Italeri Tiger 1 Ausf E

by Michael Walsh

Tiger 1 History & Specifications

Production of the Tiger 1 commenced in August 1942 and ceased deliveries in June 1944 with a total of 1,354 produced by Henschel . The Tiger 1 in this feature was powered by the later engine the 700 bph Maybach Hl 230 engine. This gave a Maximum road speed of 30 kph with a cross country speed of 20kph. The tank mounted the 8.8cm KwK36 l/56 Gun .It also mounted 2x7.92mm mg34 machine guns, a third mg34 was used as air defence. Its combat weight was 56 tons with a crew of five.

Construction & Super Detail

ABER Brass Detail Set 35015 - Construction began with making up the brass Interior periscopes around the commander’s cupola complete with wing nuts although this will not be seen when the model is completed .This enables you to gather confidence with working with very fine brass. I then took up the task of inserting fine wire into the latches for the tool bins. As per diagram (B) of the Aber instruction sheet . This was a very time consuming process because part of the latch had to be positioned while the opposite side was closed .No glue was required because it was held in place by the brass. I then glued the catches once they had been assembled.

I then scribed out the turret seam line to make the 2-piece turret roof. Once the roof was scribed I then got a fine knife blade and cut an indentation into the plastic making sure you do not cut the roof in half. A fine plastic length of sprue was inserted and glued into position. When dried I then used a Dremel to bur up the plastic, which gave me a nice weld bead along the top. Note, when using the Dremel mask on both sides of seam line so you don ’ t slip off an damage the surrounding plastic. This procedure is described in Tony Greenland’s Panzer Modelling Masterclass.

The Italeri kit tracks had sinkholes on the inside of the track. On this occasion I ended up using Anvil Miniatures (AM-35t02) Tiger 1 late model tracks which also did require some clean up from flash but once completed by clicking together, all of 15-20 minutes. They certainly look the part

The individual track tool components then had latches/brackets made up for them which this took quite a considerable amount of time a good couple of hours. On this occasion I can mention, do not be in a hurry to complete your project or mistakes happen. With working with fine brass you can damage or lose the item due to the urgency in completing the task.

Having completed the lower hull without the tracks .At this stage I completed installing most of the brass pieces, i.e.: track tools..etc onto the upper hull deck including the drivers and radio operators hatches with proceeding along to glueing into position the upper and lower deck. This is where the fun starts .I must say this takes a lot of time cementing into position because its not a smooth fit.

The upper and lower hull needs a lot time and effort, once together I used a paintbrush with some Gunze Sanyo MR surfacer 1000,This was to fill some gaps around the upper and lower hull halves .At the same time I installed the front section containing the drivers visor and Hull machine gun.

I followed the kit instructions in Step 8 and 9 apart from the minor modifications to the Tow hook by adding wing nuts and the exhaust mufflers using plastic rod and Brass covers . I used Aber brass brackets for the crank handle and brass rear fenders using resin wing nuts.

Step 10 found me putting on a modified fire extinguisher and scratch built jack block complete with new Aber locking clamp to hold the jack block in place. All the track tools were cemented on complete with the Aber brass brackets. The tow cable brackets had been made out of brass and my intention was to show the cables out of the brackets.

Step 11 I had to glue the Zimmeret onto the turret .I used super glue to hold into place as I slowly moved around the turret joining the 2 pieces together .I followed the kit instructions on the first half but found this would be rather hard to realign the zimmeret once stuck to the side.

On the other side I started placing the zimmeret at the start of the turret and worked my way around to the back. Utmost care should be taken when doing this because; if not applied correctly you will find the zimmeret will not align up with the top of the turret .

STEP 12 The sides and the top of the turret were cemented together making sure I put in the Loaders periscope. A lot of people seem to overlook this on doing their Tiger 1 ’ s .Once this was done I then moved onto the Pilze sockets for the crane jib. I measured the sizes and locations out of the new ACTUNG Panzer number 6, with drilling the holes out with a pinvice I cut lengths of brass to the size of the hole and then used “ flash ” Cyanoacrylate to hold into position.

The putty mixture was to sit in the crease. allowing a couple of hours to let it dry I then went over with a fine piece of sandpaper ,NB: don’t sand to heavy around the barrel or flat spots occur .

STEP 13 The turret bin was glued into position complete with Aber clips on the rear bin I then moved onto to the commanders cupola and added the hatch stopper and range finder mounts using plastic card and rod. I then modified the commanders machine gun by cuttung off the original moulded mount and installed a new Anti- aircraft mount with a combination of a Tamiya Panzer 4 mg mount from an accessory set and scratchbuilt with Aber brass. As previously mentioned the Kit mg is nowhere to scale and should be chucked. I then used an mg from the same panzer 4 accessory set. This mg was used on most of the large German tanks during WW2

Moving onto the loaders hatch I used the Tamiya loaders hatch because with its finer detail on the inside of the hatch . The handles and locking clip are far superior than the Italeri one .Added to the hatch , the field modification of the emergency close cable .This is not seen clearly with figures in the hatch but I used a combination of electrical wire and brass .The emergency close cable was used in times of combat where the loader did not have to expose himself to close the hatch .

Moving onto the track hangers I used Anvil minatures tracks which come complete with the resin hangers for fitting their track.The end of the tracks have to be drilled out so the shaft of the hanger can fit up inside the track. In the track set they give you a piece of wire and a small resin tool so you can make up your own handles .Once completed making the wire handles I then proceeded along with checking against plans out of Achtung Panzer No 6 for the exact postioning of the tracks .

I cemented the lower half of the track hanger onto the turret then attached the track onto the lower half and then with a small amount of glue held the track into position before glueing the top half down .In Anvils plans they advise you to drill out holes for the tops of the track hangers for handles to be inserted .I did this to one hanger and found that because of the fine wire which they supply the resin was and too thin and fiddly . I ended up just gluing the handles directly onto the resin hanger. After completing the above task I then moved onto one more correction which is overlooked by Italeri which was installing a small drilled out plastic barrel sleave for the co-ax mg and cemented onto the mantlet.

The vehicle was then given a base coat of Humbrol chocolate enamel on the lower half of the vehicle and Matt 94 Desert yellow for the upper half. The vehicle then received a combination green and red brown spay patterns to which colour numbers I cannot remember .Completing the camoflage job I then gave a final coat of Testors Dullcote Laquer .The kit was left to dry for 24 hours so when it came to applying the wash the paint would not be damaged .

I then sprayed Testors glosscote in areas where I would be applying the decals. Once dried for about half an hour to an hour I then used the kit decals applied with warm water and Mr Gunze Mark softener . It’s great because it really softens the decal up and sits in the recess as you can see with this tank with the applied Zimmeret

The three tone camoflage colour had come to me whilst I was reading “ Tiger 1 on the eastern front ” .With the Schwer Panzer Abeilung 507 (Refer Page 83 for colour plate). The colour scheme “ may ” have used during the retreat to Warsaw.

On completion of this vehicle my main intention was to have figures in all hatches of the tank to represent a living representation in 1/35 th scale . The figures were painted in oil paints for the flesh tones and enamels for the uniforms. Sealing the arms and heads before painting with a mixture of Tamiya Putty and Revel glue . My only extra conversion to the figures was the wire on the headphones for the radio operator and adding extra wire from his collar to his throat microphones.

Completed October 10,2000

The finished model can be seen in the Gallery - Webmaster