King Tiger "Last Production"

Published: April 10th, 2013     
Box Art
Box Art
Reviewed by: Tim Wilding - IPMS# 47420
Scale: 1/35
Company: Academy Models
Price: $69.00
Product / Stock #: 13229
Product provided by: MRC

The Tiger II "Konigstiger" (Bengal Tiger) was the most powerful combat tank produced and deployed during World War II. Up to the end of the war, the Allies did not introduce anything that could effectively counter it on the battlefield. The Tiger II combined a powerful and effective gun with thick, sloped armor that was virtually impervious to any Allied tank or anti-tank gun. The Tiger II was armed with a long-barreled 88mm L/71 gun and had 150mm frontal armor and 80mm side armor. Front and side plates were sloped and interlocked, which created a strong defense against Allied firepower. This tank was known as the King Tiger and Royal Tiger.

This kit is of the last production models, so the Henschel/Krupp turret is used. There are nine sprues of yellow plastic, two of black plastic for the tracks, and a small photo etch sheet of mostly engine screens. The sprues are packaged two to a plastic bag, so I had some broken pieces where the sprues rubbed together. The photo etch is a light metal and is some of the finest engines screens I have seen.

The instructions start with building the turret interior first. The following are detailed: gun breach, periscopes, interior hatch, and torsion bar suspension, but no seating and ammo storage is included. Moving on the exterior of the turret, there are a lot of small pieces for the extra track hangers and lifting hooks. The base of the 88mm cannon is in two pieces, on which some of the seam is covered by the gun mantle. The barrel is in one plastic piece. The instructions show the installed muzzle break upside down, so be careful there. I also had to fill in the knock-out holes on the back of the mantle, since they can be seen.

The two figures come next. I am not impressed at all with these. The torso is split vertically down the middle and they did not fit together at all. Lots of putty work is needed for a nice seam. The faces are not well detailed. I chose to skip these and am looking for an aftermarket replacement. There are two decals for camouflage for the infantry soldier, with interesting looks to try and use.

Moving along to the hull, I made the torsion bar suspension workable by only gluing the end of the bar into the hull. This really helped in lining up the road wheels later, followed by gluing the bars in place. The road wheels come in three pieces and there are 36 of them. Most of the detail on them is lost on the inside wheels, so you really only need to clean up the outer ten wheels. The tracks are a link and length design. I got a lot of track sag by following the instructions, but this is mostly covered up by the fenders.

The tow cables are molded with the cleaning rods on both sides. These lack a lot of detail and are hard to paint and weather. Also, the holes on the hull did not match up with the mounting pins on this tow cable assembly. The photo etch engines screens fit great on the rear deck and are very finely detailed. I did add a headlight wire out of brass wire.

The decal sheet is actually quite large for an armor kit. The reason is that we get two camouflage squares for the infantry figure and about 200 green smoke rings for the ambush paint scheme. They kind of look like little fez. If you decide to use that paint job, then you will have your work cut out applying all these rings. I did a sample on the bottom of the tank and was not happy with the look of them, but that's my personal taste. The turret numbers and crosses look really good and lay down fine. The sheet has separate numbers and you can create your own sequence.

I used AK Interactive's new German Late War paint set for the three-color camo design.

Thanks you to Model Rectifier Corporation for the review sample, and IPMS-USA for the opportunity to review it.

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