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"Finding a good Tiger I build - what to look out for?" Topic

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Baranovich15 Dec 2017 4:48 p.m. PST

Hello all.

I'm ready to pull the trigger on getting either a 1:48 or 1:35 Tiger I model. I'm planning on doing a sort of generic, winter time diorama of a Tiger I out in the elements with no particular specific historical location outside of it being "winter time during WWII" on whichever major front, both eastern and western fronts fought during winter months. I'm not overly concerned with the tank's exact unit markings in terms of where it places the tank as long as it's not marked as a unit that was in the Africa Corp for example (which would conflict with the winter theme!).

What are the most prevalent and biggest detail flubs to look out for? I'm aware from several of the modeling forums of the original Tiger's asymmetrical turret and that one or more companies out there make the turret incorrectly symmetrical.

Which companies actually make the turret correctly?

I'm also aware that the Tiger I's gun barrel and treads are a big issue for many modelers. I don't know the exact particulars of why the barrel is replaced by modelers, I just know that it's done. Same goes for the treads, I know very little/next to nothing in terms of why one kit's treads are "good" while another might be "bad", I'm flying pretty much blind with that one!

My goal is to get a decent kit to start with in terms of the overall passing grade of the basic structure, and then use Hauler P.E. accessories to go in and tune up some of the other details that might not be totally accurate with the base kit.

Thanks in advance.

mwindsorfw15 Dec 2017 7:27 p.m. PST

Just get a good Pz IV. To the Allies, all tanks are Tigers and all guns are 88s.

15mm and 28mm Fanatik15 Dec 2017 7:45 p.m. PST

A winter Tiger I diorama would more likely have been on the eastern front. The one major offensive during wintertime on the western front was the Ardennes Offensive, which featured King Tigers.

Regardless, you can't go wrong with popular brands like Tamiya, Dragon, Academy, Trumpeter or AFV Club. The asymmetrical turrets were only on the prototype Tigers in their first appearance at Leningrad.

Mass production Tigers (if you can call 1,347 "mass production") had symmetrical turrets, whether they're the early, mid or late production variant.

King Monkey16 Dec 2017 2:13 a.m. PST

Gun barrels are usually replaced to eliminate the efforts required in removing any seams in the two part plastic barrels.

Depending on which kit you decide on the tracks may not be an issue. A lot of kits now have individual track links or link and length tracks rather than the old style rubber band tracks.

There are plenty of revies of various kits on the internet.




Scott MacPhee16 Dec 2017 11:23 a.m. PST

As the regal monkey wrote, modelers replace the barrel to avoid seams, either from joining two pieces or from a mold line in a one piece barrel. Aber makes the best barrels I have seen, but they require some significant modeling skills to make them look their best.

The tracks should sag over the road wheels, and rubber band tracks don't do that on their own. Friulmodel makes white metal tracks that join with pins, and they look like the real thing. Many kits come with individual plastic links, and with good modeling skills, these can look nearly as good as metal tracks.

The Tiger I is one of the most depicted modeling subjects, so you are spoiled for choice in kits. The best kits are the more modern ones.

In 1:35, Rye Field Models does some outstanding early and mid tigers with complete interiors, and so far as I have seen, they are completely accurate. Dragon Models does Tigers of all makes, even some with the zimmerit already molded on the plastic. The Tamiya kits from the 90s are easily builds without a lot of detail. You'll have to add some aftermarket photoetch and resin to bring them up to snuff, but they will be a good starting point for a novice.

In 1:48, the Tamiya model is a little gem. AFV Club does tigers as well, but they will be harder to find.

You're spoiled for choice with this subject, so nose around some of the review sites and see what catches your fancy! Happy modeling!

Outlaw Tor16 Dec 2017 3:05 p.m. PST

From recent reading, all the Tiger I's had asymmetrical turrets, but only the Academy and early Tamiya kits got it wrong and the Tamiya's were corrected. So any new kit, after about 1990 will be good for that, so go read the many kit reviews to find the one you want with any other concerns.

Baranovich18 Dec 2017 10:31 a.m. PST

Thanks for all the great info guys, much appreciated!

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