Hobby Boss 1/35 VK4502 (P) Hinten (Kit 82445)


Planning for the Tiger II started in May 1941, that is a whole year before the Tiger I went into production. By Fall 1942 / January 1943, designers started work on a new heavy tank that would eventually replace the Tiger I. Hitler wanted the new Tiger to be armed with a caliber 88mm, long gun and have 150mm frontal armor and 80mm side armor. Front and side plates were to be sloped and interlocked, a similar design to the Panther Sd Kfz 171.

Henschel and Porsche developed competing designs for the new vehicle. 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 (Turret Forward) A/B, had its turret mounted centrally, while Typ 181 Turm Hinten (Turret Back) A/B/C, had its turret mounted in the rear with a mid-mounted engine. Both designs shared the same chassis and hull, along with all the other components and gasoline-electric system of VK4501(P).

Construction of three prototypes was underway by February 1943. The turret and guns were designed by Krupp, the distinctively shaped ‘P2-Turm’ turrets which were designed for these vehicles have since been called Porsche Turrets. As production of these had already started the first 50 KingTiger were fitted with these. Unfortunately the large armoured ‘lip’ surrounding the turret ring on the Type-180 was not a feature of the Henschel design and resulted in a major shot trap below the mantlet. All later production King Tiger vehicles used the H3-Turm turret, commonly known as the Henschel Turret. It seems that one of the Porsche Type-180 vehicles may have been in operation since a Porsche Tiger with an 8.8cm L/71 gun is listed as part of the Panzer Kompanie Kummersdorf on March 1945. Virtually all operational Tiger II tanks, and prototypes were used at the end of the war.