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  1. King Tiger (A1369) 1:35 Airfix The King Tiger, Königstiger, Sd.Kfz.182 or Tiger II was the natural successor to the widely feared Tiger that preceded it, although it was dogged by mechanical problems due to the re-use of the Tiger's transmission on an overloaded engine that was tasked with pulling around a significantly increased weight. It incorporated many advances in technology, drawing together the best features of the Tiger and Panther, and carrying a long-barrelled 88mm gun that was without peer at the time. Weighing in at 70 tonnes, it was well protected from incoming fire with the sloped armour increasing the effective thickness even further, as well as encouraging shells to ricochet off. Initial production used a prototype turret design with a curve in the side to accommodate the commander's cupola, which was difficult and expensive to produce, but as they had made a number, they were used anyway. The later turret that stayed until the end of production was simplified, and had more flat surfaces, making it easier to produce, and removing the shot-trap that was present on the early curved mantlet. The B variant was the command tank, and sported a pair of aerials on the turret and engine deck, of which there were two sub-variants. As well as being dogged by mechanical problems, production was also severely hampered by the actions of Bomber Command by night, and the US Day Bombing efforts, which destroyed large swathes of the production plants, severely restricting the number of contracted units that were actually delivered. It is estimated that some 500± were built before the end of the war, but as is often the case, figures are sketchy because of the chaos that reigned toward the end of the Nazi regime. The Kit The plastic in the box is unmistakably Academy, a modern take on this monster tank, which has been well received, and praised for its simplicity of build, whilst not compromising on detail. The kit is well-moulded, and has plenty of surface detail, but is depicted with a smooth outer surface with no zimmerit coating, although you are best researching whether you need to add this yourself before building, as its use was phased out in mid-production. Included in the box are nine sprues in a sand-coloured styrene, two in black containing the tracks, a small Photo-Etch (PE) brass sheet with grilles on, and a tiny decal sheet for the markings in the box. The instructions are not the modern Airfix style, but are very well done, mimicking Academy's choice of starting the build unconventionally with the turret assembly. Within the later Henschel turret, they have included substantial interior detail such as hatch rims, equipment and of course the periscope blocks, which are moulded in styrene rather than clear as you would expect. The gun is included in its entirety, and consists of an inner tube to the breech, which is split vertically and has the basic breech details moulded in. It slides within the elevation section, and around the rear are placed the sides to the breech with their protective bars to the sides of the block. The closing mechanism slots in the rear, with adjustment and sighting tubes added further along, plus the coaxial machine gun on the right-hand side. Two recuperator rams attach to the top of the breech, and a framework is installed on a lug underneath, after which the gun can be suspended on the lower turret by the use of two hinge-points, with the two-part mantlet and its coax bullet-splash guard added at the front. The underside of the turret is then laminated with another panel, and under that the turret ring is placed, with realistic toothed inner and a pair of lugs to hold it in place on the hull. The upper turret is a single part that drops onto the turret base and mantlet, and onto this are fixed the hatches, various ports, spare track-link hooks, and of course the large rear access door, through which the gun could be removed during maintenance. This hinges down to the bottom, and is made up from three layers, plus the hinge, pistol-port and grab-handle to replicate the scale thickness of the real thing. It is held in place on the rear of the turret by a pair of armoured hinges, and can be left movable if you are careful with the glue. The part of the main gun that is visible is made from a single part, with only mould seamlines to clear away, and a three-part flash-hider that replicates the muzzle brake and gives a hollow look to the barrel. The interface between the barrel and mantlet has a large armoured sleeve, which is made up from a trio of styrene parts, plus a small PE part on the top of the funnel shaped main part. It is added to the breech tube, then two short sections are slid on, and finally the barrel is slid in place, on a long, keyed peg to ensure the vents on the sides of the brake are oriented correctly. The commander's cupola with machine gun ring is added, and it's worth noting here that all the gun barrels have slide-moulded muzzles, plus some spare tracks on the hangers, and attention then turns to the hull. The first item of interest on the hull is that they don't have you starting with the wheels. Instead, a thick section is laminated to the inside of the glacis plate to replicate the scale thickness of the armour in that location. The fenders are added next. Turning over the upper hull, and the two front hatches are supplied on an insert, which drops into a hole in the deck, and has a pair of swivelling hatch covers to allow them to be opened regardless of turret position. Engine access panels, vents and the circular grilles on the mid-engine deck are all added, as are the periscopes for the driver and machine gunner. His ball-mounted MG is fully depicted, and sits behind a four-piece assembly that permits the gun to move within the limited travel of the surrounding armoured dome or Kugelblende. Lifting lugs, pioneer tools and the supplied PE mesh covers are fixed to the engine deck, some of which are installed onto raised styrene frames so they stand-off the deck. More pioneer tools and tow cables are added to the sides, a central headlamp or empty bracket are installed on the glacis plate, and the rear bulkhead is built up with access panels, fenders and the armoured exhausts, which are of course hollow tipped for realism. The lower hull is made up from a "sled" that incorporates the floor and the lower glacis plate, to which the sides are added, with all the suspension and axle points projecting through them. The suspension on the real thing was torsion-bar, and it is copied here, with nine bars with integrated axle swing-arms on the ends for each side. If you've read my armour reviews before, you'll know that I wonder about the longevity of styrene torsion bars over the long term, but if you're not bouncing it about all the time, they should last just fine. You could always apply glue to the pass-through holes once you're done to take the stress off the thinner torsion bars if you share my baseless concerns. There is a strengthening bulkhead ahead of the rear three wheel stations, that sit at about the location of the engine bay bulkhead, but is there purely to steady the sidewalls. No Tiger is complete without a host of wheels to spread the 70-tonne weight over the ground and avoid sinking into the mud. Eighteen pairs of wheels of two different types are built up, from six parts each, with the two-part hubs sandwiching a rim part for each wheel. That should take quite a while to cut out 18 x 6 parts, clean them up and glue them, but as the "tyres" were metal, there's no need to paint them separately, so time is saved there. Each roadwheel pair is interleaved with its neighbours, which although it was great for spreading the load, was horrible for a mechanic wanting to remove an inner wheel in the centre of the track run, although not as bad as the Tiger I. They are held in place by central boss, which varies in length so that the inner wheel bosses project out as far as the outer ones. The drive sprockets are made up from two conical parts, and have the requisite eighteen teeth per wheel. These fit onto a three-part final drive housing that is added to the front of the hull, while the idler wheels are made of three layers and fit onto a stub axle that fits within a hole at the rear of the tank. Tracks are on two smaller black sprues, and on first inspection there just doesn't seem to be enough, but that's because they're of the link and length variety. The links are individual around the drive sprockets and idlers, but are supplied in lengths for the top and bottom runs, which might make it a little tricky to portray any track sag on the top run. It's nice that they haven't gone for the rubber-band type to further simplify the build, and the mouldings look good, with twin rows of solid guide-horns moulded on the inner face, but joining them are two tiny ejector pin marks on each link (not the joint). A little clean-up or caked-on mud will resolve this fairly easily, but you also need to take care when constructing the separate links for the curves, as they have a small separate joint that sit alongside the main joint, leaving a small gap in the joint on the outer edge of the tracks. Whilst on that subject, the little holes should go on the outside edge of the tracks, so take care when you get to this part. All that remains to complete the build is to place the turret on the ring perpendicular to the hull, and twist it to lock it in place. Markings There are two very different decal options in the box, although the decal sheet consists of just a few black codes for the sides and rear of the turrets. From the box you can build one of the following: Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.B, Tiger II/Königstiger, Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 509, Hungary, early 1945 Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.B, Tiger II/Königstiger, Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503, Berlin, April 1945 The decals are clearly printed and should go down just fine, and the instructions give additional information about the fittings on the outside of the hull and turret, to assist the modeller in completing their model more accurately. Conclusion The Academy plastic is good stuff, and should be a simple build if you stick to the manual and don't add anything yourself. A good representation of a KT should be the result, and with a little careful weathering, it will look every inch the monster that it was. There are a pair of figures in the shape of a commander figure and a standing soldier, which are documented in the kit, and have the Octopus and Ambush dots/rings and decals might have been a nice option for those that don't fancy painting their own. The printing is a bit dark and hazy too, but taking care with the instructions should see you through that. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  2. Hey guys, i would like to show you my last finished kit. It is the very first armour kit since i came back to the modelling 2 years ago (hell the time flies fast!). One would say it does not matter, planes or tanks.. and bigger scale should be easier to make, right? Well, from my view, there are differences and bigger scales does not mean it ll be easier to make details.. Anyway, the build was a lot of fun to me, so i think soon i ll have a look on the 1/72 tanks in my stash The Tiger II was built for my friend to celebrate his fresh new engineering degree - ordered by his wife to surprise him, so i hope he ll be surprised in good You can find the WIP thread h with aftermarket parts used ere http://www.britmodeller.com/forums/index.php?/topic/234990910-tiger-ii-april-1945-weathering-stage-dragon-135/, but because i had only month for the build (working on it on the few free days during the month), i did not have time to take shots of every little progress there Anyway, part of the gift was some wooden base (supplied by my friend´s wife) - and it was quite huge.. So i decided to build two little grass "isles" on it, with some ammo boxes and other stuff, to fill the empty areas. Now to the tank itself At the beginning we said there wont be any interior (because of the limited time), so everything is closed. Also i did show some camo schemes to my friend´s wife and she chosed the late war scheme as the nicest to her. I did some researching around and like 30 King Tigers were finished in this scheme - sadly i did not find any photo of any of these, so the camouflage is kind of what-if (used Rom1´s E-75 as an inspiration, thanks! ). Everything of the weathering stage (or well, the very most of it) was new to me and i was also experimenting a bit with artistic stuff.. Well, here is the result more to come..
  3. King Tiger Initial Updates (36386, 36387 & 36388 for Takom) 1:35 Eduard There has been a rash of new King Tiger models lately in the predominant 1:35 scale, with Takom amongst the competing camps. These sets have been designed with their kits in mind to provide detail upgrades, scale thickness parts and the anti-magnetic mine countermeasure paste that is called Zimmerit. As usual with Eduard's Photo-Etch (PE) and Mask sets, they arrive in a flat resealable package (the larger ones using Ziplok bags), with a white backing card protecting the contents and the instructions that are sandwiched between. Upgrade Set (36386) This general set is on one square fret of brass, and includes detail parts for the commander's hatch; periscope blocks; padlocks for the hatches; new vision port armour for the front hatches, a host of new parts to detail the pioneer tools and their attachment points; fire extinguisher and jack block with mounts, and new mounts for the jack and track tools on the rear bulkhead. Zimmerit (36387) Zimmerit paste was a mixture of wood pulp and cement to resist the placing of magnetic mines on the hull as a slight overreaction to their use on the Eastern front. It was applied with trowels to most vertical and near vertical surfaces in a pattern, some of which were specific to the factory the vehicle was built in. This set is on two larger PE frets, and uses a thinner gauge of brass to make it conform better to the model. The sections are tailored specifically to the Takom kit, and this includes the kugelblende armour around the bow machine gun, which is best rolled to shape on a soft surface using a good sized marble or other hard ball to obtain the correct curvature, so lots of trial fittings will be appropriate there. Annealing the part will assist in this, making the brass more malleable. Holes in the brass match the fixtures moulded into the exterior, so little additional fitting will be required, but a small area near the rear mudflaps will need filling to give the zimmerit somewhere to adhere to. This is shown on the instructions to give you time to prepare the area. The mantlet is another curved surface, and you are shown how to attach the PE to these parts for the best fit, starting at the top centre and working your way around. The turret will need the lugs for hanging tracks removed before it can be fitted, and inserts are required for the early Porsche cupola, which projects from the side of the turret. A few small areas will also need filling such as the torch-cut lugs that give the joints more strength. Fenders (36388) Plastic fenders will never reach scale thicknesses, so brass is an ideal solution. The curved front fenders will need folding up into the correct curvature, and these also have strengthening ribs added to the inside, some of which might be best soldered, so that they don't suffer during handling during the rest of the build. An alternative angular set are provided that are suitable for two of the decal options, and these too would benefit from some soldering for strength. The side fenders are more simple, and should be bent to the same angles as the kit parts, with mounting blocks supplied to fit to the hull, which will be visible if you elect to show parts missing or damage, which often happened due to minor and literal fender-benders. The rear fenders are predominantly flat, with angled edges and triangular stiffeners, which would also benefit from soldering if you have the skills and/or soldering iron. Sometimes solder paste can be of use with small joints, and it's worth investing in a tube if you can track some down. one of the best uses for PE fenders is so that you can damage them in order to show an in-the-field likeness as is often seen in photos, as well as scale fidelity of the parts. Review sample courtesy of
  4. Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B King Tiger (late) with Full Interior (35364) 1:35 ICM The successor to the much vaunted Tiger heavy tank instilled more terror in the Allied forces due to initial encounters lending an almost invincible air to the design. It was soon found that although it packed a formidable punch, and could absorb a lot of punishment, it was in fact a flawed design from an engineering point of view. Stressing the transmission even further than the Tiger I, they suffered terrible attrition due to breakdowns, leading to many examples being captured or scuttled by their crew if these breakdowns occurred under fire. When it worked, it was very difficult to kill, and could seriously outrange almost everything on the battlefield, but as with the Tiger I before it, the Allies worked out a strategy to take them out by cooperative attacks between multiple Allied tanks. As well as the reliability issues that were never fully addressed due to the state of the war, the complexity of the design was such that they were never available in sufficient quantities to make a difference, and even when they were, Hitler's obsession with micro-managing every aspect of the war led to some poor placement of resources. Many King Tigers were captured by the Allies and taken back for analysis, with a few remaining intact long enough to find their way into museums, such as the one at Bovington. The Jagdtiger was a development of the King Tiger, using the chassis to mount an even more powerful gun in a casemate, but again very few of these saw action too late in the war. The Kit There has been a proliferation of Tigers and King Tigers of late, and this is ICM's take on this behemoth of WWII. The tooling is all new, and it includes a complete interior, although in order to show off some of it, you would need to carry out some surgery to the upper deck and turret, and this kit would lend itself perfectly to a cut-away or even a destroyed tank diorama if you have the nerve to hack apart a perfectly good kit of course! The box is of standard width and height, but has been extended by quite a margin to almost 54cm in order to fit all the plastic in. There's your first clue – there's a lot in the box. The instruction booklet is also on the weighty side, with plenty of pages to keep you going through those long winter nights. Seriously though, there are said to be almost 720 parts in the box, and that's a statement I can well believe, as there are a full complement of shells for the ammo store, individual track links that are made from parts (like the real thing), loads of wheels to spread the 69 tonne load, and axles on which the wheels hang. The box has thirteen sprues and three separate parts in a mid-grey styrene, four in black styrene for the tracks, a fret of copper-coloured Photo-Etch, a small decal sheet and of course the instruction booklet with the painting and markings guide at the rear in colour. One of the separate parts is a replacement barrel for the one on the sprues, which is split all the way along the centreline. The replacement has a complete barrel section, with only the sleeve and the flash hider split vertically with two additional parts needed to complete it. This looks to have been decided late in the design process, but it's good to see them thinking of the modeller, although some will probably want to splash out on a turned metal barrel for the strength, additional detail and lack of seams. Yes, I'm one of those ones – I can't help myself. Looking over the sprues the detail is good throughout, although there are no boundaries being pushed in terms of tooling, as the main slabs of armour don't have any texturing to represent rolled steel of the era, but if you're adding Zimmerit, or have tried adding texture to your models before, you'll probably be unfazed by this, as it is surprisingly easy, so at least with a clean canvas you can go any way you choose in that area. The interior is well-detailed, and careful thought has been given to the construction of the various areas so that it all fits together like a big, dangerous jigsaw. The only omission here seems to be stencilling for the shells, and maybe a few more decals for the first aid box etc., and of course the cabling that is way too small to be realistically included on any kit if we're honest. Construction begins with the turret basket, unusually. The basket has a circular floor that is smaller than the aperture, and this is suspended from the turret ring by a framework onto which the gunner's seat is first added, then his controls, and a less salubrious bicycle-style seat is provided for the loader on what will be the other side of the breech. This assembly is mated with the lower turret and ring early in the build, with the aft turret shell racks installed on a double-skin floor that has slots in one layer to locate the racking that the shells slot into, eleven per side. The breech is next, with breech-block, shell ejection guide, the gun mounts and other equipment plastered all over it. The basic breech is then fitted to the twin slots in the front of the turret floor, and the upper turret gets its mantlet and top strip glued in place before the two are mated, after adding the roof-mounted vision-block, which is moulded in grey styrene. The three-part gun barrel is outfitted with the studded ring found at its base, and the two-part ring that sits behind it, protecting the gun and turret front from incoming rounds. Once complete that just slots onto the breech, and can be left loose for painting, so you get paint right behind the shield. Next are the commander's cupola and the gunner's hatch, the latter being well-detailed with hand-holds and latches, and the former having a hatch hinge-point fitted before installation. Lifting lugs, mushroom vent, shell ejection hatch, periscope armour and the commander's life-swivel hatch are fitted, with the rear hatch that doubles as the exit route for the gun during maintenance built up with latches and handles, plus the armoured hinges and a representation of the early pistol port moulded in. The delicate mount for the commander's machine gun is fitted to the top of his cupola, and the hooks for the spare track links are installed over small marks on the side of the turret, with the links being added from the standard links that are used to create the tracks. Now for the hull. There isn't a traditional "tub" for the hull, and you start by building up the sponsons with internal and external parts such as dampers, bases for shell stowage, brakes, final drive housing and the torsion bars for the suspension. The hull floor is a sled to which the lowest parts are added before being partially covered by the torsion bars that extend across the hull floor. The addition of the sponsons finishes off the lower tub, and lays the ground work for the interior once the two perforated ribs are laid front to back on the floor around the torsion bars, and in the process creating support for the incoming equipment. The engine is first to be built, sandwiched inside an armoured box with its auxiliaries, tanks and hosing. It is added to the engine firewall bulkhead and installed in the rear of the hull with the driveshaft, turret take-off box and the final drive/transmission boxes. Two plates are installed under the turret position, with another laid over it that has a cut-out for the turret basket, and further forward the driver's controls and seat are glued into the left of the transmission. The radiator baths with their PE fans that are folded into shape using a pair of tweezers are made as a pair, fitting on each side of the engine, with more equipment being fitted inside the engine bay and on the crew-side of its bulkhead. No space was wasted, and the remainder of the radiator bays are filled with fuel tanks on each side before attention turns to the road wheels. Construction within the hull continues with adding stiffeners across the hull, and supports for the heavy armour along with additional equipment and a full complement of 88mm shells, plus their racks, which build up layer by layer to a total of 46 in the sponson racks. The King Tiger was designed with overlapping pairs of road wheels, learning from the mistakes of the Tiger I which had interleaved wheels to spread the vehicle's weight, which could result in taking off up to 14 wheels if an inner one needed repair or maintenance. The all-up weight increased substantially between the two vehicles, so there are a LOT of pairs of wheels on a Königstiger, with nine axles each side, plus the idler and drive sprockets, all of which are assembled from two parts each and fitted to their respective swing-arms. These are capped off with hubs, and later in the build the tracks are wrapped around them. ICM advise making up two runs for the top and bottom, leaving the counting of links up to you. There are 19 links (comprising two parts) on the top run, and 20 on the lower run, with a further 3 wrapping around the rear and 4 on the front. This is repeated for the opposite side, and you will need to arrange the tracks so that they conform to the shape of the track run, and give the correct (minimal) sag, which you can see in any period photo of a correctly adjusted set of tracks. The upper hull is supplied as a traditional main part with a hole in the rear for the engine bay, turret aperture and the lift-out front section that encompasses the hull crew hatches. The radiator vents are moulded-in, giving no opportunity to display a radiator bay without surgery to the hull, which is a minor negative IMHO. Periscopes are slotted into the front of the hull, hatches are added to the front insert, mushroom vents to the engine insert, and the Kugelblende armoured blister surrounding the bow machinegun is backed with a box to receive the gun stub in preparation for installation, with a small forest of lifting lugs littering the engine deck and lift-out hatches. Armoured covers are fitted to the periscopes and the vents on the engine deck, which leaves it ready for adding to the lower hull in advance of adding all the various smaller parts such as track and pioneer tools, mudguards, armoured exhausts, towing cables, shackles and the PE grilles covering the intakes and vents on the engine deck. The turret secures with a bayonet fitting, and an aerial is glued into a socket on the engine deck, completing the build phase. Markings There are four decal options included in the box, with enough variation in finish from white distemper through Dunkelgelb to two Ambush schemes, that will please most folks without resorting to aftermarket decals. From the box you can build one of the following: Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, s.Pz.Abt. 509 Feldherrnhalle, Hungary, March 1945 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, s.Pz.Abt. 503, Danzig, March 1945 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, s.Pz.Abt. 501, Ardennes, December 1944 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.B, Stab/s.Pz.Abt. 501, Ardennes, December 1944 This is an AFV, so the decal sheet is modest in size, with only a few markings on the sheet. The registration is perfect on my sample, as is the colour density and sharpness, but I would have liked to have seen some decals for the shell stencilss, and perhaps some for the stencils that are found inside almost any AFV. Conclusion This model gives you the basis for a good King Tiger build, and although it lacks some of the modern frippery such as rolled steel texture to the armour and a complete interior, there is enough there to give the viewer the impression of how crowded and claustrophobic these vehicles were for their crew. If you want to leave some hatches open on your finished model, as long as you've painted the innards, it will give a convincing sense of a working vehicle. Highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  5. Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger Interior (Henschel Turret) 1:35 Meng Model We reviewed the new King Tiger kit from Meng in May 2017, which you can see here. So what? Well, you're going to need one of those if you're planning on buying this set/kit, because this is the interior for that kit (TS-031) in case you hadn't read the title and put two-and-two together. It arrives in a box that is exactly the same size as the kit box with a cut-away drawing of the tank on the front, showing what delights lie inside. The box size isn't just frippery either, as it is pretty full of sprues – eleven to be precise, in a mid-grey styrene. There is also an instruction booklet, a sheet of Photo-Etch (PE), a decal sheet containing interior stencils, plus a small spring. The instruction booklet is quite clever, as it replaces the majority of the first parts of the original kit instructions, but you have to read the annotations carefully to ensure that you don't make a mistake, or omit something. When you're gluing assemblies together and batch-painting things, this is likely, so ensure you make notes and don't rush things. Construction begins with the lower hull, creating the gridwork of ribs between the torsion-bar suspension. The suspension arm and brake drum with PE surround are added to replacement inner skins, along with another two damper arms that help the rest of the suspension over difficult terrain. A pair of stringers are laid along the length of the hull, with holes for the bars to slide through, and the driver's controls are started, to be finished after the torsion-bars are complete. Various other boxes and pieces of equipment are added to the floor over the torsion bars along with a highly detailed firewall between the crew compartment and the engine bay, plus the tread-plate that fits around the turret basket in the centre of the compartment. Attention switches to the engine, which is built up from many parts over the next page of instructions, and inserted in the aft portion of the hull, then flanked by the radiator baths and the manual starter behind the engine, which is accessed by the crew through an armoured hatch on the rear bulkhead. Fuel tanks and plumbing fill up the rest of the bay, and are enclosed by the addition of the inner rear bulkhead, and a PE surround for the engine access hatch. The transmission is the assembled and placed in the forward hull next to the driver, with the two-part drive-shaft and power transfer box under the centre of the turret basket. More boxes, ammunition stowage and even a first aid kit are added around the area, plus radio gear that sits atop the transmission box, making for a claustrophobic interior, even before the bracing struts and main ammo storage are added. The ammunition racks are shaped to fit the confines of the over-sponson area, with individual shells slotting inside, which is where most of the decals are used up, providing the identifying stencils applied to each one. They are applied to the tops of the sponsons in rows of three, ready to be hemmed in by the upper hull frame. The bow mounted machine gun is constructed in three steps with face-cushion against the optics, and twin dump-bags for the spent brass, sliding into the aperture in the glacis plate before the upper hull is joined to the lower. The top of the hull is detailed with periscopes and spare dump-bags for the machine guns, and the front hatch panel is prepared with the opening mechanisms for the lift-and-swing hatches, which projects far into the hull. The engine intake and cooling covers are last to be added to the upper deck along with the lift-off engine hatch, with all the exterior detail being added after reference to the instructions for the main kit. The turret is equally cluttered, with hatch operating rams and various other parts added before the huge breech is installed. The turret basket is fully depicted, which drops through the two-layered turret floor to hang below it, after which the floor itself is decked with racks, spare periscope glass, an additional seat. The breech is a complex assembly, and includes a spring that will allow the gun to recoil if installed correctly. The coax machine gun and its ammo feed fit to the right side, and yet more ammo racks are made up, fitting into the tapered bustle area behind the crew. With the breech glued to the lower turret, the upper turret (from the kit) is slid over it, and the rear turret hatch is built and then added. From here on, you are back to using the kit instructions, although I would have liked to see an downloadable version of the instructions that amalgamated both kits to create one continuous booklet that removed any confusion. Markings As well as the stencils for the shells, there are also dials for the controls and stencils for the various boxes on the interior. The decals are printed in China, and are of good quality, legible and where registration is apparent on the dials, it appears good even under magnification. Conclusion Apart from the chances of mild confusion from switching between instruction booklets, this is an awesome addition to the base kit, and if you didn't understand why it was separated from the kit before, you probably will now. That quantity of plastic would be utterly wasted if it found its way into the stash of a modeller that doesn't do interiors, and as they would also have paid for it, that's got to be a win. The kit has hit the market with a competitive price-point, and this additional set/kit will too, giving the modeller the option to spend a little more for a lot more plastic. Detail is excellent, the instructions as comprehensive as they can be, and colour call-outs throughout help immensely. Can you say "cut-away"? Very highly recommended. Due to the level of demand, initial stocks are depleted, but check back with Creative for a restock soon. Review sample courtesy of
  6. Königstiger KAGERO - Casemate UK At very nearly 70 Tons the Königstiger was the heaviest Tank that the Germany Army fielded during WWII. The Tank we commonly refer to as the King Tiger is in fact the Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausführung B, or Tiger II. They were armed with Kampfwagenkanone 43L/71 88m Gun which could destroy any allied tank of the time, at ranges outside of even the best armed adversary. The tank also benefited from sloped armour upto 180mm thick. Thankfully for the Allies the Germans were not able to produce this Tank in large numbers. Another factor which worked in the Allies favour is that these tanks suffered from reliability issues to the drive train and engine seals. This book from Kagero arrives as an A4 portrait soft cover volume with 82 pages. The first 18 pages offer a brief history of the type along with a series of black & white pictures of the tanks in combat, and abandoned/knocked out examples. There are then a series of 1/35 scale drawings of the Tanks and its various parts. A series of excellent walkaround pictures then follow. These pictures feature Turret number 321 exhibited in Munster Panzer Museum (Germany), Turret number 300 at The Bovington Tank Museum (UK), and Turret number 213 at the December 44 Museum in La Gleize (Belgium). There are also pictures of the the tanks Maybach engine, and the 88mm gun. There follows a few pages concerning the Crew and Camouflages used by the Tank. The last few pages contain colour profiles of various operational tanks. Conclusion This is a great book for the WWII history buff, those interested in Tanks, or indeed German Tanks. The detail photographs and line drawings will make it a great reference source for modellers as well. Overall this is a well produced book and highly recommended. Review sample courtesy of
  7. Tiger II, official designation Panzerkampfwagen IV Ausf. B. Named Königstiger which was wrongly translated as King Tiger. Turret number 300. Tiger II with early production turret is on display at Bovington Tank Museum. This vehicle was the second soft steel prototype made and did not see active service. The main gun on this tank is not original, it was added during its restoration. Pictures thanks to Alan Brown.
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