by: Jupiterblitz [ ]
Dragon produced their first Tiger I initial production kit in 2005 as a 1:35 scale model. Right after its release it had become one of the most wanted Tiger kits ever and was being sold out rapidly.
Whilst this high-detailed Tiger I kit has become a hard-to-find item, DML have decided to release it again – this time in 1:72.
The kit contains four sprues molded in grey styrene, a separately bagged lower hull, a small PE-fret, a smaller decal sheet, braided wire, tracks in DS-styrene and the instructions.
The instructions lead us through nine steps with clear drawings. Although the kit consists of many parts and lots of details need to be considered, none of the steps look overly busy and assembly appears fairly straight forward, with the exception of the commander’s cupola hatch, which I’ll address further on in the review.
Also included is a small sheet of decals for only one marking option, unfortunate since DML treated their older kit to a more expanded decal sheet covering more vehicles. My kit has been provided with two identical decal sheets...most likely a mistake while packing. Nonetheless the decals themselves are well printed with sharply defined and complete markings of Tiger ‘100’ painted in Panzergrau.
The photo etch parts are excellent with fine details, most of them are designed for the rear deck. The mesh for the exhausters show an impressive interweaved pattern, DML even provides a precisely etched horseshoe for the front glacis plate.
Other bonus parts are a length of wire for the tow cables and the tracks in DS-styrene, which even in this small scale are ‘handed’ for right and left.
Quality of the parts are excellent, with no flash or sink holes. The pin marks are located where they won’t be visible after the model is complete and thus required no further attention. The sharply molded details are achieved at the expense of many pins along the parts and require an extensive and careful clean-up.
The sprues include all the significant parts of the initial Tiger No. ‘100’ which show crisply molded details, with amazing features like weld lines along the front glacis plate of the lower hull. Unlike some other releases by Dragon, the options are limited not only by the small decal sheet, but with parts applicable to this certain Tiger only with very little ending up in the spares box.
The kit contains parts like the five cleaning rods instead of the common six although they are also included, the characteristic stowage boxes and rear mud flaps, even a fording pipe and many other parts.
Dragon has replicated a very accurate suspension with inter-connected road wheels to speed up assembly. Their level of molding is great with sharp details, and the drive sprockets and idler wheels are correct for this initial Tiger, and the individual hubs are included.
The typical welded front fenders are molded on, and the upper hull itself shows the correct configuration of a very early Tiger as far as the mold technology enables it. Adding cables to connect the sockets of the front lamps is something that the modeller may want to consider. The section of the rear motor deck which requires a correction is covered by the PE.
A further bonus of this kit is the option to assemble the hatches open of both the RO and the driver. They also have sharply molded outlines and show an amazing level of detail, as do the turret hatches.
Also included are parts for the radiators and fans whose details are upgraded with the photo-etched parts. It’s somehow a pity that this really nice included detail will be all but hidden once the model is completed.
One minor thing I would have not expected to see with this kit are that some tools are molded on, especially since DML provided all of them individually with their previously released Fehrmann Tiger. Nothing one could really complain about, but has me wondering why Dragon has gone this route, especially since the upper hull is newly tooled.
Dragon have molded the turret hull in one piece in a correct asymmetrical form with two holes to attach both pistol ports, which are depicted closed only.
The smoke dischargers are slightly hollowed inside, as are both MGs (whilst the snorkel pipe received a deeper hole). But actually these smoke dischargers need not be attached on a Tiger I of August ’42 production, as they were only equipped with empty brackets.
Another nice feature of the turret is, apart from its accurate roof, the additon of an interior consisting of a detailed breech of the Kampfwagenkanone whose barrel is molded in one piece, with again many details and an opened muzzle break. The interior also covers the seats of both the commander and the gunner.
Fortunately, at least the loader’s hatch can be assembled opened to enable a view at these extra details. As already mentioned, the instructions do not show anything about an option to build the commander’s cupola with an opened hatch, although depicted so on the kit’s box. But there is no other part supplied but B22, which is only designed for the closed option.
So a build feature/blog might throw light on how to realize this option, and what modifications are necessary.
This is a smashing kit which provides all significant parts to build the initially produced Tiger I No. ‘100’ of Schwere Panzerabteilung 502. Fans of this unique vehicle can grab one with confidence.