by: Dave Shick [ ]
Lion Roar (LR) has released a “Limited Edition” update set for the Dragon King Tiger with Porsche Turret as set LAS35014. From what I can tell, this is a combination of sets LE35035 (King Tiger update, generic) and barrel LB3519 the Kwk 43 88mm L/71, which is specific to the Porsche turret. The cost of this new set is slightly less than the two combined.
The box art shows the DML 6302 with Zimmerit.
However, this set should work just as well with kit 6312 (w/o Zimmerit, if you love doing your own), or the older kits 6189 (which admittedly is hard to find). The Tamiya kit 35169 would benefit most from this kit, but not all the pieces will work, though most should with a little fiddling.
In the box
And what a box it is. I usually think descriptions of boxes are kind of silly, however, in this case, it gets honorable mention. Unlike most PE packaging, this one will arrive with no danger of someone going “postal” on it. It’s a cardboard box that’s heavier than most kit boxes. Inside the PE frets are packaged two to a sleeve with a heavy cardboard divider. These are then double-wrapped in bubbles. If that weren’t enough, each fret is sandwiched by a sticky plastic sheet I removed these for the pictures (due to the glare). I guess this allows removal of the tiniest bits with no danger of them leaping to their death in the carpet.
As mentioned above, there are basically two updates sets in one box: the barrel, and all the other PE.
The barrel consists of the metal tube itself, plus several pieces that make up the muzzle brake. The latter is most impressive (see pictures at right).
There are six PE frets, plus two plastic rods, and two fine wires. The frets are:
• A – Contains grills & supporting parts
• B – Has hooks and lots of tiny things
• C – there is no C
• D – fender parts
• E – more fender parts
• F – large grills
• G – still more fender parts
The instructions for the PE are two long narrow sheets printed on both sides. They include directions for both the Henschel and Porsche turrets. There are several parts that are unique to each (spares box goodies). There are NO instructions for the barrel. One might say, it’s a barrel, how hard can it be? Hard. I found a picture for the barrel kit itself on the internet, and included it here.
The new Dragon kits come with a metal barrel, and limited PE. Do you need to spend an additional $46 (street price) for this update? I hope I can help you decide.
The update consists of three major assemblies, and a whole lot of miscellaneous updates, like tool clamps and hatch details. I’ll cover the big three.
The barrel itself is about the same as the kit barrel. What sets it apart is the muzzle brake. This is where you need the instructions: the end is drilled out, and has “rifling” which is just straight, though it will be virtually impossible to see once the brake is attached. The pictures show the parts that go into the brake, as well as the assembled barrel. I show the barrels over a scale drawing from the reference listed below.
First I show the Lion Roar barrel and Dragon mantlet alongside the Tamiya barrel and mantlet. Notice they are both longer than the drawing. The muzzle brakes are similar, and seem to match the drawing. The LR barrel is clearly far superior.
I also show the Dragon barrel compared to the Tamiya because I only have the one mantlet. The Dragon barrel is shorter than the drawing, and the muzzle brake looks small. The kit brake has minimal interior detail compared to the LR one. Again, I think the LR is superior, but worth the $? That’s up to you.
The fenders make up the majority of the PE frets. The biggest issue with the kit frets (Dragon or Tamiya) is thickness: both plastic fenders are .04” thick. That scales up to a beefy 1.4”, way too thick. These are fenders, not armor. The PE fender is .01” thick, which scales up to about a third of an inch. That still seems too thick to me, but much better than the plastic. A picture shows the two together. If you plan to show any fender panels missing or damaged, then you really need the PE.
The vent screens are supplied in the Dragon kit as PE; Tamiya supplies a plastic “screen” to be cut for the vents. In my opinion, the kit vents are too “fine.” I copied pictures of the vents from my reference, and copied the corresponding PE parts, scaling them to the same size. I also show the LR screens in-place on both the Dragon (gray) and Tamiya (tan) kits. The LR screens just look better to me. Better enough? That’s up to you.
Lion Roar supplies a really nice upgrade set, but it was designed for an earlier generation of kit that didn’t come with a metal barrel or much PE. One of the big selling points of the new Dragon kits is they come with all this. Do you need the additional pieces provided by Lion Roar? If you’re good with PE, and enjoy making silk purses, then this is for you. However, you’ll probably want to do the Zimmerit yourself as well. If that’s the case, look for one of the older kits, or use the Tamiya as a base.
The Internet, of course. Also a book from Model Art entitled AFV Super Detail Photo Book Vol. 8, aka Sd.Kfz.182 Pz.Kpfw.VI King Tiger. The book has hundreds of pictures (mostly color), and a lot of text that thoroughly covers this tank (both the Henschel and Porsche variants).
Thanks to Dragon USA for providing this review sample.