Tiger I (Late Version)

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Company: Academy Models - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: MRC - Website: Visit Site
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Academy did a fine job packaging this kit with parts bagged and contained in a sturdy box. Academy is very clear in their instructions to examine the parts (before opening the bags) and contact them if you find any missing or damaged pieces. My kit was complete so let move on. The next thing I noticed was the fact their seemed to be several turrets and hull top pieces. More than what is necessary to build a single Tiger I kit. In fact there are 3 turret tops, two pairs of turret sides, 2 hull top parts sets, 2 glacis plates, 2 pair of fenders and a few extra wheels. I’m not a Tiger expert so I’m not sure what the differences are between Early, Mid and Late but it is obvious this kit covers more than one tank. Included with the styrene parts are a set of photoetch grill covers and a photo etch zimmerit application tool. The kit uses a rubber band track system and what is really cool is the fact the decals were printed by .

Assembly is pretty straight forward. The road wheels, utilize polycaps and assemble with no problems at all. In general the fit of the hull and parts that attach to the hull are pretty decent but I did have to work a bit with the front glacis plate. The problem with the glacis plate was more due to the fact I applied the zimmerit before assembling the hull. I thought it was easier to apply the zimmerit on the individual pieces. The plans simply show you where the zimmerit is applied, not when to apply it. While on the subject, make sure you practice, practice, practice the zimmerit application. I played around with a few different putty’s and found that I like using the Vallejo acrylic putty the best simply because it took longer to cure so I wasn’t in a rush to get the zimmerit applied. I should also mention there is a molded tow cable set included with this kit as well as a length of string that is to be used with the Late Tiger kit. I actually am not a fan of using string so I made due with the styrene tow cables.

After completing the hull and road wheels I moved on to the turret. Again, no real problem here either. One of the two gun barrels (the one the plans call for) were solid molded parts. Somehow, I managed to get a bit of a banana shape to my barrel but that may have been the rush to finish the review. With the kit complete, I sprayed my favorite armor primer (The Walmart House brand of primer) and followed up with Tamiya acrylics. The Cartograf decals went down over the zimmerit without help necessary from decal softener. One of the two lessons I learned that I’d like to pass along is with attaching the road wheels to the hull. I slipped mine on after painting. I should have masked off the axle shafts to make this process a bit easier. I had to apply quite a bit of pressure to push the polycaps on to the model. I think with no paint on the axle’s it would have been a much easier task. The other lesson (that I have NO answer for) was with the tracks. They didn’t feel like the material used by other manufactures (vinyl like) but more rubber like. I used the Walmart primer on the tracks and the primer certainly didn’t attack the tracks. The problem was that the primer wouldn’t stick either. If I had additional time, I would play around with other primers and see what worked best so my suggestion is try a few samples on the small sprue included with the tracks. That tracks are not as flexible as I would have liked so you will probably have to glue the return tracks down to the road wheels.

I really have only one small complaint with the kit. really, it is not the kit but the (second) instruction booklet that includes painting and decal guides. None of the guides include front, rear or top views of the camouflage patterns. I should mention the kit includes decals for 10 representations of the Tiger I tank.

This kit builds into a good representation of the Tiger I late tank. I would like to thank Academy models, MRC and the IPMS USA for the chance to review this fine kit.


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