1945 King Tiger in 1/35...
...a Limited Edition kit from Ammo of Mig Jiminez
Released under their own brand name, this kit is a product of the co-operation between Ammo and the kit manufacturer Takom. The King Tiger has been released by Takom themselves in recent months, both the Henschel and Porsche turreted versions. They have also done them not just as the basic kit but alternatives which also include a detailed interior. Along with their other kits, Ammo of Mig Jiminez have provided the painting instructions and illustrations, and the colours are tied to the Ammo range of acrylic paints.
This one has the Henschel turreted King Tiger though without any of the interior detailing. What it does have though are some extra parts which are also labelled as Ammo parts, produced as a variant that is a Limited Edition kit done specifically branded as and Ammo kit.
You can build is as either the late production variant as completed by Wegmann in March 1945. The particular features of these were that they deleted the ring on the commander's cupola; a simplified rear turret hatch; new holders for the spare track links on the sides of the turret and D-loops welded to the turret sides for attaching foliage as camouflage. Added to this were changes to the hull rear, deleting the jack and wooden jack block, cooling louvres rather than the large grille openings, two new locks for the driver and hull machine gunner along with other internal mechanical changes. The alternative that the kit provides for is a 'what if' option which was intended to enter production in July 1945, though the end of the war meant it was never more than a paper project. The improvements were planned to be a new Enternungsmesser 1.6m R (PZ) range finder designed especially for the Tiger B turret; a three-piece engine access hatch in the centre of the engine deck; a new radiator system; the installation of a Sturmgewehr 44 in place of the MG34 in the ball mount of the hull; an MG42 in a new mount as the co-axial MG in the turret; and the installation of the Infrarot-Sheinwerfer (FG 1250) infrared system on the commander's cupola. You have parts in the box to build either version, though for me personally I would go for the final production version as I prefer this to the paper projects which never actually went into production. I am aware that there are lots of fans of these late war design projects, the 'what if's' and if these are what you like, then this is another good one for you.
As for the kit itself, Takom have done a very neat job of it, and have quickly established themselves as a popular addition to the list of 1/35 plastic kit manufacturers. There is no internal detail in this release, other than the piston to support the loaders hatch if you want to fit it in the open position. Overall external detail is nicely done, and the instruction sequence includes the different elements depending on which of the two versions you choose to build. The tracks I like as these are a link and length style which does simplify their assembly a bit.
A separate fold out sheet provides for the various colour and marking options, four for each of the two possible versions. For the March 1945 last production type, option 1 is for an example at Paderborn with Rotbraun road wheels, left in the basic primer colour apparently and the upper hull and turret in a Dunkelgelb and pale Rosengrun disruptive scheme, which also has small dark brown spots shaped in what I would describe as a 'dog-bone' shape all over the Dunkelgelb sections. The second choice provides for a tank in a late war three colour scheme of Dunkelgelb/Olivgrun/Schokobraun, number 304 at Hamm. Third choice is tank number 421 in Koln, painted in the three colour 'Ambush' pattern. The fourth and final option for the March 1945 version is in overall Rotbraun primer at the Henschel factory.
Then we get to the four 'what if' options of the July 1945 project. These are all imaginary camouflage patterns and the first is a hard edged, splinter pattern of Dunkelgelb/Rosengrun/Old Wood. Next comes a variation in the style of the Ambush pattern. Third has a pattern with dunkelgelb running gear while the hull and turret are in a Schokolbraun and Polizei Grun camouflage which also has the 'small 'octopus' rings of Dunkelgelb on the Polizei Grun sections. This one has also been given a tank number of 602. The final option is tank number 232 and is overall Rotbraun (primer) with some Dunkelgelb disruptive painting on the upper hull and turret, plus, oddly, one road wheel on each side.
I suppose this is a natural progression for the working relationship and mutual assistance between Takom and Ammo and one I think which should be applauded.