Kit Review: DML 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6209; Sd.Kfz. 182 King Tiger Henschel Turret Last Production w/Transport Track; 1,026 parts (975 in grey styrene, 28 etched brass, 20 clear styrene, 2 twisted steel wire, 1 turned aluminum barrel); pre-order price US $49.95 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: provides narrow transport tracks with a Tiger II kit
Disadvantages: few noted
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: For all German WWII fans
Dragon has now released what is essentially its ninth Tiger II kit (six under the aegis of DML and two cyber-hobby.com variants) and now provides their Henschel variant kit with a set of narrow transport tracks. This kit was originally forecast for release in 2006 but was held back for some reason.
For some odd reason =96 apparently a disconnect on the part of some of the DML sections =96 the initial review copy of this kit came missing many of the details added to recent versions of the Tiger II kits. This was clear from both the missing parts in the kit and also no callouts on the front page of the directions. After submitting the initial review on 16 July 2011, I was contacted by a lady named Iris from DML=92s marketing section to inform me my review was wrong. I noted that no, it was not; the kit did not have the parts nor did the directions show it.
Nine days latter the missing 55 parts from the upgraded versions of the Tiger II kits and a new set of directions arrived, so apparently DML DOES pay attention to their reviews and fix their kits! The kit now comes with all of the fine T series generic details that recent German kits have sported, most recently the Tiger II with zimmerit kit (No. 6303).
The kit provides its transport tracks in the form of new flat links (the R sprues) and a set of Panther transport tracks (E sprues) which are assembled to form the transport tracks. The assembly is very confusing as DML only provides a single photo in Step 9 to show how they assemble which is not clear =96 there are A links (Panther tracks with dual guide teeth) and B links (flat links with dual connectors of which only one is used). Assembly will be tedious, particularly since the Panther links have three ejection pin marks on each one.
Having been taken to task about fender bolt holes being too big on previous kits, DML now the modeler redrilling them and using brass parts to cover the holes.
The remainder of the kit provides for a Tiger II with Henschel turret with the =93normal=94 steel road wheels, a smaller set of etched brass for the screens and detail parts. All of the fine details are now included =96 two options for the cupola with clear periscopes, the bow MG34 with ball mount, travel lock, exhaust bases, tools and OVM, and turret top details as well as the track installation tow heads.
Alas, the kit regretfully uses the =93Color Photo=94 version of the DML directions, using a pre-painted or primed version of the kit, which makes it far more difficult to determine the correct location of parts as it shows them installed and not when or how to install them. To make matters worse, this time they are printed in black and white!
Technical credit is given to Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
There are three finishing options covered: Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1945 (=93Ambush=94 scheme, no markings); Unidentified Unit, Eastern Front 1945 (three-color scheme, no markings); and 3/s.Pz.Abt. 511, Eastern Front 1945 (=93Ambush=94 scheme, no markings). Three tiny crosses are provided on a Cartograf sheet, albeit none of the schemes show them being used.
Overall this is now a nice and thorough kit (at over 1,000 parts it should be!) and is complete.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.