Tiger I Early Production
This Tiger I kit by DML is the command version used by Tiger I ace Michael Whitman and is an early production vehicle. This kit has distinctive early production characteristics including smoke dischargers, cylindrical cupola, pistol port, and are accurately reproduced. Included in the box is a molded complete crew set as though posing for a propaganda photo. There is a small fret of photo etch parts included which most noticeably is the engine deck screens.
The kit contains 805 parts including 753 in gray styrene, 27 etched brass, 21 clear styrene, and DS plastic tracks. It is important to note that many of these parts are not used on an early production vehicle. A total of 231 parts on the kit's sprue are not used, and are indicated as such on the instruction sheet. Care must be taken as several sprue have the same identifying letter, yet only one of those same sprue has the correct part to use. Three antenna mounts are included for a command tank but antennas are not included kit.
In the instructions the only mistakes I found were: (A) on the front hall smoke dischargers parts list they recommend G 26 when in fact the part you are looking for is K 1; and (B) parts V 2 and V 3 should be reversed in assembly. When building this kit I would recommend when following step 9 that you install the Feifel air cleaners from step 11 first, and then work in reverse order of the instructions to assemble the piping to the engine deck for ease of proper alignment.
Overall this is a very straightforward build, and most of the time of construction was spent making sure that you’re using the proper part from the proper sprue. That being said, many of the leftover 231 parts not used can be used by modelers on some of their older kits for accuracy.
A small sheet of Cartograf decals is included for markings for: s.Pz.ABT.101, 1.PzGr.Div. LAH, Reggio, Italy in September 1943; and s.Pz.ABT.101, 1.PzGr.Div. LAH, Zhitomir region, Ukraine, January 1944.
I chose to represent the model as seen in Italy, and followed the kit instructions painting details to represent this tank. For this basic build review I did not get into using various wash techniques to highlight the finish and would leave that up to the individual modeler.
I would recommend this kit to anyone, as it was a very enjoyable build and can be completed to represent an early production Tiger I tank, no matter what your skills set is for building models.
I would like to thank IPMS/USA and DML for providing this review sample.