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.
This kit is based on Dragon's "Initial" Tiger kit but has many improved parts. The old kit was notable for the many "extras" that it included; this newer kit is similar to the rest of Dragon's range. Its tracks are flexible DS plastic. A notable improvement over the old kit is the provision of the necessary photo-etch mesh screens for the engine deck.
The decals of this kit incorporate new historical research that happened after the release of "6252". There are three decal schemes, reflecting different periods in which these nine Tigers were active. One option is an all-grey vehicle, typical of their appearance when they first went into battle in late 1942. Another is Tiger "100", with its unique turret side bins, whitewashed for the winter. The third is Tiger "3", as seen in February 1943; this Tiger used to be numbered "122".
My ongoing review and comments;
|Small cables on 'initial' Tigers||Tiger 121 / 502||Tactical numbers|
|Hull||Headlights||Bolts on the 'early' cupola|
These are other reviews of the kit;
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