As promised – here are the confusing sections of the assembly instructions for MAC Distribution’s kit #72057.

You’re happily glueing away when you get to this: horch-fixed

If you are “in the zone”, you might go ahead and follow that unhesitatingly. After all, the box cover art shows the vehicle with its rear tray sides up.

A few panels later, though, you see this: horch-confusion

Suddenly, you’re being asked to glue those rear tray walls down flat! How, when you’ve already glued the walls in vertically?

Panels 23 & 24 then have you realising…you actually have a choice about whether you want those tray walls vertical – in travelling mode, or horizontal – in action mode. But if you’ve followed panel 12 as it appears, you either have to live with the vehicle being in travel mode, or you’ve got to get your sprue cutters out when you see 23 and do some mighty surgery.

Why couldn’t MAC have avoided the problems raised by panels 12, 23 & 24 by simply following what Revell do when they give you a choice (see panel 9): revell-gets-it-right – show both assembly options at the same time and further alert you to the options by giving you a nice, big “?” to help you realise what’s going on?!

MAC Distribution – if you’re listening – please take this on board.

My advice to all of you – always read the assembly instructions in full before commencing assembly, to help identify and prevent problems like this occurring.

PS – I griped in earlier posts about how MAC only shows assembly from one perspective or angle. Sometimes it’s hard to see where pieces really should be going, if they don’t give you a cut-away view/transparent view or an extra view from another angle. I hope you can see that from the examples above! MAC, a further thing for you to consider implementing.

After all, your rivals can do it…

…and then it was suddenly finished. Here is the basic view, of the assembled kit in its undercoat of Chaos Black:

horch-and-aa-gun1

I took that photo on the angle so that you can see the driver’s side rear-view mirrors, which are actually etched brass pieces.

Here is the view from above:

horch-and-gun-above

Yes, the detail is extremely good. You can see that on the bonnet, and with the grilles on the back half of the chassis. How all that very fine detail will come out with more paint on it…well, I worry. I think that very fine detail will be lost.

Final photo – with the AA gun set up on the back:

horch-and-gun-as-unit

Why did I commence this post with “..and then it was suddenly finished”? All weekend I had been preparing myself for the very fiddly job of trying to glue on the very fine and tiny (and hence, impractical) etched brass pieces to support the AA gun shield, which I knew was going to be time-consuming and I would get glue all over my fingers, onto my clothes and possibly even across doorknobs and fittings of my house. When I had girded my loins and picked up the sprue cutter to cut off the gun shield and make a start, I found (after fifteen solid minutes of checking, re-checking and re-re-checking) that no gun shield is supplied.

If you remember, I’d bought two boxes of this kit. No gun shield on either set of sprues, so it’s not as if I’d lost it.

After all searching confirmed this, I joyously realised that all that hoopla had been neatly removed! All I had to do was apply what remaining etched brass bits there were (the etched brass bits is mostly the last stages of assembly) and I was done. On went the number plates, the towing hooks and the rearview mirrors (yes, even they are etched brass and IN TWO PIECES – you have to assemble them and that’s a pain) and it was finished. Done. A giant boil lanced and all pus extracted.

Painting it will be fairly easy – I’ll just go with Dark Yellow with a mild green cammo scheme. I’m thinking of drybrushing those grilles to preserve the fine detail as much as is possible.

To sum up this kit so far -1) they aren’t kidding on the box when they say for ages 14 & over, and 2) Henk of Holland‘s comment about AMC: ” Warning !!! The AMC plastic kits are poor and the passing of the parts is not correct. It is not easy to see on the instructionsheet on which place you have to glue the parts. Some parts need a lot of reworking. For me are this kits not adviced for a starter, but more for advanced modellers with expierence in scratchbuilding. The kits are too expensieve for the quality“.

MAC’s kits are not poor quality, they are very precise with lots of detail. I did have some issues with parts correctly fitting, hence the need for scalpel and file work to make them fit. The instruction sheet – I’ve talked a lot about this, I’ll show you what’s wrong specifically in another post. MAC kits certainly are for advanced modellers – which I don’t think I am. Tread carefully and slowly, and check everything first before applying any glue.

Although they were finished a fortnight ago, I wasn’t able to get around to photographing my completed Tigers until yesterday.

Now, these are Revell kits 03116 and 03161 – the difference being that in 03161 you also get a set of German infantry in Winter/Late War cammo gear.

I’ve posted here and there on what I discovered as I built and painted this kit. The only real troubles I had were 1) where I had used track links that are meant to get stuck on the turret as ‘ordinary’ track links, requiring those links that were glued onto the turret to require a little extra effort, and 2) when I realised I had to manually drill a hole (or two?) into the turret roof before assembly – but I’d already assembled.

Here’s the platoon:

tiger-platoon

The camouflage I chose was the Dark Yellow with Chocolate Brown scheme that GrossDeutschland’s organic Tiger unit at some stage in Southern Russia. I didn’t ‘mottle’ particularly well – in fact, until I applied the Kommando Khaki dust coats, they looked like milk cows!

You can see the camouflage pattern I did clearly in this photo of the platoon commander’s vehicle:

natural-aerial-view-of-commanders-tiger

I mentioned near the outset of their construction abouthow I was inspired by a colleague’s Panzer IIIs and StuGs, which looked so real because of dust coats and plenty of stowage and that I was going to add stowage to these Tigers.

I then discussed how I secured a barrel to a turret (which I directly based from a source historical photo). You can see the final product, painted-fishing-line-representing-steel-wire, here:

tiger-detail-secured-barrel-again

Pretty good, I reckon!

You can see all nine photos over at my Flickr account.

I think this is a very good kit. Great realism, not too complicated, sturdy and paints up very well. I’ve got two more to assemble as Company Commanders’ vehicles – once I’ve finished the Horch 108s, that is.

The extremely useful On the Way! website is back, hopefully for good. Supported by it’s creator Doug Chaltry (he of the Doug Chaltry technique, if you’ve read my earlier posts) as well as plenty of wonderful helpers.

If you’re doing wargaming in 1/72 or 1/76 and you’re buying model kits to do it,  On the Way! should be immediately added to your Bookmarks or Favourites.