I suppose it comes to us all at some point … the time when inspiration seems to disappear, and there simply is nothing out there to grab the attention. When this recently happened to me, I decided to tackle something totally different … my first ‘what if’ tank, the VK16.02. No need to dwell on the minutiae of historical accuracy, correct camouflage schemes, or the location of specific details; more a case of pure enjoyment, in the knowledge that no one can argue that you got that bit wrong.
Although the concept for this vehicle was in the minds of the design team at M.A.N. as early as 1941, with serial production being scheduled for April 1943, the project was abandoned in January of that year. Already dubbed ‘Leopard’, the VK16.02 failed to live up to its name, not least because the armour protection was inadequate, even for a reconnaissance vehicle.
Over recent years there has been a growing interest in ‘Paper Panzer’ subjects, and various companies have responded (albeit slowly) with kits and conversion sets of some of the more popular examples. Currently, there are only two versions of the VK16.02: one from Hobby Boss, the other from Amusing Hobby. While these are similar in terms of quality and attention to detail, I found the Amusing Hobby kit to be better value for money.
Labelled as ‘German Heavy Armored Recon