The Tiger I. Itís origins date back to 1937, when the General Staff called for a massive breakthrough tank to lead armoured assaults.
This is the second 1/48th Tiger I from Skybow, after their first of the Late Tiger I.
Skybowís presentation of this range is unusual, in that the kit is presented in a box with a lift up flap that reveals a clear window through which to view the contents. So no more trying to sneak a look inside the box while the shop owner eyes you suspiciously! Inside the box the sprues are protected in a plastic vacuum-formed box, and all individually bagged.
Inside the plastic box youíll find 4 sprues of light green styrene, plus a separate turret in two pieces, hull deck, and hull. In a separate clear box are the vinyl tracks, and there is also a small bag of screws, and another small bag containing the decal sheet.
The moulding of the parts on close inspection is immaculate. Reminiscent of Tamiya at their best. The cast texture, and the texture of rolled steel has been imparted well, as have all the appropriate weld seams. There is internal detail on the hatches, although this is a little spoilt by some ejector pin marks which would need filling, and thatís going to be difficult, given where they are.
The rivet detail on the turret stowage bin is exquisite, given that this is 1/48, and even the cable to the two front Bosch headlights is moulded on perfectly. The barrel is presented as a one piece moulding, including the muzzle brake, which looks good, and the cast texture on the armoured exhaust covers is amazing.
Moving on to the hull, the axles are moulded on in fixed positions, which of course allows for no movement of the suspension, but is acceptable in this scale. The wheels attach via the small screws mentioned earlier, on the inner set, which are then covered by the outer wheels, a system that works well, and allows the wheels to be painted separately.
The drive wheels are correct for this version and include reverse detail, as do the idler wheels. The tracks, as mentioned are of the vinyl type, and although they donít have hollow guide horns, you can use normal styrene cement to fix them, and I think they look excellent, although there are aftermarket sets out there if you decide to go that route.
Accuracy wise, the kit scales out well, and has all the features one would expect to see on an early Tiger I, and in the right place. There is no representation of zimmerit, and nor should there be on this version since it was only introduced in December 1943.
Skybow offer 3 marking options for this vehicle:
North Africa - SPz.Abt 501 - Overall dark yellow
1944 Russia Ė SPz.Abt 502 Ė Overall dark yellow with green stripes
1943 Russia Ė SPz.Abt 505 Ė Overall dark yellow with brown stripes
The decals themselves look sharp and in register as you would expect, but are of a type Iím not familiar with, being reversed on the sheet. They appear to be dry transfers, but apparently they are waterslide, but reversed for easier application, although I couldnít find any referral to this in the instructions, which may give modellerís pause for thought!
Iím primarily a 1/35th scale modeler, but the level of detail, and the sheer quality of this kit makes me want to build it. Itís a quality production and very highly recommended, looking as it will, superb in any collection of armour at any scale.
My Thanks to Winston Vermilyea of Wings'n'Treads for the review sample.
Further information is available here