Forces of Valor 80101 German Sd. Kfz. 182 PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausf. B Heavy Tank in Diorama - Normandy, 1944 (1:32 Scale)
"If the tank succeeds, then victory follows."
- Major-General Heinz Guderian, "Achtung Panzer!"
In January 1943, a new Tiger tank was ordered by the Waffenamt, this time with a turret large enough to mount the fearsome 8.8cm L/71 gun. Besides improving its tank killing capabilities, the new Tiger was also intended to be more survivable on the battlefield. To achieve this, the thickness of the frontal armor was increased to 150mm, while the side armor remained constant at 80mm. A wooden mock-up showing the immense size of the vehicle was displayed on October 20th, 1943 and immediately became the center of attention to all that saw it. Production of the vehicle began soon thereafter in November 1943 although the first 50 vehicles sported the Porsche turret with its curved front plate.
On December 6th, the Waffenamt deemed that the shot-trap formed by the turret be eliminated. This was achieved by Henschel re-designing the turret and gun mantlet, in such a manner as to decrease the frontal area while at the same time incorporating a bell-shaped mantlet. By March 1945, 489 Royal Tigers (a.k.a.
Konigstigers or "King Tigers") had been produced. Apart from five vehicles issued to the Feldherrnhalle division, all of the Tiger II heavy tanks were assigned to independent schwere Panzer detachments due to the tank's staggering size and weight, as well as its relatively slow rate of maneuver.
Now Forces of Valor has crafted a marvelous 1:32 scale diecast replica of the PzKpfw VI King Tiger Ausfuhrung B heavy tank. This stunning recreation features a rotating turret, elevating gun, opening hatches, and realistic-looking vinyl tracks! This particular King Tiger is painted in a dazzling Norman camouflage pattern and has been slathered with a layer of distressed zimmerit anti-magnetic mine paste. This diorama comes bundled with all sorts of battlefield accessories.
Dimensions of Diorama:
Length: 14 inches
Width: 10 inches
Height: 8 inches
Release Date: December 2003
Original Issue Price: $69.99
Historical Account: Schwere Panzer Abteilung 503 was originally destined for North Africa but was instead sent to the eastern front. It fought in southern Russia, taking part in the Don campaign and the withdrawal from Stalingrad. It also played a major role in the Battle at Kursk and was later attached to Panzer Regiment Bake in August 1943. Panzer Regiment Bake fought near Cherkassy and 503 remained assigned to it until April 1944 when it was transferred to the west. Afterwards, it was partially refitted with Tiger II (Königstiger) tanks and fought the allies in Normandy during the summer of 1944. It inflicted heavy losses on the allies but itself sustained heavy losses due to constant air attacks. Later on, it was sent to Hungary in September 1944 and was redesignated schwere Panzer Abteilung Feldherrnhalle in January 1945.