Kit Preview : 1/76 Cromwell Combat Ready Tiger II with Porsche turret
About the manufacturer
Cromwell's Combat Ready range combines simplicity and an excellent level of detail. Unfortunately the individual models are a bit of hit and miss. If they are accurate they are near perfect, otherwise they are cast-offs as one piece hulls don't lend themselves well to modifications. The bad kits are not really bad just not to scale.
About the vehicle
The Tiger II was Germany's last and largest tank of the war. As a 68,5 ton monster with a long 88mm gun and a lot of armor, it was pretty invulnerable to enemy tanks. Unfortunately the engine and drive train could not handle the weight. Of the 1500 Tiger II's produced 50 used the "Porsche" turret, which was actually the prototype design by Krupp.
More information at Wikipedia.
About the kit
The kit is a very simple one: hull with all hatches open, a couple hatch covers, and the gun. Zimmerit is finely sculpted on all relevant surfaces. The model has no sideskirts, which most wartime photos show. They can be hijacked from a Fujimi Tiger II.
When compared to a 1/76 drawing in the old Airfix "German Tanks of WW2", the model appears 1mm short in width but 5 mm in length.
The shortfall comes mainly from the exhausts, which should protrude 5mm from the hull. The kit's exhausts only stick out 2.5mm. They can be easily replaced with longer lengths of bent plastic rods.
The model has been cleaned up and the broken track parts repaired or replaced. In addition to the side skirts, much of the accessories are missing, the tow and track puller cables and tools on the sides, the antenna mount, fire extinguisher and wire cutter on the engine deck.
The mesh covers on the engine grilles are also missing but that is par for the course in 1/76. You can add etched covers from a 1/72 set but that will double the cost of the model.
I bought Eureka XXL cables for this model. They really look good. The attachment points will need to be scratch-built.
The last picture shows the muzzle brake. The gun is reinforced with a metal insert. Unfortunately it is too long and is visible through the brake’s side vents. There is nothing much to do about it but paint it black. I considered drilling it off through the vents but the chances of ruining the brake are close to 90%!