remember where I saw it….

Was it this?

About five were produced, one is tentatively identified as a K.O.ed hull in Berlin, fragments of another found as battlefield debris in 1999…
It’s a pity that there’s no known prototype for the variant on the Hetzer hull, although it was under active development rather than being purely theoretical.


That’s it yup. Didn’t know there was a kit of it ??!!

Yes; Dragon made one in 1/35 at least.

They made two kits, one old one on an ex-Gunze hull and one newer version. Neither are on the correct hull. The Kugelblitz were build on Mobelwagon hull, not the standard Panzer IV gun tank.

1 Like

But the Mobelwagen chassis was a modified Pz IV hull.

Yes. I have a picture somewhere, I will try and locate it.

Found a reference to it:


A lot of discussion on Missing-Lynx or Axis History at the time this surfaced. Take note of the extensions forward of the front hull plate and the fittings between the sitting men’s legs. The upper hull is not tapered like the gun tank hull. The experts picked up on these and other attributes that define the mobelwagen as the donor chassis. I just just recall the conversations.

Despite the box top on the latter release showing the features, the inside contents did not follow the box art lead - surprise, like that never happens!

So… are we calling this build by an operational name - Operation MinceTrack??? Operation TrackMeat??

:clown_face: :clown_face:

I have a few non-tank candidates for this.
Sturer Emil
le.FH18/40/2(sf) auf G.W.Pz.Kpfw.III/IV (hereafter affectionately known as the ‘Alphabet SPG’ )
Mobelwagen with Quad 20 mm

Does the Chieftain Marksman count?

The Mobelwagen, donor to the Kugelblitz or not, was still produced from a modified Pz IV hull supplied by Krupp-Gruson and altered by Deustche-Eisenwerk AG. The superstructure was enlarged to act as a suitable base for the 3.7cm gun of the Mobelwagen production vehicle and the four drop-down sides. The Wirbelwind and Ostwind merely had the Pz IV turret removed and a support structure fastened across the resulting opening.

The Kugelblitz was built by Daimler-Benz with a weapon created by Rheinmetall, developed from plans drawn up by the Inspekteur der Panzertruppen IN6. The Pz IV chassis was again used, but like the Mobelwagen had a redone upper portion and used the turret ring from the Tiger I with a 1.9 meter diameter. The Kugelblitz 2 designed to use the Pz 38(d) chassis was planned in response to the end of Pz IV production slated for summer of 1945 (which ended due to the war’s end). The Kugelblitz production plan was for 30 vehicles per month to replace the Ostwind. D-B delivered 5 pre-production vehicles in January 1945 to the newly-formed Panzerflak-Ersatz und Ausbildungsabteilung facility at Ohrdruf. Little documentation follows those vehicles until the Allies captured one.

But to reiterate: The Mobelwagen did not donate an original chassis to the Kugelblitz. The Mobelwagen was itself a modified Pzkpfw IV hull. Except for the Pzkpfw 38(t), all the Flakpanzers were on Pz IV hulls.

This is a Mobelwagen from the front. The front shield has been lowered.

There is also the Flakpanzer Ostwind II 3.7cm zwilling mount using a U-Boot gun… Flakpanzer Ostwind II; 3,7 cm Zwilling...
Using this mount

Sorry bad choice of words on my part originally saying mobelwagen chassis. You have covered off what I meant about the upper hull (not chassis) not being the same as a standard tank upper hull. Thanks.

I’m surprised that no one has yet mentioned the MBT-70/Kampfpanzer 70.

Good question! Only the Finns put the Marksman turret into service, first on ex-Russian hulls and then on Leopard 2 hulls. But it was demonstrated on Chieftain, Leopard 1, and even the M60! (I built the M60 version a while back…) I’d say any model of it OTHER than the Finnish ones is OK.