Cyber-Hobby.com Sd.Kfz. 181 Pz.Kpfw.
VI Ausf. E Tiger I Initial Production (6286)
by Cookie Sewell
1/35 Scale 1.Kompanie s.Pz.Abt. 501 DAK 3-in-1 Kit; 950 parts (494 in
grey styrene, 223 etched brass, 180 "Magic Track" links, 18
turned brass, 11 clear styrene, 8 metal pins, 8 metal clevises, 4 bent
wire, 1 turned aluminum,1 length twisted steel cable, 1 length of woven
nylon sleeve, 1 spring); price unknown
Advantages: targeted production permits building a specific unit's vehicles;
limited production kit provides wealth of options for construction means
Disadvantages: limited production kit may have limited availability
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all Tiger fans
F I R S T L O O K
I recently found a web site for Universal Models Limited of Hong Kong.
It is quite interesting, as it gives out a great deal of history and explains
a great deal. Founded as a hobby shop in Hong Kong in 1974, it moved on
to become a wholesaler and exporter (Hobby World Ltd.) and it also opened
subsidiary companies in the US and Canada. In 1987, UML took the step
of forming its own satellite model production company – Dragon Models
Limited. Business boomed, and with the coming handover of Hong Kong to
China in 1997 a satellite model production company, Shanghai Dragon, was
launched in 1994. Now, in 2005, they are adding cyber-hobby.com to market
limited production versions of DML products.
The first of these in 1/35 scale is a Tunisian Tiger I (the same version
as the Ordnance Museum's Tiger I here in Aberdeen, as so well covered
in the book "Tiger Without a Home" and which is under renovation
in the UK right now) with suitable optional parts to make any of three
different tanks from sPzABt 501.
Most of the parts are a combination from three previous kits –
Tiger I Early No. 6252), Tiger I Late (No. 6253), and Tiger (Porsche)
(No. 6210) kits. Some new bits have been added, but overall this is a
mix-and-match kit that provides all of the specific bits in one box with
a new main set of etched brass (MA fret).
While the kit has many of the same parts from the previous three Tiger
kits, there are a number of new details. The sides of the hull are new
and a specific plastic cable array (or your choice of styrene heads and
steel wire cable) are provided for making the Tiger match a 501st tank.
New rear fenders are provided, along with one set of styrene and three
etched brass sets for the front fenders. The model also has a new glacis
plate and various bins to match the Tigers fielded by the 501st.
Many other original kit parts have also been "tweaked" to match
501st tanks. The "Feifel" air filter system is provided with
either styrene tubes or styrene head and tails to use with a woven nylon
tube option. Mounts are also provided so that you can model the tank with
missing road wheels or – with an after-market purchase – with
"shipping" tracks and not its "combat" tracks.
The "combat" tracks are provided as "Magic Track"
links, which snap together for assembly and come pre-trimmed.
Details abound. For example, the bow gun consists of seven parts for
the gun and mount and another seven for the ball mounting on the upper
glacis panel. The driver's viewer operates (slides up and down) and as
with the previous "Late" kit there is a rudimentary interior
provided in the way of fuel tanks, torsion bars, and engine radiator fans.
Where the three tanks covered differ there are callouts on the directions
for what details are used or not used or what has to be changed to match.
DML originated the concept of optional parts, and the kit provides for
many of them in either styrene or brass (or other materials as appropriate).
Two different barrel options are provided (styrene or turned aluminum)
as well as various optional parts such as smoke grenade launchers, exhaust
shrouds, tow clevises, and the kit also includes 24 rounds of 8.8 cm ammunition,
two ammo cases, three Jerry cans, and a bucket. Finally, four locks are
included for the stowage bins, consisting of a styrene body and etched
The finishing options are for three tanks: Number 112 (the Aberdeen tank),
Number 141 and Number 142. The Aberdeen tank is in what appears to be
Afrika Korps Braun (the directions call for "middle stone")
and the other two are in Panzergrau.
Overall, this is another lovely kit, and at least by having a subsidiary
company create low-rate limited production kits for them DML will not
clog up their inventory with what may not be the most widely appealing
kits. According to the flyer in the kit, the next four "cyber-model.com"
releases are: ch.c 02 (DML No. 6293) - Sd.Kfz. 251/23 Ausf. D with 2 cm
turret; ch.c 03 (DML No. 6294) Pzkw. IV Ausf. E - Eastern Front; ch.c
04 (DML No. 6295) T-34/76 STZ; and 05 (DML No. 6296) Sd.Kfz. 234 with
2 cm turret.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.