VK-30.01 Test Shot QuickLook
Trumpeter, 1/35 scale
Preview by Cesar L. Martinez, M.D.
The German concept of a 30 ton heavy tank was first conceived in 1935, and would culminate in the famous PzKpw VI (Tiger tank). The first two prototypes, the D.W.1 and D.W.2, had 50 mm thick mild steel armor all around, six pairs of torsion bar suspension road wheels and a 12 cylinder Maybach HL120 engine producing 280 hp. Krupp built a prototype cast iron turret of 50 mm thick armor and mounted the 7.5 cm L/24 short gun installed in the PzKpfw IV. These first prototypes were tested by Henschel.
The new item information sheet that came with the test shot reads as follows:
The test shot as I received consisted of three sprues of grey styrene, a clear sprue of periscope vision blocks, some loose parts consisting of the upper and lower hull, side fenders, turret parts, and two vinyl tracks. There were no photo etched frets, aluminum barrel nor decals included. Apparently the other sprues for the turret and gun interior details were not included with the sample. Two sprues carrying the road wheel and torsion bar suspension arms were identical. Of interest is the separate casting of the main road wheel and its rubber rim, presumably to assist in painting and final assembly. The last remaining sprue contained various hatches, grab handles, the exhaust system and the gun mantlet, but did not include the gun barrel and muzzle. Probably of notable interest in this kit are the vinyl tracks, which have the track guide teeth hollowed out, previously not possible with this material. All the styrene parts are flash free and are indeed well detailed, including the tracks. Initial dry fitting of the upper and lower hull, turret parts and side fenders show very nice fit with no discernible gaps.
The preview sheet shows a side view photograph of a VK-30.01 prototype with its turret removed and several steel plates bolted on the upper hull to simulate the weight of the turret in field tests. Given the incomplete parts for the turret and gun with the test shot, this could be an option during initial assembly of the kit (build review to follow).
Reference: The Modeler’s Guide to the Tiger Tank by Patrick A. Stansell (Historical text by Bruce Culver), Ampersand Publishing (2003).