This kit by Tamiya I wanted to incorporate into a diorama. These days, I like my models to depict some sort of story as it makes the hobby more interesting. It comes with 4 Waffen-SS tank crew figures and so that was a good basis. One of them is holding a cup which I made from tiny plastic tubing! The commander is a Panzer Ace.
It is supposed to be somewhere in Normandy behind the front in 1944. The crew are having a breather before resuming the battle to repel the Allied invasion, while some French villagers look on. At the time of the invasion there were just 3 Tigers stationed in Normandy!
The Tiger is such a symbol of German military prowess that there is really no need for me to discuss it here suffice to say it suffered from several serious deficiencies:
- Too heavy for its engine and transmission, it was lumbering and relatively slow.
- Suffered frequent mechanical breakdowns.
- Poor fuel economy and limited range.
- The running gear was overly complicated, making maintenance in the field virtually impossible.
- Turret traverse was too slow, even when the hydraulic system was in use.
- The lack of stabilisation equipment meant its main armament of 8.8cm Kwk36 rifled cannon could not fire very accurately except when stationary.
That said, its protection was unrivalled, and its legendary main armament was without doubt the most lethal at the time.
I used a special tool from Tamiya for applying the ‘Zimmerit’ anti-magnetic mine paste to the hull and turret of the tank which is made from Tamiya putty. The model was first airbrushed hull red brown which was the factory undercoat colour. Then it was airbrushed in the standard dark yellow /red brown/ green camouflage pattern. I was quite pleased with the Zimmerit finish as it was my first attempt.