As Dragon have done with their Sd.Kfz.251 series in updating and correcting parts AFV Club have followed suite in this kit with additional detail parts added to sprues B and E plus re-working others such as adding the missing flush screw heads on the turret roof. It is good to see the major manufactures willing to make these updates and I imagine the updated parts will be included in subsequent production runs for the first kit.
As the majority of this kit is the same as kit AF35079, I will refer you to that review for the basic comments and concentrate on the new and updated parts here.
The new parts include two light green tinted clear sprues with periscopes for the hull hatches, turret and cupola scopes as well as the for behind the driver’s visor plus a new etched fret with tool clips, wing nuts and star antenna as well as re-worked engine deck grills with revised weave effect on the wires. The six segments for the barrel cleaning rods are also in metal tubing which actually fit together to form a full length if you want to build a barrel cleaning diorama?
Additional resin parts are provided for the spare track on the hull front with hollow guide teeth although you will have to clean out some fine resin film from the teeth holes and an antenna storage tube for the rear hull when building the Command version option in the kit, plus the figure as mentioned.
The quality of the resin casting is excellent without any blemishes or air holes as you would expect from the same company that produces the Hobby Fan range of figures although these is a bit of cleanup needed on the spare track section.
The rear hull plate has additional items for the Command version with the instructions showing the placement of the jack and towing shackle on the opposite sides from the original configuration which requires you to fill some of the locating holes before repositioning the parts, but nothing too difficult.
The hull hatches get the new clear periscopes to replace the solid plastic items if you wish and there is the additional hull mounted star antenna and base which also requires some locating holes to be filled in the hull top and the reworked engine deck screens.
The remaining parts are the tool clips provided as etched parts as well as small plastic mountings for the hull top tow cables and barrel cleaning rods. As mentioned these rods are provided as metal parts with fittings on one end and hollow at the other and will fit together is required.
To use the tool clips and mounting brackets will require the plastic equivalents to be removed from the hull and tools but this shouldn’t be a problem and the etched parts add considerable detail definition.
The open periscope openings in the Commander’s cupola get additional clear periscopes and the Loader’s periscope is also provided in clear plastic plus there are small etched parts for the loader’s hatch roof latch attachment and small triangular vane on the rear of the forward periscope cover.
The 40mm turret roof has been re-worked to include the central eight flush screw heads for the internal travel lock which were missing from the previous kit although these are represented as small indentions only. The rear turret escape hatch has also been re-worked by removing the lower hinge with two new alternate hinges providing as well as including the internal locking mechanism to give some detail if the hatch is positioned open as it can be if you wish.
The rear turret bin gets additional etched latch details as well as internal clear vision blocks for the turret side vision slots but as the slits are not open and you can’t see these after assembly I’m not sure why?
This resin figure represents Michael Wittmann wearing the leather tankers jacket and field cap with a wide grin as he was photographed just after the Villers-Bocage action in July 1944 with the figure capturing this photo well.
The full body is in one piece with separate arms and head but while the arms have locating pins included I found these more a hindrance and after cutting them off the arms fitted much better but there was some minor trimming of the arm/shoulder join required for a good fit. There are the usual casting blocks to be removed for the parts before assembly but these are easy to deal with.
Detail on the uniform is very well done with crisp raised lapels, insignia and decoration details with realistic fabric folds that should come up very well with careful painting. A spare steel helmet with internal detail is also provided to use as decoration if you wish.
The new decal sheet provides markings for four Wittmann tanks from SS-Pz.-Abt.101 in 1944 with five view drawings showing the camouflage pattern and colours of the individual tanks as well as decal placement.
The sheet is nicely printed with thin carrier film and has red turret numbers with white surrounds for all numbers except 007 white are white only plus additional balkenkreuz and unit insignia for one tank.
As with their first Tiger kit, this is a nicely detailed model and it’s good to see AFV Club correcting and adding additional features to improve things even further. You will of course need to add the zimmerit paste using the tool provided by AFV Club, your own application method or the newly released resin zimmerit set for this kit from ATAK (set #35030).
The added figure is a nice bonus with the kit building into an excellent model straight from the box with very little trouble.
A full comparison with the just release Tiger I late from Dragon will follow shortly.
Page Created 23 July 2005