Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf.B Tiger II
|Catalogue Number and Description:||
Eduard ProfiPACK. Kit No. 3715 - Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf.B Tiger II
|Contents and Media:||
434 parts in caramel coloured plastic; 148 parts in black plastic; a nickel-plated photo-etched fret and markings for three vehicles
|Advantages:||High level of detail; straightforward construction; link and length treacks; clear instructions.|
|Disadvantages:||Transport track may limit marking options.|
The Tiger II was a German heavy tank of the Second World War. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, often shortened to Tiger B. It is also known under the informal name Königstiger (the German name for the "Bengal Tiger"), often semi-literally translated as the King Tiger or Royal Tiger by Allied soldiers.
The Tiger II was the successor of the Tiger I, combining the latter's thick armour with the armour sloping used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost seventy metric tons, was protected by 100 to 180 mm (3.9 to 7.1 in) of armour to the front, and was armed with the long barreled 8.8 cm Kampfwagenkanone 43 L/71 gun.
The Tiger II was developed late in the war and built in relatively small numbers, with 1,500 Tiger IIs being ordered — a slightly higher number than the 1,347 examples of the earlier Tiger I tanks actually produced — but production of the Tiger II was severely disrupted by Allied bombing.
The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger tank destroyer.*
There has been no shortage of Tiger II models in 1:35 scale over the decades. We have seen the vintage offerings from Nichimo and Tamiya, the newly-tooled Porsche and Henschel Tamiya King Tigers from the 1990s, and a selection of original kits from Dragon too.
Academy entered this crowded market in 2013 with their 1:35 scale King Tiger “Last Production” kit. This was an all-new model.
Eduard has now released this kit under their Profipack label with attractive box art, different marking options and a new photo-etched fret.
Eduard’s 1:35 scale King Tiger ProfiPACK comprises 434 parts in caramel coloured plastic, 148 parts in black plastic, a nickel-plated photo-etched fret and markings for three vehicles. Instructions are offered in a colour 14 page booklet, with helpful illustrations in the usual Eduard style.
The lower hull is broken down into a flat pack of separate floor, sides and back, with individual torsion bars suspending the 18 road wheels. The road wheels are split into front and rear halves with separate tyres trapped between them. You might be pleased with this arrangement if you usually paint your wheels and tracks before assembly. Remember that the “tyres” on the Tiger II are steel though, not rubber.
The tracks are the narrow transport type. These were necessary for rail transport, as the combat tracks made the vehicle too wide for German railway platforms and tunnels.
The kit tracks are broken down into links and lengths. I have to say that link and length is now my favourite type for “dead” tracks, offering a good compromise for speed of assembly and authentic sag.
The upper hull is a large single moulding. Hull tools and fittings look much better than the basic offerings on Academy’s recent Panzer 35(t). I’d be happy to use these on the model. The distinctive track guards are supplied but I believe that it would be rare to see these in combination with the narrow transport tracks. They’ll be handy if you buy a replacement set of final version combat tracks though.
The turret is made up from a large upper shell, a two-piece turret floor and a toothed turret ring.
The 8.8cm gun breech is nicely detailed, and you will be able to catch glimpses of your handiwork if the turret hatches are posed open. There is not much else in the way of interior turret detail though, apart from a solid plastic scope, rangefinder binoculars and the close defence weapon. Vision blocks for the cupola are supplied as separate parts, but they are coloured plastic, not clear.
Hangers are provided for four pairs of spare track links on each side of the turret. Check your references though, as many final production Tiger IIs had provision for more.
Eduard has replaced Academy’s original small photo-etched fret with their own improved version. The mesh looks woven – very impressive – and the inclusion of sights for the cupola-mounted machine gun is handy too.
Two figures are on the sprues but Eduard does not seem too impressed – they are marked “Not For Use”!
Eduard’s 1:35 scale Tiger II ProfiPACK is a very attractive and well detailed kit that will appeal to WWII German armour fans.
* Historical summary courtesy of Wikipedia
Thanks to Eduard for the sample www.eduard.cz
Text and Images by Brett Green
Page Created 14 September, 2014
Page Last Updated 14 September, 2014