Dragon Bergepanzer Tiger (P) (7227)
by Cookie Sewell
229 parts (215 in grey styrene,14 etched brass); price estimated at US
Advantages: first kit of this vehicle in this scale; options provided
for different variants
Disadvantages: single-link tracks will cause some disappointment among
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German armor fans
The law defined by Newton that "For every action there is an equal
and positive reaction" could be applied to armor as "For every
tank of a given size there has to be an equally big and powerful recovery
vehicle." The non-Porsche Tigers defied that law, and the result
was a good number of them abandoned where they broke down. Even the Panther,
with the equal sized Bergepanther, more often than not was found abandoned
due to mechanical breakdown as it could not be recovered and repaired.
In the case of the Porsche Tiger-derived self-propelled guns "Elefant"
and "Ferdinand" an attempt had been made to provide them with
an equal sized recovery vehicle. However, only three Tiger (P) chassis
were converted, and all three were assigned to s.Pz.Jg.Abt 653 in Italy,
or one per company.
DML has now used parts from its "Elefant" and "Ferdinand"
kits to create a model of the Bergetiger (P) that permits building all
three of these vehicles. Due to the fact they were based on Tiger (P)
chassis and not the self-propelled gun version, there are detail differences
in the hulls that are also provided in the kit. These include things like
fender braces, engine decks, and defensive armament.
The centerpiece of this kit is the strongback and derrick crane for repairs
and maintenance of their charges, and it comes with scale appearance etched
metal chain. These fortunately come in one piece sets; unfortunately,
the tracks consist of 12 short lengths and 108 single links. Due to the
small size of the links – even on big tracks like these! –
modelers have complained that they are too "fiddly" and may
not be pleased with the lack of a vinyl option in the kit.
As noted three finishing options are provided, one for each of the companies
of Jagdabteilung 653.
Overall this is a very "bitty" and busy model, and even though
only three were built it is more interesting than many other vehicles
due to the amount of add-on details found on the model.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.