Dragon Pzkw. VI Ausf. E Sd.Kfz.
181 Tiger I Late Production 3-in-1 Kit (6253)
by Cookie Sewell
1,134 parts (638 in grey styrene, 251 etched brass, 180 "MagicTrack"
plastic track links, 21 in clear styrene, 14 turned brass, 14 pre-formed
brass, 8 white metal, 1 turned aluminum barrel, 4 turned metal shackle
pins,1 steel spring, 1 pre-bent wire, 1 section of braided steel wire);
price estimated at around US $40 retail.
Advantages: even better than the Tiger I Early from this manufacturer
(January 2005 release); massive amount of options and different parts
in this kit; 3-in-1 options are for Late production, Late Command variant,
or Final production versions of this tank
Disadvantages: no Zimmerit finish means the modeler will still have to
apply it for most kit options
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German or Tiger fans
F I R S T L O O K
I didn't think after receiving a review sample of DML's Tiger I Early
that they could do much to top it other than add a Zimmerit finish to
the kit; well, while they disappointed me by not doing that, they did
catch me by surprise by adding nearly 450 new parts to the first kit to
arrive at a stunning new kit of this popular tank.
Compared to the first release, this kit changed out or added at least
eight different sprue groups to change the entire appearance of the model
to match the later variants; this alone added 250 styrene parts and many
of the etched brass changes to the kit. Some of the parts are now identified
by DML as common sprues, e.g. 14 styrene and 26 etched brass parts are
common to the 8.8 cm L/56 guns – either those on the Tiger I or
the Flak 18/36/37 series dual-purpose guns. Another 26 styrene and 34
etched brass are now identified as "German OVM" common parts.
Another 23 parts, 15 styrene and 8 etched brass, provide what appears
to be a personality figure of Michael Wittmann – the plastic parts
compose the body, and the etched parts medals, decorations and shoulder
The basic vehicle (this is getting to look more and more like an American
automobile window sticker everyday, with "option packages" added
to the "Base Model!") comes with the requisite parts for the
late model Tiger I – steel wheels, cast cupola, and turret rear
stowage bin. From there on, the rest of the changes are for detail parts
and specific model variants.
The modeler has a choice of the following: two types of drivers; two
types of idlers; two different hull stern plates; two types of lifting
shackles; etched or styrene exhaust shrouds; turned brass or styrene tubes
for the hull rear plate; open or closed driver's viewer; styrene or metal
tow cables; styrene or etched brass tool fittings (a special jig is included
on one sprue leg for bending and fitting the latter); styrene or etched
brass mudguards; styrene or etched brass fenders; three different mantelets;
styrene or aluminum gun barrel (the latter has a spring to "work");
two types of muzzle brake; choice of two-section or bent plate turret
roof; original or final production cast commander's cupola (made with
"slide molding" so all vision port covers are cast in place);
two different styles of loader's hatch; separate covers for the rear turret
stowage bin; optional position turret rear hatch; special track for the
turret with separate guide horns; and, "sag" guides to get the
right set of the tracks on the wheels (hard to see on the directions in
Step 19, and provided in the kit as parts D23 and D24).
While the AA MG mount base is provided, no AA MG comes with the kit.
Also, while all of the accouterments for the engine bay and an interior
come with the kit (e.g. radiators, fans, torsion bars) no interior is
provided, but the kit is set to take on or at least an engine for the
The model comes with a large decal sheet to cover most generic Tiger
I markings in detail. Markings are provided for the Late version as sPzAbt
101 along with a company numbering diagram, including Michael Wittmann's
company. There is one option offered for a Late Command variant from sPzAbt
101, and three for Final variants from sPzAbt 505. All are in the final
three-color scheme of Panzerbraun, red brown, and dark green.
Overall this is an overwhelming kit in its number of options, and other
than the previously noted "do it yourself" Zimmerit options,
really leaves little for the modeler to have to purchase extra or come
up with from the spares box.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
DML kits are available from retail and mail order shops. For details
see their web site at: www.dragonmodelsltd.com.