Well the Meng Kingtiger finally arrived but unfortunately without the interior box, but I have it on pre-order with E-models. I will let you know when it arrives.
My plan is to complete the Stug 3 build and then start construction of the Takom tank. When the Meng interior finally arrives I will suspend the Takom build and progress the Meng Interior so that for the rest of the buildlog the tanks are built in parallel.
I wonít be purchasing anymore photoetch for either tank. The tank that I feel is better detailed after the hull interior builds will get the Aber upgrade parts.
Well before the build starts I decided that it would be nice to compare the Takom and Meng Kingtigers and for an added bonus look at a Dragon Premium ĎPorscheí Turret Kingtiger (6312) which I have had unassembled since 2006. It requires zimmerit which I really donít enjoy making so it will sit unassembled until my four year old decides that he wants to start modelling.
It is very difficult to arrive at any real conclusions at this stage of the buildlog. I can say that I love the texture on the rolled steel armour present on the Meng kit, but hate the cheap looking redbrown colour of the plastic, even though the kit itself seems high quality. I would rather that the interior is included with the kit and that the interesting looking zimmerit kit was included with the Kingtiger rather than being an accessory. At £57 the kit with interior is expensive and does not come with workable tracks, they are extra at £19.79. The kit with workable tracks would cost £77. Probably nearer £100 if you bought the zimmerit kit. A 1/16th Trumpeter Kingtiger costs around £220 in UK so the Meng kit is very expensive for a 1/35 kit.
The Takom kit looks to be a very fine model but the armour has no texture to speak of and I really dislike the way the manufacturer implemented ammunition storage. At £53 the kit is better value for money than the Meng kit and comes in one box. The tracks are basic link tracks but will probably look fine. I like the real armour thickness feature, but itís something you could add yourself to the Meng kit if you wanted.
All three kits together:
And the Takom a Meng Kits:
The Dragon upper hull is quite simplified with lots of the engine deck pre-installed. This is not a disadvantage as itís packed with details.
The Meng kit has a significant advantage over the Takom kit which I will talk about later.
The Takom kit lacks the weld seam from the turret ring to the side of the hull. Both the Dragon and the Mang Kits have it. I will have to think about adding it somehow.
Many advanced builders of the 1/16th Trumpeter Kingtiger have cut the hull roof from the superstructure rather than not gluing the top of the hull to the base. This entails significant risk of screwing up and damaging a very expensive kit. Well Meng have obviously taken note. This is a significant plus for the model.
The interior of the upper hull:
The lower hull of the Dragon kit, note that there are no holes for the torsion bars so it would be very difficult to upgrade this kit to an interior model if you were ever that insane.
And the Meng kit with its hundreds of holes and injector pin marks. The rear hull looks like it will be a pain to clean up unless the interior kit comes with a new rear hull.
And the Takom kit, I know you wonít be able to see the injector pin marks or the writing when the hull components are in place but I canít just leave them.
The two Henschel turrets:
The next images are of the Kingtiger turret roofs, first the interior. Both kits at the moment look reasonably similar and any missing parts are probably included in the rest of the kit. I donít like the strange cut out in the commanderís cupola though in the Takom kit.
The Meng kit has bigger weld seams and seems to have a very slight advantage in detail over the Takom kit.
All the hulls seem dimensionally similar in this very scientifically inaccurate test.
Here we look at the rear of the hulls, Dragon at the top. Not much difference in this picture at the moment, although the Takom kit has less parts pre-applied.
There is a significant difference in the thickness of the armour plates. The Takom kit apparently provides ďreal armour thicknessĒ and it shows on the scale of the kit part. The real Kingtiger had 50mm thick rear armour plate and the Takom kit looks the part. I canít expect the Dragon kit to have real armour thickness but I certainly expect that from the Meng kit. Indeed the Meng kit looks like it might need a lot of clean up and sanding as it has lots of extra material added.
Looking at the bottom of the hulls, first the Dragon kit, overall I donít think there are any real winners or losers here and all the kits apart from the Takom one look practically identical.
The Takom kit, note the Ďscoopsí present on the armour.
The last two images are of the 88mm KwK 43 L71 gun barrels. The first is the Meng model kit part and I am so fortunate that my kit came with an aluminium barrel because it looks to be a real pig to make and hide the join marks. Itís a real shame that Meng in 2016 produced a kit with a two piece gun barrel. I could never have used the kit part and would have been forced to spend £20 on an Aber aftermarket replacement.
The second is the Takom barrel, itís fairly nice apart from mine being warped. Again lucky I am not using it. The third is the Aber gun barrel from the 35 K12 kit. It is the nicest of the lot and contains fine details present on the real thing.
The fourth barrel is the one that came as a bonus in the Meng kit, itís very nice although a few mm longer than the kit and the Aber barrels. The last is from an old Dragon Kingtiger that was salvaged from a model that was completely destroyed in a house move. It seems completely inaccurate and not good enough to sit on one of my models. I canít remember the kit it came from but it must have been an early Kingtiger. Awful.
This last photo is property of worldwar2aces.com and shows the fine detail present on the Aber barrel but missing on the other kits.
Thanks for looking