First look review
Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Tiger I Initial Production
1.Kompanie s.Pz.Abt.501 DAK
Before I start to describe the new kit, I need to explain one thing. As you have probably noticed there is no Dragon logo or the company name on top of this article. So, is the kit I describe the eagerly awaited DML DAK Tiger? Yes, it is. However this kit has not been released under the Dragon brand. Instead it is marketed under the Cyber-Hobby.com brand and will be available exclusively from cyber-hobby.com online shop and from DragonUSAOnline.com (only for US and Canadian customers). Cyber-Hobby.com (ch.c) have plans to release a line of special versions of various DML kits under their own brand. Maybe the best way to explain the goal of ch.c is to quote a text from a flier included in the new Tiger kit:
"Cyber-Hobby.com is proud to present to you our very own line of high end plastic model kit products! Our model kits are designed specifically for Expert Modelers who demand only the Finest Quality products with many additional bonus parts and features. The topics and items that we choose are catered to the most die-hard Military and Modeling Fans. OEM by Dragon Models, our kits are limited to only One Production Run per item, and Quantities are Limited so you don't want to miss out on them!"
Despite different company logo on the box and different style of graphical layout on the lid, the new kit looks in every detail as recent DML releases. The box is the same size as in DML's own Tiger I Initial Production and Tiger I Late kits and the instruction sheet we find inside is a typical folded Dragon sheet and is as cluttered and complex as instructions of mentioned Tiger kits. Also most of the individually bagged plastic part sprues that fill the box look familiar, because the kit is composed of parts from both DML Tiger I kits with some DAK specific parts added. For this reason I will not describe the new kit in all the detail, as I'm sure most of you are already familiar with previous kits and/or their reviews. For information about the Tiger I Initial Production kit I suggest reading Vinnie Branigan's article: Building Dragon's Tiger I
. Detailed description of Tiger I Late kit is in my "First Look" review of that kit also here on Armorama
In the new kit we get following parts from older kits:
From Tiger 1 Initial
- sprue A (gun breach and some turret interior parts),
- sprue B (sprockets, idler wheels and various hull details),
- sprue C (turret top plate and various other turret parts),
- sprue D (in fact this is not a sprue - just a main turret piece),
- sprue E x2 (road wheels and suspension arms),
- sprue F (hull front plate, commander's hatch and other parts),
- sprue G (only ten parts from this big sprue are used: one of hull plates, track jigs etc.),
- sprue H (again, this isn't really a sprue, but the main hul tub part),
- sprue L (clear parts),
- sprue M (ammunition cases),
- sprue N (fuel cans),
- sprue Q (ammunition),
- sprue P (torsion bars and several other parts),
- sprue TA (pioneer tools sprue, with one modification - the fire extinguisher has been added),
- MagicTrack tracks - but we only get "Z" parts, which were used as left side tracks in "Initial" kit. Now we get twice as many of them to use on both sides of the tank in asymmetrical configuration.
- photo-etched fret MB (fuel can parts and tool clasps),
- photo-etched fret MC (ammo shell bottom discs),
- metal parts: aluminum barrel, ammunition, empty shells, bucket, tow shackles, smoke grenade dischargers, cables etc.
From Tiger 1 late
- sprue J (details for the engine deck),
- sprue TD (small tow cable eyes),
- sprue TG (large tow cable eyes),
- sprue TE (padlocks),
- metal tow cables.
new sprues for dak version
- sprue K (new hull top plate, tools and various fittings),
- sprue R (rear hull plate, side and glacis hull panels, side and rear fenders, plastic tow cables and others),
- sprue T (Feifel air filter parts, plastic exhaust shields, turret storage box),
- sprue W (plastic air filter pipes),
- sprue X (exhaust armored shield and turret box bottom),
- sprue Y (a few small detail parts and air intake duct parts),
- sprue TF (jack parts),
- photo-etched fret MA (on this fret is a mixture of PE parts from both previous Tiger kits with some new parts added),
- pre-formed metal exhaust shields,
- pre-formed photo-etched engine intake mesh screens (slightly different from those included in "Late" kit),
- optional woven nylon tube for air filter pipes.
One thing that was included in the Tiger I Late kit but we don’t get here are brass side fenders – we only get plastic parts this time. In this kit we don’t get any figures either.
Small decal sheet included provides markings for three tanks, all from 1.Kompanie s.Pz.Abt.501 Deutsches Afrika Korps, Tunisia 1942/43.
The kit is marked as “3-in-1” edition, but I think this is the first time the use of this description is not justified. While there are some optional parts in the kit, the three marking options are all for the identically configured tanks! At least that’s how they are shown in instructions. So the only selectable three options in this kit are three very similar marking options. I must say the use of “3-in-1” description in this case is misleading and unjustified. (EDIT: I noticed that on the side of kit box lid are illustrations of the three included 'variants' and actually there are some differences shown, but they are limited to such insignificant details as a specific way of carrying tow shackle on one tank and removed first outer road wheels on another).
The quality of molding is excellent with no flash, no sink marks and most ejector pin marks hidden after assembly. There are two ejector pin marks on each track link that would be visible after assembly, but it looks like most of them, if not all, are of “proud” type – easier to deal with. Tracks included in the kit have solid guide horns – the hole that is there in the real thing is not reproduced.
Photo-etched and other metal parts are also very well done; although the shape of brass exhaust screens is simplified compared to plastic equivalents. The bulge noticeable on the lower part of the shield is missing from brass parts.
The new kit looks great in the box and I strongly suggest anyone interested in the DAK armor to order it quickly, as it is really limited edition product. When they’re gone, they’re gone! Even if this isn’t really a “3-in-1” kit, it is still a great value product with lots of multimedia parts. I think the idea of limited edition releases of various unusual variants of DML armored vehicle models under Cyber-Hobby.com brand is great and thanks to it we should soon see some interesting kits made to the usual high DML standards that could not be otherwise released as mainstream product. Actually on the flier included in the Tiger I DAK kit we already got announcements of four next ch.c releases:
6293 Sd.Kfz.251/23 w/2cm turret
6294 Pz.Kpfw.IV Ausf.E, Eastern Front
6295 T-34/76 STZ
6296 Sd.Kfz.234 w/2cm turret.
Many thanks to Cyber-Hobby.com for the review sample!