Scale: 1 / 35
This non-interior kit builds any of three Tigers from the first active Tiger company. They served at the siege of Leningrad. Tiger "100", seen in the kit's artwork, was captured by Soviet troops on 18 January 1943, examined by Russian technicians, then displayed to the public in Gorky Park.
The Tigers of this company (1st company, s.Pz.Abt.502) were unique. Due to pressure of time, they went into service without the usual tool storage, side skirting, air filters and many more items. Tiger "100" was then given custom-made bins on both sides of its turret, replacing the Panzer 3 bin that it got at the factory.
The first Tigers
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.
My ongoing review and comments;
|Slots in turret edge||Snorkel||Starboard gun port|
|Metal barrel||Blocks on rear wall||Antenna tube|
|Microphone switch||Engine hatch intake||Track types|