German Heavy Tank Tiger I Early Production (Eastern Front)
Tamiya, 1/48 scale
Tamiya revitalised the mid-sized 1:48 scale military market in 2004 with their brand new Tiger I Early Production kit. A number of Axis and Allied releases rapidly followed, with the 1:48 scale Panther Ausf. G appearing in 2005.Tamiya has now added to their Tiger family with an Early Production (Eastern Front) kit, which represents a slightly later production version than the initial 2004 kit. This version features the distinctive dustbin cupola and the Feifel air filter system.
Tamiya's new 1:48 scale Tiger I Early Production (Eastern Front) comprises 235 parts in tan coloured plastic, eight polythene caps and markings for two Eastern Front vehicles.
Tamiya has taken advantage of their earlier 1/48 scale Tiger I releases. The sprues for the running gear and tracks are from the debut 2004 Early Version release, the hull tub and side parts are from the 2013 Late Production kit, while the turret, filters, hull top and rear plus other specific early production parts are new.
The hull is all-plastic with the option of adding four cylindrical metal ingots for "scale weight". I'll fit these to mine.
The Commander's cupola features a separate hatch that may be posed open or closed. The driver's and radio operator's hatches are separate parts but you'll need to do a bit of extra work to pose them open.
Surprisingly, there are no figures included.
The drive sprockets and idler wheels are attached via polythene caps.
Tracks are link and length, with one long run each for the lower and upper sections, two lengths for the upper run and a combination of single and four-link sections to cover the drive sprocket, idler wheel and the gaps between the top and bottom runs. I have built quite a few of these Tamiya 1:48 scale link-and-length tracks, and they have always proven to be easy to install. The sag along the upper run is also very convincing.
There are lots of faint ejector pin marks on the inside of the tracks but these will be hidden once assembly is complete.
The small decal sheet provides markings for two vehicles that fought at on the Eastern Front in July 1943.
Both vehicles have an overall base coat of Dark Yellow, with one also having disruptive camouflage of Dark Yellow, Red Brown and Dark Green.
Decals are in register and well printed.
Tamiya’s mid-scale Tiger I Early Poduction (Eastern Front) is a well detailed kit and will be easy to build. This is another welcome addition to Tamiya's 1:48 scale military vehicle family.
Thanks to The Hobby Company Limited for the sample
Text and Images by Brett Green