1:25 Scale Tiger Tank

Last updated 7/02/06    



This is a Tamiya plastic model kit I bought about one year ago from a friend that I used to work with. It took me about a year to get around to finishing it, but it was worth the wait. This is a model kit that I am told was offered in the 1970s sometime, but the kit was like new - the plastic was not brittle and the precision and quality is what you would expect of a Tamiya kit.

Before I built the kit, I did quite a bit of research about real Tiger Tanks in order to find out what the proper colors were for the interior on the tank, what the uniforms looked like, etc. to make the build be as accurate as possible.

Below are a few pictures of the project.

Here is the overall view from above. I just don't feel right about armor that doesn't have a proper display, so I made one. It measures 13"x11" and is made from a big brick of Styrofoam Brand "Gentle Grip" foam block glued to a 1/4" plywood base. It works great for dioramas because it's easy to work with, light and will receive rocks and things stuck into it very nicely. It can create a convincing landscape with some nifty tricks I learned over the years. This type of foam is what people use to make flower arrangements with silk flowers, but the nature of the material makes it great for constructing dioramas.
Here's a view from the rear. For the camoflage, I used an airbrush. I had never used an airbrush prior to building this model, and this model is in fact the first thing that I ever airbrushed.
Here is a right side view. The display uses real rocks and sand. The greenery is from a bag of moss that I picked up at a craft store, carefully inserted into the foam brick using tweezers.
Here is a view from the left. The camoflage pattern is supposed to be similar to what was found on tank of Schwere Pz. Abt. 502 around Sept. of 1943. I kind of messed up on the rear corner, but I think it's not too noticeable to the non-modeler. The colors are Tamiya Dark Yellow and Forest Green followed by a light overspray of Flat Earth to make it look a little dirty.
Looking at it from the front left. I made the vegetation look battered from the shells and bullets of the battefield.
Here's a little closer view of the battered vegetation. This was all created between things I found in my backyard and the bag of moss.
This is looking into the turret from the escape hatch. You can just see the breech of the 88mm gun in there. The turret and interior is nearly fully detailed, but could be more detailed than it is, looking at pictures of a real Tiger Tank.
Here's the gunner's hatch. The driver side has a driver figure in the seat. The kit comes with three figures. The tank had a crew of five.
Here's a shot of the commander standing on top of the tank. I patterned the uniforms after the woodland camoflage uniforms issued to tank crews about mid-war. It's all done mostly with an airbrush, and a little bit of hand painting for the detail work. This picture doesn't really capture it too well, but I suprised myself with how well it turned out.
One more view from directly overhead. The tank itself is fairly large - the body measures about 9.5"x6", not including the gun.
This is an old air compressor that was given to me which I used for the airbrush work. I reconditioned it and repainted it. I bought the 5 gallon tank off of ebay for $5.00, built a plywood platform for everything and connected the tank to the air compressor with a tee and a shut-off valve. With this arrangement, I can manually run the air compressor to fill the tank to about 20 PSI in about 30 seconds or so and then shut it off. With air from the only the tank at between 10-20 PSI, it works quite well for airbrush work. It still cost me less than buying a new air compressor with an integral tank. Cost isn't an issue, it's the challenge of making it all a working system...

All in all ,this project turned out pretty well. It's the first plastic model that I have built in at least five or six years.



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