The Geschutzwagon Tiger is very much a paper panzer in so much as only one prototype was near completion and was captured by British troops in May 1945 at Haustenbeck Paderborn. The weapons system was designed to be used on or out of the vehicle and was removable via a rail system built into the vehicle. It was proposed that the Geschutzwagon Tiger would have had a crew of eight consisting of a driver, commander, gunner, radio operator, and four loaders. Secondary armament was to consist of two 7.92mm machine guns.
The kit comes in a very sturdy cardboard box as is usual for Trumpeter and features 558 parts consisting of the following:
- 15 Sprues moulded in light grey styrene
- 1 Hull tub
- 1 fret of Photo Etch
- 2 Springs
- 2 Rubber band type tracks
- A very minimal decal sheet
The instructions for this kit cover 28 pages and 30 steps which are further broken down in each step (as can be seen by the included photo). Each step appears to be very clear, precise, and easy to follow, and I as yet have not found any errors or omissions regarding construction. There is also a poster type colour print with a 3 colour ambush pattern using MR.HOBBY paints
This being one of Trumpeterís newer kit releases, the design and layout is well thought out and presented with the sprue attachments well placed and of a reasonable size. The mouldings are flash free and well detailed and are of an expected standard for a modern offering from a major manufacturer.
The lower hull is a very large moulding which has no sink marks or warping evident. There is however a severe lack of detail on the underside of the hull but nothing that couldnít be overcome if so desired. The wheel assembly and support arms are straight-forward which should not present any problems, my only concern here is the small lugs that attach the support arms to the hull bearing in mind the large size of the finished model. The tracks are also a potential concern for some being the rubber band type but they are well moulded and have a heavy look about them. Obtaining the correct sag could cause some issues. Bearing in mind the cost of this model, a choice of individual track links or the rubber band type would have been a big plus.
The interior of the model is very well designed and laid out, the only weak point is the frontal machine gun which is poorly detailed and does not have a hollow muzzle. The Maybach engine and gearbox are beautifully rendered and are models in there own right. If Trumpeter boxed this engine and gearbox as a separate model it would sell very well I believe and itís a real pity that when all the firewalls are in place very little of it will be visible. It could be utilised in other vehicles where this wonderful moulding could be better seen perhaps even in a diorama where the power pack is being changed as one possibility?
The fighting compartment is well designed and, while sparse without the main gun installed, has good detail throughout. The only weakness here are some ejector marks that will need to be filled but they are in places that shouldnít cause too many problems as regards filling and sanding. There is one thing missing from this area that is obvious by its omission and thatís the ammunition for the main gun. The small amount of information I have been able to gather suggests that only five rounds of ammunition would have been carried and it would have been a nice touch if these 5 rounds had been included within the kit.
The main armament is well detailed and looks straight forward to construct, the barrel is made from six parts not including the breach and would not necessarily benefit from a turned metal barrel. The main gun can be displayed in or out of the vehicle creating some interesting possibilities for the more adventuress modeller and lends itself to a centre piece for a diorama. The surface detail on all parts is crisp with some of the supports being very fine and while not as fine as photo etch I would suggest its as good as is possible with styrene.
There is very little reference material available for this vehicle, most of what is out there I found at www.achtungpanzer.com
. What is available would suggest that this may be the first in a line of such vehicles mounted on the same chassis. From the few pictures available it would appear to be a good rendition of the real vehicle with some nice added detail. The inclusion of details such as the Maybach engine and gearbox and the full interior which means you have a very complete model in every sense of the word. The omission of individual track links and the poorly rendered hull machine gun are elements that detract and may deter some but can be easily replaced if so inclined. In the end, this model is a must for all those like me who love the what if-Panzers, it will build up into a good representation of the Geschutzwagon Tiger (judging by the few photos that are available) with very good detail throughout with the exceptions mentioned.