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In-Box Review
135
King Tiger by AMMO
Limited Edition King Tiger from AMMO by Mig Jimenez
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by: Mitko Nikitov [ DNIKITOV ]


Originally published on:
Armorama

Introduction
The King Tiger is probably the most famous and in my opinion definitely the most attractive tank that served in WWII. It was also the most expensive one to be in production, at its time costing in money and resources about the same amount as the electricity of a small town for a month.

It was a formidable and powerful machine, introducing refined looks and - compared with all others – superior capabilities. It was arguably the WWII tank which came closest to the modern idea of a heavy main battle tank. Probably if its service life hadn’t ended, more refinements would have been introduced, some of which are implemented in this kit as ‘What If’. However, the design died with the end of the Second World War, and with it, this mean-looking vehicle was replaced on the battlefields with some technologically inferior and ill-armed tanks, although the newer types had better mobility and lower cost. Nevertheless, these were tanks that belonged to the winners and we all know what that means.

Even though King Tiger suffered a lot of criticism for its reliability, it still remains one of the subjects that gathers the most attention among historians, modelers and tank fans. It was and still remains a symbol that defines the German Armor during the Second World War, and will probably remain as such forever.

Box and Boxart
As one might expect, the box is very neat looking. It is black in its overall appearance with something very close to a satin finish. It is made from nice materials, although I expected it to be thicker and made from stiffer card. It shows a King Tiger climbing over a railway and in the background, stored hulls of King Tigers are placed one over another. Black smoke in the air and overall dark feeling emanates from the painting, showing both the unpleasant war-like atmosphere and the dark fate of the subject itself. It seems that this is the July ‘45 version (post-war, ‘What If’ type) and one can tell by the FG1250 visible over the turret.

This is 2 in 1 kit, so there is a logo describing this, alongside the handwritten Limited Edition and the AMMO logo featured too. On one of the sides there are some of the camouflage schemes profiles included in the kit and on the other, paint sets available for it. AMMO offer probably the widest range of paints oriented towards this subject and it was good business to include those on the box.

Instructions
Standard for Takom, a landscape-oriented sheet of instructions comes with the kit. The touch of AMMO is visible on the cover, and the simplicity and straight-forwardness of each step is on every page.
Some of the steps are marked with dash-1 or dash-2, which shows which version you are building it for. Second one is of course, July 1945, while the dash-1 is March 1945.

Contents
Light gray plastic sprues, frames of which are easily recognizable as Takom-produced by the flat appearance, fill the box. They are not all that is featured in the kit though. Sprues with the tracks are showing the AMMO mould as well as those that include the FG1250 (Sprue J) and the different engine deck and gun barrel (Sprue H). With them, instead of the TAKOM logo and name molded in, we have AMMO’s with the kit number and MIG’s name.

The details on both types are superb and it is up to today’s standard by any means. Some interior features show that the kit has another option with interior, however such is not included in this version.

Tracks are link and length here, unlike the ones we have seen in Takom’s version of the King Tiger. This allows for easier and quicker build and more importantly, without compromising the quality. There are some few pin-marks on each track link, but ones that are easy to be dealt with.

Everything shows fine texture and good looking details, no matter their size. Even the smallest parts are being taken care of. AMMO chose to repack this King Tiger not by accident!

One decision in particular that I didn’t like was the gun barrel of one of the versions being made into two separate halves. In truth, there are many aftermarket companies and when it comes down to King Tiger probably one can find a substitute barrel. However for a company created by a famous and experienced modeler, that decision must raise some eyebrows.

Overall, the part count isn’t scary, nor the complexity of the build. Everything looks fine and does not show any unwanted flash, defects or troubles like that, which promises that this will be a nice investment.

Clear parts and PE
The photo-etch sheet is rather small. It is quite simple too, and it will please the beginners mostly. Of course, being a Limited Edition kit that does not represent the full possibility of the metal included, but rather the collective value of the Takom kit repacked. However, with what we are used to getting from the 21st century armor kit, we could have had more in that direction.

Clear parts in my opinion are the least important item in a scaled-down tank. In reality, they are battered, dirty, missing and what not. Here though, we have versions that are either brand new or barely used, so clear parts do have some significance and Takom did a great job with molding them. Overall look of those is very satisfying as well as the thickness of the photo-etch actually – the latter one being criticized only due to its size here.

Marking options
Eight marking options are available, divided into two sections. To each of them we have a dedicated page of the colored marking options sheet. Half of those are well-known and widely modeled Spring of 1945 versions, the other half being What-if options.

‘What if’ options feature the FG1250 infrared sight on the commander’s cupola and are easily recognizable on the sheet. They do show unusual camo schemes, which will tempt many and will look wonderful once at any modeling show. The one thing that might get more attention is the gun barrel colors of some of those, which often is a subject of heated discussions. Although many claim to know the proper appearance of those, there are still a lot of comments in the German armor circles.

Splinter camo scheme, as well as a single tone, brand new vehicle does offer a very interesting options of painting and weathering techniques, being representation of styles, each in their own polarity. Both of those preferences are covered by the paint range that AMMO by MIG offers.

conclusion
This kit benefits from a simplified track assembly with more than satisfactory appearance. There is an abundance of marking options. The FG 1250 infrared sight is included. Clear and professional instructions and color scheme sheets add to a good-looking and greatly packed combination, requiring fewer skills.

But the July 1945 version isn’t accurate according to the documents published in various sources. Turret shape should be altered to accommodate the larger gun. That could have been fixed by AMMO themselves and probably what could justify their decision to leave the turret unchanged?

Overall this is a welcome Limited Edition, polished and simplified version of Takom’s beautiful kit. A choice that will satisfy many, including most ‘green’ modelers, along with the masters. A good combo of marking options and very clear declaration of what a kit should look!
SUMMARY
Highs: Simplified track assembly. Abundance of marking options. FG 1250 infrared included. Clear and professional instructions and color scheme sheets.
Lows: July 1945 isn’t accurate. Turret shape should be altered to accommodate the larger gun.
Verdict: A choice that will satisfy many, including most ‘green’ modelers, together with the masters.
Percentage Rating
95%
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 8500
  Related Link: 
  PUBLISHED: Sep 08, 2017
  NATIONALITY: Germany
NETWORK-WIDE AVERAGE RATINGS
  THIS REVIEWER: 95.00%
  MAKER/PUBLISHER: 92.22%

About Mitko Nikitov (dnikitov)
FROM: NEVADA, UNITED STATES

Started modeling at age of 8 with three Czech made kits, but my first real completed model was F-15 Eagle in 72nd scale at age of 10. That was during 1990 and since then I am modeling addict. Changed my scale preferences over the years, now focusing on 32nd scale and some selected 48th scale kits. I...

Copyright ©2017 text by Mitko Nikitov [ DNIKITOV ]. All rights reserved.


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Comments

I could have sworn someone reviewed this when it first came out and all the stuff about the turret was discussed then.
SEP 09, 2017 - 01:20 PM
Mine is more or less finnished buildwise. -The "tub" is warped and poor fit to the superstructure both front and backplate. -The ring for the commanders cupola does not sit flush to the turret roof. After no luck with hollowing out I finally used wood working clamps to press it down. -There is no MG-42 supplied with the kit. -No parts so one can choose to display the drivers and radiooperators hatch in open position. -The late enginedeck is a very tight fit. I had to sand down the outer borders on each side and rescribe panel line. I found out about the turret roof to late and decided to let it go. Cheers
SEP 09, 2017 - 09:27 PM
I know I myself had pointed this matter out on a previous post. Have to agree with Jupiterblitz that the high rating given to this kit seems a bit exaggerated, but we all know that any rating is a subjective matter.
SEP 10, 2017 - 08:30 AM
Mitko is obviously very fond of the KT and wants to convey that enthusiasm in his review. When I was still an editor here, it was often difficult to persuade reviewers (especially those who purchased the kit with their own hard-earned money) that if you give a flawed kit you love a 95%, it doesn't leave you any margin for going higher for a really outstanding kit later on.
SEP 11, 2017 - 05:59 AM
Hey guys! Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I trust that you are absolutely correct with your own point of view. I gave 95% to this kit for two main reasons: First one is that this is a Limited Edition version. As such, it is a precious gift or collection piece by itself. For example, Starfighter from Eduard is gorgeous kit, 98% in my opinion. The plane itself is flawed and even the best kit so far is not so close to the original. The best kit as a plastic piece can be 100%, but the best replica is something different. If we are talking Starfighter for example, the whole thing can be rated with not more than 60%. That goes for every kit and here, I do not compare the What If with the original KT. Instead, I rate it as a kit solely - boxing, options, quality of plastic. Second reason that I had was the fact that the kit is simplified. Simplicity is the future in modeling, not the over-crowded kits with tons of interior parts. Simple reason for that - so many new subject coming out, that a life won't be enough for us to enjoy each and every one of them. So if one wants to build more, one should work faster. In general I am very fond of the KT, that is true. But I truly believe that this is one of the best kits on the market today. I liked it more compared to the others available and What If version in my opinion cannot be criticized because it is still: What if. It never happened, so nobody can speculate more than any other, how exactly this would've looked like. That was MIG's perspective, and I am glad to accept this view as much as any other. I do appreciated the comments you made of course! Thank you!
SEP 11, 2017 - 09:29 PM
The turret really is a shame on this kit as the production line was planned when the war ended and engineering drawings had been produced for production. To me, MiG's response on this on-line about there's no way to know is a dodge of high degree to an oversight. More importantly to me, you get a copy of the fine Takom kits with a mix of new parts that often don't quite fit, a flawed turret, and no interior for the same cost as the Takom kit WITH interior. I accept the cost to an extant as we do get a new rear deck and as a limited run I don't expect the kit to cost the same. The fact that to be accurate to the finalized design requires modifying the kit roof or buying a resin replacement is kind of shoddy though.
SEP 12, 2017 - 01:07 AM
Fair enough. Any review is to some degree a matter of the point of view of the reviewer. I'm not so sure about the value of this kit as a collector subject, at least for the people who usually visit this forums. I may be wrong but I believe that most of us are modelers, even the most lazy -like me myself- or "slow builders", instead of collectors like those people who'll never open an action figure blister -a la "The Big Bang Theory"-. But again, this is just my point of view. By the way, neither I think that Takom's Tiger II's are the best out there... just fine kits. Let's agree to disagree. There is still an increasing trend to develop new kits with insanely high parts' counts, even inflating them with more and more complex tracks or redundant PE parts. Of course there will always room for simplified kits aimed to not-so-fanatic modelers, but yet again I cannot see Takom as the easier choice, nor easier buildability for newbies or ocassional modelers -I may be biased because I don't like at all Takom's plastic-. My last comment is related to the matter of the post-1945 option being a what-if, and so supposedly not a subject to questioning its eventual accuracy. In this particular case it is not a matter of a what-if approach, but a fact of physical impossibility since there should be no way to accommodate the larger gun AND the rangefinder under the standard turret roof. Of course, unless we accept that a fantasy or completely fictional model can be considered the same that what-ifs. If so, OK, a jet-turbine powered E-100 can be a what-if too... This is not intended to start a battle about your review. Just sharing a different point of view and pointing out some noticeable things of the kit that are not as good as it can seem. Just my last 0.02
SEP 12, 2017 - 10:05 AM
+1 It is not a minor thing, since the what-if version is one of the main marketing points of this release.
SEP 12, 2017 - 10:07 AM
The rating is probably the most subjective part of a review, so while I may or may not agree with it, the text is the key to form my own opinion. Thanks for your review Mitko.
SEP 12, 2017 - 10:28 AM
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