The first batch of Tiger II's – so called initial - are a very popular modelling subject for many years among modellers around the world. The first Tiger II's were delivered mainly to training centres and to Panzerkompanie (Fkl) 316. The vehicles delivered to Panzerkompanie (Fkl) 316 are the famous five: 02, 10, 11, 12 and 13. Their photographs are well known to many German armour modellers.
Those first Tiger II's had some special features which made them distinct from the rest of the produced tanks. Just to name a few: lack of some cut outs in the hull (in front of the radio operator and the front and rear sections where the shackles go), different exhaust pipes, armoured cover over the air intake on the engine deck, early 18 teeth sprocket, different tracks, antenna tube placed at the front right side of the hull, and the list may continue even more. Some of those features are easy to recreate on a 1/35 scale model, some more difficult, and scratch building is not something we all do. This is why I greatly appreciate one of the most recent Voyager upgrade sets which include parts which are not easy to reproduce ourselves.
The set consists of 3 resin parts and a small etched fret. The resin parts are two initial type exhaust pipes (lengthened compared to the standard Tiger II exhausts) and an armoured cover for the air intake on the engine deck. The moulding of the resin parts is crisp without any flash.
The etched fret consists of 4 engine deck grilles, a small circular grill for the resin air intake cover and a sight for the commander’s MG. The inclusion of the etched fret in this set is due mainly to the small circular grill needed for the armoured air intake cover, as most of the time the engine grills are included with the model kit. No matter, a few additional grills for the spares box shouldn't pose a problem.
The set comes with two pages of instructions, which is more than enough to deal with the set contents properly.
This is a very simple but an extremely helpful set. Besides being present in the Cyber - Hobby Initial Tiger II kit, some of the parts included in the Voyager set were not available at all (like the longer exhausts) or it was quite difficult to find them (armoured air intake cover is included in the Panther D Premium 6299 DML kit). This set will surely be on the “wanted list” of every Tiger II addict (like me!)
Highs: Simple set offering vital parts to transform any Tiger II with early production turret into an initial vehicle. Very attractive price.Lows: Can’t see any.Verdict: A great long awaited release, will make any Tiger II fan happy.
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