Dragon DRA60490 German Panzerkampfwagen VI(P) Heavy Tank - Test Vehicle, Kummersdorf, Germany, 1944 (1:72 Scale)
"The gun and armor of the Tiger were superb, making it in many ways the most formidable tank in service. Even so, it was poor in maneuver, it was slow, and its turret was a slow traverser in action. It was a tank which was, at its best, immobile in ambush, when its killing power was very frightening."
- Douglas Orgill, "German Armor"
As part of a German competition for a new heavy tank, the Tiger (P) was produced by Porsche. The first prototype was ready for viewing by the Fuhrer in April 1942, with initial testing taking place in June. Porsche's design featured a forward-mounted turret that possessed an 8.8cm Flak 36 gun. Ultimately the VK 4501(P) proved a failure, with its power train subject to constant breakdowns. Instead, the Henschel VK 4501(H) won the heavy tank competition, and it went into production as the Tiger I. Consequently, only five Tiger(P) tanks were produced by Porsche before the 59-tonne design was rejected. Three of these were later converted into Bergepanzer Tiger(P) recovery vehicles in 1943, while only one armed tank saw combat.
Dragon Armor earlier released a 1/72 scale model of the single Pz.Kpfw.VI(P) that saw combat, but it is now releasing a model of one of the early test vehicles. The identically scaled tank is smartly finished in an appropriate single-color camouflage scheme of panzer gray. The model is fully detailed, and it perfectly adopts the nose-heavy look of the Porsche design. The tank has a minimum of weathering in keeping with its test-use status. Dragon Armor is very pleased to offer this very special replica of the rare German heavy tank, a replica that is ready for instant display by collectors. Now in stock!
Length: 4-1/2 inches
Width: 2-1/4 inches
Release Date: August 2011
Historical Account: "Test, One, Two..." - Kummersdorf is the name of an estate near Luckenwalde, around 25km south of Berlin, in the Brandenburg region of Germany. Until 1945 Kummersdorf hosted the weapon office of the German Army which ran a development centre for future weapons as well as an artillery range.
In 1929, the Army Weapons Office in Berlin wanted rockets for military purposes: in 1931 the test range at Kummersdorf took over the development of liquid fuel rockets type A1, A2 and A3 under the direction of Walter Dornberger. Wernher von Braun was at Kummersdorf from 1932 and developed a liquid fuel rocket in which the propellant was a high percentage of alcohol and liquid oxygen. He used this in his first experimental firing. In 1934 he fired successfully his second rocket, the A2, from the Frisian island of Borkum. On July 16th, 1934, Dr Kurt Wahmke and 2 assistants were killed and another assistant injured during a fuel test of a premixed hydrogen peroxide/alcohol propellant when the fuel tank exploded.
During 1936, von Braun's rocketry team working at Kummersdorf investigated installing liquid-fuelled rockets in aircraft. Ernst Heinkel enthusiastically supported their efforts, supplying a He 72 and later two He 112s for the experiments. Late in 1936 Erich Warsitz was seconded by the RLM to Wernher von Braun and Ernst Heinkel, because he had been recognized as one of the most experienced test-pilots of the time, and because he also had an extraordinary fund of technical knowledge.
The facility was too limited for advanced motor and flight testing, so in 1937 the group (now also supported by the Luftwaffe) moved to Neuhardenberg (a large field about 70 kilometres east of Berlin, listed as a reserve airfield in the event of war). On June 3rd, 1937, the Heinkel He 112 was flown with its piston engine shut down during flight by test pilot Erich Warsitz, at which time it was propelled by von Braun's rocket power alone. Despite the wheels-up landing and having the fuselage on fire due to an unpredicted area of low aerodynamic pressure sucking alcohol fumes back into the airframe which then ignited, it proved to official circles that an aircraft could be flown satisfactorily with a back-thrust system through the rear.