This latest release from Cyber-Hobby is the Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Sd.Kfz.181 Tiger 1(early production) with markings to make Michael Wittmann's mount with 13./Panzerregiment 1 during Operation "Zitadelle" in July of 1943.
Like most new Cyber Hobby releases when you open the box there is a few moments of jaw dropping awe. So many parts, so much detail! Most folks who pre-ordered this kit are beginning to receive it in the post.... and what lucky people they are! If you didn't preorder this kit I highly suggest that you hit the waiting list as soon as possible. This is one beautiful kit you won't want to miss out on.
Molded in Dragon's light grey styrene there are no less than 28 sprues of pieces. There are two frets of photo-etch parts also. As with most recent Dragon/Cyber-Hobby kits many of the molded parts are marked as 'unused' on the instruction sheet indicating perhaps future releases of different variants.
A bag of Dragon's 'MagicTracks', a separate tray with photo etch screens, a beautiful metal barrel, metal towing pintles, a section of pliable metal wire for the towing cable. One small decal sheet with markings for Wittmann's tank 1331.
Yes, there appear to be several building and accuracy issues with this kit. Most are minor and wouldn't matter to the average builder, but if you are looking to build an accurate replica of the Wittmann Tiger then prior to breaking out the glue I suggest that you refer to the expert in the field of Tiger tanks, David Byrden. Mr. Byrden has been so kind as to create online assembly notes for Wittmann kit 6350. This can be found here.
In brief, some of the issues are general fit problems, some differences between the instruction sheet and how the piece should be placed on the model. All in all, I defer to Mr. Byrden when it comes to any Tiger questions and often use his site to further my references.
Dragon/Cyber-Hobby get an A in my book for the exquisite detail that abounds in this kit. The molded parts on sprue 'W' which are the hoses for the Fifel Air system are some of the finest detail work in plastic that I have seen. The photo-etch screens are 3 dimensional rather than flat. There are locks for the storage bin and wing nuts on the photo-etch fret. So much small precise detail molded in or included with this kit it is impossible to do it justice in a short in-box review. One has to physically look at the contents of this kit to appreciate how far this hobby has advanced in the past few years.
This is the definitive early Tiger kit. It is not without it's flaws but nothing so serious that it would deter the average builder. Most discrepancies are addressed by David Byrden in a manner that can be easily followed to produce a beautiful replica in 1/35 of Wittmann's Kursk Tiger. Whether or not the builder decides to go for 100% accuracy, with a little effort the end result will be a show stopper of a kit.