DML 1/35 King Tiger Late Production w/New Pattern Track Ardennes 1944 Kit First Look
|Date of Review||December 2004||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||King Tiger Late Production w/New Pattern Track Ardennes 1944||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6232||Primary Media||649 parts (621 in grey styrene, 21 etched brass, 3 turned brass rounds, 1 length of steel cable, 1 turned aluminum gun barrel)|
|Pros||"Final" version fills a niche for some modelers; nice package with useful details included; no requirement to put zimmerit on it!||Cons||Wan paint scheme is accurate but may not appeal to some modelers|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$37.95|
The DML Tiger II with Henschel turret (Kit No. 6208) was not even out the gates of the factory when some modelers began immediately carping about it, much to my surprise, for very petty details that I don't think the majority of the modelers would have noticed or cared about. These modelers, which one of the AMPS officers rightfully dubbed "experten," rarely seem to think much about the impact their comments have on the average Joe. After attempting to savage that kit, they then sharpened their spears for the next one DML had announced, a "final" production version as used during the Battle of the Bulge.
I freely admit that I have little use for individuals who are that dim, and now that the kit is here I think it should speak for itself. It is similar to the earlier kits but comes with a different set of tracks (F sprue with 72 single links vice the two-part links used on earlier models of the Tiger II) and some other features, such as new drivers (P14 and P15) to match and a choice of smooth or stepped mantelets (P1 or O17). The difference in the drivers is flat-topped or pointed drive teeth, but you will need the P14/15 drivers if you use the new tracks in the kit. (The others will work if you use older tracks, such as a Friul set. Note that the directions first indicate dropping the original drivers in the "do not use" parts map but then indicate you can in the construction section.)
The parts breakdown is similar. For the 6208 kit, it was this: 584 in grey styrene, 8 etched brass, 1 length of nylon string. For this kit, it is as follows: 538 in grey styrene, 21 etched brass, 3 turned brass rounds, 1 length of steel cable, 1 turned aluminum gun barrel. Note that 83 of the parts given in the header data are from Kit No. 6115, 352nd Volksgrenadier Division Ardennes 1944, which are included in the kit. The main difference is in the track set.
The rest of the kit is virtually the same as the previous model, and while it provides a nice turned aluminum gun barrel it requires the modeler to assemble the plastic one (parts O21 and O22) and cut off the muzzle brake, and then install this assembly on the gun barrel. No separate muzzle brake is included.
The larger brass sheet includes all eight screens for the engine deck plus the mounts for the jack, replacing styrene parts D26.
Three turned brass 8.8 cm rounds are included, complete with etched brass bases with the production data etched into them.
The one paint scheme provided is for s.Pz.Abt. 506 in the Ardennes, which comes in the pale tan/pale green/maroon brown scheme. Numbers on the decal sheet and a thumbnail list indicate any one of the 1st Company's tanks can be made from the kit.
Overall this kit looks to be pretty much on the money, and for most modelers the "massive flaws" uncovered by the "experten" are inconsequential. Although DML didn't label it as a "60th Anniversary" kit, it does arrive in time for the remembrances of that terrible battle in the winter of 1944.
There is some comment afoot that this is a good late model Tiger II, but not a Battle of the Bulge tank. It does have the new single link tracks and drivers that came out in November 1944 but according to Jentz were not fitted until March 1945,and so would only have gone on the last batch of tanks built.
Thanks to Freddie Leung of Dragon Models USA for the review sample.