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Armor/AFV: Axis - WWII
Armor and ground forces of the Axis forces during World War II.
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Tiger Evolution
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 02:52 PM GMT+7
Tiger Evolution

The Tiger tank is one of the most studied subjects for the scale armour modeller; contentious and stressful for the web-based super-detailer, yet evocative and enticing. The array of kits available on the market is wholly confusing; currently Dragon slay the opposition at with their hard to find boutique kits, however sourcing such rare beasts can be an expensive headache. With huge diversity of aftermarket products it can be easy to fall into the trap of sourcing a lemon, yet on the whole those pieces out there will go to make your base-kit something more special, whether it be resin or photoetch, white metal or brass.

Having recently built and super-detailed the 1/35 Tamiya Tiger 1 (late) last year I was captivated; being a dyed-in-the-wool Panzer IV fan I was surprised to have been bitten by the Tiger-bug, but the catalyst was surely the SMI Productions book ‘Modelling the Tiger 1’. This particular reference lays out in easy to understand sections the evolution of the Tiger 1 & 2 production models and their different features. Coming in as a late entry I am equally impressed by the Xtreme Modelling publication ‘Elements in Combat 3; Tiger 1 & variants’ with a splendid collection of Tiger 1 models. I strongly suspect ‘Elements in Combat 4; Tiger 2 & variants’ will be my next purchase.

Having spent months researching this Tigerfest I have managed to source a number of kits for a journey into this confusing jungle of sprues and hope to bung in a dizzying array of aftermarket shineys to keep the Tigerfans interested.

To kick off I will take a few detailed pictures of my recent late Tiger 1 build to whet your appetites, but hope to be better build quality and detailing references.

Keep an eye out for picture uploads!

Please feel free to follow me on this blog that will incorporate the following Tiger variants:

1. Tiger 1, Initial
2. Tiger 1, DAK
3. Tiger 1, Early 503-style
4. Tiger 1, Classic Early
5. Tiger 1, Mid (Kursk)
6. Tiger 1, Late
7. Tiger 1, Early Fehrmann
8. Tiger 1, Initial Hybrid
9. Sturmtiger

Keep a close eye on this thread; the Tiger trail will no doubt lead to a surprising collection o’moggles!

Also; any help along the way would be greatly appreciated.


Bill Hazard


http://panzersinscale.blogspot.com/
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 02:54 PM GMT+7
Tiger 1, Initial (sPzAbt 502)

The first build of this run will incorporate mainly items from Dragon 6252, Tiger 1 Initial Production, Leningrad 1943. The actual AFV it depicts is posibly a composite, but will represent one of the very first production versions (Fgst 250001 to 250010) as it has ‘mirrored’ left & right handed tracks, exhaust flappers and a special sPxAbt 502 tool configuration. The build will be a facsimile of the second Tiger in MMiR’s ‘The Modeller’s Guide to the Tiger Tank’ with one or two differences; the tank will have battle tracks, rather than transport tracks (I will deploy transport tracks on a later build in the series, Tiger 1 Early, sPzAbt 503, tactical number 323).

This project will use the following items;

• PzKpfwVI Ausf E SdKfz 181, Tiger 1 Initial Production, ref 6252
• Masterclub Tiger 1 Initial tracks, ref MC135007W
• Voyager Model Tiger 1 Initial Type PE set, ref 35055
• Voyager Model Cleaning Rod for Tiger 1, ref ME-A054
• RB Models 8.8cm KwK 36 L/56 Tiger I (early model), ref 35B01
• Aber MG 34 machine gun tips barrel for turret mount, ref 35L83
• Aber Barrel for German Tank MG 34 machine guns, ref 35L63
• RB Models turned brass antenna, ref 35A02
• MIG Early Tiger 1 Battle Damaged set, ref MP35264 (which includes damaged road wheels, battle scarred mantlet & driver’s front plate)

The final finish of the kit will include base-colour tactical number (101) with white outlines on left and right aspects of the turret and the large sPzAbt 502 mammoth on the rear of the turret (a smaller mammoth on the front right of the bow plate). The will be no turret bin on this build as I want to make sure I get more than one Tiger 1 of the run without a turret bin as I like that look so much (the Fehrmann will also be without a turret bin). This Tiger was produced in late summer 1942 (August) and was one of the very first of the production run, the features that identify this are:

• Early, atypical tool configuration (five cleaning rods, two long crow bars, tool stowage on the rear plate, which will be a modification of the kit)
• Hull mounted twin Bosch light mounts (the glacis plate mounted versions to be use on the upcoming DAK build)
• I am undecided about the the engine hatch - unlike the MMiR build this Tiger may have the engine hatch vent rectangle (I recently finished Otto Carius’ ‘Tigers in the Mud’, which recounts a story of battle-weary Landsers being overcome with fumes on the rear of his Tiger, which belched carbon monoxide from this aperture; they were not able to resuscitate them at journey’s end)
• KGS 63/725/120 mirror tracks
• Very early style mantlet with binocular sights, but without reinforcing rib or shield
• The final drive area still had a cut-out for the Vorpanzer, however, the pivot aperture was welded shut as the additional glacis plate armour was now defunct
• Relatively featureless external starter guide plate, mounted diagonally
• Lack of jack & block (there will be some mounting for the block on the rear plate only)
• Lack of exhaust shrouds
• Antenna mount on the right upper rear plate
• Lack of side-skirt mudguards and rare appearance of the locking fillets on the hull sides, front and back
• No track changing cable
• Early simple bent metal track front mudguards & rear (fixed removable fender secured by six bolts to a base plate)
• Early-style fume extractor (without cap, which was dispensed with whilst in combat to assist clearing toxic cordite fumes from the crew compartment after firing the gun)
• Exhaust hinged flappers (note the angle of mounting)
• Presence of toggle bolts to attach wading guard to the bow MG port
• KFF2 periscopic sights for the driver above the driver’s visor
• Factory installed smoke grenade launchers on the turret
• Initial style welded loaders hatch on the turret
• The commanders cupola was a drum version and had rain shield mounting rods
• Two asymmetrical armoured pistol ports in the rear of the turret (I will have to modify the kit in this instance)
• Both outer front road wheels will be removed to reduce the risk of fouling due to the extreme terrain during time of deployment on the Leningrad front

Note on the kit; I understand that there is one omission in the instructions relating to the underside of the tank. The early Tigers had two circular bolted engine access plates, one of which is moulded into the lower hull, the other (part F19) needs to be added, however, is not mentioned in the instructions. I also note that the bolt alignment is suspect and I will need to check my references (or leave it as a minor unresolved issue if I can’t face such minutiae – this and bolt alignment of the sprocket wheels, however, I may give that a miss). In comparison to late versions marketed by Dragon this kit has relatively few spares. The OVM tools are offered with or without moulded brackets (which is useful for the two long crowbars), however, there is not much ‘fat’ in the kit, such as unused Feifel or hollow guide horn composite spare trackage, unlike later versions (including the Fehrmann version). One bonus, however, is that this kit offers early-style sprocket wheels and a full set of rubber-tyred road wheels, which can be deployed or swopped with an alternative set for a hybrid version or mid-version simultaneously with an off-the-shelf Tiger such as the Kurzmaul Tiger 1, late. I intend to use the second 6252 to maximum benefit in this way; donating the whole running gear to the second Fehrmann to make the ‘Classic Early’ running gear, furthermore, depending on hull configuration of that kit I may have to use the 6252 as a basis for the early Tiger 1 and use the Fehrmann hull for the junk-hybrid, but that (as they say) is another story.

Here goes…


Bill Hazard

http://panzersinscale.blogspot.com/
alanmac
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Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 03:31 PM GMT+7
Hi Bill

Nice to see you here.

Each site has it's own character and feel. Hope you enjoy it here. I'm sure you will.

All the best

Alan
Byrden
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Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 05:48 PM GMT+7
Hallo Mr Hazard.
Dragon are about to release the Initial Tiger kit again, and they have incorporated changes to reflect recent research, which I will summarise here.

There were at least two layouts of tools on the nine Initial Tigers of the 502nd. Also, these layouts were apparently finalised in Russia, since the tanks arrived from Germany with fewer tools mounted. So the "German" layout is a third layout, including no turret bin.

Only one of these layouts has been deduced from photos and represented in the kit. Here it is:



Note that the tank has tow cables and mesh screen on the engine deck. The rear hull wall carries more tools; jack block, track toolbox, starter adapter and jack.

David
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 06:47 PM GMT+7
Hi Alan - thanks for the welcome.

Hi David; thanks for that feedback. Regarding the first 9 Tigers you mention;

Did any of them sport the OVM tools such as sledge hammer, spade, track pin tool at the rear of the AFV as demonstrated by Pat Stansell in The Modeler's Guide to the tiger Tank (Fgst 250008, page 70), or is that factually incorrect?

Further in these 502 deployed Tiger 1's; what was the configuration of the spokes to nuts/teeth on the sprocket wheels? Were the spokes aligned with the nuts, or were they interspaced?

I like your Tiger 1 website BTW.

I will attempt to upload some pictures for you.

BTW - to the moderators; can you move this into the Axis discussion group area please? I thought that I had placed this blog there, but obviously got that wrong. Oops.


Please call me Bill, by the way. Mr Hazard is far too formal.

Ciao!
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 - 06:55 PM GMT+7
Rightyho; wheels on with MIG Tiger 1 battle damage set to spice things up...








Comments most welcome.

If you are interested - there is a collection of my former work on this link;

http://panzersinscale.blogspot.com/

Abyssinia!
thebear
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 01:13 AM GMT+7
Hi Bill ...good to see you here ...I'll be watchin'!
Byrden
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 02:13 AM GMT+7
Bill;

I don't have that book.

There are photos of Tiger 111 with those tools on the rear wall. But I don't know the complete tool layout of 111.

Some of those nine Tigers had the original alignment of the spokes with the bolts, and others had the later, more common alignment.

David
Beaver2206
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 12:14 PM GMT+7
Woo Hoo, looking good dude!

Nice to see you on Armorama.

Stuart
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 01:21 PM GMT+7
Hi David; thanks for that. The details are (as we say in England) as clear as mud...he he. Gives me Carte Blanche, innit?

Yo Fozzy! Howdy-doody, my man! (Well, bear, actually).

Beavie! What with Tigers, you & Fozzy Bear we're starting a menagerie! Not, not a menage, a menagerie. He he...I just cain't help mesel'.

Ha ha...be upstanding for an upcoming update!

(PS Stuie - I like your linky - can you make me one?)


Mwah! X
Beaver2206
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 01:31 PM GMT+7
Sure can bud, PM me with a rough idea of what you want it to say and we'll go from there.

Now where's this update, I've been standing around for, like, minutes...

Stuart
Byrden
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 01:47 PM GMT+7
Well, if you have a particular Tiger in mind, I may be able to tell you more.
The known photos are thumbnailed here.
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 02:56 PM GMT+7
Man, Stuie; I never knew you wuz so impatient. Stop it! Now! D'ya hear? Now! He he...

Hi David! How about Tiger 111; any ideas on configuration of OVM tools and tow-lines (and requisite tie/hold-downs) and any idea on how those sprocket wheels would have been - lined-up or not?

I reckon this Tiger lark is a minefield!!!
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 03:49 PM GMT+7
Hi guys!

Today’s update shows some WIP on the armoured exhast covers. Dragon offer some pretty nifty covers here, but they need a little jiggery-pokery (as do Tamiya, but I have a surprise up my sleeve for the upcoming DAK build there..nod-nod, wink-wink);

• Filling the gap-lines where the lifting lugs are positioned
• Addition of casting numbers
• Texturising of the cast metal surface

Here you can see preparation of the covers – so far I have filled the filling defect around the lifting lugs (parts B4) on the exhaust coverts (parts B1) with 50/50 mix of Tipp-Ex and Cellulose Thinners (hereby referred to as ‘CT’). I keep this handy mixture in an old bottle of Tamiya Extra Thin Cement (hereby referred to at ‘TETC’), which is useful on several grounds;

1. the square bottle is less likely to spill
2. the cap has a fine brush which does not denature in the CT
3. it is always ready to use
4. this mixture fills tiny gaps & sands down really well with a fine nail file
5. because the bottle is square & does not sit on its side I find there is no residue build up in the cap thread, which can be a right pain (problem solved with a TETC bottle)

I have also prepped the areas that will take the casting numbers with four thin coats of Johnson’s Klear for better adherence when I apply the casting numbers using Archer’s decals.



I will apply the casting number using Archer Surface Details ‘Casting Symbols 7’, ref AR88007. I will use Micro Sol & Klear for this process and will also apply casting numbers on the gun mantlet and the snorkel pipe cover thingumy at the back of the engine deck. I have decided to side-step the MIG mantlet as it is smaller than the kit part (as is the bow plate – I note that this was mentioned in Gary Edmunson’s Tiger build in Osprey’s Modelling the Tiger 1, ISBN 978-1-84603-170-0). My theory is that MIG resin shrinks after casting as do most things when they cool. Food for thought; the mantlet is 1.5mm too narrow and the bow plate is 2mm too narrow. Further; the mantlet is warped & has two huge air bubbles in. Shame.

After that I will apply a ‘cast’ surface texture using a skaggy old bottle of Mr Surfacer 500 (also cut 50/50 with CT and kept in an old TETC bottle for the same reasons). I find this bottle is horrendous to open as the Mr Surfacer really glues up the bottle top thread.

NB; I notice a relatively high ‘view count’. I would be delighted to field any questions – please feel free to post up, fellas.

Further; I will update Panzers In Scale regularly, so please have a look in from time to time.

Adios!


Bill

http://panzersinscale.blogspot.com/
Byrden
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 05:26 PM GMT+7

Quoted Text


Hi David! How about Tiger 111; any ideas on configuration of OVM tools and tow-lines (and requisite tie/hold-downs) and any idea on how those sprocket wheels would have been - lined-up or not?


The sprockets of 111 had two unusual aspects; the spokes were lined up with the outer bolts and with the inner 5 bolts.

The rear plate had the axe, wire cutter, jack and spade. I don't know the full layout of tools on the hull top.

David
Beaver2206
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 05:35 PM GMT+7
I have so much trouble opening the Mr Surfacer bottle too!

Stu's top tip of the evening, detach the plastic insert from the cap and press back onto the bottle before the metal screw cap. You should not have any further issues as when you take the top off next, the screw cap will come off easily, leaving the plastic cap to prize off with whatever impliment you feel fitting.

I wouldn't give out those sort of jems to anybody you Bill, just for you bud.

Stuart
Beaver2206
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 05:37 PM GMT+7
Cast numbers look stunning mate, I am soooo getting myself a set. Don't know why I'm still trimming the sprew-frame numbers off and using them. Doh!

Stuart
hedorah59
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Posted: Thursday, April 15, 2010 - 06:08 PM GMT+7
I will be following this build all the way, and am looking forward to the journey!
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 08:05 AM GMT+7
Hi guys and WELCOME to all, especially Kirk for taking the time to post up for the first time to this Tigerfest!

As you can see the casting numbers are on over the snorkel apparatus cover, mantlet and armoured exhaust covers. The Archer transfers really are quite spectacular in this instance and will look pretty snazzy when painted up. One has to be careful to trim the excess carrier film off the edge of the decals prior to soaking in warm water (which is a doddle – the decals slip off in no time). I used four applications of Micro Sol after the decals had bedded down, then three light applications of Klear to make sure they would affix permanently.





Please also see the MIG resin mantlet that I might resurrect later in this series, along with the bow plate, once I can figure out a fix on the shrinkage issue.



NB; If the sprockets of 111 had those unusual aspects (the spokes were lined up with the outer bolts and with the inner 5 bolts) the Academy Tiger 1, early sprocket wheels will be just the ticket as they fulfil both of those criteria! I will show a picture of this later.

David; I note that 111’s rear plate had the sledge hammer, track-pin tool, jack block, part of the crank handle and spade. I am not sure whether 111 deployed a jack in its OVM tool configuration, but have seen some initial Tiger 1’s with the jack hanging to the lateral aspect of the right exhaust, but in this instance it would be impossible due to the presence of the sledge hammer and spade. I might have to do further research into the OVM layout on the hull top (if there was any).

Stuart; thanks for that Top Tip ; are you sure you never wrote for Viz Comic? He he...

Thanks to all for advice, assistance & interest; catch y’all, like, latier, man!


Bill

http://panzersinscale.blogspot.com/
Byrden
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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 09:12 AM GMT+7
Bill, if you can find any photos or diagrams of 111 that I'm not aware of, please do tell me about them!

David
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 10:14 AM GMT+7
Hi David

In The Modelers Guide to the Tiger Tank there are some nifty pictures, but I am not sure about copywrite laws on scanning & posting them up on this thread - do you know whether that would be an issue?

Whilst I have your ear; do you know what types of mantlet 503's Tigers sported, specifically Tigers 323, 321 and 123? This will be vital in production of the third build in the run; I can't quite make out what mantlet 323 had and think 321 had the ribbed version with a sun visor on - do you know (especially 323)?

Thanks.


Bill
Byrden
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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 10:26 AM GMT+7
Bill;

Are those photos not on the site that I linked to above?

I'll check out the 503 mantlets later...

David
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 01:41 PM GMT+7
Hi guys!

Regarding sprocket wheel the kit part supplied is rather well cast, but for an initial Tiger doesn’t quite hit the mark – Ok for a generic early Tiger 1, but the spokes don’t align with either the sprocket nuts, or the hub nuts, however, (big surprise here) Academy streak home & grab gold with their ‘early’ version, which is an absolute corker! Not only do the Academy sprocket sprocket wheel spokes align with the external bolts, but the spokes also align with the hub nuts.

Dragon part;



Academy part;



Get in!

Now all I have to do is prep approximately 200 resin Tiger 1, mirror tracks.

I could be some time…


Bill
Major-Hazard
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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 02:06 PM GMT+7
Hi David

They are TD's by Mitsuo Terada, but only of the rear plate, no specific photographs.


Bill
Byrden
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Posted: Friday, April 16, 2010 - 03:18 PM GMT+7
Bill:

The spokes on a Tiger originally aligned with the outer bolts, but after a few machines were built, this changed. Some of the Initial Tigers of the 502 had aligned spokes, but they're not the decal options in Dragon's kits.

As for the central bolts, they sometimes align with the spokes, but I don't know if it's accidental or the original setup.

The ONLY Tiger I know that has the sprocket wheels exactly matching the Academy kit is.... Tiger 111.