The German 17cm Grille ("Cricket") self-propelled gun was an attempt to mount the massive 17cm K 72 L/50 gun in an extremely modified Tiger II chassis. The hull was stretched and extra road wheels were added, and the engine was moved forward to a position directly behind the driver, allowing for a huge open fighting compartment to be added behind the engine room. As with many of Germany's late-war "super weapons," the 17cm Grille only saw the light of day as a single, nearly-completed prototype, and was never put into service. The unfinished prototype was found by Allied troops in Haustenbeck in 1945.
Trumpeter's kit of the massive 17cm Grille is, well, massive! The huge box is full of sprues (14 of 'em!), and the parts count is a staggering 558! And that's with flexible belt-style tracks, too...no indy links here to inflate the parts count. The moldings are very clean and crisp, but there are a few ejector pin marks that may show in the interior sections. Speaking of which, there appears to be a fairly complete interior, including the driver's stations with transmission, a full engine and engine room with radiators and cooling fans, and of course the open fighting compartment in the back. The 17cm gun is rendered in fantastic detail (all plastic; no metal), featuring many moving parts. It can be displayed mounted in the vehicle or deployed on the ground. The kit also includes a fret of photo-etched metal detail parts and a set of decals (just two balkenkreuz, one for each side of the fighting compartment), although the actual prototype was never marked at all. No figures are included. An interesting--and large!--addition to any collection of German armor!