. . . Fearful Symmetry!

Tigers!  You gotta love ’em, whether they’re members of the big cat family or German heavy tanks!  In this case, it’s the latter we’re talking about here!

2018_0515_18450200Since it’s Neglected Model May, I’ve had a dig round to see what might be a quick win!  When my boss, StuG, decided to start WW2 wargaming in 20mm scale, I cut a deal with him and said I’d go halfers on an Italeri quick-build Tiger 1 kit – we each paid half the cost and I got one of the two models in the box (I let him have the decals and instructions – he needs them more than me)!  Anyway, that was last year, and whereas I built my model straight away, StuG’s is still safe and sound in its box, on its sprue!  Tigers have also featured this year on both Azazel’s and Colonel Mustard’s blogs, so that maybe prompted me a bit as well!

So having built it, filled a couple of moulding “dimples” and undercoated it, my Tiger has sat for a year doing nothing, so it was maybe time it got finished!  I’ve never been a big Tiger user and this is only the third one I’ve ever built!  With my limited knowledge, I know that the Italeri model is a late production vehicle because it has steel-rimmed roadwheels, although it also appears to have the narrow transport tracks as opposed to the wider combat ones (unless it’s just the drive sprockets that are too wide)!  If I ever build one of these kits again, I’ll try and remember to glue the one-piece track units on AFTER painting the lower hull – what a fiddly job trying to get a brush in under the overhanging hull sides!

2018_0515_18441700I’ve gone with late war camouflage of green and red-brown splotches over dark yellow (and I usually use Humbrol 85 for the latter since it’s more of a dull shade).  For a change, I mixed the green and red-brown with dark yellow to represent thinned-down camouflage paint being used and painted it on dead quickly to represent a hastily-applied camouflage scheme.  I used Plastic Soldier Company decals, restricting these to three-digit tactical numbers and crosses on the hull sides (photos showed the latter applied anywhere from the middle to the rear hull side, in various sizes).  Since independent Tiger battalions had three companies, I went with the the fairly safe turret number “312”, representing the second tank in the third company’s first platoon (there were 14 Tigers in a company in the later battalion organisation).  I was impressed with the PSC decals – they went on easily and the black and white portions of the markings were all perfectly centred!

2018_0515_18452800After sealing the decals with gloss and satin varnish I covered the vehicle in my usual thinned-down Humbrol enamel black/brown mix, removing most of the paint with brushed-on white spirit to leave it looking shaded and grubby.   Finished it off with a drybrushed earth/white mix, which picked out the steel roadwheels really well.

2018_0515_18455600I’m pleased with how it’s come out, given that it’s a fast-build kit and I only did a quick and dirty (literally) paint job on it!  Unfortunately, because of other stuff going on, I think it’s going to be my only contribution to the Neglected Model May challenge!  I’m also hoping that when I use it in a game it doesn’t do too much burning bright, in the forests of the night!

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11 comments

  1. Wow, love the Tiger. I’m still waiting (with anxiety) to do my first tank, which will be an M24 Chaffee, which was my grandfather’s in WWII. He was the driver, and said his crew ran into Tigers, and the only thing that they could do was try to knock a track off and “load it up with WP”. Was this all brushwork, or did you use an airbrush? I hope my Chaffee is half as good as your Tiger!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks Mark! And more of your family’s history serving with tanks, which is great! I think M24s have loads of character, probably a result of watching “The Bridge At Remagen” and “Battle Of The Bulge” too many times and buying the 1:76 Matchbox plastic kit of the Chaffee when it came out in the 70s! Your comment on WP is interesting, because I’ve read that when the 76mm-armed M4s entered service with US Army tank units, each platoon liked to keep one 75mm-armed M4 so that it could fire smoke at any heavier German AFV while the 76mm tanks used that as cover to get round the less well protected enemy’s flanks!

      The Tiger was brush-painted overall, but where I brush off the thinned brown mucky/shade wash it tends to soften the colours a bit and make the camouflage colours seem less harsh! I’m sure your M24 will look great and you’ll be pleased with it, not least because you’ve got some history to go with it!

      Cheers, John

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Beautiful mean beast , the tiger one of my first airfix models I built a long time ago , your painting job is a tad better though ,mine was some yellow desert like paint from dad’s shed ,great job mate !.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Pat! At least the Airfix Tiger had the axle stubs moulded into the hull, unlike their Panther kit where you had to glue all the individual axles on and leave it a week before you put the tracks on, or they’d all bend! And I would imagine that anyone who’s built an Airfix Churchill carries the scars for life after assembling the running gear on it!

      Liked by 1 person

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