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Mike

Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger (P) "Truppenübungsfahrzeug" (35A023) 1:35

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Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger (P) "Truppenübungsfahrzeug" (35A023)

1:35 Amusing Hobby

 

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After encountering the T-34 during the invasion of Russia, it was realised that new tanks were needed to combat them, one of which was the Panther, while the other was already in development and eventually became the Tiger.  There were two designs proffered for the contract, one by Porsche, the other by Henschel, and it was eventually the Henschel design that found favour with Hitler, after the Porsche design famously failed in a cloud of smoke whilst being demonstrated in front of him at Rastenburg.  There were other reasons, such as the complexity of the design and the fact that its petrol-electric drivetrain required too much in the way of the strategically valuable copper.

 

The Tiger (P) ran with a very similar turret as the Henschel design, with the name Tiger coined by Ferdinand Porsche himself.  Where it differed was the forward positioning of the turret, which made for a long overhang of the main gun that was deemed a problem for descending hills or crossing large ditches.  In the rear were two petrol engines that provided power to an electric generator that ran the two drive motors at the very rear of the tank.  Although a mechanical gearbox wasn't necessary, the extra weight of the additional engine, generator and electric motors made for a very heavy vehicle and much added complexity.  The road wheels were paired, and not interleaved like the Henschel design, which gave a higher ground pressure, but simplified maintenance at least in that area.  It was not enough, so the design lost out and the name was transferred to the Henschel offering.  Much of the chassis was reused however in the Ferdinand/Elefant Tank Destroyer, which shared the same track layout and lower hull, 100 of which had already been built at the Porsche factories.  Only one Tiger (P) was ever built to completion, and it was pressed into service as a command tank late in the war.

 

The Kit

This is a complete new tool from Amusing Hobby, although there have been a number of kits of the type in 1:35.  It arrives in a pretty standard looking top-opening box with a picture of Ferdinand Porsche next to his creation, a resin figure of whom is included in the box as a bit of bonus.  The rest of the content consists of six sprues and a lower hull half in sand coloured styrene, eight sprues of track links in brown styrene, a pair of "rubber-band" tracks, a decal sheet, a fret of Photo-Etch (PE) brass, a small bag of springs, a roll of braided copper wire, the instruction booklet and the aforementioned figure.  Detail is good throughout, and the inclusion of two styles of tracks should appeal to most, while the figure will look good next to the model, although you will need to warm his arms up to get them to fit properly in his pockets judging by my brief efforts.

 

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Construction begins with the paired road wheels that are built up, affixed in twos to three suspension units on each side of the tank, and then offered up to the hull with end-caps holding them in position, allowing them an element of movement to accommodate the ground, assisted by the custom springs that are inserted during assembly.  The wheels themselves are also held on by end-caps, which allows them to rotate, and the same feature is visited on the idler and drive sprockets using an internal collar that is glued to the axle.   Without further ado, the tracks are introduced, where you have a choice of using the supplied flexible tracks (which aren't mentioned in the instructions), or the individual links that consist of two parts per link.  Each of the eight sprues contains a jig, which you can use to build the runs of 109 links per side, and as the jigs can be glued together, you can construct a long run at one sitting, up to 40 links if my maths is correct (it usually isn't).  The links have two sprue gates per part, and clean-up is straight forward, so shouldn't take too long with a sharp knife.  The contact ridge on each link is separate, and you glue these to the main part of the link to trap the pins inside their recesses.  Using liquid glue may cause some issues with glue wicking into the joints and leaving you with unworkable track links, so for my test I used Super Glue (CA), which I dabbed on the contact points with a needle in small quantities.  This worked, but CA is a little brittle for the task, so I would suggest getting some tube glue such as Revell Contacta with the precision applicator that will weld the parts together and give more strength.  As already alluded, take care with applying too much, as the pins are very close to the contact points by necessity.  When completed, the tracks have a great deal of movement available, so wrapping them around the road wheels should pose no issue.

 

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With the tracks on, the hull sides are added, with an insert on the diagonal panel next to the glacis added on each side.  Taking care with alignment will benefit you here, as the hull top drops onto the side panels, so taping this loosely in place while the glue cures will ensure a good fit.  The hull top is detailed with jack blocks, the front glacis with machine gun ball mount and driver's armoured vision port, and at the rear, two louvered panels to cool the engines, with each one having separate slats added before they are joined.  The fenders are prepared with stiffeners and bumpers that take the wear from accidental track hits on the angled parts, with long tabs helping to make a good joint with the hull.  Pioneer tools, PE engine grills, lights and additional spare track in a bracket along the rear of the hull are all added, and the towing cables are created from the braided copper wire with styrene eyes finishing off the ends, with a scrap diagram showing their arrangement.

 

Now for the turret.  The main part provides the turret ring and curved side-walls, into which you place the panel with the gun's pivot point engineered in, which is held in place by external pins.  The vision ports, top hatch and  commander's cupola are all fixed in place, and at the rear a special bracket allows the rear storage bin to fit over another two short lengths of spare track links.  The bin has a separate lid so could be posed open if you wish.  The barrel is made up from two tubular sections, with a three-part flash suppressor, the core of which is hollow.  The rear of the barrel is inserted into the keyed hole in the mantlet, which is backed by another part for attachment to the interior, and a coaxial machine gun is threaded through the hole.  All that is left to do now is to twist the turret into position where it is locked by a bayonet style fitting.

 

The figures is cast in resin, and has already been removed from its pouring blocks, except for a pair of platform shoes that you will need to flatten off.  The hat and arms are separate parts that fix to the body with square pegs for security.  My sample had some issues with locating his hands properly in his pockets, so a little heat will be needed to coax them into position.  I tend to use hot water and then plunge the parts into cold water to fix the shape, so it's just something to be aware of before you try to assemble and paint.  As usual with resin, take the precaution of wearing a mask when cutting or sanding resin, as the tiny particles are harmful to your health if breathed in.  Washing the parts in warm water will also improve the adhesion of paint, as there may still be some moulding release agent on the parts when you receive them.

 

 

Markings

Only two schemes are provided from the box, one being the initial prototype livery of Panzer Grey, the latter being a Dunkegelb, green and red brown camouflage.  The paint call-outs are given in the AMMO range, which you can always convert using one of the many charts available if you don't use them.  The decals are a generic sheet of white outlined red turret numbers, plus a choice of two styles of crosses in case you fancy doing a speculative colour scheme for a change.  The decals are sharp and with good colour density, although the white is very slightly offset, but as many of these markings were hand-painted by inexperienced mechanics or crew, they're hardly likely to be pin-perfect anyway.

 

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Conclusion

It's nice to see a new kit of the fairly well forgotten Tiger (P), and the inclusion of a choice of track styles will please those phobic about individual track links, with Mr Porsche in resin a bonus that if not used in this model can be pressed into service as a civilian at some point.  A complete package too, with only glue and paint required.

 

Very highly recommended.

 

Review sample courtesy of

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Available from all good model shops soon

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You wrote "Only one Tiger (P) was ever built to completion".

 

Actually, ten of them were completed. The first eight were a match for this kit; the final two had a different turret.

 

It was one of these two that served on the Eastern Front. Its turret had a side hatch and a different roof, and its hull had extra armour, so it can't be made from this kit.

 

David

 

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