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DML 1/72 Sd.Kfz.181 PzKpfw.VI (P) Kit First Look

By Cookie Sewell

Date of Review October 2006 Manufacturer DML
Subject Sd.Kfz.181 PzKpfw.VI (P) Scale 1/72
Kit Number 7209 Primary Media 300 parts (272 in grey styrene, 28 etched brass)
Pros New kit of this popular subject in this scale Cons Molded-on hull acessories may not find favor; single link tracks very small; no zimmerit molded on hull
Skill Level Basic MSRP (USD) $13.95

First Look

DML's latest 1/72 scaler is a kit which may have sat around for a while, judging from its low sequence number. This seems to be happening with some kits that apparently were in "The Back Room" and are now being released, apparently as the market is ready for them.

The Porsche Tiger (P) is always a popular subject, as the appearance of the Tiger I turret on a boat-shaped hull instead of the boxy Henschel one is more appealing to some modelers. DML has taken their very nice Elefant/Ferdinand and used it to create the Tiger (P) in combination with one sprue from the Tiger I kits. Note that starting with Kit No. 7201 this is the fourth release of this family, but the first one with the turret.

The kit comes with a nicely done "slide molded" one-piece hull, but for all its nice details it is sure to raise complaints. All of the cables and tools that go on the sides are molded in place, which is one of the "pluses" called out in the box art. Many modeler do not like molded on tools and kit, and resent having to remove them to give the model more of an accurate look. Worse, they have done this without adding the "zimmerit" paste which appears to have been used on the vehicle in service, and which is shown on the box art. This is virtually impossible to apply without removing the cables and tools.

Likewise, the kit uses a complete Tiger I turret, but the one selected is the non-zimmerit one which likewise will need paste applied to it.

The rest of the kit is very well done. Options are provided for either a Pzkw. IV turret basket or two sets of spare track and it comes with scale machine gun barrels in place of the overscale ones from the first Tiger I kit. Etched brass ranges from the necessary (engine air grill mesh) to the right puny (turret hatch locking levers and turret basket fasteners). Etched brass also covers the jack brackets and the curious "basketball net" at the rear of the turret. Note that corrected turret parts are provided for the Tiger (P) vice the Tiger I turret.

Tracks are link and length, but while the lengths are fine the links are quite small and will need care in assembly. This is provided to get the right "droop" as they wrap around the drivers and idlers.

Only one set of markings and painting directions are provided - Red 003 from s.Pz.Jg.Abt. 653, Eastern Front 1944 (three color.) This is correct, as only one tank ever saw service.

Overall, the kit is nice, but I think modelers would have been happier with molded on zimmerit details and a set of DS plastic tracks.

Thanks to DML for the review sample.

Sprue Layouts:

  • A 3 Spare track
  • B 6 suspension units - Elefant
  • C 59x2 Link and length tracks - Elefant
  • D 1 hull
  • E 32 wheels - Elefant
  • F 53 Tiger (P) upper hull and details
  • G 16 turret top and rear - Tiger (P)
  • H 43 turret details (Tiger I kits)
  • MA 28 etched brass - Tiger (P)