Dragon Kit #: 7204 Construction review by Rob Haelterman

Preliminary notes

  • For a preview, scan of the manual and parts see here and here.
  • I did not build this kit quite out of the box, as I had it entered in a what-if group build. Still, I believe quite a bit of my experiences are transferable to anyone wanting to build this OOB.
  • Apart from the prototype Sturmtiger (which had rubber rimmed roadwheels by the way), it seems all production vehicles had Zimmerit on the lower half of the hull. If you are so inclined, Atak has readymade Zimmerit sheets.

This is one of the very early Dragon releases, back in the days when both quality and price was low. The hull is a cast metal affair, the tracks are black vinyl and the manual shows a kit rather than a drawing, or so it seems.

Looking at the parts diagram and the sprues, we note that

  • a number of parts that are not for use are not mentioned. For instance you get three driver's visors, carrying the same part number, but with varying degrees of casting deficiencies. A spare MG barrel and handle is also present, although nothing to be truly proud of. I didn't use the gun in the kit or the ammo crane, although it seems the former could benefit from having its venturi hollowed out, and the latter is a rather brute affair.
  • the two tracks are identical. Given the asymmetry of Tiger tracks, you will need to install one backwards.

Construction begins with the wheels. For some reason, the middle wheels need to be fitted with an axle holder (part B11), of which there are some to spare. If you follow the instructions sheepishly, you will be gluing all wheels together before joining them to the hull. This, you will regret, as with the interleaved roadwheels there is no way you will get them installed on the hull. First glue the inner row, then the two middle rows and then the outer row. If you add the idler as Dragon would have you do, then it will interfere with the rearmost roadwheels and it will end up on the wrong side of the track teeth. (The manual shows the crooked installation that will result.) To me, the only way to solve this is thinning the idler halves until the assembled parts line up correctly. See pictures below.

How the idler lines up, if you follow the manual.

How the idler should line up. (Source: Militärfahrzeuge, Bd.7, Der Panzerkampfwagen Tiger und seine Abarten, Walter J. Spielberger)

Modification of the idler parts.

How the idler lines up after modification.

Modified (left) and unmodified (right). Note that the roadwheels are not glued yet.


In general, detail is rather soft, heavy and minimal. Notable examples are the track hangers (?) on the side of the hull, which I didn't install. If these were to scale, they could be used to suspend a complete Tiger, not just some tracks. There is a hole in the side of the hull (left side, to the rear) that seems spurious to me, as nothing needs to be fitted there. Conversely, there are no locating holes for the jack.

The sheet covers for the exhaust are in brass. They fit rather badly and are handed. The manual would lead me to believe that left and right side are the same, which they aren't.

The tracks are a link or two too short (and as mentioned aren't handed). I ended up stretching and applying copious amount of superglue to them, to the point that it seems I drew the left idler forward. It helps with the tracks, but is not quite realistic. I discovered that the best way to install the tracks after completing the hull is to have the drive sprocket loosely fitted, so it can rotate, while you guide the tracks over it.
There are some casting rods (?) on the inside of the tracks, which you can remove with a new scalpel.

In general, fit is not really bad, but some filler should be kept at the ready.

There is only one marking option, and this is limited to three Balkenkreuze and markings for the projectile. While these clearly are markings to instruct the user to keep the projectile dry, Dragon still has not vollständig mastered the German language, and some typos are clearly visible.

As you can notice in the pictures below, I didn't quite stick to the manual, and let my imagination run wild. The gun mount is one of the spare parts that come with most of Dragon's early Panthers and Jagdpanthers, while the decals are from various sources:

  • numbers from ICM (Bf109E 1/72)
  • Bow and arrow from Kagero (Bf109E 1/32)
  • Bulgarian crosses and licence plates from Aleran AX-2

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Article Last Updated: 05 April 2013

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