Resin mantlet and gun collar
Dimensionally the barrel and mantlet match available plans and data perfectly with any discrepancies very minor and well within acceptable tolerances. It should be noted that some of the available 1:35 plans vary in barrel length making things tricky but the mantlet size matches all available plans perfectly.
Checking various references to determine the actual barrel length including the stated dimensions on the Tiger I info page leads me to believe the Voyager barrel is the correct length, which also goes for some of the other after market barrels available and indeed the Dragon kit barrel and some plans not so.
The resin mantlet is superbly cast with just the smallest of excess resin to remove from the rear lower edge and is cast without any air holes, warping or other blemishes and has excellent surface details that include well defined mantlet bolts and weld seam around the mantlet/collar join. Other notable details include the three sets of two recessed screw heads around the outer end of the gun collar, small casting numbers on top of the mantlet and as mentioned the small underside collar drain hole.
The co-axial machine gun recess is cleanly done with just the MG muzzle that could be drilled out a little more for a better appearance with the mantlet itself representing one of the numerous early designs with the binocular sight holes on the left side. The collar is also perfectly cast with the inner barrel opening perfectly formed making for avery snug fit of the metal barrel.
Co-ax MG recess (left), casting numbers on top (middle) the underside drain hole on the collar (right)
Turning to the barrel, this is in one piece with the muzzle drilled out and fine rifling included although this is not easy to see after the muzzle brake is fitted but it adds to the detail. The central barrel retaining ring is a separate part as is the muzzle brake retaining ring and the three part muzzle brake.
The muzzle brake dimensions also match all available date as does the contours with the rear section having cleanly machined gas holes with the central bracket that includes the small detailed ring which if often included as separate etched rings on some metal muzzle brakes and having these in one piece makes for simple assembly. The front section includes the muzzle cap as well as also having cleanly machined gas holes with the two muzzle brake halves fitting very snugly together leaving just the smallest of join seams which is all but invisible from some angles.
Added to the muzzle brake is a small etched retaining bolt on top with the fit to the barrel also being very snug for quick and easy assembly. As mentioned previously the fit of the metal barrel to the resin gun collar is also very snug and a feature on the barrel is the base is slightly thicker in diameter than the barrel proper which leaves a very small gap around the barrel where it exits the gun collar and is how it should be, not flush with collar as with most barrel/collar joins.
Fitting the assembled barrel/mantlet to the appropriate kit is very straightforward as the rear of the resin mantlet matches the contours of the Cyberhobby/Dragon and Tamiya kit gun mantlets and includes the small raised co-ax MG mounting ring that helps when aligning the resin mantlet to the kit gun mount. I have used the parts from the Dragon Tiger I Early Production kit #6252 to illustrate the fitting here with others being similar as mentioned.
The only alterations required is to cut away the locating stub from the kit gun mounting and using the co-ax MG mounting ring as a guide simply glue the kit gun mounting to the back of the resin mantlet and assemble the rest as per kit instructions, all very simply really.
as well as the minor modifications to the mounting to take the resin mantlet.
Assembled mantlet ready to fit to the kit as per kit instructions.
Fully assembled gun/mantlet.
Included with the set is a small instruction sheet showing the assembly of the barrel parts but not fitting to any particular kit and you have to work this out yourself but as mentioned above is very straightforward and shouldn't pose any problems in that regard.
The detail included on the resin mantlet/gun collar is superb and as mentioned is the first available anywhere, be it kit or after market to include both the three sets of recessed screws around the collar and the underside collar drain hole (the Dragon Tiger I kits include the three sets of recessed screws but not the drain hole). Added to this is the fine weld seams and casting numbers with blemish free casting and you have a superb mantlet/gun assembly.
Assembly of the well proportioned muzzle brake is also trouble free with again the fit of the parts making for quick and easy assembly as is the fitting to the target kit. I all this is easily one of the best if not the best early Tiger I barrel/mantlet set available right now and well worth getting even if you have other barrels but haven't built your Tiger I kit as yet.
Very highly recommended 9.5/10
See the Tiger Tank Subject page for additional reviews for the Tiger series.
- On the Net:
Tiger I Info.
Bovington Tank Museum
PanzerKampfwagen VI: The legendary Tiger I
- Germany's Tiger Tanks
Thomas L Jentz and Hilary Louis Doyle
- Modeler's Guide to the Tiger Tank
A complete and comprehensive guide to modelling the Tiger I and Tiger II in 1/35th scale
Military Miniatures in Review.
- Panzerkampfwagen Tiger
Actung Panzer No.6
- Tank Power 13 Tiger I (Vol.1), 14 Tiger I (Vol.2), 15 Tiger
I (Vol.3), 16 Tiger I (Vol.4) and Sturmtiger.
- And countless other excellent books on the Tiger Series, too many to list here.