Tiger I Ausf. H2 7.5cm Kwk 42
This kit is a model of a prototype by the Henschel company.
This is a multimedia kit comprised of 420+ styrene parts, DS tracks, 4 preformed photo etched parts, and 2 preformed steel wires, and a much better set of instructions, but they still need to be reviewed carefully before gluing any parts together.
Step 1. This step is the assembly of the drive sprockets, and idler wheels. There is a lot of the rear plate that will have some material removed.
Step 2 & 3. These steps build the road wheels. The road wheel arms are molded in place on the hull. This is similar to what Dragon does on their 1/72 scale kits. However, it does not allow for articulated road wheels for diorama purposes, unless you do a lot of work to remove them and rebuild them in a different configuration. For the road wheels Dragon has come up with a new solution to the dozens of wheels that are interleaved and cause great problems getting them installed and lined up. Instead of individual parts, there are 5 sets of wheels linked together by a small loop that is completely hidden when the wheels are installed. You slide the first set (E1) onto the hull with the last wheel going on the last arm nearest the rear. The next two sets (E2 and E3) are glued together and slipped onto the second arm from the rear. The next two sets (E4 and E5) are glued together and slipped onto the first arm from the rear (same arm as E1). Then the final individual wheel (E6) glues to wheel E3. It sounds complicated, but dry fit them and you will see that it actually works and the connecting loops are not visible. I painted all the wheels before assembly and left the inner ones in the hull red primer color just to give them a different look. The instructions ask you to drill 4 locating holes for the air filters that will be installed in step 11. However, they are too high and do not allow the filter support brackets to rest on the top of the back plate. Measure and mark the correct spots and drill accordingly. The rear plate is attached in this step.
Step 4. Here the mufflers and other items are glued in place. The two towing flanges are shown, but the part number is not called out on the instructions. They are G12 & G13.
Step 5. This step adds the rear fenders and the jack. I left the jack off till much later and to allow for painting and weathering the jack off the model.
Step 6. This step installs the radiators inside the hull. They are well done and will allow you to show the grates in an open position. Also installed are the outer wall of the hull that has the details molded on.
Step 7. This step installs the front crew hatches and the rear engine deck.
Step 8. This step builds the hull machine gun and completes the front plate that is in front of the driver.
Step 9. This step completes the rear engine deck. You can display these two grates either open to show the radiators or closed. It also shows the installation of the pioneer tools. I suggest that you leave them off for ease of painting both the hull and the tools themselves. I also suggest that you leave the two headlights off till almost the end, as they will be broken off during painting and handling otherwise.
Step 10. The step installs the filter hoses, grenade launchers and the tow cables. It also installs the preformed steel wire to the headlights. They don’t fit very well. You will have to adjust until they fit.
Step 11. This step mates the chassis deck to the hull and the two filters. These two filters will need a lot of dry fit before you are satisfied with their placement.
Step 12, 13, 14 & 15. These steps build the turret. There were no problems here.
Step 16. This step finishes the gun and mates it with the turret.
Step 17. This final step finishes the cables and installs the DS tracks..
found the molding to be clean, with no sink marks and few ejector pin marks on the newer sprues. The mold seams were easily removed and I saw no flash. Dragon makes extensive use of the pin nodes to keep ejector pin marks on the parts to a minimum. However, you will need to handle the removal and clean up of the parts with care.
As with all Dragon’s instructions, read them carefully and plan what you want to do ahead of construction. Check the fit over and over and over again to make sure that all items fit together. Also, check the number of the part being called out – or lack thereof.
Painting and Decals
The color call outs are for Testors Model Master enamel and Gunze paints. I continue to see a weakness in the painting instructions from all kit makers. Instructions for the small parts like the pioneer tools and travel lights are never listed or shown. Here you have to guess or mimic what someone else has done. There are 3 different camouflage paint schemes depicted in the instructions. Best I can tell, these are hypothetical as this tank was never in production. The decals are by Cartograf and are up to their usual high standards.
This is a well-engineered and molded model. If you make sure that the instructions are correct, the model goes together very well. It is a good mix of styrene and photo etch. I can recommend this kit to all WWII modeler, especially those looking for something a little different. The only real complaint I have are the DS Tracks and their packaging. In the past Dragon would place these tracks in a tray that kept the horns from being deformed. However, recently they just drop them in the box with the rest of the sprues and invariably some of the guide horns are bent over. It is a real pain to straighten them. I used a form from HobbyTrax that allows you to shape the tracks with the correct sag off the model and then you can paint the tracks and then install them.
- Combat History of Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 653; J.J. Fedorowicz, by K. Münch.
- Combat History of Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 654; J.J. Fedorowicz, by K. Münch.
- Elefant and Maus (+E-100); AFV Weapons Profile 61, by W. Spielberger & J. Milsom.
- Ferdinand, Elefant Vol.1; AJ Press Gun Power 22, by T. Melleman.
- Ferdinand, Elefant Vol. 2: AJ Press Gun Power 23 by T. Melleman.
- Panzerkampfwagen Tiger; Achtung Panzer No.6, by M. Bitoh, H. Kitamura & M. Udsuki.
- Jagdpanzer; Panzer Tracts No.9, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
Thanks to Dragon and Dragon Models USA for the review sample, and IPMS/USA for the review space.