Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/35 Scale '39-'45 Series Kit No. 6797; S d.Kfz. 181 Panzerkampfwagen VI w/Zimmerit - Dragon Zimmerit; 407 parts (375 in grey styrene, 15 etched brass, 12 clear styrene, 2 DS Plastic Track run s, 2 pre-bent brass wire, 1 steel wire) ; pre-order price US$64.99 via Drag on USA Online
Advantages: nice upgrade to 2006 Premium kit; now includes DS Plastic Track s
Disadvantages: Nothing major of note except for fans of Magic Link tracks
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all die-hard Tiger fans
The Germans built a total of 10 Tiger (P) versions of the tank before the design was rejected in favor of the Henschel tank, which was far more conve ntional. The remaining 90 chassis were converted to first the "Ferdinand" a nd then the "Elefant" self-propelled guns, with the vehicles then broken in to two combat battalions. For deployment and ease of support, several of th e Tiger (P) tanks were then modified with additional command elements, fitt ed for combat and sent to Russia with the battalions.
The conversions were not difficult and mainly consisted of adding a coat o f then-de rigeur Zimmerit paste, smoke grenade launchers, and a few other c ombat modifications.
This kit is based on the last release of this kit, their Premium issue fro m 2006 (No. 6352) but with a number of parts replaced with similar componen ts with a very fine grain Zimmerit finish and a pair of DS Plastic single t rack runs once again returning to the kit.
As with the first edition of the Tiger (P) it now has a very limited fret of etched brass, which was not well packed in this kit and suffered some be nding. I am not sure if this will be endemic or just bad fortune and over 8 ,000 miles in transit.
I recently note some snarky comments on the Internet about the comments I make on tracks in DML kits. They supply one of three types: injection molde d, Magic Track single links which are bagged separately, and DS Plastic glu able vinyl single runs. For every one who contacts me and says he likes the Magic Track another contacts me that says he hates them for the time invol ved in assembly. And when things are reversed, the happy campers with DS tr acks are countered by those who want the Magic Tracks to get the right look on the model. The correct solution here would be for DML to provide BOTH s ets in the kit and let the modeler sort it out.
The kits have been around in one form or another since 2002 and are reason ably easy to assemble. The number of parts is much less than the Tiger I se ries of kits so they are far easier on the patience of many modelers. Break down is pretty straightforward with a nicely slide molded lower hull with t he sides molded in place and plenty of surface detail. As noted this varian t comes with Zimmerit which is petite and nicely done - enough to dry-brush nicely without looking like it was applied with a disk harrow.
Technical consultants for this kit were Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
One finishing option is provided - command tank 003 from s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653, Eastern Front 1944 in tricolor paint. A small sheet of targeted Cartograf decals is included.
Overall it is nice to see DML has done the "Combat" version of the tank.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of DML for the review sample.