Sd.Kfz. 181 Panzerkampfwagen VI 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. 6797; Sd.Kfz. 181 Panzerkampfwagen VI w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit|
|Media and Contents:||407 parts (375 in grey styrene, 15 etched brass, 12 clear styrene, 2 DS Plastic Track runs, 2 pre-bent brass wire, 1 steel wire)|
|Price:||pre-order price US$64.99 via Dragon USA Online|
|Review Type:||First Look|
|Advantages:||Nice upgrade to 2006 Premium kit; now includes DS Plastic Tracks|
|Disadvantages:||Nothing major of note except for fans of Magic Link tracks|
|Recommendation:|| Highly Recommended for all die-hard Tiger fans
The Germans built a total of 10 Tiger (P) versions of the tank before the design was rejected in favor of the Henschel tank, which was far more conventional. The remaining 90 chassis were converted to first the “Ferdinand” and then the “Elefant” self-propelled guns, with the vehicles then broken into two combat battalions. For deployment and ease of support, several of the Tiger (P) tanks were then modified with additional command elements, fitted for combat and sent to Russia with the battalions.
The conversions were not difficult and mainly consisted of adding a coat of then-de rigeur Zimmerit paste, smoke grenade launchers, and a few other combat modifications.
This kit is based on the last release of this kit, their Premium issue from 2006 (No. 6352) but with a number of parts replaced with similar components with a very fine grain Zimmerit finish and a pair of DS Plastic single track runs once again returning to the kit.
As with the first edition of the Tiger (P) it now has a very limited fret of etched brass, which was not well packed in this kit and suffered some bending. I am not sure if this will be endemic or just bad fortune and over 8,000 miles in transit.
I recently note some snarky comments on the Internet about the comments I make on tracks in DML kits. They supply one of three types: injection molded, Magic Track single links which are bagged separately, and DS Plastic gluable vinyl single runs. For every one who contacts me and says he likes the Magic Track another contacts me that says he hates them for the time involved in assembly. And when things are reversed, the happy campers with DS tracks are countered by those who want the Magic Tracks to get the right look on the model. The correct solution here would be for DML to provide BOTH sets in the kit and let the modeler sort it out.
The kits have been around in one form or another since 2002 and are reasonably easy to assemble. The number of parts is much less than the Tiger I series of kits so they are far easier on the patience of many modelers. Breakdown is pretty straightforward with a nicely slide molded lower hull with the sides molded in place and plenty of surface detail. As noted this variant comes with Zimmerit which is petite and nicely done - enough to dry-brush nicely without looking like it was applied with a disk harrow.
Technical consultants for this kit were Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
One finishing option is provided – command tank 003 from s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653, Eastern Front 1944 in tricolor paint. A small sheet of targeted Cartograf decals is included.
Overall it is nice to see DML has done the “Combat” version of the tank.
A 51 P upper hull deck
A 26 Tiger I gun and turret interior
B 30 Elefant fenders
C 40 P Turret
E 35x2 Elefant drivers/idlers
F 18x2 Elefant road wheels
G 1 Lower hull pan with Zimmerit
H 22 Turret shell with Zimmerit, turret race, smoke grenade launchers
H 21 P fenders
J 8 MG 34 bow gun
L 26 P turret details
L 12 Tiger I clear styrene
M 21 Tiger P hull details with Zimmerit
P 2 Tiger P mantelet with Zimmerit and commander’s cupola
X 2 DS Plastic track runs
MA 15 etched brass
MB 2 prebent brass wire
MB 1 steel wire
TH 3 German OVM
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.