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Tiger I (Mid) Kit

Academy 1/35 Tiger I (Mid) Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review December 2014 Manufacturer Academy
Subject Tiger I (Mid) Scale 1/35
Kit Number 13287 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch
Pros Excellent detailing Cons No interior
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $64.00

First Look

Tiger I (Mid) Kit
Tiger I (Mid) Kit
Tiger I (Mid) Kit
Tiger I (Mid) Kit

There have been a significant number of historical summaries written about the Tiger, but rather than repeat them here, you can search online for one that centers on your interest on the subject. Needless to say, the Tiger struck fear on the eastern and western fronts as a formidable combat vehicle but even this foe was overcome as it faced higher power anti-tank guns and improved armor piercing rounds.

This is the first time I've seen Academy's 1/35 Tiger kit even though it has been released several times over the last decade. From what I've read online, the kit is very buildable and fairly accurate, though there are some good articles for configuring this kit to represent specific production block Tigers. What is interesting in this release is that Academy left out the interior that had been in previous releases of this kit and that follows the old rule of "no good deed goes unpunished". Looking through the reviews, some authors complained that Academy set up the interior in an early production configuration and didn't update it to match the later versions. Rather than face another round of complaints from these reviewers, Academy simply omitted the interior.

This kit is molded in tan styrene and presented on ten parts trees plus the lower hull, one fret of photo-etched parts (engine deck grilles), two runs of black vinyl track, and one Zimmerit tool. There are a number of parts in this kit that are not used with this version as they are for the early Tiger release and have been replaced by newer parts. Among the features and options:

  • Instructions walk you through the zimmerit process before assembly begins
  • Detailed suspension including torsion bars inside the hull
  • Positionable crew hatches
  • Nice external stowage including pioneering tools
  • Positionable barrel lock on engine deck
  • Optional tank commander figure included

Markings are provided for 22 examples wearing one of 11 camouflage schemes:

  1. SS sPz, Abt.101, 131, 1st Company, Normandy, France, July 1944
  2. SS sPz, Abt.101, 331, 3rd Company, Armiens, France, May 1944
  3. SS sPz, Abt.101, 334, 3rd Company, Armiens, France, May 1944
  4. SS sPz, Abt.101, 312, 3rd Company, Mons, Belgium, Winter 1943/44
  5. sPz, Abt.501, 311, Eastern Front, April 1944
  6. sPz, Abt.502, 217, Battle of Malinava, Latvia, July 1944
  7. sPz, Abt.502, 217, Battle of Narva, Estonia, Early 1944
  8. sPz, Abt.502, 211, Battle of Narva, Estonia, Early 1944
  9. sPz, Abt.506, 1, 1st Company, Ukraine, April 1944
  10. sPz, Abt.506, 11, 2nd Company, Ukraine, Winter 1943/44
  11. sPz, Abt.501, 301, Eastern Front, March 1944
  12. sPz, Abt.501, 213, Eastern Front, March 1944
  13. sPz, Abt.501, 311, Eastern Front, March 1944
  14. sPz, Abt.501, 321, Eastern Front, March 1944
  15. sPz, Abt.503, 324, Eastern Front, Winter 1943/44
  16. sPz, Abt.503, 321, Eastern Front, Winter 1943/44
  17. sPz, Abt.503, 213, Eastern Front, Winter 1943/44
  18. sPz, Abt.503, 314, Eastern Front, Winter 1943/44
  19. sPz, Abt.503, 313, Eastern Front, Winter 1943/44
  20. sPz, Abt.503, 312, Eastern Front, Winter 1943/44
  21. sPz, Abt.503, 311, Eastern Front, Winter 1943/44
  22. sPz, Abt.508, 3, Near Rome, Italy, February 1944

This kit has quite a few markings options whicl can be used for a significant number of other Tiger builds should you happen to have others on your shelf. The instructions provide nice paint profiles of each of the eleven schemes worn by these tanks and you can also consult your favorite Tiger references to adjust any details and zimmerit patterns that may differ from the kit and help you achieve your AMS goals.

My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!

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