DML 1/35 Pzkw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger I Kit First Look
|Date of Review||February 2008||Manufacturer||DML|
|Subject||Pzkw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Gruppe Fehrmann Tiger I||Scale||1/35|
|Kit Number||6335||Primary Media||839 parts (651 parts in grey styrene, 168 etched brass, 8 white metal, 5 turned aluminum, 2 pre-bent wire, 2 DS track runs, 1 spring, 1 twisted steel wire, 1 pre-formed etched brass)|
|Pros||Amazing amount of optional parts for one kit; molds cleaned up and improved once more; DS tracks solve the tedium of single link track assembly; choice of detail parts||Cons||Most confusing DML-produced kit yet for repetitive use of letters and sprue designators will give modelers fits sorting out parts|
|Skill Level||Intermediate||MSRP (USD)||$42.95|
I must confess that as I am not a Tiger aficionado I have no idea who "Gruppe Fehrmann" was or what made it different from other Tiger units. However, as this kit – like all cyber-hobby.com kits – is a "boutique" kit oriented at a small group of modelers with a very selective variant of a specific vehicle, it would appear that it does represent a specific vehicle and unit. The directions only indicate it was apparently involved in the defense of the Reich in 1945.
This is now the sixth Tiger I to come out using DML molds, and is soon to be followed by the eagerly awaited Tiger I with zimmerit variant to make number seven. A recap:
Kit Number Production variants Release Date Parts in kit Price
- 6252 Initial Jan 2005 756 $32
- 6253 Late Jul 2005 1,134 $45
- 6286 Initial - DAK Oct 2005 950 $45
- 6350 Early "Wittmann" Nov 2006 1,053 $100 (cyber-hobby.com)
- 6406 Late Jun 2007 720 $45
- 6336 Gruppe Fehrmann Feb 2008 839 $43 (cyber-hobby.com)
Note that the pre-order prices are usually not the retail prices for cyber-hobby.com kits, and the actual price in a hobby shop may be up to 60% more; the StuG III with Ausf. M muffler was pre-ordered at US$42 and sold for US$67.
This kit represents a steel wheeled Tiger I without zimmerit and with a lot of early features on it as well. To that end it mixes sprues from the Tiger I Early, Tiger I Late and Porsche Tiger kits. This makes the directions maddeningly confusing, as there are now two Cs, two Ds, two Ks, two Ps and a lot of other unmarked bits and sections of sprues to sort through to find the correct parts. There are also extra casting numbers on top of a few sprues and a bending jig for the etched brass components on one other, so even reading the directions is a challenge.
This kit is typical for cyber-hobby.com kits as it includes a lot of etched brass details and add-ons. Happily, what DML giveth they taketh away, and it comes with the tracks provided as DS Plastic runs. Based on some complaints of bent or squashed guide teeth, this set comes packed in its own special tray and sealed in plastic to prevent damage. The guide teeth are hollow but may need a bit of enlarging to look satisfactory to purists.
As noted, in order to reproduce this kit some 10 sprues were added or changed out from the last version of the Tiger I kit from DML. I am not sure if any of the specific details were modified or upgraded from past kits. There are a lot of leftover parts from what the "blue" do not use coloring in the sprue chart shows.
The kit comes with a small sheet of targeted Cartograf decals for but one vehicle: Kompanie Fehrmann, Wietersheim, Germany, 1945. The tank is a blended paint scheme and as a result DML offers a suggestion for blending colors with an airbrush to get the right results. The goal is a fuzzy and less delineated version of the red-brown/green/sand scheme.
Technical assistance and research for this kit came from David Byrden, Tom Cockle and Gary Edmundson.
Overall, as it is a Tiger, it should be popular, but on occasion I wish someone would realize that a bit of historical information would be nice to provide for those who are not omniscient of such vehicles.
Thanks to DML for the review sample.
- A 26 (Tiger I generic) 8.8 cm gun
- B 40 (Tiger I generic) drivers and idlers
- C 39 (Tiger I Late) fenders and alternate drivers
- C 47 Tiger (P) Turret and details
- D 27 (Tiger I Late) turret details
- E 12x2 Tiger I details
- F 12 (Tiger I Late) hull sternplates
- F 21 Tiger I upper glacis and hull details
- G 31 x 2 (Tiger I Late) Steel road wheels
- G 45 Tiger I "Fiefel" air cleaners and alternate parts
- H 54 x 4 (Tiger I Late) torsion bars and single track links
- J 39 (Tiger I generic) interior components
- K 10 (Tiger I Late) hull grilles and tools
- K 18 Tiger I hull roof and details
- L 12 (Tiger I generic) clear blocks
- P 39 (Tiger I Late) hull sides and cable details
- P 26 Tiger I torsion bars and wading equipment
- R 15 (Tiger I Late) turret stowage bin