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In-Box Review
135
King Tiger Henschel w/Zimmerit
Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger Henschel Turret w/Zimmerit
  • King_Tiger_zimmerit_01

by: Scott Espin [ SPIFF ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

introduction

The King Tiger is considered by many to be the most powerful tank of WWII. Weighing in at almost 70 tons, the Allies simply didn’t have anything that could effectively counter it. Its armor was virtually impervious to all Allied anti-tank guns. Armed with the extremely accurate and powerful 88mm KwK 43 L71 gun it was not uncommon for the King Tiger to be able to knock out an allied tank from a range of 3,500 meters (2.2 miles), well beyond the effective range of the allied tankers guns. With front turret armor 180mm thick and front superstructure armor 150mm thick, shells from Allied tanks didn’t stand a chance of being able to penetrate. The King Tiger is a must have for any fan of German Armor.

The Kit

Those familiar with previous King Tigers from Dragon will note that there are a fair amount of parts from their previous King Tiger with Henschel Turret #6232. New hull and turret parts with zimmerit and improved weld beads have been added as well as magic tracks and a revised photo etch fret.

The kit includes 665 parts (240 of them individual “Magic Track” links) molded in the usual light gray styrene that we’ve come to expect from Dragon. Also included are an aluminum barrel, three brass 88mm rounds, metal tow cables, a photo etch fret with grill screens and various tool clamps, metal chain for the pistol port plug, metal tow hooks and an excellent decal sheet with markings for 8 different schemes.

The kit instructions are the photograph style, as opposed to the usual black, white and blue line drawings most of you should be familiar with. Some people don’t particularly care for the photo style instructions and claim that they aren’t as clear and easy to understand as the line drawing instructions. I poured over them and to be honest I thought they were pretty easy to understand. I suppose it all boils down to personal preference or whatever you’re used to but in my opinion the instructions are fine.

The lower hull is nicely molded with all the hatches and access panels properly rendered, along with zimmerit on the lower front hull plate. The suspension arms and final drive housings are molded separately. The steel wheels are crisply molded and include some very nice bolt detail. The rear hull plate is covered in zimmerit texture with holes or flat spots provided for ease when attaching all the hardware and parts. Metal tow hooks are provided so you have the option of either using the plastic or the metal ones.

The upper hull has zimmerit texture in all the right places with flat spots and mounting points for all the hardware and tools. The weld seams have been improved over previous King Tiger releases from Dragon. One little nit-pick is a problem with the zimmerit around the ball mount of the bow machine; there should be zimmerit around the edge of the ball where it mounts with the front hull plate. Most people will never notice as the lip is very narrow.

The fenders consist of one long piece so if you want to make your King Tiger with damaged fenders you’ll have to break out the trusty old razor saw and carefully remove the sections you wish to represent as missing.

There is no interior provided for the kit other than a basic internal gun assembly and sturdy mounting hardware which is the usual bare minimum that most kit makers provide when not including an interior.

The tracks are individual magic tracks which certainly help to ease the pain of assembling so many individual track links. They shouldn’t prove to be too difficult to assemble, but will probably intimidate those who haven’t done individual links before. As you can see from the pictures there is virtually no cleanup to be done other than a quick swipe or two with a sanding stick to remove the ejector pin marks.

The turret is crisply molded, again with zimmerit in all the right places. An aluminum barrel is included so you have the option of either using the metal barrel or the plastic two piece barrel which will require some seam work. There are two different commanders cupolas included so be sure to check your references to be sure you’re using the right one. There is a small length of metal chain that you can use if you wish to show the pistol port in the open position. Attaching the spare track brackets to the turret will be a bit tricky as there aren’t any flat spots or locating holes to aid in placing them. You might want to try attaching the mounting hooks to the links first and then attaching them to the turret sides as single assemblies.

Overall, the pre-molded zimmerit is very well done. Dragon has done a fantastic job replicating the zimmerit including a bit of unevenness and minor deviations in the patterns, just like the real thing. Some people had reservations about this kit before it was released as they were concerned that the zimmerit would be too uniform, much like what you see on PE zimmerit sets. Let me assure you, that is not the case here. Some purists who have mastered the art of creating their own zimmerit are horrified by the thought of everyone having the same exact pattern. Others will welcome this feature as it will open up a new range of mid to late war German armor for them to add to their collection without having to face the daunting prospect of making their own or dealing with aftermarket PE or resin zimmerit sets. Many will welcome the convenience of the pre-molded zimmerit, I know I do! I have included a few detail shots of the zimmerit patterns and boosted the contrast a bit to better define the detail in the photos.

I know there is also some concern out there among the purists that you won’t be able to simulate chipped or damaged zimmerit. I disagree. With the skills that they have it will be a relatively simple matter to scrape, chisel and sand away bits of the plastic zimmerit to replicate any kind of damage you’d like. If you’ve ever worked with resin before it will be fairly easy for you to do.

The kit includes markings for eight different schemes, all beautifully rendered on the photo style instructions:

s.Pz.Abt.503, France 1 – soft edged yellow, green and brown
1./s.Pz.Abt.501, France 1944 - soft edged yellow, green and brown
3./s.H.Pz.Abt.501, Ohrdruf 1944 – yellow with green tiger stripes
s.Pz.Abt.506, Germany 1945 – hard edged yellow, green and brown
1./s.Pz.Abt.101, France 1944 – hard edged yellow, green and brown
1./s.H.Pz.Abt.FHH., Hungary 1945 – winter whitewash
3./s.H.Pz.Abt.506, Germany 1945 – yellow with soft brown angled vertical lines
3./s.H.Pz.Abt.506, Germany 1945 – yellow with soft brown angled vertical lines

You’ll have a tough time picking one as they all look great!

Conclusion

This is a very nice kit that includes many of the things we’ve come to expect from Dragon. The zimmerit is nicely done and will be a welcome feature to many. Dragon released this kit at the IPMS Nationals/Dragon Expo ’07 last year and upon seeing it on display I knew I just had to have one! This kit features many extra goodies, the most notable of which is the pre-molded zimmerit. Many lovers of German armor dread having to apply zimmerit to their tanks either because they don’t have the skills, don’t have the time or simply don’t want to risk ruining their build. This is the answer to their prayers from Dragon.
SUMMARY
Highs: Packed with PE, magic tracks, an aluminum barrel and above all, pre-molded zimmerit!
Lows: Some may not like the limitations imposed by the pre-molded zimmerit and prefer to make their own.
Verdict: This is a great kit for anyone wanting a Henschel Turreted King Tiger with zimmerit.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6303
  Suggested Retail: $50.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Apr 16, 2008
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 90.31%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.23%

About Scott Espin (Spiff)
FROM: NEVADA, UNITED STATES

I have been an avid student of military history for over 35 years, especially World War II with my focus mostly on German military equipment (tanks and aircraft). I'm especially interested in anything relating to the Eastern Front and North Africa. My Dad ignited my passion for modeling when I...

Copyright ©2017 text by Scott Espin [ SPIFF ]. Images also by copyright holder unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of TankRat's. All rights reserved.


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Comments

I've more or less finished this kit now (started painting it yesterday) and it was a marvel to build. Almost everything fit really nicely and even fitting the bottom hull to the top hull was pretty simple. Some issues I had: - Fitting the mudguards/fenders/protection above the tracks (is that the correct word?) on the zimmerit wasn't very easy, it was hard for the glue to stick. Possibly one should've sanded off most of the zimmerit first, but I was too lazy for that. - Also, the above mudguards/whatever should be fit temporarily while painting if you plan on adding the tracks after painting the camo, it is really difficult to squeeze in the tracks with the mudguards in place. Trust me. - On the lower front plate I had to sand off the zimmerit near the edges to be able to squeeze it in between the lower hull and the fittings for the drive wheel. - I can't find any reference in the plans to the piece that looks like it should be situated above the left hole (gun sight I presume). Also, being a newbie with superdetailing, I would like someone to describe to me how to fit the metal towing rings? I can't find anything about that either, so I presume it's something I'm supposed to know... However, in summary: Excellent kit!
MAY 13, 2008 - 06:44 AM
I think you did a great job on the review I'm looking forward to the other two reviews on the molded on zimm.. , Thanks Bob
MAY 14, 2008 - 02:19 AM
The metal towing rings should have pins to hold them on. The other kits that have them, come with metal pins to shove through the holes to hold them on. Maybe they changed this to plastic pins...look on the sprues for them. I do like the color instructions though. I wish they would either do this on all their kits or call out paint codes like other companies. I have quite a few reference guides, but most are in black and white and don't always tell you what color some parts are.
MAY 14, 2008 - 03:40 AM
Thanks for the reply! I've been staring at the sprues four times now to try and find something resembling pins, but to no avail, so I'm using the plastic rings for the time being. If anyone builds this and has a solution, please inform me! I thought the colored building instructions were great at the start, but soon found out that it's easy to miss out on things with them. Also I don't like DMLs habit of including 4 variations of things without telling which variation should be used for which type of vehicle. Thankfully there were less variants in this kit compared to the Panther G I built a while ago. Tamiya rules the building instructions department still in my opinion.
MAY 14, 2008 - 06:45 AM
Hi, I'm new here and happened upon your thread. Sorry to barge in on you guys but was just meaning to ask if you think part#8 from sprue O is shown as installed upside down in the instructions? I've been looking at several photos of the top front turret glacis of KTs (including the one at bovington) and I think that this part is shown installed upside down or is it a part that you can install both ways (like for early or late models of KTs). I hope you guys could shed more light on this for me. Research material in printed form is kinda short here where I am in the world, it's a good thing that the internet finally came along...thanks so much in advance and more power to you guys!
JUN 18, 2010 - 01:57 AM
Hans as this is an old thread it may pay to ask the question in a thread of its own, and/or provide a picture of the specific segment of the instructions you are asking about. I hope you get your answer.
JUN 18, 2010 - 03:14 AM
I'll take a look at the kit and instructions tonight when I get home from work. I always subscribe to the discussion threads for all the reviews I do so I can answer questions and help those looking for more info on something I've reviewed.
JUN 18, 2010 - 10:31 AM
Thank you, sir.
JUN 18, 2010 - 08:53 PM
I think I'll do just that, sir. Thank you for the advice, more power!
JUN 18, 2010 - 08:55 PM
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Photos
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