Sd.Kfz. 181 Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E Tiger I Mid-Production w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit
Dragon, 1/35 scale
Reviewed by Cookie Sewell
|Stock Number and Description||Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale ‘39-45 Series Kit No. 6700; Sd.Kfz. 181 Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E Tiger I Mid-Production w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit|
|Media and Contents:||713 parts (663 in grey styrene, 47 etched brass, 21 clear styrene, 2 DS Plastic track runs, 1 pre-bent steel wire)|
|Price:||pre-order price US$64.95 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||May finally be a “mainstream” Tiger I kit from DML and not another short run version; simplified from the previous kit; DS tracks solve the tedium of single link track assembly; choice of detail parts|
|Disadvantages:||If a short-run will become expensive on eBay|
|Recommendation:||Highly Recommended for all German Tiger fans|
DML has now released what could be called a “mainstream” Tiger I kit as it is based on the most common versions of this tank to appear, namely with the full production cupola, rubber-tired road wheels, rear turret bin, and zimmerit.
Like the previous “Otto Carius” kit (cyber-hobby No. 74/DML No. 6763) which this model basically replicates minus the extra bits in that kit, it also provides modelers a choice between single-link styrene tracks and DS Plastic single piece runs. As these were the “universal” tracks (e.g. only installed one way so the two sides faced different directions) they are easier to sort out than the handed ones. The DS plastic looks good, takes paint well, and glues with common plastic solvents; it also permits undercutting such as the pin ends of the track and even open teeth to replicate castings as is the case here. Overall, cleanup is simple and I do believe most people like these better. However, in this kit the previous “sag guides” for the single links have made a return.
There are fewer options with the kit: the box does include two styles of idlers, two different rear plates, and three different mantlets, and it does come with both “clean” and zimmerit-applied panels for the tank in the same box. It comes with the later commander’s cupola and other specific parts. As before a partial interior is included for the engine compartment as well as all of the torsion bars and the 8.8 cm gun breech in the turret. No AA MG or mount are provided.
Many of the “brag book” features from the previous releases remain with this kit. They have redone the mufflers and armored covers for the rear plate, fixed some problems with the turret escape hatch, redone the hull shell to make more use of “Slide Molding” features, and provided for the use of a engine pre-heater (read blowtorch) at the rear of the hull. This is included with this kit (probably not needed for Russia in summer 1944 though!)
The amount of etched brass has been reduced, and my take on that is that the molds have all been “tweaked” a bit to clean up earlier problems and thus much of the brass detailing is now superfluous.
Zimmerit molding is confined to the lower glacis (T2), upper glacis (T4), vertical plate (T5), hull sides (T7 and T8), stern plate (T3), turret shell (T9), and the mantlet (T6). But the previous three patch panels used to provide smooth surfaces for markings on the vertical plate are missing as the directions show the markings going right over the zimmerit. Some vehicles have track links on their turrets, and some do not; check the finishing instructions to see which is which.
Technical assistance and research for this kit came from David Byrden, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
As it is the “mass production” version the kit comes with a large sheet of targeted Cartograf decals with EIGHT options: Panzerkampfgruppe “Strachwitz”, s.Pz.Abt, 502, Narva front, Estonia 1944 (whitewash over sand, black 211); 1./s.Pz.Abt. 507, Poland 1944 (tricolor, white 113); 1./s.Pz.Abt. 507, Poland 1944 (tricolor, white 132); s.Pz.Abt. 508, Anzio, February 1944 (tricolor, small black crosses); Unterscharfuehrer Ritter, 3/s.SS-Pz.Abt. 101, Mons, France 1944 (tricolor, white 304); Unterscharfuehrer Amselgruber, 3/s.SS-Pz.Abt. 101, Mons, France 1944 (tricolor, white 331); Untersturmfuehrer Guenther, 3/s.SS-Pz.Abt. 101, Mons, France 1944 (tricolor, white 311); 1./s.Pz.Abt. 506, western Ukraine, April-May 1944 (green over sand, white 6 - 11 optional); and s/Pz.Abt. 503, Panzerregiment Baeke, Cherkassy Pocket February 1944 (whitewash over sand, black numbers 123, 200, 221, 311, 312, or 314 known). The markings for the s.SS-Pz.Abt. 101 are also provided in light blue. This is around 15 to 18 different options for one kit!
Overall this is an eagerly awaited version - probably as close to a “generic” Tiger I as DML will go. With the choice between “clean” or zimmerit and DS tracks it should be easy to find the “right” Tiger for most modelers. But note that these kits quickly move to ridiculous prices on eBay and other sites so anyone wishing one should snap it up quickly ($200 each for previous ones is not uncommon).
A 26 (Tiger I generic) 8.8 cm gun
B 40 (Tiger I generic) drivers and idlers
C 39 (Tiger I Late) fenders and alternate drivers
D 27 (Tiger I Late) Turret fittings
E 31 (Tiger I Late) turret roof and optional details
H 54 x 4 (Tiger I Late) torsion bars and single track links
J 39 (Tiger I generic) interior components
K 10 (Tiger I Late) grilles, OVM
L 12 (Tiger I generic) clear blocks
P 37 (Tiger I Late) cables, hull sides, details
Q 34x2 (Tiger I) road wheels with one damaged and tire
R 15 (Tiger I Late) turret stowage bin
S 9 (Tiger I Late) clear
T 10 Tiger I with Zimmerit parts with zimmerit
U 1 (Tiger I) Hull roof
U 1 Tiger I Late cupola
V 29 (Tiger I) Turret race and detail fittings
W 2 DS tracks
W 14 (Tiger I) details, travel lock fittings
W 3 (Tiger I) Turret roof, hatches
X 1 (Tiger I) lower hull base
Y 42 (Tiger I) hull detail fittings
Z 2 Twisted steel wires
MA 43 Etched brass
MB 1 Prebent wire
MB 4 etched brass
TA 5 (German OVM) pioneer tools
TB 9 (German OVM) jack and hooks
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.