In-Box Review
Tiger I Barrel (early model)
8.8cm KwK 36 L/56 Tiger I (early model) Barrel
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by: Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]

Probably the most-popular German tank from WW II is the legendary Tiger. Allied tankers so feared it that rumors of its presence on the battlefield could shake morale. The Tiger I was fitted with the 88 mm KwK 36 L/56 cannon, a gun often mistakenly confused with its famous 88mm FLAK cousin. While both cannons fired the same ammunition, the KwK 36 L/56 was developed specifically for tanks. Its strengths included electric firing, a vertical “falling wedge” breech that expelled spent shell casings and remained open for the reload, and a “flat trajectory” that made for greater accuracy even when target ranges were miscalculated.

JBModel.eu has been gaining a following quite rapidly with a “bare bones” line of aftermarket barrels for a variety of scales, mostly for AFVs. The Tiger I (early model) is packaged in a zip-lock baggie and mounted on a lightweight paper cardstock.

The package includes:
1-piece turned aluminum barrel, brass locking ring, 7-piece brass muzzle brake/flash suppressor and screw and setting mark opening cover.

The turned barrel is well-rifled, and the brass components look as though they will slide nicely into place. There are no instructions included, which I’m willing to do without considering the reasonable pricing on JBModel.eu products. The gun has a screw on muzzle brake like the originals and in other respects is identical to the best AM barrels on the market.

This is a very accurate rendering of the KwK 36 L/56 with the internal requisite rifling, and comes more or less pre-assembled so that the instructions are almost beside the point. I compared the muzzle brake to a cross section cutaway from Spielberger's Tigers I and II and Their Variants and found no inaccuracies, but I'm neither an engineer nor a total expert on the Tiger I.

As I have stated in other barrel reviews, no styrene or resin rendering can handle a complex muzzle brake like those used on most Wehrmacht tanks. For that a brass solution is required.

NOTE: prices on products shipped to the US do not include the 20% VAT charged to EU customers. The shipping costs are far more reasonable than those from most European dealers and manufacturers (approx. $6 on a $45 order).

Highs: Accurate, crisp lines, very reasonable price.
Lows: No instruction sheet.
Verdict: Nothing in styrene or resin can compare to brass.
Percentage Rating
  Scale: 1:35
  Mfg. ID: 35B01
  Suggested Retail: $8.17
  Related Link: company website
  PUBLISHED: Apr 14, 2009

About Bill Cross (bill_c)

Self-proclaimed rivet counter who gleefully builds tanks, planes and has three subs in the stash.

Copyright ©2021 text by Bill Cross [ BILL_C ]. All rights reserved.


Bill I have this barrel and while I agree 100% with your review of the product I don't agree that the lack of instructions does not matter.
APR 13, 2009 - 05:18 PM
Darren, I don't think Bill is implying that the lack of instructions doesn't matter as it's listed as a 'Low'. He merely states that considering the price, he's willing to give that luxury up.
APR 13, 2009 - 05:24 PM
Darren, I perhaps did not adequately express myself, and I apologize. Given the many complaints I hear on this site and in real life about the escalating cost of the hobby, some compromises will need to be made. Being able to purchase a really excellent add-on barrel like this one for this price perhaps means a little sacrafice in clarity. I probably should have added something along the lines "not for the first-time AM barrel user," and if James wants to add that to the review, I'm fine with it. In my case, I don't really care about the lack of instructions, as I've purchased AT LEAST 25 AM barrels in the past year, including a half dozen Tiger Is (yes, I have that many in my stash right now or on the workbench). There are good resources on the 'Net, too. For example, Dave Byrden's terrific web site where he has some very marvelous CAD images of a Tiger I muzzle brake that will help one sort this sort of thing out. His site is also excellent for pointing out the flaws of ALL the major (and some minor) Tiger kits, allowing the perfectionists like myself to build the best possible Tiger in plastic. If you have the dough, I would recommend the Aber or Voyager version (the latter reviewed by me here). But if money is an issue, then the JBModels.eu barrel is the clear choice IMO.
APR 14, 2009 - 04:14 AM
I do believe JB Model.eu and RB Model are supplying/manufacturing an excellent product at a very good price. I feel however that considering the minimal costs involved in including a printed sheet of paper. or providing online instructions for the products is so low that it should not effect the cost of the product. This would make the product easy to use for anyone regardless of knowledge, and would address the only weakness in the products. I do accept that not all the products require instructions, and when I reviewed some products from JB Model.eu I told the owner that the lack of instructions was the only weakness in the products.
APR 14, 2009 - 08:44 AM
does anyone in the US carry JBs barrels?
APR 15, 2009 - 02:00 AM
Tim, I have seen them here, but at prices higher than JB. Their shipping charges are very reasonable. I would urge you to buy directly. The service is first rate, too. Their base price for US residents has gone up a little lately with the stronger Euro, but they are still sometimes less than half the price of Armorscale or Aber. Darren, I don't know what it would cost to make up instruction sheets for all the barrels he distributes. I do intend to put in a caveat for any future reviews saying "not for the first-timer unless you know what you're doing." But in fairness, some of his barrels (e.g., those for the Sherman 76, T-34 1941, Hetzer, etc.) are simply turned aluminum with no brass to worry about.
APR 15, 2009 - 04:26 AM

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