ARM: Review - 1/35 scale Tiger I Feb 44 Production

Kit Review: 1/35 scale Kit No. 67 (Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale =9139-=9145 Series Kit No. 6650); Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E. Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger I Feb. 1944 Production - Smart Kit; 820 parts (674 in grey styrene, 118 etched brass, 21 clear styrene, 2 DS Plastic track runs, 1 pre-bent wire, 2 lengths twisted steel wire, 1 pre- formed etched brass, 1 coil spring); pre-order price US$64.99 via Dragon USA Online

Advantages: Another Tiger with more detail changes

Disadvantages: another kit adds confusion to a crowded suite of kits

Rating: Highly Recommended

Recommended: for Tiger fans

Once again it is time for =93Mouseketeer Roll Call=94 on the list of Tiger I kits from DML and its boutique affiliate,

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) 6610 - =93Wittmann=92s Last Tiger=94 Normandy 1944 - Dragon Zimmerit (2009) 6600 Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E Tiger I Initial Production - s.Pz.Abt. 502 - 3-in-1 Smart Kit (2010) 6650 Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E Tiger I Feb. 1944 Production - Smart Kit (2011)

Since this one basically redoes Kit No. 6253 from 2005, once more the concept of 11 different Tiger I kits still stuns me. (Yes, I know they are popular and they sell, but there are only so many times you can plow the same furrow...)

As for this kit, only a handful of parts appear to remain unchanged. What is in the box is a late production (e.g. steel road wheels, identical tracks, periscope-fitted cupola, no zimmerit) Tiger I with track links carried on the turret for extra protection.

Since there are some =93mix and match=94 sprues from previous kits, the number of redundant parts continues to rise. This kit comes with two styles of turret roof, several different loader=92s hatches, two sets of hull sides, two sets of drivers, three different stern plates, three different upper glacis plates (the slanted =93foredeck=94), tons of pioneer tools and OVM, and lots of fiddly single link tracks for the add-on applique, each with separate guide teeth.

Alas, not all good ideas are carried forward, for once more it 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.

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 are from a later kit (K sprue).

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.

The turret is the one-piece slide molded body with choice of roofs and a separate race. The commander=92s cupola comes with clear periscopes as in previous late versions. Casting numbers are included on one sprue for the mantlets.

Technical assistance was provided by David Byrden, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.

Five different finishing options are offered: 1./s.Pz.Abt. 507, Brody, Ukraine May 1944 (tricolor, white 1-14); 1./s.Pz.Abt. 506, Central Poland, Spring 1944 (green over sand, white 7, crest on rear of stowage bin); s.Pz.Abt. 504, Parthenay, France, May 1944 (tricolor, white 1-11); s.Pz.Abt. 504, Central Italy, Spring 1944 (tricolor, white 1-33); s.Pz.Abt. 504, Central Italy, Spring 1944 (tricolor, white 2-22). A nice set of Cartograf decals is provided.

Overall, while I am sure it will sell (many modelers now buy them when released to avoid having to deal with eBay dealers a year from now) it is somewhat disappointing to see what appears to be a lack of imagination by DML/ Other manufacturers are now exploiting this while generally ceding German armor to DML.

Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.

Cookie Sewell

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