Scale: 1 / 35
"Tiger 1 Tunisia 1942/43" was the first kit from Cyber Hobby, an online-only vendor of limited-run model kits. Its products are variants of Dragon kits. This kit is permanently out of production since 2006 and difficult to obtain.
The kit depicts a version of the Tiger belonging to s.Pz.Abt.501 who fought in Tunisia. Two other manufacturers had previously released kits of the same subject, Tamiya's "Tiger I Ausführung Afrika" and Italeri's "Tiger Ausf. E (tp)". This kit incorporated new research to provide greatly improved accuracy.
The 501st heavy tank battalion was the second unit to be equipped with Tiger tanks. Its Tigers had prototype external fittings, giving them a unique appearance. The battalion was sent to General von Arnim's 5th Panzer Army in Tunisia, starting its deployment there in November 1942.
At that time, American and British forces had landed to the west of the Axis zone while Rommel's Afrika Korps was fighting to the east. The 5th Panzer Army was urgently shipped to Tunisia to defend against this new threat. The 501st was given all new Tigers as a priority until they had 20, organised into 2 companies. At that time, Tiger battalions mixed Tigers with equal numbers of the smaller, more agile Pz.3.
The 501st fought in several battles between December 1942 and March 1943. Its Tigers were the first ones ever encountered by British or American forces, at the battle of Tebourba. Of particular note is the battle of Sidi bou Zid where heavy losses were inflicted on American armour. However, General von Arnim refused to lend the Tigers to Rommel for his subsequent assault through the Kasserine Pass.
At the end of February 1943, the 501st was attached to the 7th Panzer Regiment and sent on von Arnim's ill-planned mission to capture Beja. The mission ended with seven Tigers lost in the battle of Hunt's Gap. The eleven remaining Tigers were attached to the newly arrived 504th Heavy Tank Battalion and continued fighting until the surrender of Tunisia.
The kit has individual-link "Magic" tracks, photo-etch exhaust shields, metal cables, and photo-etch engine screens. The torsion bars can be built workable. A turned metal gun barrel is included, along with some metal accessories. Decals are provided for Tigers 112, 141 and 142.
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