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REVIEW
DML VK.45.02(P)H
vonHengest
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Texas, United States
Joined: June 29, 2010
KitMaker: 5,854 posts
Armorama: 4,817 posts
Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 10:41 AM UTC
Cyril: It honestly comes down to what you are after.

The advantage of the HobbyBoss kit is that they give you a well detailed interior for the turret including ammunition rounds, and perhaps a few other parts such as a full machine gun for the radio operator. They also molded the driver's and radio operator's hatches as separate pieces allowing you to position them open for those who are either looking to pose figures in the open hatches or those who wish to depect an interior in the front portion of the hull.
What I don't like about the HobbyBoss version is that they appear to have taken the hull design directly from preliminary line drawings, which are unfortunately simplified. Detail is also limited to what can be produced in styrene, and for whatever reason they did not include the fenders in this kit. The road wheels are also inferior to Dragon's, but they still present enough refinement in detail that many people will be happy with them.

Dragon put a greater amount of effort into transitioning the preliminary line drawings into a believable production variant. If you compare the upper hull pieces from the two kits, you will see that Dragon's kit offer an abundance of detail not available on the HobbyBoss kit or on any other kit of any scale for that matter. The small service hatches located on the forward section are much more believable on Dragon's kit based on what was being used on German armor at the time. Dragon has also provided much more refined detailing parts for the exterior that are far superior to any of the other VK.45.02(P)H kits available thus far. These pieces are mixed media, the majority of them being provided as simple PE which allows for greater refinement of delicate details, but can be difficult to work with. Dragon's Tiger kits are also already known for being well researched and accurate, which if nothing else at least places them as the standard for Tigers and variants in the 1/35 modeling world. I will also tell you up front that the new styrene parts fit together with Tamiya precision, and that the suspension components fit together like a glove requiring no glue which is something I've noticed with many of Dragon's German armor kits.
The downsides are that Dragon's kit offers minimal interior detail, solely in the form of the gun breach. The driver's and radio operator's hatches are molded as one piece with the upper hull, and will be difficult to open because of the countersunk recesses on the bottom that allowed the detail for perimeters of the hatches. It's not impossible, it's just going to take a bit of work. They also only offer the DS material tracks which is a bit of a letdown simply because the detail is not as crisp as what can be produced in styrene or white metal.

If you want to buld the best kit then I would recommend that you buy both the Dragon and HobbyBoss kits and kitbash them to get the best that both have to offer. This will give you a superior hull with a better detailed turret subbassembly, the more accurate road wheels, and your choice of which suspension and tracks you want to use.

Jeff: If you compare the two kits you will notice that the sponson fillers on the lower hull pieces are more narrow on the HobbyBoss kit than on the Dragon kit as they are intended to fill the sponsons whereas the Dragon kit has a different mating area for the upper and lower hulls because the fenders make the upper hull wider. I don't know that HobbyBoss ever offered the fenders as separate pieces in their kit. So the short answer is yes, as far as I am aware you are correct.

Here is a site that offers a comparison between the two kits. I apologize as it is in Russian and I don't know how to accurately translate the text, but the pictures tell the story:
http://scalemodels.ru/articles/4142-sravnenie-1-35-VK-4502PH-Dragon-vs--HobbyBoss---skrestit-tapki.html
PantherF
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Indiana, United States
Joined: June 10, 2005
KitMaker: 6,188 posts
Armorama: 5,960 posts
Posted: Saturday, July 09, 2011 - 10:12 AM UTC
Tell me if I'm wrong but the Hobby Boss version doesn't have the side fenders?

Very nice review Jeremy. I like this kit has the DS tracks.


- Jeff
04090
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England - East Anglia, United Kingdom
Joined: September 13, 2006
KitMaker: 257 posts
Armorama: 168 posts
Posted: Saturday, July 09, 2011 - 09:20 AM UTC
04090
Hi Jeremy looks like a good kit but i have just built Hobby Boss kit
and i have to say that it has more in the box than dragons and
it cost less but i like your review,
yours Cyril
c5flies
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California, United States
Joined: October 21, 2007
KitMaker: 3,684 posts
Armorama: 2,938 posts
Posted: Thursday, April 14, 2011 - 06:20 PM UTC
Jeremy H takes a peek in the box of Dragon's VK.45.02(P)H for the Tiger and Paper Panzer fans.

Link to Item



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