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In-Box Review
135
Tiger I s.Pz.Abt.502
Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Tiger I Initial Production, s.Pz.Abt.502 Leningrad 1942/43
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by: Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Back in 2005 Dragon released the first of many new Tiger I variants. This kit is just the latest in a long line of releases since then. This version depicts a particular battalion (schwere Panzer Abteilung 502) which was the first unit to go to the Eastern Front equipped with Tigers in August of 1942. The markings provided with the kit are for 1942 and 1943. The unit itself fought until the end of the war but was renamed as s.Pz.Abt. 511 in January of 1945.

The Kit

This kit is roughly 400 pieces. It's a 3-in-1 kit in that you can make replicas of either tactical unit No. 3, No. 100, or No. 123. The differences are obviously very small and include things like exhaust vents, spare track locations, pistol ports, etc. One can only assume (as the info is not provided in the instructions) that all these details are documented in photos of the original vehicles.

It's important to note that the original release of the Tiger I Initial Production (DML #6252) contained about 440 pieces. This was not including the fact it also had Magic Track individual links which would have bumped up it's piece count considerably, if they had been included in the 440 count. This release (#6600) defers to the new DS vinyl tracks and from the photos we have taken they do look very good. Obviously some modelers will still prefer individual links and there are plenty of options out there for this vehicle.

I did take a look at photos of the original release on PMMS and I did find on several sprues that changes have been made. I am not going to go back to every release since then to see if these are new changes or simply carry overs from past releases, but the photos are here if anyone wants to look. Specifically on the top hull plate I see quite a few subtraction and addition details on #6600 vs. #6252.

Most notably from what I can see this kit does include quite a bit less photo/etch or metal parts than the the original release. Gone are the metal shells, turned barrel, shackles and other details. However in their place there are some very nice looking P/E mesh covers for the rear deck.

While this version lacks some of the super-kit details the original releases had, it does come at a reduced cost (based on today's prices). This kit is available online for around $45 USD.

Instructions & Marking Guide

The instructions are in 21 steps. There is of course the 3-in-1 notations for making your specific tank. Some of those details are a bit on the vague side. Having your own reference material for those decisions may be a good idea. There is a paint and markings guide with the 3 versions shown. Again one can assume the two version with camouflage patterns are based on historical photos. Unit No. 123 as shown in Tosno, September 1942 is just a standard field gray. Pretty boring I'll grant you.

Conclusions

One does get the feeling that Dragon is milking the Tiger train just a bit here. I am not the first reviewer to point this out I'm sure. However modelers impressions of this kit will probably vary wildly depending on their interest and experience with it. If this is the first 21st century Dragon Tiger I they purchase, I bet they will love it.
SUMMARY
Highs: Excellent detail and value for the money of a proven kit for DML.
Lows: Another in a long line of DML Tiger I releases that may be too similar to your last one.
Verdict: No matter the cons, it's still a great Tiger I kit for the money.
Percentage Rating
93%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 6600
  Suggested Retail: 49.95
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Aug 02, 2010
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 89.91%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 86.19%

Our Thanks to Dragon USA!
This item was provided by them for the purpose of having it reviewed on this KitMaker Network site. If you would like your kit, book, or product reviewed, please contact us.

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About Jim Starkweather (staff_Jim)
FROM: CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES

I started building models in 1971 when I was 6. My first model was a 1/32 P-40 Warhawk. Revell I believe. From there I moved onto the standard cars, Apollo spacecraft, and other kid orientated kits. I don't know what got me started on Armor. I must have seen a Monogram tank kit one day and said "Mom...

Copyright 2017 text by Jim Starkweather [ STAFF_JIM ]. 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

Oops, either the link is dead or the review isn't LIVE
AUG 02, 2010 - 08:50 PM
Lol... oops. I should probably add a big "THIS IS NOT LIVE" warning for staffers when they publish a What's New. Thanks Rudi! Cheers, Jim
AUG 02, 2010 - 09:01 PM
Hehe, "do as I say, not as I do" eh Jim
AUG 02, 2010 - 09:17 PM
Good review, Jim.
AUG 03, 2010 - 11:25 AM
Hi All! I would like to clarify something about this kit, does it have 2 different sets of tracks? one of the "handed" sets and a standard set? thanks Mike
AUG 03, 2010 - 09:52 PM
Hi Mike, It has a set of DS tracks and a spare left track as well. Jim
AUG 04, 2010 - 12:41 AM
thanks Jim, enjoyed reading! I actually have that kit, and as it's my first tiger, it looks to me really good, so I kind of agree with you on the ending paragraph. this may not appeal to a lot of people, but to new comers, its very nice. only shame is that they didn't add magic tracks. oh well
AUG 05, 2010 - 03:02 PM
I don't know why he's evaluating it as a new kit. It's essentially a re-release. David
AUG 05, 2010 - 03:18 PM
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