ARM: Review - DML 1/72 King Tiger (Porsche turret)

Kit Review: DML 1-72 Armor Series Kit No. 7231; Sd. Kfz. 182 King Tiger
(Porsche Turret); 127 parts (123 in grey styrene, 2 in diecast metal, 2 in
black vinyl); price around $8 US
Advantages: new kit of a very popular subject
Disadvantages: diecast hull limits the ability of the builder to modify or
adjust the kit
Rating: Recommended
Recommendation: for beginning modelers and modelers who do not modify kits out
of the box
Somebody read the first few reviews I did of this new series of kits and
came to the conclusion that I do not like small scale armor nor have any
respect for it. As usual, and to cite the eminent social critic Mr. Bugs Bunny,
"He don't know me very well, do he?"
I started as with most long-time armor buffs with the US made armor kits ?
Revell, SNAP, Adams, Monogram and Aurora ? back in the 1950s, and in the
early 1960s moved on to ROCO. In the mid 1960s most of us moved on to 1/76
scale (Airfix) kits as they were "real models" with more than 10 parts (early
ROCO was somewhat simpler and cheaper than today for those not aware of that
change) and could be made into nice models. They were also cheap enough to buy
by the case (!) and use for a lot of modifications and scratchbuilding
projects.
Comes the 1970s and in comes the new (revamped) Tamiya line, followed by
Italeri, Nichimo, Peerless, and now a host of 1/35 scale kits. As most of us
suffered from the joys of changing eyesight (and more cash flow) many modelers
switched scales at that time; I went over to the so-called "manly scale" in
1973 (also called "pipe-fitter's scale" by those who did not change.)
Many very nice kits have come out in 1/72 (which basically knocked out 1/76
? a scale that came about due to Airfix's commitment to British OO gauge or
4mm, which is 1/76 scale) and many very good modelers still work in 1/72.
Revell Germany has now produced some of the finest kits in that scale going.
DML's kits are so far by and large based on their amazing 1/72 R/C tanks and
as such suffer from the compromises made to get the motor into the model. As
such, they have tried to make sure the models are still well made and accurate,
but there are concessions that have to be made, and anyone who can't understand
that does not understand the term "Scale Modeling."
This is NOT to say that the DML models are poor; one just has to understand up
front that the model that comes out of the box with compromises made to it.
Such is the case with this nice new little kit from DML, which covers the
popular German Tiger II Ausf. B heavy tank. It has a two-piece diecast metal
hull designed to screw together, but no screws are provided (the screws mount
through the bow gunner/radio operator's hatch and left rear side of the engine
deck under the deck.) As such, all axles are cast as part of the belly and are
not adjustable. The hull halves come pre-primed in grey.
The rest of the parts are injection molded and very crisp, and include nicely
done hangers on the turret for the extra track link sections. A very shallow
engine bay is also included (recall it must clear the screw mounts) as well as
solid plastic screens for the front intakes on the engine deck. The turret has
two optional position crew hatches and the rear gun removal hatch. A breech is
included for the 88mm gun but no other turret interior.
The wheels appear to be nicely done, and all injection pin marks are hidden
when the suspension is in place. The tracks are very soft but well detailed in
this scale.
Two finishes are offered, one for s.Pz.Abt. 503 in Normandy in a three color
scheme and one from s.Pz.Abt. "Feldherrenhalle" in Hungary with a three-color
scheme under whitewash.
Overall, the model is not bad, and anyone wanting to build it right out of the
box will be quite happy. But the metal hull means the mandatory use of either
ACC or epoxy, and that can be tiresome.
I have recommended in the past that young modelers would enjoy assembling
these kits, and still maintain that they are a great place to start. But when
they have to use ACC glue, that means that a parent MUST assist them to prevent
accidents.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
Cookie Sewell
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AMPSOne
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