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Takom King Tiger

Kit:No. 2047 // Scale:1/35 // Price:$70
Perfect fits; well-defined details; terrific color guides and instructions
Paint callouts refer only to Ammo of Mig Jimenez; inaccurate commander’s hatch prevents it from being posed open
Injection-molded, 1,024 parts (117 PE), decals
The SdKfz 182 Tiger II, or King Tiger, needs no introduction; almost every model company has had a go at the ultimate German tank of World War II.

Takom takes its swing at the famous behemoth and brings something great to the table: the first all-plastic kit to include a full interior and all of the engine components. A nice touch is the scale-thick exterior panels that mimic the King Tiger’s armor. That adds to the scale appearance of the fighting compartment and heft of the finished model, which is noticeably heavier than most plastic kits.

The first thing I noticed on opening the box is the sheer number of parts; 17 full sprues’ worth. Some steps require parts from several sprues, so you may need extra room if you have a small workspace. I organized the sprues by standing them on end in the box in alphabetical order so I could easily find the parts.

Overall, building Takom’s King Tiger feels more like building an airplane than a tank. The build is broken into subassemblies and I painted them as I went. Parts fit tight, which can complicate painting after assembly. The kit’s breakdown makes the complicated build user-friendly. I treated the build like a book. Each night I ended on a specific section as if it were a chapter.

The full interior offers several options for display. I built mine so that parts of the exterior can be removed to show the hull and turret interiors. The scale armor makes it possible to build a cutaway display with minimal work.

The build went faster than I was expecting, aided by the terrific part fits. Many parts go together so tightly that they virtually click into place when properly aligned. The only things I needed to sand were the torsion bars. I painted them separately from the hull, and the layer of paint prevented a clean fit.

A pin on the road-wheel arms aligns them for a level fit; removing the pins makes the suspension workable.
The individual-link tracks went together OK but can’t be made workable. However, several working Tiger II tracks are available from the aftermarket.

The only error I noticed was an incorrectly molded commander’s hatch. The guard for the hinge is molded with the hatch arm and can’t be posed open accurately. A small modification should fix the problem, making it accurate for an open hatch.

The kit makes good use of photo-etched (PE) brass, including the rear end of each of the 88mm rounds in the hull and turret.

Painting and finishing went smoothly. The color callouts refer only to Ammo of Mig Jimenez, but the kit supplies four pages of paint references for the interior and exterior. The only trouble was painting the ammo racks with the rounds molded in place. Paint the racks first, then the rounds.

The decals ­— and there are a lot of them — went on great and laid down right away. The bulk of the decals is dedicated to the ammunition, including two for each round, and small details such as the first-aid kits.
I spent nearly 90 enjoyable hours building and painting Takom’s King Tiger. Don’t be scared off by the high parts count; you don’t need to be a master to finish the model. Take your time and the big tank will be manageable if you already have a few kits under your belt.

Note: A version of this review appeared in the March 2017 issue.

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