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135
Tiger, Tiger, Not Burning So Bright

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I was asked to review and then build Academy's new Tiger I (Late). It's a very nice kit, which lacks only Zimmerit, but this was easily fixed with the marvelous ATAK Zimmerit, which already has a set out for Academy's older Tiger kits. I was fortunate enough, too, that our own David Byrden helped me identify the kit's strengths and weaknesses.

Thinking about how I would build the kit, I recalled a photo of a wrecked Tiger in the streets of Caen that is likely from Michael Wittmann's unit, so I set about assembling the basics:

1.) Academy Tiger kit

2.) Interior from a shelf queen (Academy's Tiger I Early)

3.) ATAK Zimmerit

4.) Kaizen styrene tracks & metal track rods

5.) MiniArt Normandy street scene

6.) Various diorama accessories

The Kaizen tracks really impressed me, though I would have preferred them to have track rod knobs for BOTH sides of the tracks. They go together very well, and don't need a lot of clean up like most metal tracks.

The diorama accessories included cans of food, crates, a bathroom (complete with mirror & toilet with water tank), carpets, enamel street signs, interior furniture, and lace curtains. I added my own scratchbuilt details, including baseboards to hide the dicey fit of the floors & walls of the building interior.

And lots of rubble.

I used rubble on hand, and made my own shattered plaster by spreading plaster of Paris on a ceramic tile, then peeling it off when dry. The wood is bits and pieces of balsa and spruce from an RC airplane LHS. The broken glass is real: specimen covers for microscope slides come in 1" squares that are to-scale and easily shatter in a myriad of shapes.

Be careful, though, they are sharp as the devil and left me with some cuts and punctures that CA glue easily closed up (it was developed for the battlefield to help medics and doctors close up wounds without stitches, but it burns like the dickens when spread over a cut).

Given that a collapsing wall like the one in the original photo would create a lot of dirt and dust, I made liberal use of MIG powders, especially the "Rubble Dust" and "White Ashes" (for plaster dust).

Finally a brass bucket that was in the spares box completed the photo impression.

And you're not hallucinating about the Tiger having a very short barrel. The original in the photo had one, and I debated whether to follow history or modeling fashion. See, Tiger crews more often than not abandoned their tanks, usually when they ran out of gas or the tank's woefully over-matched transmission gave out. They would then drain the lubricant from the recuperator, fire a round and ruin the gun. I finally decided that accuracy would supersede aesthetics and I shortened the gun (including removing the breech in the interior and setting it back about an inch).

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About the Author

About Bill Cross (bill_c)
FROM: NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES

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


Comments

Very nicely done. Looks the same as the picture.
FEB 02, 2016 - 07:19 AM
Nice side-by-side shots! 📷 ómike
FEB 02, 2016 - 07:35 AM
Thanks for the compliments. It's fun to wreck a tank!
FEB 02, 2016 - 10:27 AM
Hi Bill. Really nice build, especially as you modelled it on a photograph and then added the background details to make a scene of it. I was wondering why you have it so far to the left and hanging over the edge when there is a lot of empty space in front of it. Have you plans to add somethign else here? Figures?
FEB 02, 2016 - 10:39 AM
This is a really great build and diorama. I'm building the same kit, and enjoying it even if there are innaccuracies with the periscopes.
FEB 02, 2016 - 11:18 AM
Bill, Another SUPER dio.....well done. Cheers, Joe
FEB 02, 2016 - 05:10 PM
Yeah, especially a German one!
FEB 03, 2016 - 01:31 AM
Hi, Frank, thanks for your kind praise. The photo shows the tank more in front of the collapsed building to its left. I was stuck with the dimensions of the MiniArt kit, so it leaves some space in front of the tank. I have pondered putting a figure or two there, but haven't come up with anything that excites me yet. Yeah, especially a German one! [/quote] Well, thanks to the Panzerwrecks folks, there seem to be far more photos of wrecked German tanks. And since the Germans had so many more varieties of tanks, there is also more to choose from.
FEB 03, 2016 - 05:08 AM
Bill, wow, really good work! Great to see an actual scene modeled; I know many modelers work from photos, your's I recognized immediately.
FEB 04, 2016 - 11:37 AM
Thanks, Fred, your comments mean a lot to me.
FEB 04, 2016 - 04:16 PM
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