Dragon 1/35 Tiger I ausf E (initial production)
KIT #: 6600
PRICE: $60.00 MSRP
DECALS: Three options
REVIEWER: Scott Van Aken
NOTES: Smart Kit


The Tiger I was a German heavy tank used in World War II, produced from late 1942 as an answer to the unexpectedly formidable Soviet armour encountered in the initial months of Operation Barbarossa, particularly the T-34 and the KV-1. The Tiger I design gave the Wehrmacht its first tank mounting the 88 mm gun, which had previously demonstrated its effectiveness against both aircraft and tanks. During the course of the war, the Tiger I saw combat on all German battlefronts. It was usually deployed in independent tank battalions, which proved to be quite formidable.

While the Tiger I was feared by many of its opponents, it was over-engineered, expensive and time-consuming to produce. Only 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. The Tiger was prone to mechanical breakdowns and in 1944, production was phased out in favour of the Tiger II. It is thought that more Tigers were abandon due to getting stuck than were knocked out in enemy action.

The tank was given its nickname Tiger by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial official German designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘Panzer VI version H’, abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H), but the tank was redesignated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943. It also had the ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181.

Today only a handful of Tiger Is survive in museums and exhibitions worldwide. Perhaps the most notable specimen is the Bovington Tank Museum's Tiger 131, currently the only one restored to running order.


Tiger tank kits seem to be one of the more popular armor kits around. It is easy to see why, especially when Dragon produces such nice ones. This kit is very nicely molded and in addition to the much appreciated DS tracks, this one has newly molded bits and you can build it with a snorkel, something one doesn't see very often in kits. Thanks to the DS tracks, the parts count is a more modest 400 pieces. This includes some photo etch for the engine grilles and some formed photo etch grill pieces as well which are particularly well done. As usual, I'll let the Dragon PR feature list tell you all about what is on this one.

- Newly tooled Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E w/authentic detail
- New tooled Pz.III stowage bin
- Newly tooled hull bottom w/correct drains and hatches for Initial Tigers
- Newly tooled DS tracks w/open guide horns; three lengths included to model either standard or 'mirrored' tracks

- New s.Pz.Abt.502 markings presented by Tiger I specialist David Byrden
- New layout of on-vehicle tools on upper hull
- Track toolbox is newly designed

- Unique side stowage bins and reversed pistol port for s.Pz.Abt.502 Tactical No."100"
- Photo-etched strap on the Gen2 helmet for hanging on the turret handle
- Accurate welded joint at turret chin
- Hull hatches w/interior detail and optional periscope hoods
- Photo-etched mesh screen on top of the engine deck
- One-piece molded cupola w/vision slits
- Clear direct-vision blocks
- Hatch w/interior details
- Screw holes in gun sleeve
- Mantlets w/limits stops and optional rain guard for s.Pz.Abt.502 Tactical No."100"
- Lucky horseshoe for s.Pz.Abt.502 Tactical No."100"
- Interior hull components: fuel tanks, radiators, fans
- Extreme attention to detail correctly replicates the curved cross-section design of the air cooling grills
- Accurate detail of exhaust extension for Tiger I initial Tactical Nos."3", "100" and "123"
- Retooled rear panel w/full Initial Tiger tool stowage
- Improved detail on muffler sealing valves
- Loader's hatch w/interior details
- Barrel recoils as in real firing
- Driver's vision port can be built open/closed
- Spare links for 'mirrored' tracks
- Accurately sized spare track holders
- Detailed full MG w/mounting frame ammunition bag and telescope
- Optional dust cover
- Omitting the front wheel exposes a highly detailed hub
- Accurately detailed slide molded muzzle brake

Markings are for three tanks with s.Pz.Abt.502, operating in the Leningrad sector. Two in winter white wash from the winter of 1942/43 with a base panzer grey color, and a third in overall panzer grey from September 1942. For the first time I can recall in a standard Dragon 1/35 armor kit, the color and markings guide is in full color. As usual, the instructions are quite comprehensive showing any modifications needed to the kit as well as any specific bits needed for specific markings options.


This one is a real beauty and with the nice DS tracks and working torsion bar suspension plus other amenities, will make into a fine model of this impressive tank. The kit is selling quite well so if you want one, you need to get it while the getting is good.



June 2010

Thanks towww.dragonmodelsusa.com for the preview kit. Get yours today at your local retailer.

If you would like your product reviewed fairly and fairly quickly, please contact the editor or see other details in the Note to Contributors.

Back to the Main Page

Back to the Previews Index Page