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Sd.Kfz.181 Kingtiger Henschel Turret

DML 1/35 Sd.Kfz.181 Kingtiger Henschel Turret 8th Tank Company, 1945 Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review March 2012 Manufacturer DML
Subject Sd.Kfz.181 Kingtiger Henschel Turret 8th Tank Company, 1945 Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6662 Primary Media Styrene, Photo-Etch, Turned Aluminum, Wire
Pros Beautiful engineering, great exterior detailing, full gun breech Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (USD) $58.95

First Look

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From the cyber-hobby.com website: “Die Erzahlung Des Schwarzen Ritters” is a widely acclaimed comic book series, and it is considered to be the best work of the renowned comic artist Motofumi Kobayashi. At the beginning, the fictional story is set on the Eastern Front in the fall of 1943. It portrays the main character, Oberleutnant Ernst von Bauer, and his Wehrmacht unit known as the 8th Tank Company, a formation also called Black Knight.

It has been observed that if Germany had produced as many tanks and troops as DML has in 1/35 scale, the world would be a much different place today. DML (Dragon Models Limited) came on the scene a number of years ago with a wide range of scale armor subjects (mostly World War II German) to offer an alternative to the limited offerings from the (then) mainstream armor kit producer - Tamiya. Where Tamiya has produced a nice array of kits over the decades, many of the armor kits were compromises between static scale models and motorized models, depending on the options in the box. Consequently most of us who've built these models over the years had to plug those motorization holes, replace the rubber band tracks with aftermarket detailed tracks, and take the model to an appropriate level of detail to suit our tastes.

DML came along and changed that with super-detailed models straight out of the box. More recently, DML launched their cyber-hobby.com brand (and website) to produce limited run subjects, and this is definitely one of them.

In this release, we have DML's nice 1/35 scale King Tiger with all of the nice details you've seen in previous releases, plus two optional figures depicting the fictional characters from the Black Knight series. This is an interesting twist to DML's standard releases much in the same way Hasegawa releases their aircraft kits with decals from different Japanese anime series.

The kit is molded in light gray styrene and presented on 20 parts trees plus a separately packaged lower hull. This kit also includes on tree of clear styrene parts, one fret of photo-etched parts, one turned aluminum gun barrel, one wire tow cable, and one complete set of Magic Tracks. According to the specs, this kit features:

  • Commander's can be positioned open or closed
  • Loader's hatch can be positioned open or closed
  • Rear turret hatch (spent shell disposal) can be positioned open or closed
  • Main gun detail inside the turret (no other interior detailing)
  • Slide molded cupola
  • Pilz on turret
  • Photo-etched engine grilles
  • Detailed muzzle brake
  • Turned aluminum barrel
  • Clear periscopes
  • Detailed vehicle and pioneering tools

The kit provides markings for the notional Black Knights' 8th Tank Company as they would appear on the Eastern Front, 1945. Painting instructions include Testors Model Master and Gunze Sangyo (GSI) paints.

This is the fifth kit released in this Black Knight series (according to DML) and whether you want to build this armor equivalent to Luft '46 or build it in its late war combat colors, this kit is still the best King Tiger kit produced in any scale smaller than 1:1.

Thanks to Dragon Models USA for the review sample.

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