Kit Review: Dragon Models Limited 1/72 Armor Pro Kit No. 7357; Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E Sd.Kfz. 181 Tiger I - Gruppe Fehrmann; 154 parts (135 parts in grey styrene, 16 etched brass, 2 DS plastic track runs,1 length of twisted steel wire); retail price US$13.95
Advantages: 1/72 scale version of the 1/35 scale kit from DML
Disadvantages: still has some of its diecast =93roots=94 showing
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for all German and =93Tiger=94 fans in small scale
Following their 1/35 scale kit of the =93Gruppe Fehrmann=94 Tiger =96 essentially a unit formed from various bits of prototypes, test =93mules=94, recovered vehicles and spare parts =96 DML has now produced a1/72 scale variant of this Tiger. For the most part it uses the technology that has evolved along with DML=92s =93small scale=94 kits, but the basic hull is still based on a diecast hull from the original model of several years ago and as such still comes with the screw pylons in the lower hull. At least unlike their Tiger II kits they do not interfere with the hatches or other mounting features.
Basically DML has mixed and matched kits to come up with this one, which is what the Germans did with the originals. The result is a reasonably accurate replica of an early Tiger I hull and turret with late-model suspension, as well as some options for the gun mantelet or the main gun barrel (=93slide molded=94 with a hollow bore.)
The steel wheels are separate, unlike the early models which used linked subassemblies to get the suspension aligned. Axles are fixed to the lower hull. As noted from its diecast origins, the model still has holes in the belly for attaching the model to a base, such as the pre- assembled kits. The only complaint I foresee from some more serious modelers is the fact that the shovel and other small bits are molded in place on the top of the hull. It does, however, include a scale thickness steel cable for the tow cables.
One set of markings, F13, is provided. As with its =93big brother=94 some instructions are provided to get the =93blended=94 finish used on the prototype.
Overall, this permits the Tiger fans to fill in another member of the family.
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.