Home > Reviews > Small Scale > Fujimi Dora 80cm WWII German Super Heavy Railway Gun (MT-9511)

Dora 80cm WWII German
Super Heavy Railway Gun

Reviewed by Don Hinton


Catalogue Number:

MT-9511 WWII German (Dora 80cm) Super Heavy Railway Gun



Contents and Media:

443 dark gray plastic pieces.  No decals.



Review Type:

First Look


Interesting and massive subject.  Critical parts are slide molded


Expensive.  Soft molding, many details not to scale


Recommended with reservations



Fujimi’s Dora is the first time this huge railway gun is available in plastic.  But you have to ask if $89.98 for a 1/144 model is it worth it?  Let’s see…

Only one 80cm-Kanone[E] Dora railway gun, later called the Schwerer Gustav, was built by Krupp Works.  Design work began in 1937 and construction was completed by 1942, resulting in the most massive cannon ever developed, weighing in at 1,4880 tons, or over half the weight of a US Fletcher-class destroyer.  It was 141 feet long with a barrel length of 106.6 feet, 38 feet tall and 23 feet wide.  Only two types of shells were developed for the Dora; the 7.8 ton armor piercing and the 4.5 ton high explosive.  Dora was used only once in June 1942 at Sevastopol, firing 48 shells in five days.  I’d like to see someone do a cost/benefit analysis of those 48 shells.

When I first saw this kit advertised on Squadron’s website I must say I was excited, but could find no information about it on the internet at all, lest enough to justify $100 for a 1/144 model (I bought mine from a local hobby shop at normal retail—believe me, this is an unsolicited review paid for out of my pocket).   Also confusing to me is “limited edition.”  Does this mean limited issue (short run technology), or were only so many ordered due to the high price?  I decided to take the plunge and ordered it sight unseen.

The kit comes in a very heavy box.  There is a lot of plastic in it.  Upon opening it I was disappointed at the soft details on some of the parts and heavy moldings.  But further examination revealed the kit is a mix of soft moldings and new technology slide-mold pieces for the cannon barrel, breach block, other large fittings and even some of the railings.  Ejection pin marks are kept to a minimum and strategically placed in hidden locations.  There are no metal detail parts or turned pieces, as I was hoping to see due to the box art having the word “Metal” underneath Fujimi.  This actually reads “Metal Troops Creations.” And yet, on each sprue is the name “Soar Art Workshop.”  Go figure.


Click the thumbnails below to view larger images:

Here are the barrel and tracks, along with a 1/144 Tiger and six-inch  scale:



The instruction sheet is of the photo-type and is laid out very nicely.  Though the model builds up to a large, complex rail gun, the basic construction looks easy.  As I expected, the guard rails are too thick for 1/144 and I will replace them with brass rod.   No decals or figures come with the model.  Two sections of dual railway track join together to form a base for the model. 

Is it worth it?  It is to me.  I can’t determine if this is a limited run kit or a normally tooled kit that will be around forever.  If this is limited run, and say only 2,000 are to be produced, then I can say Yes, $89.98 is justifiable.  If this is normal tooling and will be relatively unlimited production, then it is too expensive in my opinion, though 443 pieces is a lot of plastic.  For $89.98, the detail should be state of the art throughout, but you are not getting a new Dragon armor kit here.  The Trumpeter 1/35 Leopold goes for $135, though until you see the complex build-up of components of the Dora you don’t realize how very simple the Leopold actually is. 

So, you have to ask yourself, how badly do you want a Dora 80cm gun?  It is the only game in town, though there are rumors of a 1/35 kit (I’d hate to see how expensive this six-foot long model will be!)  If you have to pinch your modeling pennies, you may not be happy with what you get. 

For me, I am very excited about this kit and it is worth the expense.  I think I can overcome most of the soft molding with careful washes and drybrushing to bring out the details.  The construction looks fun--I like the way the Dora was assembled in real life—and for the model as well.  As soon as I finish my Planet Models 1/72 resin 21cm Kanone, I’m starting on the Dora.

Recommended with reservations.

Text and Images by Don Hinton
Page Created 29 May, 2006
Page Last Updated 28 May, 2006