.: Simon Godfree's Airfix PZKW VI Ausf.B King Tiger

Modelling Time:
7 hours
PE/Resin Detail:

"Great little kit rom Airfix"

The Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger II Ausf. B "Königstiger" (Sd.Kfz.182) / VK4503(H) was the most powerful combat tank produced and deployed during the World War II. Up to the end of the war, the Allies did not introduce anything that could effectively counter it on the battlefield. The Tiger II combined a powerful and effective gun with think sloped armor that was virtually impervious to any Allied tank or anti-tank gun. The result was battlefield history.

VK4502(P) / Typ 180
VK4502(P) / Typ 180

Planning for the Tiger II started as early as May 26th of 1941, a year before the Tiger I entered production, when Adolf Hitler met with officials responsible for the armament development including panzer development.  By the fall of 1942/January 1943, designers at Porsche and Henschel started work on a new heavy tank that would eventually replace the Tiger I. In January 1943, Hitler ordered the new Tiger to be armed with a long barreled 88mm L/71 gun and have 150mm frontal armor and 80mm side armor. Front and side plates were to be sloped and interlocked, resulting in a design similar to the then-new PzKpfw V Panther (Sd.Kfz.171).

Once again, Henschel and Porsche were ordered to develop the new vehicle as both companies had started work on heavy tank designs in 1937 and 1939 respectively. Porsche provided two projects that were based on the previous VK 4501(P) design and were designated VK4502(P). The first one, Typ 180 (Turm Vorne) A/B, had its turret mounted centrally, while Typ 181 (Turm Hinten) A/B/C, had its turret mounted in the rear with a mid-mounted engine (similar in layout to the modern Israeli Merkava main battle tanks). Both designs shared the same chassis and hull, along with all the other components and gasoline-electric system of VK4501(P). Both designs were extremely similar, with the only difference being the location of the turret and some mechanical components. Only wooden mock-ups were produced.


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