Bolt Action Tiger I Ausf. E

This is one comes from the vault and prepared for a while now, but somehow got sidetracked with the further completion.

The Tiger I Ausf. E is a plastic kit, produced by Italeri for Warlord Games in 28mm / 1:56. We've covered Tiger I and IIs on here before, among others by Warlord Games and Rubicon, in plastic and in resin.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

The Tiger I was a German heavy tank of world war II, with the official designation PzKpfw. VI (ordnance inventory Sd.Kfz. 181) and was produced by Henschel. A total number of 1,347 units were build between 1942 and 1944 and were in service on the Eastern Front, North Africa and Europe in the late war. The early variants were prone to track failures and breakdowns, and the tank in general was expensive to maintain and to produce (expensive materials and labour intensive production methods). One of the reasons why, even as it was an impressive "war machine", it was overengineered. There were prototypes, for example by Porsche on the Tiger I development, the VK 45.01 (P), the hull was later used for the Ferdinand.

It was the first German armoured fighting vehicle that had the 8,8 cm KwK 36 gun (derived from the Flak) mounted, it was well armoured even until the final years of the war. Already in 1942 the successor was developed, the Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. B, better known as Tiger II or Kingtiger.

As of 2023, only a few Tiger I tanks are still around (different sources state 6 to 9 units), with the only running tank being Tiger 131 at the UKs Tank Museum. It seems as six are in museums and a small number part of private collections, as the temporary donated exhibit in the Tank Museum Munster, which was replaced by a GFRP reproduction.

But to return to the plastic kit, this one provided by Warlord Games is produced by Italeri and made from grey hard plastic in 28mm. The price tag is 24 GBP / 29 EUR for the single vehicle kit and it comes with two sprues, a decal sheet, stat cards, damage markers and a black-white instruction leaflet. The tank is covered in Zimmerit.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

Here you can see the two sprues, the gun barrel is even moulded with a slide-mould, so it comes with a drilled barrel. Details are good, not as crisp as other kits but still sufficient. Casting quality is okay, the plastic feels a bit soft and as this is a model kit, it is true-scaled and some of the items like tools are rather delicate.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

The "Schachtellaufwerk" is the first thing we build, left and right, the fit is good and it fits neatly to the lower hull. As a tank like the Tiger, especially a heavy tank, needs some proper weight, I added lead to the hull.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

Now for the upper hull. The side skirts are added, as well as the Zimmerit coated front and the lukes. You can build the lukes either opened or closed, in case you want to add crew.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

Adding the flaps and exhaust pipes on the back and the hull is complete.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

Next we assemble the turret. The gun can be elevated, the lukes can be build open or closed, once again to host the crew, and the sides of the turret are coated with Zimmerit as well.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

The turret can be rotated and is mounted by putting it in a 90° angle on the hull and letting it slide in.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

A quick comparison of three Tiger Is. The Rubicon kit on the left, the Italeri/Warlord plastic in the middle, and the resin Warlord on the right.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E

And to close the article, a few angled shots of the Tiger I.

Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E Bolt Action - Tiger I Ausf. E


It is a decent kit. But decent just isn't enough nowadays. If you want a Tiger I with Zimmerit, I suggest you get the resin kit, as the coating looks much more natural and realistic. If you want a "clean" one, go for the Rubicon kit, as it has two different patterns of wheels, more options for the exhausts and turrets, but less detailed tracks. But overall for the same price, it just the better choice.

If you're just looking for a cheap Tiger I, this is still the one to go for, as Italeri offers the kit in a non-Warlord packaging for less than 20 EUR, sometimes even as cheap as 15 EUR. Beyond this plastic kit, Warlord offers a "blank" early Tiger I as a resin kit for 40 EURs, and the wonky-looking Hollywood one from Kelly’s Heroes.

And as pointed out, it is not a bad kit, it just has hard competition and with something as iconic as a Tiger, you should try to go the extra-mile to satisfy your customers.

Bolt Action is a brand of Warlord Games.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

Posted by Dennis B.

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  1. It looks good and easier to assemble than the Rubicon kit but the Zimmerit looks a bit shallow. Easy to assemble is good though resin would be even better in that respect.

  2. I bought this years ago and it has sat on the “to do” pile due to the ghastly zimmerit.

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