Italeri 1/35 Bergetiger Sd.Kfz.185 Kit First Look
By Ray Mehlberger
|Date of Review||February 2007||Manufacturer||Italeri|
|Kit Number||0362||Primary Media||Styrene|
|Pros||Interesting variant of the Tiger||Cons||Limited marking options|
|Skill Level||Basic||MSRP (USD)||$26.00|
The German Tiger tank is certainly the best known combat vehicle of WWII. Much has been written about the Tiger and its technical aspects which cover practically all variants of this fighting machine.
This Italeri kit offers a version which is a rarity, because only a very little information about it has been available. Only very few units of the Bergetiger were in service. It represents a support vehicle, even though the word “Berg” makes most people think of a recovery vehicle. It was not this, because of the light construction of the crane it carried.
In service, the tank was an engine replacement vehicle, to service other tanks, or used to place demolitions. The Bergetiger was equipped with manual operated crane as standard issue and without the 8.8cm gun.
The kit comes in a tray and lid type box. The kit contains five light tan trees of parts, the decal sheet and the instructions. All parts are loose and not in cello bags. I found two parts broken off one of the trees, because the trees rubbed together. I wish that Italeri would bag stuff in their kits.
The instructions consists of a single large sheet that accordion folds out into ten pages.
Page one has repeats of the vehicle’s history, but adds tech data. This is in the same 12 languages.
Page two begins with “Caution – useful advice” in the 12 languages again, followed by drawings of the first three of the five parts trees.
Page three begins with drawings of the remaining two parts trees, which are really duplicates of the two identical letter B trees. Some of the parts on these drawings are shaded out, indicating that they are excess and not needed to complete the model.
Pages four though nine gives the balance of a total of 13 assembly steps.
Page ten shows a lonely four-view drawing of a Bergetiger in a base color of flat tan with medium green stripes. The numeral “1” points to where you are to place the skeletal German national crosses on the hull sides. The numeral “2” points to the turret sides, where you are to compose a turret number out of the red numerals with white borders on the decal sheet. You get the numerals 0-9. However, there are no division markings or tactical signs on the decal sheet. This is a very basic scheme to say the least!!
Large letter A parts tree holds: the hull top, some hatches, tow cables, suspension arms, drive sprockets, idler wheels, some tools, rudimentary engine and it’s box-like compartment etc. (89 parts) Four of these parts are shaded out on the instructions parts tree drawings as being excess.
There are two identical medium sized letter B parts trees. These hold: link and length type track parts, road wheels and some tow rings (77 parts per tree).
Medium sized letter C tree holds: the turret sides and face pieces, hoist parts, wench, more tools, jack, hull machine-gun etc. (47 parts) Four of these parts are excess.
Medium sized letter D holds: zimmerit plates to curve around the turret sides (I think some heat will have to be applied to do this?), further zimmerit plates for the hull sides, front and rear hull plates, another machine-gun, the turret roof, glacis plates etc. (31 parts).
The decal sheet completes the kit. As already mentioned above, it holds the skeletal type German crosses in black with white borders and the numerals 0 – 9 in red with white borders.
This is a very interesting variant of the Tiger tank and lends itself to all kinds of diorama ideas. An engine change scene?? No figures or interior, beyond the rudimentary engine and its compartment are offered. The engine is basically just the engine block with little detail molded into it. It would benefit from some additional plumbing and wiring to bring it out of the mediocre. I really liked the zimmerit parts in the kit and wish that DML would include zimm in some of their kits.