Scale: 1 / 35
The kit's background
When the first production Tigers rolled out of the Henschel factory, they were sent to the training grounds at Fallingbostel to equip the 502nd Heavy Tank Battalion. Although their tanks were still unreliable, they were sent to reinforce the siege of Leningrad after only 3 days of practice. Immediately on arrival in Mga they were ordered to the front line.
A total of 9 Tigers were sent to this battalion, filling out its 1st company, before events in Africa diverted new Tiger production to that theater. The 502nd fought in forests and swamps south of Leningrad and achieved only limited success. Technical problems with the tanks caused as much trouble as the terrain, and so the more reliable Tigers, notably "111", were given the best components.
On 18 January 1943 a breakthrough by the Soviets cost 5 Tigers, including numbers "121" and "100" which were captured intact. Only 2 of the original 9 Tigers remained in February, when they were joined by 3 new ones.
These first 9 Tigers had a unique appearance. They had no fenders or storage on the hull sides. Their mudguards at front and rear did not project beyond the hull side (these were also used in Tunisia). They were issued with "mirrored" tracks, i.e. the right and left tracks were different, unlike those of any other German tank; the crews disliked the inconvenience and eventually put just a single type on each Tiger.
The kit has decals to represent 3 of these nine Tigers. The original release of this kit (in 2005) included individual link tracks, a turned metal gun barrel, metal ammunition rounds, and other metal parts. The mudguards were photo-etch. A 2015 re-release of the kit under the same number "6252" has different contents, such as DS flexible one-piece tracks, and a greatly reduced tally of metal parts. Neither release contains mesh screens for the engine deck.
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