Sd.Kfz 181 Panzerkampfwagen VI (P)
Review by Simon barnes Kit No. 7209

Dragon have finally released the Porsche Tiger I although instead of making the pre-production Tigers, they have chosen a specific vehicle that served on the Eastern front namely Fgst Nr. 150013. Incorrectly labeled and boxed as a Panzerkampfwagen, according to my references it should be a Panzerbefehlswagen.

There was some debate about this particular vehicle having zimmerit, which is not depicted in the kit and because of the moulded on tools and tow ropes, would be difficult to replicate without first removing the items. However that said I am now not sure whether the Zimmerit was applied in the field or not and that the vehicle was for a while without zimmerit? the basis of this is just one photo, where it is difficult to see the Zimmerit if it is present or not.

It could be that the picture quality just doesn't show the Zimmerit, as according to other photos it was a very faint pattern a can be seen below.

Anyway to the kit. The kit shares a few parts with the Elefant Armour Pro kit 7253, the running gear and tracks coming from this kit, the surprise is that it also includes parts from the Bergpanzer Tiger(P) mainly the crane and some hull fittings. The kit also includes the Tiger Turret sprue from that kit, which has the incorrect symmetrical turret plus two mantlets for the main gun an early and late pattern and the tiger stowage bin and other various fittings.

The good news is that although the kit has the old Tiger turret, it does include a new turret roof on a different sprue which is the correct asymmetrical shape, and although the turret sides are not entirely correct these should be easier to correct than the incorrect roof.

This is the incorrect roof, as you can see it is symmetrical.

This is the correct roof, as you can see there is a small gap at the front caused by the new shape, which can be easily glued.

To the Sprues

The Hull Bottom is fully detailed.

The RHS showing the moulded on tow rope.

The LHS showing the moulded Tow rope and tools.

The hull top,rear and fenders, are all that are needed from this sprue, as a lot of it is for the Bergtiger(P)

The Turret and incorrect roof from the Original Tiger kit

The new turret roof, plus the rear bin and the added armour for the hull

Another sprue of spares ! from here only the cupola, mantlet and gun are used.

The suspension units from the Elefant kit

As are the wheels

There are two sprues of tracks in the kit

a close up

Spare track links for the turret rear, the hatch is not used.

The quite comprehensive PE fret which includes the signal basket or Rauchsignalkorb for behind the cupola. Apparently this was the only vehicle fitted with it, so well done Dragon.

The decals are for a single vehicle 003, taken by s.Pz.Jg.Abt.653 to the East in April 1944

This is a really nice kit spoilt by the fact that it doesn't have the Zimmerit moulded on, and the moulded in place tools and tow ropes which make doing the Zimmerit that little bit harder. The fact that Dragon who have gone to great detail in other parts, left the Zimmerit off, must be because there are other versions of the Tiger (P) coming out where the hulls don't want Zimmerit on them and I suspect that this is more a business decision rather than an oversight by Dragon.

References

Panzerkampfwagen VI P (Sd.Kfz.181) a History of the Porsche type 100 and 101 also known as the LEOPARD and TIGER (P) by Thomas L Jentz and Hilary L Doyle

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