Kit Preview : 1/76 Fujimi Tiger II Henschel turret with hard tracks

About the manufacturer
Fujimi is the only remaining active major 1/76 plastic injection molded kit manufacturer. They took on the Nitto range about a decade ago and have been rereleasing tehir catalog gradually. Their latest kits include link and length hard plastic tracks. Be sure to check if the kit you are buying has the old rubbery tracks or the new ones. Just a hint: the cheaper ones have the vinyl tracks.
Henk of Holland has a very useful list of all the serial numbers of Fujimi and Nitto kits.

About the vehicle
More information at Wikipedia.

About the kit
This is not the same base kit as the Porsche turret King Tiger. The recent Tiger IIs with link and length tracks are ex-Nitto. This kit is a Fujimi mold. The running gear is different and the hull is shorter in height. The wheel spacing for the Jagdtiger is wrong. The Hagttiger has a longer hul comapred to the Tiger II. The extra length is between the rearmost roadwheel and the idler wheel. The kit has the idler set back and the sprocket set forward. The roadwheel axles are crude (no hub detail) and too long. The gun lock and most of the stiowage is missing. In summary don't buy this kit and go for the Nitto kit with hard tracks reference number 76043 instead.

I was planning on just using the link and length tracks from a spare Fujimi Tiger II but the project became more complex when it became apparent that the basic mold was different. I actually should have ditched the kit and bought the 76043 version, but in a fit of modeling bravado I decided to make do with what I had. I ended using the entire lower hull of the Nitto Tiger II,lengthened by 1/8in. Fortunately there were enough spare track links that could accomodate the extra length. The upper hull is too short in height. It is padded with plastic strip and filed to shape. The front part of the casemate needs considerable putty to blend in the sides. Fujimi has the sides becoming narrower towards the front where they are really a continuation of the side armor. The same applies to the rear part of the casemate.

Reviewed on October 26, 2011.