Probably the most-popular German tank from WW II is the legendary Tiger. Allied tankers so feared it that rumors of its presence on the battlefield could shake morale. The Tiger I was fitted with the 88 mm KwK 36 L/56 cannon, a gun often mistakenly confused with its famous 88mm FLAK cousin. While both cannons fired the same ammunition, the KwK 36 L/56 was developed specifically for tanks. Its strengths included electric firing, a vertical “falling wedge” breech that expelled spent shell casings and remained open for the reload, and a “flat trajectory” that made for greater accuracy even when target ranges were miscalculated.
JBModel.eu has been gaining a following quite rapidly with a “bare bones” line of aftermarket barrels for a variety of scales, mostly for AFVs. The Tiger I (early model) is packaged in a zip-lock baggie and mounted on a lightweight paper cardstock.
The package includes:
1-piece turned aluminum barrel, brass locking ring, 7-piece brass muzzle brake/flash suppressor and screw and setting mark opening cover.
The turned barrel is well-rifled, and the brass components look as though they will slide nicely into place. There are no instructions included, which I’m willing to do without considering the reasonable pricing on JBModel.eu products. The gun has a screw on muzzle brake like the originals and in other respects is identical to the best AM barrels on the market.
This is a very accurate rendering of the KwK 36 L/56 with the internal requisite rifling, and comes more or less pre-assembled so that the instructions are almost beside the point. I compared the muzzle brake to a cross section cutaway from Spielberger's Tigers I and II and Their Variants and found no inaccuracies, but I'm neither an engineer nor a total expert on the Tiger I.
As I have stated in other barrel reviews, no styrene or resin rendering can handle a complex muzzle brake like those used on most Wehrmacht tanks. For that a brass solution is required.
NOTE: prices on products shipped to the US do not include the 20% VAT charged to EU customers. The shipping costs are far more reasonable than those from most European dealers and manufacturers (approx. $6 on a $45 order).
Highs: Accurate, crisp lines, very reasonable price.Lows: No instruction sheet.Verdict: Nothing in styrene or resin can compare to brass.