DML 1/72 Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger Henschel Turret with Zimmerit Kit First Look
|Date of Review
|Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger Henschel Turret with Zimmerit
|169 parts (163 in grey styrene, 4 etched brass, 2 in tan DS plastic)
|It's got zimmerit!
|Modelers who purchased the earlier kit No. 7246 and put on their own zimmerit may not be too happy this kit was released!
Ah, the Germans: only they would come up with a concrete paste to apply to their tanks and big self-propelled guns to prevent enemy soldiers or partisans from using "sticky bombs" to blow them up. This paste – "zimmerit" – was found in many places and used for about eighteen months before the Germans gave up on it.
But ask nearly any German late war armor modeler about what he probably dislikes most and a good portion will say "putting on the zimmerit," even more so when it is a small scale kit of the tanks. Up until now many options have been tried in 1/35 scale, such as etched brass sheets, thin resin sheets, soldering irons with special tips, or an applique paste using engraving tools or special spatulas. All take time and all have their backers, but the bottom line is that the modeler has to do this himself.
Italeri made a brave effort about ten years ago of making kits of a Tiger I and a Panther in 1/35 scale with applique styrene "zimmerit" panels, but it was ultimately unsuccesful. While the shortcomings of the kits themselves are a moot point, the main problem was that if the appliques were not used the model was underscale, and if they were, it looked, well, like stuck-on styrene panels.
Now for the first time SOMEBODY has offered a kit with the zimmerit molded right into the surface. DML has used its "slide molding" techniques to provide a new kit of their Tiger II with Henschel turret (which came out as kit number 7246 in July 2004) to replace all of the major panels and assemblies with new ones, all with the zimmerit in place. There is only one "appliqué" part, the lower glacis (part E2), and the rest is totally integral. This covers the upper hull (F1), turret (F8), turret face (F7), rear hatch (F6), mantelet (B20),and rear plate (F4). All of the zimmerit is in scale and very finely done – it definitely screams out "dry brush me!"
The rest of the kit is a "product-improved" version of 7246, this time with DS plastic track instead of black vinyl and other upgrades to individual parts. Brass grilles are included for the engine deck as well, but only molded plastic tow cable assemblies are included.
Markings and painting directions are included for six different tanks: s.Pz.Abt.101, Belgium 1944; s.Pz.Abt.506, Andler, 1944; s.Pz.Abt.501, Germany, 1944; s.Pz.Abt.501, Eastern Front, 1944; s.Pz.Abt.503, Hungary, 1945; and s.Pz.Abt.506, Germany 1945. All but the one in Hungary are in three-color schemes, with that one being in whitewash winter camouflage.
Overall this should be a very popular kit with modelers that do not want to mess around with applying zimmerit, and it is amazing to me that it took this long before somebody solved the problem!
Thanks to DML for the review sample.