Thursday, September 3, 2015

In the Forest of the Night...

Rubicon brought out a 1/56 scale model of the Tiger 1 Ausf E almost a year ago.

The kit comes on four sprues, apologies for the poor picture. The grey circle in the lower right sprue is William Killen for scale.
The kit gives the option of three different turret tops and two different sets of road wheels. I chose a late war variant.

As was the case with the M4A3 model, the kit is reasonably easy to build, and to aid painting the chassis and the body can be kept separate. The one piece track does have problems with lack of detail on the treads but does mean there are no gaps. The two sets of road wheels are almost complete so I have a set left over for scratch building.

For the next one I would build, I would have spray painted the front and end plates of the chassis with the Dark Yellow, as you will see later I had difficulty getting the required colour on them through brush painting.

Three quarter view of the initial camouflage application. The Plastic Soldier Company aerosol paint seems to be a bit shiny (I do shake the can for two minutes) and the Vallejo paints seem to require a couple of coats to get a consistent finish over the sprayed paint. I have read that others overspray with a matt varnish before brush painting.

The base is PSC German Armour, the camouflage is Vallejo German Camouflage Brown Black and German Camouflage Dark Green. The chassis was left with Chaos Black then the wheels were brush painted Dark Yellow followed by camouflage colours. I might (spray) paint the wheels separately on a future build and add them to the tracks later.
You can also see I have fitted the smoke dischargers, that may be incorrect for the Late War period as smoke candles (they may be the same thing) were discontinued in February 1943. They were found vulnerable to small arms leading to a report of the crew of one tank being incapacitated. This may be the origin of Frank Chadwick's signature rule on infantry pinning tanks.

The decals were from the Warlord Games range, I bought the German pack at Colours in 2013.

The different size numbers in the vehicle is based on those of Abteilung 508 (New Vanguard: Tiger 1 Heavy Tank page 46) but is a compromise based on digit availability. They used a large outline number for the company and smaller solid numbers for the platoon and tank numbers. The numbers in the pack only included solid numbers. Using this format meant that I have sufficient digits for a second tank.
The balkenkreus is towards the rear, which made it easier to fit under the tow cable. I used Humbrol DecalFix to assist with decal placement. Each face was completed in turn and once dried, Humbrol matt acrylic varnish (49?) was used to fix them in place. This was after the debacle on putting the US numbers on The Device (see previous) where I dislodged one number while applying another decal.

This rear shot shows the problem I had getting the brush painted Dark Yellow correct.

The tank was weathered with Citadel Typhus Corrosion and Stirland Mud textured paints to build up the mud followed by washes of Citadel Agrax Dirtshade.

The burnt rust effect on the exhaust shields was built up from a mixture of Vallejo Black and Hull Red. There is a bit of Humbrol rust powder added as an experiment.
 Overhead view. The cupola mounted machine gun was not added as it is a) too vulnerable and b) not included in the Bolt Action rules. This is also the case with the build of the Warlord Games Panther.
If the sun ever shines, I will try and get some natural light pictures.

Overall the model was fun to build, there were no problems that stand out and no filling required.

I would have preferred the tow cables to have been separate, easier to paint and some earlier examples do not seem to have had them fitted, or they were fitted differently.

I cannot compare it to the Warlord games Tiger as I have not built one yet.