ARM: Review - cyber-hobby 1/35 scale Tiger I Mid

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 61 (Dragon Models
Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6660; Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E.
Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger I Mid Command Version Winter 1943 Production; 809
parts (657 in grey styrene, 123 etched brass, 21 clear styrene, 2 DS
plastic track runs, 2 prebent wire, 2 twisted steel wire, 1 prebent
etched brass, 1 spring); price US$65.99 via Dragon USA Online
Advantages: yet another Tiger I variant with changes in the molds and
components offered
Disadvantages: the 11th Tiger I (and more expensive than the rest)
from DML
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommended: for Tiger fans
I give up. As I am not a Tiger I connoisseur other than the early and
late cupolas and rubber-tired and steel wheels I cannot tell them
apart, and yet DML and its botique subsidiary have
seen fit to provide us with at least 12 different models. To wit:
6252 Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger I Initial Production (2005)
6253 Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger I Late Production (2005)
6286 - Tiger I Initial Production DAK (2005)
6350 - Tiger I =93Michael Wittmann=94 (2006)
6335 - Gruppe Fehrman Tiger I (2007)
6269 Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger I (Early Production) (2008)
6383 Tiger I Late Production with Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit (2008)
6406 Tiger I Late Production 3-in-1 (2008)
6600 Pzkw. VI Ausf. E Tiger I Initial Production - s.Pz.Abt. 502 - 3-
in-1 Smart Kit (2010)
6610 - =93Wittmann=92s Last Tiger=94 Normandy 1944 - Drago=
Zimmerit (2009)
6670 - Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E. Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger I Mid
Command Version Winter 1943 Production
Okay, so at least so far they have not done a mid-production model.
Basically this kit combines bits from the =93Late=94 production kits with
a number of new cut sprues and details as well as a new decal sheet.
It does not come with zimmerit which from what I can gather is not
correct for this production cycle.
While some of the details appear to have improved not all good ideas
are carried forward, for it still retains the silly feature of a
recoiling spring-loaded gun barrel like AFV Club used to provide with
its kits. But it also retains the breech assembly, two basic seats,
and no other turret interior detail.
But modelers need to note that with all of the sprues swapped around
and added there are a very confusing number of repeated parts options
in the box which require sharp attention - these include three
different mantlets, two different sets of side plates, three different
sets of drivers, and numerous small detail changes.
The hull comes with some interior elements, but not a complete
interior. It includes the torsion bar assemblies, bow gun assembly,
hatch details, and radiator bays and trunking at the rear of the hull.
The rear engine deck grilles (parsts P11/12 and P16/17) from the
original kit are retained and have the curved louvers found on the
original, and based on the use of the snorkel may be shown open or
The hull top comes with a set of tools that have etched brass
clasps included, as well as a jig for bending the clasps to shape
prior to installation. Note these jigs are on top of one of the
smaller sprues for the kit with 2 point type size indicators!
The turret is either new or from later kit molds and comes with a one-
piece shell, one piece roof and separate turret race. The commander=92s
cupola is a single molding with added viewers and details Casting
numbers are included on one sprue for the mantlets.
The kit comes with one-piece cleanly molded (e.g. hollow guide teeth)
DS plastic runs but 14 extra track links are provided for OVM
mounting. An antiaircraft mount is shown on the side views but is not
Technical assistance was provided by David Byrden, Tom Cockle and
Gary Edmundson.
Marking and finishing instructions are provided for four/five tanks:
s.Pz.Abt. 508, central Italy, 1944 (tricolor, white A2); s.Pz.Abt.
507, Tarnapol 1944 (tricolor, choice of Tigers A, B or C); and
s.Pz.Abt. 503, Panzer Regiment =93Baeke=94, Balabonowka Pocket, January
1944 (white, black 1). A small sheet of Cartograf decals is included.
Overall, by this time =96 after 12 releases =96 I am sure only Tiger I
fans will appreciate the differences and changes. I think the rest of
us non-Tiger I fans are stunned into silence. (Note: from comments on
the Internet many are squawking about the price; if you are not happy,
blame the people who bought the other 11 kits and showed the market
demand for the product was there.)
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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