Tiger tanks – track links on turrets – research

October 27, 2008

Regular readers would be aware that I am working on assembling and painting four Tiger Ausf. E’s, made my Revell GMBH. Yesterday I was able to address many of the smaller, fiddly details which I’d been procrastinating about because I told myself I wouldn’t do details until the hulls were nearly complete. After a hour the hulls were nearly complete so I was forced to push on as I had nothing else to work on and a dedicated three hours of the afternoon already set aside for hobby work.

The hulls only had some minor assembly to go – I had decided that not all vehicles would have the three supply tow cables, so I finally got some putty out and filled the holes where the tow cables were the be attached and glued. That done, I glued on the front armour shield and the front mudguards. Finally, the machine-gun barrel for the front cupola and the armoured headlight could be glued into place. Done!

Some advice – those front mudguards were a bit of a pain. The printed instructions show them neatly sliding into the slots made once the front armoured shield has been attached. So, first glue the shield into place before doing the mudguards. Second, without glueing, try sliding a mudguard neatly into the slots – it won’t go. You need to make a thin gap where the hinged part is, so that the whole piece slides into place – currently, the side of the front armour shiled will be blocking it. Don’t use a scalpel or knife – I used a fine file to make a gap about a milimetre wide and two milimetres deep. Then it slid in perfectly. The instructions show the hinged section on an angle, but it’s flat on the sprue and you would need to do a lot of reworking to put the hinged section on the angle.

I was then able, while waiting for everything to dry, to really get to work on the turrets. This was mostly trouble-free – except that you are meant to drill out three holes in the turret roof before assembly. Well, I didn’t do that, did I? Anyway, with my mini/hand drills I was able to drill the holes out, getting myself out of a possible hole, and keep going.

The turret sides have a number of holes on them so that you can attach track links to the turret, which is to model that many crews did that as the links worked as shot deflectors / extra armour. You can see these holes on the turret side here. Now, model kits are cast so that you are making one particular vehicle. I’m making lots of different vehicles, so right now I’m holed up (pardon the pun) researching historical photos to see how many Tiger crews did this and how many links on average were attached. Then I can use putty to fill the holes and have a variety of vehicles modelled.

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