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Kit, Cyberhobby 6763, Tiger I Mid-Production Otto Caruis

June 27 2012 at 7:10 PM
Frank V. De Sisto  (Login zappa93)
MODERATORS ONLY - Time on Target
from IP address 71.190.216.182


CYBERHOBBY

6763, Tiger I Mid-Production Otto Caruis, Battle of Malinovka w/Zimmerit Smart Kit. 1/35th-scale styrene/multimedia construction kit. Contains 708 styrene parts (including 19 clear), two DS100 track lengths, one etched brass fret, five stamped etched brass parts, one piece of pre-formed metal wire, one metal spring, two pieces of braided metal wire, two water-slide decal/markings schemes (plus variation) and eight pages of instructions in 20 steps.

Introduction.

Regardless of their actual historic standing, two names come to mind amongst modelers when discussing what are called tank aces: Michael Wittmann and Otto Carius. Both commanded the schwerer Panzerkampfwagen Tiger, each with great success. Cyberhobby has issued two Tiger Is devoted to Wittmann; now they have issued one devoted to Carius in the form of a so-called Mid-Production Tiger I.

The main characteristics are rubber-rimmed road-wheels, cast commanders cupola and external gun travel lock. In addition, the vehicle has molded-on Zimmerit, which is newly-rendered and therefore different than the Zimmerit seen on other DML Tiger Is.

Tracks.

The first things the modeler will note are the two lengths of tracks made from DS100 flexible styrene material. The track-shoe faces are plain, without any ice cleats. The tracks are packed in a separate channel-shaped card, so the guide horns are not distorted. One advantage of this material is that it can be pulled from a multi-part (slide) mold with no loss of detail on any face of the part. In this case, that advantage has been used to mold guide horns with the proper openings and to have very fine detail on the edges of each link, particularly the connecting pins. Overall, the detail is very crisp, and the lengths can be joined together with standard styrene cement. This last attribute will also allow the modeler to glue the tracks down on top of the road-wheels so that sag can be easily introduced. Finally, with very little effort from the modeler, the finished tracks will rival many individual-link after-market tracks (as well as DMLs own Magic Tracks) in overall appearance.

Suspension System.

This variant mounted road-wheels with rubber tires on their rims, as well as the larger-diameter idler wheel. They come on two sprues and each road-wheel has been completely re-tooled. These are nicely represented with crisp details and there are also four separate hub caps for each side, so that the outer road-wheels can be removed, but the hubs will be properly represented. This will allow the modeler to easily depict a Tiger missing some outer road-wheels, or to have them altogether removed for rail transport. New for this kit are two extra outer road-wheels. Their tires are separate and it is probably intended that these be used to show a damaged wheel. There are also two variations of drive sprocket, but only one is for use.

All torsion bars are separate; they are designed to allow for movement similar to the prototype, so the modeler can make the suspension system conform to irregular terrain on a diorama base. The idler wheel has a cranked axle, which can be adjusted so that the track tension can be easily manipulated for the proper finished appearance. I strongly recommend that it is not fixed in place until the modeler is satisfied with the look of the tracks. The last items related to the suspension system are the separate, well-detailed final drive housings.

Hull.

The hull pan is from a slide mold; its sides feature molded-on details for some torsion bar bump-stops, as well as the holes to mount the swing arms. The scalloped flange seen between the hull sides and the pannier bottoms is also well-represented, while the step seen in that area is also properly depicted. The belly plate has panel details molded in place as well; this is one of the areas that had been improved compared to earlier releases. In particular, some of the round access plates that originally sat proud of the belly plates surface are now flush, with recessed separation lines. The final items on the hull sides are the separate inner sections of the final drives, which are particular to this version.

The rear plate now has molded-on Zimmerit, as well as mounts for the gun tube travel lock placed on its top edge. The travel lock is a multi-part assembly that can be shown opened or closed. Mounting pads for the exhaust stack heat shields are molded in place. There are a number of separate fittings such as multi-part exhaust stacks, mounts and heat shields to be fitted. Other separate parts include rear mud-flaps and multi-part vehicle jack with separate mounts; one C-shaped tow hook and U-shaped clevises; a tubular tail-lamp and a starter crank cover plate. Everything else is molded in place including the idler wheel adjustment port covers and other small detail items. The separate bow plate is then put in place; it too has a Zimmerit pattern molded in place.

Superstructure.

Assembly of the superstructure begins with the placement of the side plates upon the hull molding. These are complete with Zimmerit coating and mounting pads for the separate, one-piece side skirts. The latter can be damaged or cut apart by the modeler to depict a combat veteran. The port side mounts a multi-part styrene, etched brass and metal wire track changing cable; it can also be replaced by a one-piece, all-styrene assembly. The glacis plate has Zimmerit and comes with nicely-rendered front mud-flaps attached. The final details are a separate shell splash guard in front of the drivers vision port.

Working aft, the next item is the separate superstructure front plate, covered in Zimmerit. It mounts a multi-part Bosch head-lamp in the center, which is complimented by a pre-formed metal wire part to represent the electrical conduit. A multi-part, slide-molded, movable MG34 and ball mount is fitted on the starboard side; it includes a pre-bored muzzle. On the opposite side is the armored view-port flap; this comes in two versions, one of which is completely opened, while the other is a multi-part item that can have the flap in any position from fully opened to fully closed. There is also a clear part for the internal vision block.

The superstructure roof plate part has a properly detailed turret ring race, without the customary cut-outs to accept the turrets mounting lugs. All tools and fittings for the superstructure roof plate are separate parts. There are options as well. For example, there are two sets of tools; one has molded on clamps and brackets, while the other set is bare. The latter has etched brass clamps for the modeler who wishes to go that route. The tow cables are presented as one-piece all-styrene moldings, or multi-part etched brass, styrene and metal wire assemblies. The separate drivers and radio operators hatch lids have internal hinge detail, separate armored guards for the periscopes and clear styrene parts for the scope heads themselves. Between them is a separate dome-shaped cover for the fighting compartment vent fan.

The engine deck has a separate main access hatch lid, with a host of separate detail parts to include dome-shaped vent cover, lift handles, hold-open latches, etc. There are separate filler caps for four points on the engine deck, which will allow for more candid poses. The forward-most engine air grills are molded with the roof plate; those towards the rear are separate and are two parts each, so as to properly render the angles of the cooling slots. Above them all are pre-shaped etched brass screens, while below the grills are multi-part fuel tank/radiator assemblies, which include etched brass parts. Other items for that area include a fire extinguisher, standard 2-meter Stabsantenne base (but NO rod antenna!) and flap for the deep-wading port.

Turret.

This is based on a brand-new one-piece, slide-molded shell, complete with Zimmerit molded in place. A separate roof plate is then attached; this is the type that was 25mm-thick and it has the mounts for the spare track links fitted around its rim in the proper locations. The base of the turret properly represents the actual item and is now devoid of the lugs that normally hold it in place to the roof plate. There is also new part to detail the inside of the ring. A slide-molded commanders cupola without rain gutters is given; it includes a multi-piece hatch lid and separate clear styrene periscope heads. A Fliegerbeschußgerät (anti-aircraft machine-gun mount) is also given. Aside from the original kits slide-molded radio operators MG34, there is a second one from DMLs Gen2 gear included; this can be mounted on the AA MG mount, if desired Variations on the loaders hatch lid are given (with internal detail), while a separate cover and clear periscope head are provided for the loader. The roof vent has a standard armored cover or the cover for deep-wading as an option.

The usual Gepäckkasten (baggage bin) is provided for the rear face of the turret; it too uses slide-mold technology for enhanced detail, while the lids for it are separate so it can be depicted opened or closed. Spare track links are provided for the turrets side. Each link is slide-molded so it has crisp connecting pin details; there are separate guide horns with the proper openings for a completely authentic appearance. The escape hatch lid behind the loader is separate and can be depicted opened or closed. It has Zimmerit and has also been revised so it sits at the correct angle when opened.

The 8.8cm KwK L/56 is based around an all-styrene assembly that includes a slide-molded three-part muzzle brake; there is also a steel spring included so the recoil of the gun can be mimicked. Internal detail is given to include the breech and seats, with that for the loader being a six-part assembly. There are several gun mantlets in the box; the one called out for use has the TZF9b binocular sights, an opening for the co-axial MG34 and a flat face. A second one has the binocular sights with extra armor over the openings and no MG34 port. Both are covered in Zimmerit and their inclusion opens up more variety for modelers.

Molding, Fit and Engineering.

DML has paid a great deal of attention to these kits so the fit is really very, very fine. There are no sink marks anywhere and ejector pins do not mar any visible or critical surfaces, except for the inner face of the engine deck access hatch lid. I have assembled enough of DML and Cyberhobbys Tiger I kits to be satisfied that this kit should not present any fit problems.

Accuracy.

Scale drawings in references 1 show the kit to be extremely accurate, with no major issues noted. It should be noted that the Zimmerit pattern provided is different than the more generic pattern seen on other DML/Cyberhobby Tiger I kits. For instance, while the hull/superstructure pattern is rather fine, that on the turret is less so. I believe this reflects the difference in manufacturers used to build the Tiger I, with Wegmann supplying the turret for final assembly on a hull built by Henschel.

Instructions.

These are of the line-drawing style and are typically complex, due to the sheer number of parts and relatively few steps. There are also sub-steps and options spread throughout, so the modeler should study these things carefully, plan ahead, and test fit before the glue is used. As usual, colors are keyed to Gunze and Model Master paints.

Decals and Marking Information.

Water-slide decals by Italys Cartograf are included for Caruiss schwerer Panzer in two guises: Narva, March 1944 and Malonovka, July 1944. The decals themselves are well-printed, with excellent registration, fine color saturation, and thin carrier film. This tank was painted in a base color of Dunkelgelb RAL7028, with patterns in one or both supplementary colors, Olivgrün RAL6003 and Rotbraun RAL8017. In March 1944, a winter whitewash covered most of its surface.

Conclusion.

This latest release fills in a prominent gap in Tiger Ausf.E variations. It is basically accurate for the type it portrays and has very well-rendered Zimmerit. It is a limited edition, since it is a Cyberhobby white box kit, so if this is the version you have been waiting for, now is probably the time to act.

Frank V. De Sisto

References consulted for this report included:

1. Germanys Tiger Tanks, D.W. to Tiger I; Schiffer, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
2. Germanys Tiger Tanks, Tiger I & II Combat Tactics; Schiffer, by T. Jentz.
3. Schwere Panzerkampfwagen; Panzer Tracts No.6, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
4. Encyclopedia of German Tanks of World War Two, Revised Edition; Arms and Armour Press, by P. Chamberlain, H. Doyle & T. Jentz.
5. Tigers in Combat I; J.J. Fedorowicz, by W. Schnieder.
6. Tigers in Combat II; J.J. Fedorowicz, by W. Schnieder.
7. Tiger, The History of a Legendary Weapon 1942-45; J.J. Fedorowicz, by E. Kleine & V. Kühn.
8. Tiger I; Squadron Armor in Action No.8, by U. Feist & N. Harms.
9. Tiger; Squadron Armor in Action No.27, by B. Culver.
10. The Tiger Tanks; Osprey Vanguard No.20, by B. Perrett.
11. Tiger I Heavy Tank 1942-1945; Osprey New Vanguard No.5, by T. Jentz & H. Doyle.
12. Panzerkampfwagen Tiger; Achtung Panzer No.6, by M. Bitoh, H. Kitamura & M. Udsuki.
13. Pz.Kpfw VI Tiger I and Tiger II (Kingtiger); AFV Profile No.48, by P. Chamberlain & C. Ellis.
14. Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger, Vol.1; Tankpower No.13, AJ Press, by T. Melleman & W. Molski.
15. Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger, Vol.2; Tankpower No.14, AJ Press, by T. Melleman & W. Molski.
16. Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger, Vol.3; Tankpower No.15, AJ Press, by T. Melleman & W. Molski.
17. Tiger; Sturm & Drang No.1.
18. German Heavy Tanks; Decimus, by P. Chamberlain & C. Ellis.
19. Panzerkampfwagen VI, Tiger I and Königstiger; Aero, by W.Spielberger & U. Feist.
20. The Tiger Tanks; Aero-Armor No.1, by H. Nowarra, U. Feist & E. Maloney.
21. Tiger I on the Western Front; Histoire & Collections, by J. Restayn.
22. Tiger I on the Eastern Front; Histoire & Collections, by J. Restayn.
23. Tigre 1; Focus No.3, Editions du Barbotin, by P. Danjou & E. Schwartz.
24. www.Tiger1.info, by D. Byrden.

Note: Since May of 2005, I have been working on books for Concord Publications, a sister company to Cyberhobby. The reader may wish to take this into consideration. For my part, I will attempt to maintain an objective viewpoint when writing these reports.

Cyberhobby kits are available from retail and on-line shops; for details visit their web site at: www.cyber-hobby.com.

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