This offering from Pen and Sword as part of their Tank Craft series looks at the Tiger 1 and Tiger II. These books are I feel an attempt to offer the modeller a combination package covering both reference on the vehicles and a look at the models and items available to replicate the Tiger 1 and Tiger II Tanks as a scale model.
This offering from Pen and Sword is authored by Dennis Oliver, who is an author whose efforts I have looked at a lot recently. This is a soft backed with a good card cover protecting 64 pages of semi gloss paper. The contents of this title are laid out as follows:
The Eastern Front 1944
Tiger Formations – German Army
Camouflage and Markings
Tiger Formations - Waffen-SS
Technical Details and Modifications – Tiger I
Technical Details and Modifications – Tiger II
Product Contact Details
The text in this title starts at the front and then has a break before continuing after the modelling section. The text begins by providing a brief history on the Tiger and the units they were eventually to serve with issued to as they went into general service. In this section Dennis Oliver has as I have said before done a remarkable job of the information he has provided in so few pages, this man does not know the meaning of an easy life and does a great job in getting a lot into a small space. The aspect I was very pleased to see was the structure of the units and the meaning of the numbers displayed on the tanks turret as this is a question that often crops up.
The text is well written and presented in a way that makes reading and understanding the content an easy aspect of the title. There are short histories of the units from 501 through 510 (no 508) provided which I found particularly interesting despite their limited length. The author then moves on to Gross Deutschland which comes to a sudden stop and starting again after the section covering models where the following units are also provided with a short history:
SS-Panzer Regiment 1 Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH)
SS-Panzer Regiment 2 Das Reich
SS-Panzer Regiment 3 Totenkopf
After the sections on units the end of the book switches to details on aspects of the vehicle and while again short makes the reading of them interesting to me. I do like that the period images that have been provided to point out very specific details, but it was here that I wish the images were larger as they are a little on the small side. Taking a look at the period black and white photographs throughout this title is I feel the aspect that suffered due to the limitations placed on the author. Please do not misunderstand me the images are really well chosen but many of them are very small. The captions that accompany these photographs are on the other hand excellent being both well written and very informative.
Before reaching the modelling section of the title the reader is presented with a nice selection of colour plates covering the Tiger 1 and Tiger II Tank from the side only. These drawings have one very nice aspect are the unit badges covered here; I know that many modellers are very well versed in this aspect but not everyone is. The colour plates offer some pleasing camouflage schemes that are a nice reference for someone looking for a realistic finish that is a little out of the ordinary as well as the standard finishes.
The modelling section starts with a showcase of finished models that are stand alone only and a list of these can be seen aster this chapter. These will be of limited use to the modeller when it comes to building and finishing models, but they do offer some very interesting visuals when it comes to the finishing and weathering that you may wish to replicate. The section covering the kits available is a great section for the modeller who wants to see where to aim his or her pennies at. Models in 1/72nd, 1/48th, 1/35th and 1/16th scales and covers injection moulded plastic offerings. 1/35th scale models are by far the most covered and I feel that is the right step. I do like that the offerings cover the likes of Rye Field along with the companies we are all familiar with such as Dragon and Tamiya. The area covering the aftermarket items was likely out of date as soon as this title was published, but it does cover a good number of the companies catering to modellers looking for something to lift their model.
Tiger I – 13 Kompanie, SS Panzer Regiment 1 In 1/35th scale by Dennis Wong
Tiger I – Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 507 In 1/35th scale by Dinesh Ned
Tiger I - Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 506 In 1/35th scale by Dennis Wong
Tiger I - Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 506 In 1/35th scale by Lim Kian Guan
Sturmpanzer VI Sturmtiger in 1/35th scale by Dimitris Ionnidis
Tiger II - Schwere Panzer-Abteilung 503 In 1/35th scale by Sheng Hui
This is a great addition to the range of books covering tanks and authored by Dennis Oliver has made a stunning offering with this title considering the amount of space he had available and he has authored a title that all modellers should make space for in their library. I will say that the Tiger II is very light in the content of this title and cannot help feeling that this should be a Tiger I title only. I am not going to knock Dennis Oliver too much as I really enjoyed the book and appreciate his efforts in this release. One aspect I would bring to the attention of every modeller is to look at what can be done with Tamiya’s Tiger I early when it gets some TLC.
Darren Baker takes a look at one of the Tank Craft series of books covering the Tiger 1 and Tiger II Tanks German Army and Waffen-SS Eastern Front 1944 from Pen and Sword.
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About Darren Baker (CMOT) FROM: ENGLAND - SOUTH WEST, UNITED KINGDOM
I have been building model kits since the early 70’s starting with Airfix kits of mostly aircraft, then progressing to the point I am at now building predominantly armour kits from all countries and time periods. Living in the middle of Salisbury plain since the 70’s, I have had lots of opportunitie...