Dragon No. 6226 Bergepanzer Tiger (P)
I got my Bergepanzer Tiger (P) from Sprue Brothers just after it came out. My first impression was there are waaaaaaay to many parts here. Looking at page one of the instructions tells you why. I would estimate just under half of the parts you get you don't even use. Sprues "A", "B", and "a" combined have well over a hundred parts, however you are only using 21 of them. Sprue "A" comes from Dragon's Stug III kit. Anyone looking for a Saukopf mantlet for their older Stug kit will find one in here and they aren't even robbing from the kit really.
The kit follows Dragons new line of adding multimedia parts so less aftermarket is needed. The tracks are the same polyvinyl material as their Gen II figures making them easy to mold onto the road wheels and glue in place, while maintaining paintablity. Three different thicknesses of chain are included for the engine hoist. Two lengths of steel wire are included for tow cables and three tow shackles are included on one of the sprues. Two PE sprues are included and they have several pioneer tool brackets as well as shields for the MG42 that is included on the Stug III sprue. No figures are included.
The plastic is Dragons usual grey. Not much in the way of their new slide molding except on the hull, which is pretty well done. Many of the sprues are marked elefant, so undoubtedly their will be one coming out soon from them. The detail work is very fine on the molds, belying Dragons current stance on accuracy and attention to the thing modelers are most concerned with; the finished product. Assembly seams appear to be placed where they will be the easiest to hide.
Parts are provided to assemble either an early or late production model. Decals are Cartograph, who seem to be making all of dragons decals lately. They provide very minimal markings for four units, all from sPzJgAbt 653 from late 1943 in Italy to July 1944 in Russia. Though the instructions do not say it, the suspension looks like it could be assembled so that it functions enough to put one on broken terrain. The derrick, as the instructions call it, can be modeled erected or stowed, inviting many a diorama opportunity. The hatches are molded separately in case you want to put an interior in it. The tread plate pattern on the fenders is incredible.
All in all, a good kit. I give it a 8.5 out of 10, simply because it lacks stowage, accessories and figures. Those can be had easily enough aftermarket, so it is not a real issue. Cheers.
Rob McCune - 4 Feb, 2006