Cyber Hobby items will have one production run only and there will NOT be a reproduction of this item. In another words, once it is sold out it will be gone forever!) Cyber-Hobby Model Kits are OEM by Dragon Models, the same manufacturer that brings you the finest model kit in the market. These Cyber Hobby kits are officially known as the Master Grade Model by Dragon as they use genuine Dragon parts, have a more obscured topic selection, uses special markings, and are normally loaded with bonuses.
By the winter of 1943/44, the Tiger I had an increasing number of visible changes on tanks leaving the factory. Features included the fitting of the later cast cupola for the commander, a rear travel lock for the barrel, chevrons on the tracks and revisions to the turret roof. These Tigers which are often known as mid production series, also saw the deletion of the Feifel air cleaners and were the last Tigers to have the early style dished road wheels.
This kit is a limited edition white box release from Cyber-Hobby and uses tooling from the more recent Dragon Smart Kit Tiger I releases, along with a surprising number of new parts including a revised turret. One significant feature of this kit is that the road wheels are revised and now include optional hub centres to accurately depict a Tiger I with all the outer road wheels removed as was often done for train travel or with a few removed as was often done in heavy snow. The kit also include the command aerial, and its stowage cylinder (mounted on hull rear) plus a mantlet without an MG port as was the practice on command Tigers (spare mantlets give you the choice to depict a non-command tank).
The gatefold instruction sheet has 20 steps depicted using black, white and blue line drawings. While clearly presented, they should be studied in advance as the kit has a number of optional or alternative parts. If all the kit’s features are modeled this kit will represent a rewarding project, however this Tiger has the flexibility to allow the modeler to select their own level of challenge, such as by omitting internal detail or using plastic rather than PE parts.
Winter 1943/44 production Tiger had factory applied zimmerit. The kit does not include zimmerit, however given the Tiger’s relatively flat large panels, it is one of the easier kits to apply zimmerit to using putty and a zimmerit tool. Alternatively several aftermarket resin zimmerit sets are available.
Turret and Gun
The enhanced turret has features typical of those made in late 1943 to February 1944 and differs from those in other kits. Features include:
- New tooling for the turret roof (single plastic part) that depicts a 25 mm thick roof with the ventilator above the breech and a lip around the recessed hole for the gunner’s hatch. It also has a periscope cover for the loader.
- Choice of two caps for the roof ventilator. Two loaders hatches are included of which one has a hard edge and the other a more curved step for the outer lip. Both hatches have internal detail such as the locking mechanism. All crew hatches, including the turret side escape hatch can be modeled open or closed. The side hatch can be made workable.
- A new one-piece asymmetric turret shell with a side escape hatch. This piece has fine weld seams around several plate joins and the vision ports. Improvements include integrating the collar ring into the shell while retaining the counter sunk detail and accurate positioning of the mounting points for the turret spare tracks.
- The separate commander’s cupola is slide-molded and has clear plastic ring shaped insert for the periscopes. Other optics are also made from clear plastic.
- A basic partial turret interior is provided containing the gun breech, spent shell basket and two crew seats.
- The mantlet has twin apertures for the binocular gun sight and as per a command tank does not have a port for a co-axial MG (a spare mantlet has the MG port).
- The barrel is a three-piece plastic barrel tube without a visible join (the pieces are cylinders which have hidden butt joins). The muzzle brake has the larger profile appropriate for a winter 43/1944 Tiger. A spring is provided for those who wish to make the gun recoil.
- The spare tracks on the turret have separate parts the open guide horns and no sink marks. They are secured by angled brackets.
- Optional PE parts are also provided for the hasps on the turret stowage bins with six parts per hasp and lock pair, as well as the levers on the cupola periscopes.
The bottom of lower hull tub is a revised version with the correct profile for drains and hatches. The hull rear has been revised and has fitting for the command aerial stowage cylinder, optional PE jerry rack (supply your own can) and the improved plastic exhaust shrouds. The hull front has the later single Bosch headlight with a pre-formed metal cable. The spare track rack is nicely proportioned. All front and side fenders are injection plastic.
Two sets of on-vehicle tools are provided of which one has the clamps molded on for easy of assembly and the other has no clamps and is intended to be used with the PE clamps. The tow cables are built from twisted metal and separate plastic cable ends etc.
The internal torsion bars can be made to work, thus providing an articulated suspension. Alternatively the bars can be omitted and the outer suspension arms fitted directly onto the hull.
The road wheels are new tooling and depict the dished pattern. The kit has the earlier larger idler is provided. This kit has the option of leaving the outer road wheels off as was done for the front wheels on many front line Tigers to reduce problems with mud and snow. To enable this, the kit includes parts with the hub detail finely reproduced.
The engine deck has considerable detail and the rear grilles can be positioned in the raised position to better display the interior detail. All visible parts below the four air vents such as the fuel tank, radiator, fans and ducting are included, some parts being made of PE. The hatch to the Maybach engine can be left open (but you will need to find your own aftermarket engine block). The PE mesh screen for the grilles are the better design with preformed with the edges curved downwards.
Also on the engine deck is the command aerial (Sternantenne) which has separate parts for its base and the option of fine PE or plastic for the distinctive star top.
The Dragon Styrene tracks have open guide-horns built into the one-piece tracks and are ease to use. The tracks are packed with a cardboard stiffener to ensure they reach the modeler in mint condition. The level of casting on these tacks is, as before, as good as it gets with one-piece tracks and rivals many more expensive options. The tracks have crisp chevrons on the outer faces, open guide horns, under cut detail where the outer teeth on the drive sprocket fitted and inconspicuous sink marks.
The multi-media parts that come with this Tiger include:
- 4 pre-formed screens for the engine deck grilles, which have been bent to shape to improve accuracy.
- PE parts including the frame for the rear jerry can, command aerial’s crow’s feet, the brackets on the tools, hull detail, optional locks for the turret stowage bin, and the step on the side of the hull. The PE fret is new and contains some new parts.
- Twisted metal for the tow cable
- Clear plastic parts for the periscopes/vision blocks
- Pre shaped wire to feed the Bosch headlamps
- Pre shaped mounting head for the spade.
A new decal sheet by Cartograf contains markings for five command Tigers serving with front line units in 1944. They are supported by 3 view profiles on the instruction sheet and a side color profile on the box.
From schwere PanzerAbteilung 508 in central Italy is turret number hand painted ‘A2’ which has a dark yellow base and green and brown camouflage. From schwere PanzerAbteilung 507 at Tarnopol on the Eastern Front are command tanks with white letters A, B and C which also have the typical three colour paint scheme. The last option is black ‘1’ from schwere PanzerAbteilung 503 in the Balabonowka Pocket January 1944 which has heavy white wash over yellow.