If you are on this site, whether you are a tank builder or not, odds all favor you knowing the Tiger. I am not scared to say that it is probably the most famous piece or armor of all time. Not to be confused with the best tank of all time, that’s another post in itself. Nobody believes in this heavy-cats fame and popularity more than Dragon Models, and they show their love with 8 releases of the German tank.
Building on their impressive lineup of 1/35 scale Tiger tanks, in January 2017 Dragon released their newest addition, kit 6624. This kit is a rebox of Dragon’s 6700 kit, Sd.Kfz 181 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Tiger I Mid-Production w/Zimmerit, released in 2014.
The 6700 kit was the first major release with new spruces since the initial tooling of 6252, Sd.Kfz.181 Tiger I Initial Production s.Pz.Abt.502 Leningrad 1943, released in 2005. Like 6700, this kit should be another popular hit throughout the armor modeling world.
Not knowing the lingo of the German Army, or able to speak or decipher anything German, I researched the designation of this Tiger.
“Sd.Kfz.181 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Tiger I Pz.Abt.506”
Abbreviations broken out…
“Sonderkraftfahrzeug 181 Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung E Tiger I Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 506”
Translated to English…
“Special Purpose Armored Vehicle Variant E Tiger I of the Heavy Tank Division 506 Battalion”
The big slide box with beautiful box art by renowned military illustrator, Mr. Ohnishi, the kit will sure shine on the model store shelves, if it can stay on the shelves long enough.
The kit contains 24 pretty grey spruces, 3 single moldings, 1 clear spruces, 4 photo etched engine grate covers, a single photo etched detail sheet, 2 runs of DS Track, 3 variants of decals on one sheet, and the usual busy Dragon instructions.
Right off the bat with the opening of the first spruce bag you are blessed with the famous Dragon slide molded parts. This means you can throw away the putty because filling and removing injection pin marks is not needed. Well kinda…there is a healthy dosage of connections points and plastic nodes, I am guessing this is a result of the slide molding process. The wife loves it because these little nodes shoot all over the house. However, the locations of these points looks to be well thought out, hiding them shouldn’t be a problem. You can tell the age of some of the spruces that have been passed down over the years as some do contain some flash, but these are few and far between.
The detail of the parts is absolutely phenomenal! I can’t speak for all tank kits but the few I have done, which were not Dragon kits, required me to weld lines out of Milliput. In this kit, the weld lines are molded on the parts and they look realistic and accurate to scale. The look of the bolts is one of my favorite details.
The DS Track looks usable and but they require a lot of flash clean up. I have heard horror stories of the guide horns being warped and bent from being poorly packaged but mine had no evidence of this, maybe because the kit hasn’t been around long enough to be mishandled.
The decals look nice and don’t look like they will be too thick. They will really be put to the test when they are applied over the Zimmerit.
Now I am not a Tiger expert so I can’t really get into inaccuracies of the kit but I do want to point out one thing to watch out for during construction, which is to not rush the kit. The instructions are very busy and you could easily get yourself into trouble if you don’t pay attention.
For example, I went out of order when adding parts to the upper hull and installed the tow ropes before the engine grates. The tow ropes lay on top of the engine grates. With a delicate hand, one of which I don’t always have, I was able to slide the photoetched grates under the ropes without bending the metal or snapping off the ropes.
My recommendation is to go over the instructions a couple times to learn Dragons way of doing things, especially if you are new to their kits. Click below to download the instructions.
Speaking of instructions, you will notice there are blue sections on the cover page. The blue sections overlaying the spruce are the parts you won’t be using. From what I have read, the modeling world seems to like to give Dragon a lot of flack for pumping out kits that are just a spin-off of the previous kit. Regardless of their reasoning, I am all for it because this tooling and molding technology is definitely not out of date and if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Plus, once you build enough of these Dragon Tigers, you might just accumulate enough parts to make another one!
Last issue…price. Ranging anywhere from $60-$80 this is, in my opinion, a high priced kit. With Tamiya selling their 1/35 scale Tiger’s in the $30-$35 range one may wonder why the should shell out the extra cash? Well, if you like over engineered kits with lots of detail, then the Dragon price range makes sense. You can also use the argument that a Tamiya Tiger, which runs around 150 parts, is far less intricate than the Dragon Tiger, which clocks in at 480 parts.
This kit is an amazing kit to build with quality and detail that rivals anything I have built straight from the box. It is especially enjoyable to me since I mainly build aircrafts, because you don’t have to paint anything ahead of time before the construction is complete. Of course, it can be like that with every tank kit but I rarely build these so it made for a relaxing build. This kit may not be for everyone with the amount of parts. If you are looking for a quick build, then this is not the kit for you. However, with this kit, Dragon has added another fantastic tank to their 1/35 scale line of German Tiger’s.