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Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger Interior (Henschel Turret)


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Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger Interior (Henschel Turret)

1:35 Meng Model

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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.

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Review sample courtesy of

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Thanks :blush:

 

I suspect they're all out now, as I picked up a set of Zimmerit for mine, especially once I'd noticed the issue with the decal options.  They seem to be selling like hot cakes, so ifd it's at the top of the build queue and you can't find any, I'd consider some Friul tracks.  I might dig out my set from one of my Dragon Tigers to see if they're a good fit for the drive sprockets of this kit.  I might also forget :drunk:

 

Edit:  In stock at our favourite model shop, @Creative Models Ltd Here.

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