ARM: Review - cyber-hobby.com (DML) 1/35 scale Tiger I - Gruppe Fehrmann

Kit Review: cyber-hobby.com (Dragon Models Limited) 1/35 Scale Kit No. 03 ('39-'45 Series Kit No. 6335); Pzkw. VI Ausf. E Sd.Kfz. 181 Gruppe
Fehrmann Tiger I; 839 parts (651 parts in grey styrene, 168 etched brass, 8 white metal, 5 turned aluminum, 2 pre-bent wire, 2 DS track runs, 1 spring, 1 twisted steel wire, 1 pre-formed etched brass; pre- order price via Dragon USA $42.95
Advantages: amazing amount of optional parts for one kit; molds cleaned up and improved once more; DS tracks solve the tedium of single link track assembly; choice of detail parts
Disadvantages: most confusing DML-produced kit yet for repetitive use of letters and sprue designators will give modelers fits sorting out parts
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German Tiger fans
    I must confess that as I am not a Tiger afficionado I have no idea who "Gruppe Fehrmann" was or what made it different from other Tiger units. However, as this kit - like all cyber-hobby.com kits - is a "boutique" kit oriented at a small group of modelers with a very selective variant of a specific vehicle, it would appear that it does represent a specific vehicle and unit. The directions only indicate it was apparently involved in the defense of the Reich in 1945.
    This is now the sixth Tiger I to come out using DML molds, and is soon to be followed by the eagerly awaited Tiger I with zimmerit variant to make number seven. A recap:
Kit Number    Production variants    Release Date    Parts in kit    Price
6252        Initial            Jan 2005    756        $32 6253        Late            Jul 2005    1,134        $45 6286        Initial - DAK        Oct 2005    950        $45 6350        Early "Wittmann"     Nov 2006    1,053        $100 (cyber-hobby.com) 6406        Late            Jun 2007    720        $45 6336        Gruppe Fehrmann    Feb 2008    839        $43 (cyber-hobby.com)
Note that the pre-order prices are usually not the retail prices for cyber-hobby.com kits, and the actual price in a hobby shop may be up to 60% more; the StuG III with Ausf. M muffler was pre-ordered at US $42 and sold for US$67.
    This kit represents a steel wheeled Tiger I without zimmerit and with a lot of early features on it as well. To that end it mixes sprues from the Tiger I Early, Tiger I Late and Porsche Tiger kits. This makes the directions maddeningly confusing, as there are now two Cs, two Ds, two Ks, two Ps and a lot of other unmarked bits and sections of sprues to sort through to find the correct parts. There are also extra casting numbers on top of a few sprues and a bending jig for the etched brass components on one other, so even reading the directions is a challenge.
    This kit is typical for cyber-hobby.com kits as it includes a lot of etched brass details and add-ons. Happily, what DML giveth they taketh away, and it comes with the tracks provided as DS Plastic runs. Based on some complaints of bent or squashed guide teeth, this set comes packed in its own special tray and sealed in plastic to prevent damage. The guide teeth are hollow but may need a bit of enlarging to look satisfactory to purists.
    As noted, in order to reproduce this kit some 10 sprues were added or changed out from the last version of the Tiger I kit from DML. I am not sure if any of the specific details were modified or upgraded from past kits. There are a lot of leftover parts from what the "blue" do not use coloring in the sprue chart shows.
    The kit comes with a small sheet of targeted Cartograf decals for but one vehicle: Kompanie Fehrmann, Wietersheim, Germany, 1945. The tank is a blended paint scheme and as a result DML offers a suggestion for blending colors with an airbrush to get the right results. The goal is a fuzzy and less delinated version of the red-brown/green/sand scheme.
    Technical assistance and research for this kit came from David Byrden, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
    Overall, as it is a Tiger, it should be popular, but on occasion I wish someone would realize that a bit of historical information would be nice to provide for those who are not omniscient of such vehicles.
    Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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Thanks for the review. As you have no doubt inferred yourself, the Gruppe Fehrmann was a small battlegroup that employed tanks used for evaluation and training. These were oddball hybrids, rebuilds of wrecks sent back from the front, which makes them interestingly different. Their combat career lasted a few days in 1945.
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Gerald,
Many thanks, figured somebody knew who these guys were. It did smack of a desperation rebuild at the end of the war when anything with armor and tracks seemed to get into the action.
Cookie Sewell
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Rumor has it that even the Maus may have seen some combat when Soviet troops closed in. Has anyone ever made a kit of one of these?: http://www.achtungpanzer.com/articles/wanze.htm It would be great for a "Last Stand In Berlin" diorama. I know DML did the Borgward B-IV RC demolition vehicle in 1/35th scale as a combo with their Panzer III Ausf J kit: http://www.internetmodeler.com/2000/april/armor/borgward.htm
Pat
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DML made a Maus kit years ago when they were getting started. I hear that it is rough but considering no production Maus (Mausen?) were built it's close enough, It was kit No. 6007.
Cookie Sewell
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On Feb 11, 11:18 am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I was under the impression (could be wrong) that there are a couple of 1/72nd Maus kits; I know Dragon did one, not sure about the others (if they exist) ... Trumpeter?
Or is the 1/72nd Dragon the one you're referring to? A 1/35th Maus would be freakin' enormous!
Bruce Melbourne, Australia
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i have the 1/35 dragon maus and it is a honker. the 75mm gun looks like a mg next to the main gun.
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snipped-for-privacy@some.domain wrote:

Yeah, and the main gun looks like something off of a light cruiser. The thing seriously needs some machine guns on it though. You can shoot at people through the small pistol ports in the turret, but the overall machine looks like you could just walk up to it and put around a 100 pound charge of plastic explosives on it without much problem. Here's a article on souping up the DML kit: http://freespace.virgin.net/shermanic.firefly/maus.htm Here's a article from the WW II Intelligence Bulletin on it, with cutaways: http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/maus/index.html The interior of the hull had masses of machinery converting rotational engine power into electricity and then back into rotary motion again around five feet away from the dynamo, which if you ask me is completely cracked as far as efficiency and weight go.
Pat
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: : The interior of the hull had masses of machinery converting rotational : engine power into electricity and then back into rotary motion again : around five feet away from the dynamo, which if you ask me is completely : cracked as far as efficiency and weight go. :     Weight probably was not a problem, given the 188 tons to start with. And, in something that large, where torque is very important, it is hard to better electric motors - that system works very well in railroad locomotives for the past 60 years.
    What was questionable was designing something so absurd in the first place. I do not believe europe is renown for their copper mines, and dedicating so much of a critical resource to armored vehicle production has to be of questionable judgement. Not to mention to problems of moving the vehicle around, when railroad bridges are about your only option.
                            Bruce
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"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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Bruce Burden wrote:

Compared to the Ratte, the Maus looked completely rational: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landkreuzer_P._1000_Ratte As to the electric drive on the Maus, take a look at the size of the generator lurking behind the Bf-109 engine:
http://www.lonesentry.com/articles/maus/fig1_german_superheavy_tank_mouse_maus_diagram.jpg
Not only would that be gawdawful heavy - think of all the copper that would have ended up in the generator and the tread drive motors. Copper was a strategic material for Germany, an any plans for mass production of the Maus would have demanded a lot of it. It's surprising the Porsche persisted with the electromechanical approach to tank propulsion after the failure of the Wehrmacht to adopt his Tiger prototypes using the same concept. At both changes of the energy form: mechanical - electrical - mechanical energy was being lost in the conversion process, while weight was being added to the system.
Pat
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: : I was under the impression (could be wrong) that there are a couple of : 1/72nd Maus kits; I know Dragon did one, not sure about the others (if : they exist) ... Trumpeter? :     Planet - resin, from the Czech Republic. Planet also makes the Maus rail transport car. The 1/72 Maus is larger than a 1/35 Pz I when both are assembled.
    And, yes, the "Maus" book by Jentz would seem to substantiate that Maus #2 did see some brief action before the crew set self destruct charges prior to abandoning it, leading to speculation that the Maus in Kubinka is a composite - the Maus #1 hull with the war turret salvaged from Maus #2 (Maus #2 has the starboard side armor peeled back like a banana, w/the turret lying in the ruins).
    Hmmm, did Dragon do a 1/72, or are you thinking of the 1/144 that Dragon released?
                            Bruce
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"I like bad!" Bruce Burden Austin, TX.
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Bruce Burden wrote:

The Wikipedia article says the Kubinka one is a composite of the two the Soviets got: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panzer_VIII_Maus . DML did a 1/72 scale one also - Cookie reviewed it: http://www.cybermodeler.com/hobby/kits/dml/kit_dml_7255.shtml
Pat
Pat
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

It was okay; I had one. The tank itself was basically just a giant mass of armor plate, so it really didn't need to have all that many details on it. One thing that would have been a definite improvement in the kit would have been at least some sorts of inserts to sit under the the radiator and engine grills on the forward upper hull, as you can see straight to the bottom hull plate of the tank through them. One oddity of the design was that the crew had almost no way to see out of it. A few well-placed rifle bullets in its four periscopes and it would be completely blind. The one I was referring to in kit form though was the manned version of the Borgward B-IV with the six-barreled Panzershreck launcher mounted on the port side of the vehicle.
Pat
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