ARM: Review - 1/35 scale King Tiger s.Pz.Abt. 505

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 27 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 scale =9139-=9145 Kit Number 6400); Sd.Kfz. 182 Kingtiger Henschel turret w/Zimmerit s.Pz.Abt. 505 Russia 1944; 820 parts (437 in grey styrene, 240 =93Magic Track links, 139 etched brass, 2 twisted steel wire, 1 brass chain, 1 preformed brass wire); estimated retail price US $50

Advantages: previous kit minus some upgrade parts and one minor change to the turret shell

Disadvantages: for this kit, nothing major noted

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommendation: to all German and Tiger fans

DML=92s boutique modeling partner has re-released their excellent Tiger II with zimmerit kit (No. 6303) nearly verbatim, but minus some of the upgrade parts (white metal tow clevises, three turned brass 8.8 cm rounds and a turned aluminum barrel) and a modified turret shell for the specific use of s.Pz.Abt. 505 with its famous =93Charging Knight=94 insignia, which they painted on bare steel. Since it is a verbatimr repeat with only those minor changes, I cite my previous review from October 2007.

To create this kit and its companion Porsche turret variant, DML took the improved parts for their =93Premium=94 kits of the Tiger II with newly molded bits and their generic accessory kits for German vehicles and changed out a total of 18 parts from the =93Premium=94 kits, replacing them with neatly done parts simulating being coated with zimmerit paste. These include the upper hull (sides only), the turret shell, the hull rear plate, the machine gun ball mount for the glacis, the lower glacis, the turret rear hatch (two options), and the turret glacis.

The remainder of the kit provides for a Tiger II with Henschel turret with the =93normal=94 steel road wheels, =93Magic Track=94 pre-trimmed two- part single link track (toothed links and plate links), a slightly smaller sheet of etched brass for the screens and detail parts, and a complete set of the =93T=94 series recently molded German tools and OVM. The ones provided are as follows: TA - pioneer tools and a fire extinguisher; TB - jack and cable hooks; TC -tow cable heads; TD - auxiliary cable heads; TF - 8.8 cm muzzle brake for aluminum barrel; TG - self-defense projector weapon; TH - hatch braces; TJ - turret AA MG ring mount; and TK - bow machine gun mount. It also comes with an aluminum gun barrel with =93slide molded=94 muzzle brake and three turned brass 8.8 cm rounds.

But as the old proverb goes, be careful what you wish for. There are some areas which will require concentration and some extra work. The zimmerit is there and well done, but it also (still) covers most of the areas where mounts and clamps need to be attached to the hull and turret. DML got around this on the hull sides with raised smooth areas, but for mounting the extra track links on the turret it will take a ruler and a mini-chisel to skim off enough of the zimmerit coating to get a good mounting area. It will also require getting a good smooth finish on the model (as in Future floor wax or a similar product) to permit the kit=92s decals to be used and snug down with out the normal pesky =93silvering=94 caused by a lack of smooth areas for adhesion.

Also, 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.

Project supervisor was Hirohisa Takada, technical drawings by Minoru Igarashi, and technical advice for this kit was provided by Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

The model comes with markings for only one unit =96 s.Pz.Abt. 505 in Russia, 1944. These tanks were finished in either red-brown over sand or the late-war three color camouflage scheme of red-brown, dark green and sand. DML has provided a large sheet of Cartograf decals which will permit the modeler (with appropriate references) to model any of the 45 tanks used by this unit. The two suggestions from the directions are for 2-13 with the green knight or 1-24 with the red knight.

Overall for once this isn=92t such an off-the-wall kit from cyber-, as it provides for a reasonably correct basis to model the tanks of one specific unit. Modelers who wanted to do these tanks with their colorful markings can now do it right without a lot of scraping and chiseling or having to do up their own zimmerit paste.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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