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Pzkpfw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Tiger I Late Production

DML 1/35 Pzkpfw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Tiger I Late Production 3-in-1 Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review July 2005 Manufacturer DML
Subject Pzkpfw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Tiger I Late Production 3-in-1 Kit Scale 1/35
Kit Number 6253 Primary Media 1,134 parts (638 in grey styrene, 251 etched brass, 180 "MagicTrack" plastic track links, 21 in clear styrene, 14 turned brass, 14 pre-formed brass, 8 white metal, 1 turned aluminum barrel, 4 turned metal shackle pins,1 steel spring, 1 pre-bent wire, 1 section of braided steel wire)
Pros Even better than the Tiger I Early from this manufacturer (January 2005 release); massive amount of options and different parts in this kit; 3-in-1 options are for Late production, Late Command variant, or Final production versions of this tank Cons No Zimmerit finish means the modeler will still have to apply it for most kit options
Skill Level Intermediate MSRP (USD) $40.00

First Look

I didn't think after receiving a review sample of DML's Tiger I Early that they could do much to top it other than add a Zimmerit finish to the kit; well, while they disappointed me by not doing that, they did catch me by surprise by adding nearly 450 new parts to the first kit to arrive at a stunning new kit of this popular tank.

Compared to the first release, this kit changed out or added at least eight different sprue groups to change the entire appearance of the model to match the later variants; this alone added 250 styrene parts and many of the etched brass changes to the kit. Some of the parts are now identified by DML as common sprues, e.g. 14 styrene and 26 etched brass parts are common to the 8.8 cm L/56 guns – either those on the Tiger I or the Flak 18/36/37 series dual-purpose guns. Another 26 styrene and 34 etched brass are now identified as "German OVM" common parts. Another 23 parts, 15 styrene and 8 etched brass, provide what appears to be a personality figure of Michael Wittmann – the plastic parts compose the body, and the etched parts medals, decorations and shoulder boards.

The basic vehicle (this is getting to look more and more like an American automobile window sticker everyday, with "option packages" added to the "Base Model!") comes with the requisite parts for the late model Tiger I – steel wheels, cast cupola, and turret rear stowage bin. From there on, the rest of the changes are for detail parts and specific model variants.

The modeler has a choice of the following: two types of drivers; two types of idlers; two different hull stern plates; two types of lifting shackles; etched or styrene exhaust shrouds; turned brass or styrene tubes for the hull rear plate; open or closed driver's viewer; styrene or metal tow cables; styrene or etched brass tool fittings (a special jig is included on one sprue leg for bending and fitting the latter); styrene or etched brass mudguards; styrene or etched brass fenders; three different mantelets; styrene or aluminum gun barrel (the latter has a spring to "work"); two types of muzzle brake; choice of two-section or bent plate turret roof; original or final production cast commander's cupola (made with "slide molding" so all vision port covers are cast in place); two different styles of loader's hatch; separate covers for the rear turret stowage bin; optional position turret rear hatch; special track for the turret with separate guide horns; and, "sag" guides to get the right set of the tracks on the wheels (hard to see on the directions in Step 19, and provided in the kit as parts D23 and D24).

While the AA MG mount base is provided, no AA MG comes with the kit. Also, while all of the accouterments for the engine bay and an interior come with the kit (e.g. radiators, fans, torsion bars) no interior is provided, but the kit is set to take on or at least an engine for the engine bay.

The model comes with a large decal sheet to cover most generic Tiger I markings in detail. Markings are provided for the Late version as sPzAbt 101 along with a company numbering diagram, including Michael Wittmann's company. There is one option offered for a Late Command variant from sPzAbt 101, and three for Final variants from sPzAbt 505. All are in the final three-color scheme of Panzerbraun, red brown, and dark green.

Overall this is an overwhelming kit in its number of options, and other than the previously noted "do it yourself" Zimmerit options, really leaves little for the modeler to have to purchase extra or come up with from the spares box.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue breakdown :

  • A 26 (Tiger I generic)
  • B 40 (Tiger I generic)
  • C 39 (Tiger I Late)
  • D 30 (Tiger I Late) (turret)
  • E 35 (Tiger I Late)
  • F 8 (Tiger I Late)
  • G 31 x 2 (Tiger I Late)
  • g 4 (Command antenna
  • H 54 x 4 (Tiger I Late)
  • J 38 (Tiger I generic)
  • K 12 (Tiger I Late) (hull)
  • L 2 (Command antenna
  • L 12 (Tiger I generic)
  • M 14 (8.8 cm common)
  • MA 149 Etched brass (Tiger I Late)
  • MB 34 Etched brass (German OVM)
  • MC 26 Etched brass (8.8 cm common)
  • MD 38 Etched brass (Tiger I Late)
  • ME 1 Aluminum barrel
  • ME 1 Spring
  • ME 14 Turned brass
  • ME 14 Preformed brass
  • ME 8 White metal
  • ME 1 Prebent wire
  • ME 4 etched brass
  • MF 8 Figure
  • N 2 (Command antenna)s
  • P 39 (Late)
  • Q 12 (8.8 cm common)
  • R 15 (Tiger I Late)
  • S 9 (Tiger I Late)
  • U 2 (Tiger I Late)
  • TA 5 (German OVM)
  • TB 9 (German OVM)
  • TC 4 (German OVM)
  • TD 4 (German OVM)
  • TE 4 (German OVM)
  • Y 180 (MagicTrack)
  • X 1 (Tiger I generic)