Revell's 1/72 PzKpfw VI
Tiger I Ausf. E
History (Quoted from the instructions)
As a superior answer to the Soviet T-34 and armored battle tanks introduced in 1942, the PzKpfw VI Tiger was continually improved while it was in production. Among other things the vehicles were equipped with a new commander's cupola with Fla-MG and the later series from January 1944 had rubber-saving steel road wheels. The armor which was up to 100mm thick and its penetrating long-range 88mm cannon gave it a legendary reputation. Driven by a water-cooled V-12 Maybach 694hp engine, the Tiger I had a maximum speed of 38km/h and a combat weight of 56,900kg, while carrying a crew of five.
For those who build 1/72 armor, Revell has been putting out a great deal of excellently molded kits of both WWII and modern armor, and the Tiger I kit is an excellent example of what you get in the box. After cutting the tape holding the box shut (apparently in Germany you can either have the plastic parts in cellophane or the box in cellophane, but not both), I was greeted with several trees of plastic molded in a dark green. This kit clearly has been designed to encompass as many variants of the Tiger tank as possible, and in this boxing you get two sets of road wheels, with the instructions pointing out the proper set for the Ausf. E. All the parts are very crisply molded with no flash and exquisite detailing throughout.
The breakdown of the hull is in four main pieces, with a separate engine cover & front plates fitting onto the one-piece upper section. The side panels have additional fenders that look very nice, although I'm tempted to replace at least parts of them with lead foil to ding them up a bit. There are a few extra details to finish out the hull, mainly around the engine compartment.
The turret comes in three pieces, with two sides and a top, with the mantle being separate. The gun barrel is molded as one piece and needs to be drilled out. If you're careful with the drill you'll end up with a very nice looking gun barrel. There is also a machine gun to be mounted to the cupola, and this weapon is very nicely done, easily the best 1/72 machine gun I've seen.
The treads in this kit are plastic and provide straight sections for most of the tread, with separate links to fit around the curved sections. There's also some extra links to add to the turret, used as additional armor and for a spare link should the vehicle shed one in maneuvering. These plastic treads may be more difficult to use than the old rubber ones, but they will look far more realistic.
There is a small decal sheet as well, with crosses and hull numbers. The paint diagram shows both options finished as seen on the boxtop artwork, with the only difference being the numbers.
This is easily the best 1/72 Tiger I tank I've seen, and if it's like any of the other Revell-Germany kits I've got, it will build up very well. Since many of the Tiger tanks had zimmerit applied to them, I'm going to try out the new Part photo-etched zimmerit on this kit. That, coupled with the great detailing already in this kit, will give me a very nice piece of German armor on my shelves.