Academy 1/35 Tiger I Late Version Kit First Look
|Date of Review||March 2015||Manufacturer||Academy|
|Subject||Tiger I Late Version||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||13314||Primary Media||Styrene, Photo-Etch|
|Pros||Nice details and options, ten markings options||Cons||Nothing noted|
|Skill Level||Experienced||MSRP (USD)||$65.00|
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.
A few months ago, Academy reissued their mid-production Tiger I kit and it looks to be a great alternative to some of the other Tiger kits on the market. Academy has now followed up that release with this late production version. Molded in tan styrene, this kit is presented on eleven parts trees plus the lower hull, one fret of photo-etched tools, two sets of 'rubber band' tracks in black rubber (vinyl), and one zimmerit tool.
Looking through the instructions, Academy takes good time and space to show how to apply the zimmerit as the kit is being assembled rather than waiting to the end as other kits go. Since zimmerit was applied in the field, I don't think there is a wrong way to do this step, but providing a roadmap for spreading putty on your model and using the tool to spread and texture the surface can obliterate details inadvertently if you do wait to the end. This is a nice effort from Academy!
Among the features and options:
- Detailed suspension
- Nice hull details including photo-etched engine deck grilles
- Full compliment of pioneering tools and external details
- Separately molded (not clear) periscopes and guards
- Positionable crew hatches
- Choice of muzzle brake
- Stowage box on rear of turret
- Commander's machine gun on pintle
- Optional crew figure
Markings are provided for ten examples:
- Tiger I, 312, Pz.Abt. 505, Central Russia, 1944
- Tiger I, 007, Pz.Abt. 101, Caen, France, 1944, Michael Whitman
- Tiger I, 212, Pz.Abt. 101, Normandy, France, 1944, Michael Whitman
- Tiger I, 221, Pz.Abt. 102, Northern France, 1944
- Tiger I, 313, Pz.Abt. 503, Normandy France, 1944
- Tiger I, 300, Pz.Abt. 505, Central Russia, 1944
- Tiger I, 2, Pz.Abt. 506, Ukraine, 1944
- Tiger I, 3, Pz.Abt. 508, Toscana, Italy, 1944
- Tiger I, 912, 9th SS Pz.Abt., Radzymin, Poland, 1944
- Tiger I, A22, Grossdeutschland Panzer Division, Gumbinnen, Lithuania, 1944
This kit will build up into a nice late-production Tiger I which can be depicted as one of the (unsuccessful) defenders of Normandy or part of the lines trying to hold back the looming Soviet counter-push from the east. With the wealth of aftermarket details available for the Tiger I already on the market, this kit can also be built into an AMS modeler's dream. Either way, this kit provides the modeler with a nicely priced option which will be an easy build without compromsing detail. The attention paid to helping the modeler apply zimmerit through the construction process is a nice bonus.
My sincere thanks to MRC for this review sample!