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King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit

Ammo by Mig Jimenez 1/35 King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review May 2017 Manufacturer Ammo by Mig Jimenez
Subject King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Scale 1/35
Kit Number 8500 Primary Media Styrene, photo-etch
Pros Nice looking kit, simple build Cons Nothing noted
Skill Level Experienced MSRP (Euro) 59.90€

First Look

King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit
King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit
King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit
King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit
King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit
King Tiger Ausf.B 'Henschel Turret' Kit

The Sd.Kfz.182 Königstiger would be the last tank series to reach production and combat operations before the end of the war. The design was an evolutionary development of the Tiger I featuring thicker armor while incorporating the sloped surfaces of the Panther series for more effective protection. The main gun was the 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 which provided the already formidable 88mm projectile with even greater muzzle velocity. While impressive in specification, the vehicle had its faults which included reliability and production quality, both of which suffered from the continuous allied bombing of Germany's production capabilities.

Look what arrived at the Cybermodeler Online labs - Ammo by Mig Jimenez's new 1/35 Tiger II kit. To be accurate, this is a Takom kit that offers two build options exclusive to the Ammo boxing. According to their website, these options include:

Option 1 - March 1945 model

This version incorporated the last improvements that entered production with the turret completed by Wegmann in March 1945:

  • Deleted ring on the commander's cupola
  • Simplified rear turret hatch
  • New holders for the spare links model Kgs 73/800/152 (18-tooth drive sprockets)
  • Five D-loops welded to the turret sides to help attach foliage as camouflage

The following modifications were added to the hull rear:

  • Deleted jack and wooden jack block
  • Cooling air louvers on the rear engine deck to replace the large grille openings
  • Two new locks for the driver and assistant driver/hull machine-gunner
  • Internal mechanical changes

Option 2 - Proposed model July 1945 (What If)

This version would have entered production in July 1945, including many improvements compared to the previous models:

  • New Entfernungsmesser¬†1.6 m R (PZ) range finder, exclusively designed for the new modified turret of the Tiger B
  • Three-piece engine access hatch
  • New radiator system (heating)
  • A Sturmgewehr 44 instead of a MG 34 in the glacis ball mount (not in all versions)
  • An MG 42 in a new mount in place of the MG34 co-axial MG used on the previous models
  • Infrared system Mit Infrarot- Sheinwerfer (FG 1250)

This kit is molded in gray styrene and presented on ten parts trees (duplicate trees not shown) plus upper and lower hull halves, and turret shell, one tree of clear parts, and one small fret of photo-etched parts. As I mentioned above, this release is based upon the Takom King Tiger kit without interior. Like the latest MiniArt kits, Takom is releasing the same subjects with and without interiors depending on the modeler's preferences. Looking at this kit, you can see where the hull interior is set up to support an interior, but many modelers are looking for an exterior shell to apply their camouflage and markings rather than spend time on interior details that will largely go unseen without removing the turret.

Compared to other 1/35 King Tigers on the market, this kit offers link and length track runs, so you have the detail of injection-molded track links (versus vinyl 'rubber band' track') without the pain of assembling each and every track link (and losing one's will to live). Academy offers this same track approach in their King Tigers as well.

The overall assembly process is straightforward and you'll spend more time painting and weathering this model than assembly. Since this is an Ammo by Mig Jimenez kit, you can imagine that indeed the painting and weathering will be the star of this build. The painting guide provides eight different color profiles for late war and 'what-if' camouflage schemes along with the relevant Ammo colors needed for each scheme.

This is a nice looking kit that provides what should be an easier build than the DML kit while not compromising on details. It is also nice to see someone thinking 'outside the box' when it comes to kit subjects. With the various 'Standardpanzer' releases that have been produced by Trumpeter as well as other late-war paper or initial prototype subjects, why not look at what might have appeared off the assembly line of production panzers as well?

My sincere thanks to Ammo by Mig Jimenez for this review sample!