Tiger I Ausf. H2 7.5 cm KwK 42
Dragon, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||
Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale ‘39-‘45 Series Kit No. 6683; Tiger I Ausf. H2 7.5 cm KwK 42
|Media and Contents:||427 parts (419 in grey styrene, 4 pre-formed etched brass, 2 pre-bent steel wires, 2 DS Plastic track runs)|
|Price:||pre-order price US$64.99 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||A truly unique version of the Tiger I|
|Disadvantages:||Unsure of provenance of kit|
|Recommendation:|| Recommended for Tiger fans
I admit to be being totally confused by this kit. All of the references I have indicate that when the Tiger tank was being developed as VK 4502 (H) Henschel had two different turrets – one for the L/56 8.8 cm gun and one for the L/70 7.5 cm gun. At the end of the day the winner was the Henschel chassis with the Porsche “horseshoe” turret for the L/56 8.8 cm gun. Therefore the turret with the 7.5 cm gun was discarded.
Now this kit appears with the Henschel “Panther-esque” turret for the 7.5 cm gun but with three different finishes as if the vehicle was built, fielded and served in combat.
The idea of offering the “might have been” turret is not a bad one, but I cannot find any information to support the fielding of such a tank so have to put that in the “might have been” category as well.
What you get is a nearly completely new mold kit of a Tiger I chassis with a lot of new mold details and the Henschel turret. The hull is a new one-piece item with molded in road wheel arms and the road wheels are basically upscaled items from the 1/72 kits.
The wheels are unique in that they distill all of the many Tiger I road wheels (48) down to but 16 parts; the inner wheels are attached to each other with “leapfrog” connectors over the axles to the next wheel, and four single wheels on the outside of each run to complete the wheel order. This really simplifies assembly and alignment, but I am not sure how well it will go over with the “faithful” who have liked the other DML kits with single wheels.
The hull comes with some rear interior elements as per previous kits, but no forward or engine bay details. The early “Feifel” air cleaner system is provided with styrene hoses and connections. The hull top comes with a set of tools that have molded clasps in place, and there is no fret of etched brass with the kit.
The new turret comes with the Panther A style mantlet and a muzzle brake that appears similar to the one on the L/43 7.5 cm gun in the Panzer IV F2. It also has the “dustbin” style commander’s cupola and a ball mount for a machine gun in the turret rear plate.
The tracks are the DML DS Plastic “universal” style with the right track being the reverse of the one on the left. Once again I reiterate that modelers who do not wish to spend hours on the tracks prefer the one-piece DS runs, and ones who do not mind the extra work with the Magic Track single link tracks prefer them. DML SHOULD INCLUDE BOTH IN THE KIT TO LET THE MODELER CHOOSE! (Once the track molds are cut the difference is only a few American pennies per kit.)
Three (!) finishes are offered: 13.SSPz.Rgt., Liebstandard Adolf Hitler, Prokhorovka July 1943 (green over sand, white 411, 412, or 414, white crosses and markings); s.SSPz.Abt. 101, Zhitomir, November 1943 (tricolor, white S22, S24, S52, or S33, black crosses); and Pz.Abt. 503, 1943 (green over sand, white 211, 231, 233, or 323; black crosses). A good sized sheet of Cartograph decals provides the number jungle and SS LAH markings.
Project supervisor was Hirohisa Takada, and technical assistance was provided by David Byrden, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Overall, while this is a very nicely done (and simple!) alternative Tiger kit, the finishing options seem more wishful thinking.
A 29 Tiger H2 turret, gun, manlet
B 40 Tiger I generic - drivers and idlers
C 39 Tiger I Late - exhaust shrouds, drivers, fenders, details
E 18 Tiger I - road wheels and details
G 44 Tiger H2 - new details, driver outer sections, engine access hatch
H 1 Tiger I lower hull with road wheel arms
J 39 Tiger I generic - interior components
K 10 Tiger I Late - grilles, hull details
K 18 Tiger H2 - hull roof, details, OVM
P 40 Tiger I Late - side panels, tow cables, mud guards, hull hatches
V 31 Tiger I “Feifel” intake, hull details
W 4 “Feifel” hoses
Y 12 Radiator bay intakes, details
Z 2 DS Plastic Track Runs
CH 58 Tiger I - new mold details
CI 29 Tiger I - new mold details
MC 4 etched brass
MD 2 Pre-bent wire
TF 7 German OVM - jack
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.