Aber 16K01 1/16 Tiger I Early Version

Andrew Dextras

It was perhaps inevitable that after the release of the 1/16 Tamiya Tiger I kit that the most ambitious of PE manufacturers was going to make the PE set to end all PE sets.  Well itís here and itís fabulous.

Whatís in the box?  A lot, and not just photo etch.  No less than 19 sheets of PE ranging from medium size to huge, a wooden jack block, tow cables, track changing cable, brass castings for turret spare track holders, brass castings for tow cable ends, brass castings for hull hatch pivots, tiny screws for side skirts and a large variety of brass tubing, rod and wire.  Instructions consist of a 52 page booklet, superbly illustrated with large sketches clearly showing the assembly of each kit section.

Construction begins with the hull hatches and features fabulous detail and workable hinges.  The periscope detail is excellent and 11 pages are dedicated to the hatches alone!  The kit features front and rear fenders, both completely workable.  These parts are beautifully rendered.  The engine screens are incredible with a beautiful cross hatch pattern, these have to be seen to be believed.

All hull tool and cable fittings are present, the wooden jack block is a nice touch too.  The tow cable ends made from cast brass are made like the real thing - the cable wraps around the castings in a ďloopĒ.  The hull sideskirts are included in the kit and can be attached in two ways:  gluing them and attaching bolts heads or using the supplied brass bolts and screwing them to the hull.  The exhaust shields are also supplied and can be attached in the same manner as the sideskirts.  S-mine assemblies are included and feature brass tubing for the launchers.

The turret parts include the cuppola periscopes, turret bin hatches, smoke discharger assemblies and hatch interiors.  Aber thoughtfully provides a template for marking off where the spare track hangers are located.  A nice touch.

In summary, anyone even considering building the 1/16 Tamiya kit without this PE set will be losing a lot of realism.  Even if you donít use the hatch interior parts, there is so much detail everywhere that the level of finesse elevates the Tamiya kit from a great 1/16 kit to an awesomely detailed reproduction.  After spending the bucks on the Tamiya kit, do yourself a favor and get this etched set, you wonít regret it.


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