Monday, December 10

In-boxed: 35th scale Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger (P) Truppenubungsfahrzeug from Amusing Hobby

After making several full-interior kits of recent times Paul has started his Amusing Hobby Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger (P) Truppenubungsfahrzeug kit that promises NO interior whatsoever :-). He has paused to show you what comes inside the box before he gets to build the kit in his review...

In-boxed: Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger (P) Truppenubungsfahrzeug
Brand: Amusing Hobby
Number: 35A023
Scale: 1/35
Type: Polystyrene, Brass Photoetch, and Resin Multimedia Kit
Price: A$64.09 AUD/ 46.25USD/ 40.44EUR/ 36.26GBP at Hobbylink Japan
Product Link on the Amusing Hobby Website 
Amusing Hobby continues their trend of releasing prototypes and experimental vehicles, previously releasing several paper Panthers, and the British Conqueror, now they give us the failed Porsche prototype, the VK.4501 or Tiger (P) tank. 
The VK.4501(P) was the heavy tank proposed by Porsche to counter the shock appearance of the T-34 and KV tanks on the Eastern Front. The potency of the 88mm Flak against these two foes made it an automatic selection to be used as the main armament of the next generation heavy tank, but ultimately, some design flaws in the Porsche prototype saw it lose out to the Henschel design, which would ultimately become the fearsome Tiger tank. This wasn’t the end of the VK.4501(P) though, as Ferdinand Porsche decided to put his design into production expecting it to win the competition, but after this failed, the hulls were converted to the Ferdinand/Elefant tank destroyer. 
The 35th scale Pz.Kpfw. VI Tiger (P) Truppenubungsfahrzeug from Amusing Hobby
The kit comes in the standard top lifting box, and the contents are surprisingly hard to get back into the box once you take them out despite the relatively lower parts count. It is interesting to note Amusing Hobby’s Truppenubungsfahrzeug designation for this, which translates to Troop Training Vehicle. Only one Tiger (P) ever saw combat with the rest being converted to the Elefant/ Ferdinand tank destroyer, so I’m not quite sure where Amusing Hobby got this designation. We do know from our friend Herbert Ackermans that at least 3 VK 45.01(P) were being used by s.Pz.-Abt. 503 for training at Döllersheim, when they were still earmarked to go to Afrika equipped with the Tiger (P).
The lower hull comes in a tub and appears to be free of distortions so there should not be any potential alignment issues that you get with individual panels. 
Sprue A covers most of the parts of the turret. The gun barrel is moulded in one piece with a separate sleeve also in one piece so no seams along the length to clean up. The muzzle brake comes in two pieces with the front plate coming separately. 
The turret roof captures the asymmetrical shape of the turret, and also features the raised centre section which enabled the gun to be lowered that little bit more. According to the instruction manual, this is a feature of the first eight turrets produced. 
The turret shell is also moulded in one piece and the inside of the turret ring features some nice ribbing detail, but with interior detail at all, I don’t see the point of moulding this. 
You get a duplicate of Sprue B which predictably covers most of the suspension and road wheels, as well as some of the pioneer tools 
 The road wheels and drive sprockets are pretty well detailed...
The suspension arms are moulded in vertical halves which will have a pre-bent piece of wire to be placed inside to allow for the suspension to spring back into position, but this is a bit gimmicky as who would actually want that done to their finished model? However, you can just omit them and glue the suspension arms into place in the neutral, or raised position if you want to put the model on an uneven base. 
The sprues jump to D, and unlike the lower hull, the upper hull comes in separate panels, which I presume will make a moulding of the Elefant panels easier when it gets released. 
A close up of the upper hull and engine deck...
 The two one-piece fenders are ok for a pristine vehicle, but metal is better for a beaten up prototype...
Two types of track are provided in the kit, although strangely enough, these one-piece tracks are not mentioned in the instructions at all. They seem quite soft so I don’t think they are vinyl and might be glueable but there’s only one way to find out. The details on the tracks do seem quite well moulded so I’d say they’re a viable option if you’re looking to save yourself some work. 
 A close up of the tracks reveals they are actually pretty good for vinyl tracks with not too much flash.
However, photos do show sag to be a fairly common feature of these vehicles, and with the raised front and rear stations, the individual link tracks do appear to be the more suitable choice for this model. Each link is comprised of two pieces, with the link itself and the separate grouser which is glued over the link pins so you should be able to get some workable tracks with some careful gluing. 
A small jig is also provided to help put the tracks together. 
Two copies of Sprue F give you the pioneer tools (originally from the Loewe kit), which in general are nicely moulded, but the towing hooks and the jack appear a bit tall to me. 
A small fret of photo-etch and length of copper wire for the tow cables complete the kit itself. 
A resin figure of Ferdinand Porsche as featured on the box top is included in the box, and appears to capture the look of Ferdinand quite well, and will come in handy to show him observing the vehicle on its trials, and making use of the posable suspension in the kit. 
Here is Mr Porche in the hat next to his creation
 Sockets and joints are used in the kit to join the figure securely together.
The instruction booklet comes in a neat A4 Portrait format with colour used on the front and colour profiles at the back but otherwise composed of line drawings which seem quite well set out and clear.
Two schemes are provided and you get the full five profile views which not all model companies do for some reason. The first is plain grey, and the second is the “standard” German three-tone camouflage. However as stated above, I’m not quite sure it was ever used for training since the vehicle never went into service.
A small decal sheet of generic German numbers is included but the schemes don’t call for them to be used. Only one Tiger (P) was ever used in combat which had 003 on the turret, but unfortunately, the decal sheet doesn’t give you enough for this, but what self-respecting armour modeller doesn’t have a few spare turret numbers in the stash? The only other issue is the zimmerit which you will need to add if you do want to build that particular vehicle. 
Overall, a nice looking model in the box, but the key will be how well it all goes together. After a few complex kits, I’m sure looking forward to putting together a “normal” model kit once again. 

Paul Lee

Thanks to Amusing Hobby for sending this kit to build and review.