Tiger I (Late Production)

Skybow Kit #TP4801
1:48th Scale
First Look review
By Terry Ashley

Following on from the previous sample parts kindly provided by Skybow comes this full preview kit which includes all the parts and decal sheet to be included in the final kit with the only things not included are the instruction sheet and final boxing.

The standard of moulding is superb with crisp clean details that include open engine deck louvers and engine hatch intake as well as very well done weld seams on the hull and turret and I didn’t notice any mould seams that needed attention and the detail is in fact are as good as you will see on many of the 1:35th Tiger kits.
The hull and turret also features moulded on zimmerit which is quite nicely done saving you the trouble.

Lower Hull:
The lower hull tub has fixed axles with the road wheels attaching via small screws and include the flanges at the hull/sponson join as well as the correctly depicted access and drain plugs on the hull bottom and details such as the track pin retaining fittings on the rear hull sides.

The tow shackles and hull extensions on the hull front are also the correct shape for the late version and there are small parts with bolt head details for the inside on the final drive housings.

The drive sprockets have the correct flat profile on the hub with excellent definition on the hub bolts with the star retaining fitting as well as the correct alignment of the spokes and drive teeth. There are also the outer rim bolts on both sides of the inner and outer sprocket for excellent late style drive sprockets. The idler wheels are the correct later 600mm type with separate hub cap for good detail definition.
The steel road wheels are equally well detailed with excellent bolt details and wheel contours as well as the uneven central hub retailing bolts with this detail included on both sides of the wheels.

As mentioned the wheels are attached to the fixed axles by small screws which are designed so you screw the inner wheels to the axle and then glue with outer wheels in place thereby hiding the screw heads but ensuring a solid attachment to the axles.
Just make sure you don’t tighten the screws too much as you can easily strip the tread as after all it is only soft plastic you are screwing into.

The rear hull panel is a separate part with the rear fenders attached with separate parts for the exhausts which in turn have separate armoured covers and the large sheet metal outer covers plus the two part jack with the zimmerit finish leaving room for the exhaust attachments.

Upper Hull:
The upper hull details are also superb with subtle weld seams, cast texture on the engine deck panels and zimmerit on the hull sides plus the mountings and wiring for the single centrally mounted head light as well as the added turret bullet splash guard but the retaining bolts on this are not as current research would indicate but this is about the only place where the detail is not spot on.

At the front is a separate driver’s plate again with zimmerit and the driver’s armoured visor being partly opened as well as the co-ax machine gun ball mounting with excellent definition and central head light mounting.

The hull crew hatches are separate and feature excellent internal details with only a few shallow pin marks to be removed and have open periscope positions but you will have to add the periscopes yourself to finish off the hatches.

All the tools are moulded separately with fine tool clips included which do look better then moulded on tools and the steel ropes on the hull top and side are extremely finely moulded and look very good and in scale but of course you will have to handle these with care when removing from the sprues and when fitting to the model.
The full length side skirts are in one piece for each side with fine bolt head details along the hull join.

The Turret:
The single piece turret is asymmetrical as it should be with excellent weld beads around the roof edge join as well as around the Commander’s cupola and at the front armour join. The eight flush screws on the turret roof are included as well as the loader’s periscope in front of his hatch and the ventilator located centrally as it should be plus the close in weapons port added to the right rear. There are also the three mounting brackets for the 2 ton crane jib fitted to later Tigers as well as the armoured strip at the front of the turret above the mantlet which again shows the attention to detail included on this kit.

The loader’s hatch is the correct flush fitting to the turret roof with excellent interior hatch details that includes the grab handles and central hand wheel while the detail on the Commander’s cupola is also very good and includes open periscope ports and drain slits around the top of the cupola. The separate side opening cupola hatch has a separate grab handle and there is a nicely moulded MG34 and mounting although the MG ring is a little on the thickish side.

The side mounted spare track brackets are also moulded very fine for good definition in this scale with separate track links to add as required.

The detail on the mantlet is again very well done with the correct single sight aperture and mantlet contours for the late version while the barrel is moulded in one single piece to eliminate the join seam but still manages to represent the muzzle brake very well.

At the back of the turret is a separate escape hatch with the correct late style lower hinge with two retaining bolts as well as the large rear storage bin.

The Tracks:
These are provided as ‘rubber band’ type vinyl tracks with okay details but no holes in the guide teeth and really don’t match the level of detail found everywhere in the kit.

You may have noticed from the decal sheet image that the markings are reversed; this is due to the application method being different from normal water slide decals.
With these decals you wet them as normal to loosen from the backing sheet but then press them onto the model face down and then carefully remove the backing sheet leaving the marking behind and while I haven’t actually applied these decal othes of this type completely eliminate any carrier film once applied.

Markings are included for three Tigers, one from SPzAbt.505, 506 and 510 with the basic vehicle numbers, unit insignia and balkenkreuz.


This is a superbly detailed model with all the correct features for the late production Tiger I and it is clear Skybow have researched this vehicle very well and as mentioned some of the detail is as good if not better than some 1:35 scale Tigers produced in the past.

Highly recommended.

Also see the review of the Tiger I Early Production here.

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Thanks to Skybow for the review kit and check the Skybow Website for additional images of the built up models

Page Updated 12 May 2005

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