This set comes in ET Modeller’s usual packaging with the resin pieces in their own bag and this along with the 4 PE frets taped to cardboard and then all of this is inside another bag for added protection. The PE frets also have a plastic covering that you peel off when you come to use the items. The plastic covering prevents the smaller items flying off into the air when you remove them from the fret.
The Tiger II was the successor of the Tiger I, combining the latter’s thick armor with the armor sloping used on the Panther medium tank. The tank weighed almost seventy metric tons, and was protected by 100 to 180 mm (3.9 to 7.1 in) of armor to the front. It was armed with the long barreled 8.8 cm KwK 43 L/71 gun. The chassis was also the basis for the Jagdtiger turretless tank destroyer.
The Tiger II was issued to heavy tank battalions of the Army and the Waffen-SS. It was first used in combat with s.H.Pz.Abt. 503 during the Normandy campaign on 11 July 1944; on the Eastern Front, the first unit to be outfitted with Tiger IIs was the s.H.Pz.Abt. 501 which by 1 September 1944 listed 25 Tiger IIs operational.
The prototypes use the so called Porsche turret, even though it was designed by Krupp. The first 50 production tanks also used this turret type. The rest of the tanks produced all used the Henschel turret, which was a better design and also much simpler to produce. A grand total of 492 King Tigers were produced.
Now on to the PE itself. The instructions are broken down into sections labelled A to S, with a few diagrams showing you where to place some of the smaller parts you made in the sections. You start by making a few brackets, 7 in section A and 2 in section B. In section C you replace the brackets formed on the axe in section A. Section D tells you to put 2 of the brackets you made in section A onto a tool on the side of the tank. Next up is a diagram showing you where on the front deck by the driver’s and radio operator’s hatches, to place the items you’ve worked with so far.
Section E has up making changes to the light and sections F and G add more brackets from Section A to the shovel and crowbar as well as a few more changes to the shovel. Section H is where the resin parts come in. You’ll need some 0.7mm brass tube and the larger resin parts to make brackets that hold the tow cables and cleaning rods on the sides of the hull. Section I makes 4 brackets used for holding tow cable eyes on the sides of the hull. Section J similarly makes 4 more brackets used in securing the tow cables. Oddly, next are 4 sections numbers 1 to 4 that have you make 9 brackets for another cable on right side of the hull. Finally section K shows you where to place all the pieces you made in sections E to J and 1 to 4.
Now we turn the page and start working on the back of the vehicle. The next section at the top left of page 2 is not labelled in any way, but gets you to replace the foot of the jack. Section L has you make a pair of brackets and section M replaces the rear light. N replaces the brackets that hold the towing clasps and section O replaces the brackets holding the jacking blocks. Then finally there’s a diagram showing the placing of sections L to O on the back of the tank.
Section P starts us on the engine deck with replacing the fire extinguisher brackets, while Q replaces the wire cutter brackets. Next there are a couple of diagrams that replace various items on the engine deck.
At the bottom of page 2 is a diagram that completely builds and replaces the mount for the MG42 on the turret. However it does say you will have to source an MG42 for yourself.
Now onto page 3 and work on the turret. Sections R and S detail the close weapon defence and spent cartridge ejection hatches on the top of the turret. There are also changes to the loading hatch at the back of the turret and a few minor changes on the outside of the turret itself.
Overall this is a quite a lot of update for the cost of this set and highly recommended.
Many thanks to ET Modeler for the review sample.
Paul Tosney – Model Builder International – www.modelbuilderinternational.com