Kit Review: DML 1-72 Armor Series Kit No. 7203; Sd. Kfz. 181 Ausf. E Tiger I
Late Production w/Zimmerit; 99 parts (94 in grey styrene, 2 brass exhaust
shrouds, 2 in black vinyl. 1 section of twisted wire); price $8.95
Advantages: new kit of a very popular subject; all styrene kit; first kit in
this scale with the zimmerit paste application molded into the plastic
Disadvantages: some parts simplified, e.g. tools molded in place, one or two
bad seams may be hard to align
Rating: Highly Recommended
Recommendation: for beginning modelers and small-scale German armor fans
If you model German armor, especially the mid-war items that left the factory
with the "Zimmerit" concrete paste on them to attempt to defeat Soviet magnetic
mines and grenades, then you know that for years you have had to do it the hard
way. Only Italeri ever attempted to give modelers the option in 1/35 scale, and
their two kits (Panther Ausf. A and Tiger I Ausf. E) met with mixed results.
Part of the problem was that their kits were provided smooth, and the zimmerit
parts had to be bent to shape and installed to the outer surface. Since they
were designed to carry these parts by the manufacturer, if you built them with
it you had a hard time getting a good fit and good finish; if you left them
off, the models were underscale and looked anemic.
DML has now made a shot at this, and their initial effort is this kit of a
Tiger I with the zimmerit paste applied. As such, all parts come with the
surfaces engraved to represent the coating and appear to be very nicely done.
(Realize in real life this coating was only about 3-6 mm thick on average,
which amounts to about 0.04-0.08 mm in this scale.) This is also the first kit
in this scale with any attempt at it, and the initial look is that they did a
great job of it.
The zimmerit is represented on the lower hull front, sides, rear plate, turret
sides and mantelet, and upper hull glacis. All of these parts are new to the
earlier "clean" Tiger kit and totally replace them.
The only bugaboo may be getting a good seam at the rear of the turret, but
with some judicious use of a good slow-drying liquid cement like Testor's and a
good Xacto knife, the seam should be easy to conceal.
This looks to be a really straightforward model, and 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.
Two finishes are suggested: s.Pz.Abt. 102 in Normandy, June 1944, and
s.Pz.Abt. 101 in Normandy, July 1944.
Overall, this is a nice step by DML and one that should be well received,
especially among new modelers not sure as to how to best replicate zimmerit. It
also cries out for drybrushing!
Thanks to Freddie Leung for the review sample.
18 years ago