|MENG German Heavy Tank Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger with Henschel Turret (main box art)|
|MENG German Heavy Tank Sd.Kfz.182 King Tiger with Henschel Turret (side box art)|
|Model kit was developed in collaboration with The Tank Museum and British modeller David Parker|
MENG took a modular approach to the kit which allows the modeller to decide on how detailed he (or she) wants the build to be. For example, in addition to the basic kit which is reviewed here, MENG also offers a full interior set, workable individual link tracks as well as zimmerit decals for the King Tiger. Another thing of note is that this kit had been developed with the help of The Tank Museum and expert modeller David Parker who is famous for his award-winning 1/16 scale King Tiger. This large scale build is chronicled in Superking, a book published by AFV Modeller.
|Assembly instruction booklet for the MENG King Tiger (Henschel Turret) model kit|
|Instructions are easy to follow but assumes modeller has experience working with AFV kits|
Included are fairly easy to follow instructions. That being said they do assume a certain amount of familiarity working with model kits. For example modellers are expected to know about undergates and how to remove them accordingly from certain parts. If you are a beginner you won't instinctively know when and where you'll need to do this. And when I first started out I didn't. Luckily my experience with Bandai's 'noob-proof' instructions early on stood me in good stead when dealing with MENG's vaguer guide. Meanwhile also included are four different color schemes for the Königstiger.
|Color scheme for a King Tiger operating in Hungary during cold (left) and warm weather (right)|
|Color scheme for the 'Charging Knight' of S.Pz.Abt.505 (left) and for a King Tiger in the Battle of the Bulge (right)|
There are ten sprues that come in a rarely seen red oxide primer color. There have been complaints this hue makes it difficult for modellers to make out the details. Personally I like it as any spots I may miss with the primer or basecoat will spot a natural red oxide hue. This is a likely occurrence due to my planned approach to the assembly/painting of this model kit (to be explained in future posts). Two other plastic sprues come in grey (figures) and clear (vision blocks/periscopes). Finally there are standard polycaps for the road wheels, decals and common in most MENG kits - a photo etch sheet.
|Model kit comes in a fairly big box packed to the hilt with sprues|
Total parts count is lower than your average MENG kit with a large portion made up of individual link and length tracks (for types of model tracks check out this post). Based on a cursory look at all the sprues, the King Tiger parts are extremely detailed and historically accurate. MENG also provides optional parts for the discerning modeller who wants to build a specific version of the King Tiger. One example of this is the different rear upper hull exhaust covers provided in the sprues. The first production batch included a metal gun barrel. The lack of one in this kit means it's from the subsequent batches. That's the only bummer in an otherwise excellent looking kit.
|Sprue/Runner A (2X): Drive sprockets, idlers, track sections and miscellaneous detailed parts|
|Sprue/Runner B (4X): Road wheels, track sections, individual link and length tracks, and assorted items|
|Sprue/Runner C: Side skirts, guide for swing arms, engine deck panels, hull mounted tools, front armor, etc.|
|Sprue/Runner D: Upper hull parts and miscellaneous parts|
|Sprue/Runner E: Turret parts, jig for assembling the link and length tracks, etc.|
|Sprue/Runner F: Turret roof, main gun, rear upper hull accessories and other assorted items|
|Lower hull of the MENG King Tiger|
|Polycaps, figurines and clear parts of the MENG King Tiger|
|Decals and photo etch fret for the MENG King Tiger|
Another thing I really like about this model kit is that it provides photo-etch bending jig/tools as well as a jig/tool to help assemble as well as shape parts of the link and length tracks. So straight out of the box you are going to have the required special tools to work with.
|Tank 124 of Pz.Abt. 505|
At this early stage I'm leaning towards building Tank 124 of Pz.Abt. 505, Poland September 1944 (see above). This version of the King Tiger has the cool looking 'charging knight' emblem on both sides of its turret. Moreover, I like the tri-tonal camouflage scheme that it sports. This is already looking like it's going to be a really fun and interesting build.