Scale: 1 / 35
Tigers were made in a single production run, with chassis numbers running continuously from 250001. But there were also three prototype Tigers named "V1", "V2" and "V3". The first of them, V1, was literally the first Tiger ever assembled, being completed in early 1942. It had some unique and very unusual features.
V1 had an armour shield, as wide as its hull, that could be lowered in front of the tracks or raised to rest on the glacis plate. This was accomplished from inside the tank via a hydraulic system. Also, the two air outlet grilles at the rear of the hull could be raised from inside the crew compartment via hydraulics. The hydraulic equipment and the shield were judged unnecessary when V1 was demonstrated, so they did not appear on any subsequent Tigers.
Tiger V1 lacked several minor features due to being the first of its line. It was very similar to the "Initial" Tigers sent to s.Pz.Abt.502 later that year, but it had no pioneer tool storage because "V" series tanks were not intended for military use.
Photographs and records of the German test grounds are scant. We have photos of Tiger "V1" when it was new, but we don't know its fate or how it was used.
At time of writing I have seen the sprues of this kit but no built examples, so my comments are preliminary.
Information about V1's armoured shield is limited, but based on what we know, this model seems to have as good a representation as one could ask for. The hydraulic arms that move the shield are present. The shield, when lowered, sits into its notches on the hull front.
The model also provides most of the unique features that are known to have existed on V1, including; a motor horn; hull hatches without periscopes; a cupola hatch that lies flat; and a deck without tool holders. That said, there are a couple of items that the kit lacks; see my comments.
The real Tiger V1 must have been fitted with "mirrored" tracks at first, but a photo proves that it was soon given identical track links on both sides, like almost every Tiger. That is what the kit provides.
It is notable that Rye Field made an error in this kit's sprocket wheels. This is the fifth Tiger kit they have released in recent years with faulty sprocket wheels.
My ongoing review and comments;
|Colours and markings||Cupola||Sprocket wheels|