Sunday, September 24

Preview: Border Models 72nd scale Tiger I Very Early Production Type (502nd Heavy Tank Battalion No. 100)

The initial Tiger I's from the 502nd heavy tank battalion (#100) is the subject of Border Models newest release in 72nd scale. We look at the features & markings in our preview...

Preview: Border Models 72nd scale Tiger I Very Early Production Type (502nd Heavy Tank Battalion No. 100)

Tiger I Very Early Production Type (502nd Heavy Tank Battalion No. 100)
From Border Models
1/72nd scale
Plastic injection kit + Photo-etch parts
Three decal options in this kit.
The subject: The Tiger I of the 502nd Heavy Tank Battalion during the Siege of Leningrad, 1942.
When the first production Tigers rolled out of the Henschel factory, they were sent to the training grounds at Fallingbostel to equip the 502nd Heavy Tank Battalion. The 502nd Heavy Tank Battalion was the first operational Heer Tiger tank unit, it was not until the spring of 1943 that the 2nd company of the battalion was formed. Although their tanks were still unproven & not as reliable as they would have liked initially, they were sent to the front line to reinforce the siege of Leningrad after only days of testing. 

A Tiger I heavy tank of the captured 502nd tank "100" at Gorky Park in 1943 
Nine Tigers were sent to the 502nd, forming its 1st company, before events in Africa diverted new Tiger production to that theater. The 502nd fought in forests and swamps south of Leningrad and achieved only limited success. Technical problems with the tanks caused as much trouble as the terrain, and so the more reliable Tigers, notably "111", were given the best components.

Tiger of the 502nd Heavy Panzer Battalion near Leningrad, circa 1942
On 18 January 1943 a breakthrough by the Soviets cost 5 Tigers, including numbers "121" and "100" which were captured intact. Only 2 of the original 9 Tigers remained in February, when they were joined by 3 new ones.

A Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. H Tiger I from the 502nd heavy tank battalion, destroyed in the Battle of Leningrad

The Kit from Border Models:
This 1/72-scale model kit from Border Models brings us a reproduction of the Tiger I of the 502nd Heavy Tank Battalion as seen during the Siege of Leningrad. For a 1/72nd kit, you can see that an extraordinary amount of  details has been placed into the model. Similar to that of a larger, 1/35th scale kit. We have some features of the model in CAD form:

The kit is made from a combination of plastic with some photo-etch, metal parts are also included in the first release batch, that includes a metal barrel in the release... 

The hull is formed by a single part of plastic, the road wheels, final drive and return roller are of a simple construction and easy to assemble.
The rear hull has a choice of mufflers & fenders, while the front glacis has towing hooks, two machine guns and the lucky horse shoe emblem included.
Ammunition, smoke dischargers & the unique early 502nd style turret bins are included.

The kit provides separate tools (not moulded on) with wire towing cable. There are three marking options included in the box (two pictures shown below). All three schemes show Tiger I "100" on them.

This item is expected to release in November, 2023. You can see more on the Border Models website