Hello again everybody!
Thanks for the compliments Dave, Geraint and Jon, she is starting to look the part now eh? This layered weathering gives it a 'nice' complexion, a bit like expensive cosmetics really!
Ahh! Now here's an old chestnut. Geraint this question of which MG was used for the AA ring mount on the commanders cupola! The official line was that the co-axial MG was to be used for this purpose... But I imagine that the continual threat of 'Jabo' attack in the Normandy theatre of operations meant almost constant use of an AA weapon to be in situ, when in transit or harbour/bivouac. The s.SS.Pz.-Abt.101 can be seen on their passage through Morgny on route to the front, in march order with all Tigers sporting an MG mounted on the cupola. Now in such transit situations, it would be probable to use the co-axial MG... But after reaching the frontal area of operations, I think it would be more probable for a AA MG, bow MG and co-axial mounted MG to be ready for any situation, rather than removing either from their mounting cradles within the Tank. Though when looking at images of Tigers in Normandy with an AA mounted MG the cooling jacket/sleeve doesn't appear to be the more ventilated Infantry type for sustained fire. Though these crews were well drilled and could probably whip, strip and refit in seconds... So unfortunately we can never be fully sure of the definitive either or!
Maybe Herbert could chip in here?
Right onto some mud, yet again. With the amount of travelling these beasts did through the dusty, muddy highroads, lanes and fields of Normandy in the changeable conditions, of June 1944, I'm going for the many light layers effect.
Firstly a little rotational splatter of light thin puddle mud for the road-wheels. This was mixed with MIG pigments and white Conte pastel (ground very finely) mixed with Vallejo thinner and Vallejo satin varnish. This was applied in a 'splatter' method by airbrush and a 'slurry' loaded brush. A mask was fashioned from a piece of scrap PVC with a spare road-wheel for a template.
Right that's about it for the road-wheels, maybe the odd hub lubricant leak, and a light dusting of pigment when in situ on it's base.
Next a little attention to the exhaust shrouds, just to liven them up a bit, and make this often badly treated part of the Tiger 1 look more 'utilized'.
MIG productions range of rust pigments were lightly and randomly dotted on the battered areas of the sheet steel shroud (with the fresh rust sparingly being used on the freshest chips and gouges) all applied on a streaky wash of thinner, before being 'dragged' down with a wide water colour brush, dampened with thinner.
After this has dried, it can then be masked with 'Humbrol Maskol' liquid masking solution, and masking tape in a hap-hazard fashion, trying to imitate the dry band of mud and dirt midway up the shroud, where the muffler doesn't have the heat shielding effect of the armoured exhaust cover to deflect the immense heat of the overworked Maybach from the thin sheet plate of the shrouds.
Then when dry (you can dry it with a blast from the airbrush, this can actually add to the reverse 'splatter' effect we are aiming for) carefully aim your 'dry mud mix' at the area where the driest muck would be.
And when dry you can remove you mask, carefully!
Now I have paid a visit to the kind folks over on the MIG forums, thank you gents!
And have been given a little bit more of an insight into fine tuning the weathering and environment detailing of this Tiger. So with that in mind a little wet puddle mud has been applied to the rear fenders and lower hull, to break the flat muddy monotony that it was threatening to become. MIG's Europe Dust was mixed with MIG's Acrylic Resin, and Vallejo satin varnish, then dabbed onto the edges of the fenders and profile of the lower hull, and splashed to suit with intermittent blasts from the airbrush once again.
Now we just need to glue the hull roof to the hull, after the bow MG is in place, wire up the Bosch headlight, weather up the turret spare track links a little more, some deposits of dust on the horizontal areas that would collect a fair deposit... And Rob's bootprints. And finally we can get onto another Tiger eh?
Okay back tomorow sometime, take care... Phil