Tiger 1 Mid Production
The Tiger tank was a German heavy tank that saw service between 1942-45. During the invasion of Russia in 1941 the German army found their Panzer III and IV were outmatched by the Russian T34 and KV1 tanks.
A new heavy tank was ordered to counter the Russians with both Henschel and Porsche submitting prototype designs. Henschel eventually won and the Tiger was born. Powered by a 12 cylinder Maybach engine and a devastating 88mm main gun the Tiger was feared by all that fought against it.
Fortunately for the Allies the Tiger was costly to build, and it had high maintenance and running costs. This meant the German army only built 1345 versus over 30,000 of the now inferior T34.
The Tiger was finally phased out by the superior Tiger II after 1944.
Tamiya first produced a Tiger I model in 1970 though they released the kit I have built in 1995. The box contains a lower hull, 4 yellow sprues and 3 dark grey ones for the individual track links. As well as the usual tools and cables, a commander figure could be built.
Also Tamiya released a 35180 maintenance crew set, 35188 Ammo loading crew set and a 12647 Zimmerit photo-etch pack. The maintenance crew set included an engine that could be installed into the model as well as tools and figures.
There were no issues during the build. Though with 24 road wheels and 240 individual track links to remove, clean up and paint there were tedious periods.
To replicate the Zimmerit coating I used a Zimmerit applicator tool.
I spread a thin layer of Tamiya putty onto the areas of the tank that required the Zimmerit. Before the putty dried I rolled the applicator tool over it to create the Zimmerit pattern. While it was a bit messy to do it does gives a good result.
I opted to fit the engine from the maintenance set into the model as well as adding two figures. To finish the scene I made a base with painted plaster rocks and various Woodland scenic flock and turf.
This build was 10 years in the making! When I started the kit I had not done a lot of work before I lost interest in the hobby. A decade later when I had returned to finish it there were new tools and techniques to use.
As the Tiger is one of the most iconic vehicles from WWII for a modeller it has to be built. I am pleased with the final finish and I will probably look to make a Tiger II or panther in the future.