Dragon 1/35 King Tiger (Henschel Turret w/zimmerit)
KIT #: 6840
PRICE: $82.00 SRP
DECALS: Multiple options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart kit with individual track links

HISTORY

Tiger II is the common name of a German heavy tank of the Second World War. The final official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen Tiger Ausf. B, often shortened to Tiger B. The ordnance inventory designation was Sd.Kfz. 182. It is also known under the informal name Königstiger (the German name for the Bengal tiger), often translated literally as Royal Tiger, or somewhat incorrectly as King Tiger by Allied soldiers, especially by American forces.

The Tiger II was the successor to the Tiger I, combining the latter's thick armour with the armour sloping used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost 70 tonnes, and was protected by 100 to 185 mm (3.9 to 7.3 in) of armour to the front. It was armed with the long barrelled 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 anti-tank cannon. The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer.

The Tiger II was issued to heavy tank battalions of the Army and the Waffen-SS. It was first used in combat with 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion during the Allied Invasion of Normandy on 11 July 1944; on the Eastern Front, the first unit to be outfitted with Tiger IIs was the 501st Heavy Panzer Battalion, which by 1 September 1944 listed 25 Tiger IIs operational. 

THE KIT

This particular kit portrays one of the tanks of the 505th Heavy Panzer Battalion that operated on the Eastern Front in late 1944. It also is one of Dragon's excellent zimmerit kits. While I am sure there are some who'd rather apply their own zimmerit paste, most of us like that Dragon has already done this for us. Of course, zimmerit was found to be generally ineffective as enemy troops had found ways to work arounding. As a result, it was no longer applied by late 1944.

As you might guess, most of the 500 parts in this kit are for the individual track links. These are large and should be easy to assemble. The kit also provides two turret tops. One has bare patches on both sides, typical of 505 Abt as that is where they placed their unit markings. The other is a standard turret.

The kit comes with a nice photo etch fret and two sections of thick metal wire to use for towing cables. The p.e. is used mostly for screens and for the rather large number of brackets used to hold the towing cables and various pioneer tools in place on the upper fenders.

The coaxial maching gun is nicely done as is the breech for the main gun. The kit also provides nice detail for the inside of the hatches for those who want to place figures in them. There is no other interior detail.

Instructions are 3D CAD type with drawings of details. Little modification is required and the instructions are quite specific on what needs to be done. THere are markings shown in the instructions for three different late war camo schemes and suggested unit markings. However, the decal sheet provides enough numbers and unit badges to do any of the battalion's tanks and a number chart is provided to help out.

CONCLUSIONS

It is nice to see this kit issued. The King Tiger has been a favorite of modelers for many years and judging by the size of the hull, it will make a large and impressive model.

REFERENCES

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger_II

October 2016

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