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Dora rail gun questions

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  • Member since
    August 2021
Dora rail gun questions
Posted by Mac Fixx on Friday, September 17, 2021 10:05 PM

This beast and an entire diorama with all support equipment is on the list to build.

I'm struggling to find decent color (and B&W) pix and info on line. Were/are there any books/publications dedicated to the Dora gun?  Info about the train and support equipment that went with it is also desired. 

Methinks this thing probably had a large generator set onboard (or as part of the train consist) not only for the mechanics of the gun but lighting.  I'd like to incorporate fiber optics in the build accurately.

Recommendations would be greatly appreciated.



  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Friday, September 17, 2021 10:30 PM

Googled Dora railway gun. Take a look at the old machine press article, along with some of the other ones.  Not many pics that I saw.  With the limited use, probably not going to be many.

Said had a diesel generator, but not exactly where.  Suspect on the carriage somewhere.  Huge support and assembly operation.

  • Member since
    August 2006
  • From: Mordor
Posted by Sauron on Saturday, September 18, 2021 8:26 AM

Try these links:


The first is a color shot of Hitler viewing the Dora in 1942.  The other is a book on German railguns.  The text is in German but has a lot of photos.  I have built the 1/144 Soar Art one as well as the Hobby Boss 1/72 scale one.  The Soar Art 1/35 scale one is in the stash awaiting its turn on the bench.

"One Ring to Rule Them All, One Ring to Find Them, One Ring to Bring Them All, and in the Darkness Bind Them."
  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Sunday, September 19, 2021 5:30 PM

From probably fickle memory (and hazy memory of reading common German rail gun emplacement) the "firing" tracks were laid to fit, in place. 

Ideally these would be on a curve--about 1 km long and 350-450km radius so that the piece could be trained in elevation by moving it along the curve--cities not generally needing a lot of train angle to fire upon.

A supply spur line was laid to the general center of the arc.  That spur track often having other branches, further back, away from the gun.  As an Engineer battalion, with cranes and earth-moving equipment wer wanted.  Probably a labor battalion, too, to lay tracks and move ammo.

I've seen documentation suggesting Dora had 1500 personnel around her--seems likely given the needs.  And, you'd not want to have people be too close to the concusion of firing (or laagers of ammo).  This goes double for the field kitchens sleeping quarters.

Which gets us to the classic diorama issue--how to model something that spans a kilometer or so?

A 5 meter (16.5 foot) diorama is only about a 1/3 of a kilometer to scale.  These thing boggle quickly. 

Which suggests--as it often does--breaking things up into several smaller dioramas.  Say a a group of Feldkuchen set next to a short rake of boxcars.  A similar display of mechanics working on a switch engine would be apt--or one of the steam locos this operation would need in spades.

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, September 19, 2021 6:07 PM


Once I've seen a list of support units necessarry to keep this baby operating - sorry can't find it anymore - there was a flak and fighter component for air cover, slave laborers to build the track, field post station and even an enlisted and another officer's brothel on the list, too - modelling this is like showing an entire factory at work in one piece...

Also goes to show what waste of resources this gun really was.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you will solve this one... Good luck with it and have a nice day


All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Sunday, September 19, 2021 6:14 PM

The old machine press article gave a pretty good overview of the number of people and equipment needed to get set up and operating.

Lot of time, money and manpower to fire just 48 rounds.  Supposedly ran out of shells, and the barrel was shot out and replaced with a spare from Krupp.

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by Mac Fixx on Monday, September 20, 2021 4:36 PM

Thanks to all for all the help.  I'll look into copy of that book. 

In terms of space, up to 4'x8' isn't out of the question if the space being eyeballed happens.  There's another 4'x8' project to build as well.  Busy times if the workspace materializes and if so, both builds would likely become mile-long forum threads.

Thanks again.

  • Member since
    November 2005
  • From: Formerly Bryan, now Arlington, Texas
Posted by CapnMac82 on Tuesday, September 21, 2021 4:54 PM

Mac Fixx
and if so, both builds would likely become mile-long forum threads.

LoL--anything under 10 pages is an "easy" read Smile


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