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Paul Brown

Airfix 1/72 Tiger I (A02342)

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The second of Airfix's 1/72 tank releases, here's what you get.


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A few thoughts relating to the kit.

  1. The mould quality is generally good, there is a tiny amount of flash on the exhaust shrouds and some shrinkage here and there where the parts are a little thicker. The suspension assemblies have pin marks, but these will be concealed behind the wheels. Detail is pretty good, I especially like the wheels that go with the link and length tracks, the tracks themselves looking much better than rubber bands. The one piece track is less convincing.
  2. I believe both of the options offered should have Zimmerit applied. The front plate has a moulded on shovel, but as far as I can gather this is the only impediment to applying Zimmerit using whatever method you might favour.
  3. Decals are for tank ace Michael Wittman, schwere Panzer-Abteilung 101, or a whitewashed Tiger of 2. Kompanie, schwere Panzer-Abteilung 501.
  4. Be aware that Wittman's Tiger was a Befehlstiger (command tank) and was fitted with extra radio gear. On the day of the action in which he was killed he had apparently borrowed the COs tank. Also 007 was fitted with all steel wheels, not the rubber tyre type as depicted in the kit. A simple fix would be don't paint the tyres in a rubber colour and I'd guess nine out of ten cats wouldn't know the difference. If it bothers that much you need then you need to look at other kits if you want to represent Wittman's vehicle.

 
This is a kit (along with the Sherman) that's likely to get a mixed reception, or at least ultra treadheads are likely to be disappointed with what's on offer. I think you have to look at the demographic that this and the Sherman are aimed at - a very broad one. The kit has sufficient detail to satisfy most people and the simplified running gear will be a boon for those that don't want to be fussed with the link and length, but the more discerning armour modellers will be feeling that it falls a bit short in comparison to other products that are available. Me? I think this and the Sherman should be excellent AMS/stressbusters and that's exactly how I intend to use them in the near future.

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That(as a big fan of the Tiger 1)looks pretty fair to me.

Good points about 007 too and yes,he had borrowed another tank that fateful day. 

You could also do the 501 Abt vehicle

as a sand painted machine from when 501 were training in Germany before going to the Russian front .

 

Edited by Miggers

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This arrived today (amongst other things ;) ), resin Zimmerit. It's wafer thin, extremely flexible and should be easy to trim. I have a plan in respect of the front plate which involves taking a cast, removing the moulded on shovel, casting it in resin and then sticking it back on after the Zimmerit has been applied. 

 

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5 hours ago, Grunhertz said:

Good idea do they do it in 1/35?

JKT only do sheets or sets for specific models in 1/72. There's literally dozens of PE Zimmerit sets you can get in 1/35, although Meng and Tamiya are doing decal Zimmerit that looks interesting.

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According to David Byrden (he knows his Tiger's) and his Tiger.info site. Tiger #007 had the standard roadwheels (although s.SS.PzAbt.101 were equipped with Tiger's with both types of wheels) commonly termed mid and late production versions so it's possible that Westernhagen's Tiger had the steel resilient wheels  and the the smaller cupola , and a gun travel lock on the left rear hull. It also had a spare antenna tube on the right rear hull as it was a Befehlspanzer belonging to Heinz von Westernhagen. Also my Tiger books (it being my all-time favourite Tank) confirm the above. And the reason Wittmann borrowed his CO's vehicle was because his Tiger was poorly.

Remains of Tiger #007 

50891212933_d193c765c5_w.jpg75jhxf9uqxn31 by Darren Greenwood, on Flickr

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