German armor of WWII has had, to say the least, a lot written about with many, many models coming out to support the literature. Tamiya continues to release wonderful 1/48th scale kits of German armor and the latest is a Tiger I from Early Production for the Eastern front. Inside the box, you will find a new bottom hull from another kit and decals for 2 Eastern front Tiger’s:
- No. 233, 2nd Company, 503rd Heavy Panzer Battalion
- No. 213, 2nd Company, 502nd Heavy Panzer Battalion
Looking into the box, the majority of parts are either road wheels or tracks. Tracks are straight runs with separate individual tracks to go round the front and back wheels. There are ~ 26 pieces per side for the tracks. I will say this up front, fit is super all the way around.
Construction starts with the lower hull and includes the option for four weights to give the model bulk. I used them and they help things sit well. There is no interior and looking later, you can see through the back vents so I painted this area black so the silver weights do not easily show. The road wheels were a lot to do but that is common with this tank. I elected to paint the road wheel black and use a template to paint the centers. In hindsight, I might have painted them and hand brushed the rubber portion. The tracks were next and here I varied. I used AFV Clubs individual track lengths for fun. The kit parts fit well and took paint but were difficult around the front sprockets and back roller.
Once the bottom was set aside, I built the top and turret. Fit was awesome and I followed the instructions with no issues. There are several places to drill holes so don’t forget these. There is no zimmerit included. I held off the exhausts to paint and weather it. The rest built with no difficulty and I was ready for paint.
I elected to chose No. 213 as it was a solid dark yellow/sand color and I wanted to weather it. I used Tamiya paints thinned and adjusted. I added the decals and weathering began. I used a combination of AK weathering pencils, pastels and a rust wet. I went back and forth until I was happy and flat sealed the entire thing and added the top to the bottom (no seam so I could add now) and added the turret and remaining small parts.
What a fun kit! The fit is great. For those wanting to super detail, this would be a great palette. For those wanting OOB, it is great kit. Highly recommended.
Thanks to Tamiya and IPMS USA for the opportunity to review this kit.
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