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  1. Hello friends!. Finally I finished my Tiger Number 121, from the 1 - Schwer Panzer - Abteilung 501, Tunisia. ( know that this tank it not carried the front support for track, but I comited a mistake and I decided to leave it, sorry!). Work in prgogress here: Tiger Ausf. I E/H Regards! Rodolfo
  2. 1/35 Tiger I Middle Production Sd.Kfz.181 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.E Rye Field Model Catalogue # RM-5010 The Tiger I is a German heavy tank of World War II deployed from 1942 in Africa and Europe, usually in independent heavy tank battalions. Its final designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Tiger Ausf. E, often shortened to Tiger. The Tiger I gave the Wehrmacht its first armoured fighting vehicle that mounted the 8.8 cm KwK 36 gun (not to be confused with the 8.8 cm Flak 36). 1,347 were built between August 1942 and August 1944. After August 1944, production of the Tiger I was phased out in favour of the Tiger II. While the Tiger I has been called an outstanding design for its time, it was over-engineered, using expensive materials and labour-intensive production methods. The Tiger was prone to certain types of track failures and breakdowns and was limited in range by its high fuel consumption. It was expensive to maintain, but generally mechanically reliable. It was difficult to transport, and vulnerable to immobilisation when mud, ice and snow froze between its overlapping and interleaved Schachtellaufwerk-pattern road wheels, often jamming them solid. This was a problem on the Eastern Front in the muddy Rasputitsa season and during extreme periods of cold. The tank was given its nickname "Tiger" by Ferdinand Porsche, and the Roman numeral was added after the later Tiger II entered production. The initial designation was Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung H (‘‘Panzer VI version H’’, abbreviated PzKpfw VI Ausf. H) where 'H' denoted Henschel as the designer/manufacturer. It was classified with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 182. The tank was later re-designated as PzKpfw VI Ausf. E in March 1943, with ordnance inventory designation SdKfz 181. Today, only about seven Tiger I's survive in museums and private collections worldwide. The Tiger 131 at the UK's Tank Museum, which was captured during the North Africa Campaign, is currently the only one restored to running order. The kit This isn’t a new release, but one from 2016 and the last of 5 Tiger variant releases from Rye Field Model. This time, RFM has concentrated their efforts of producing a mid-production Tiger I, and with a full interior. We recently reviewed their latest kit, the Panther G, whose review you can find HERE. The box for this kit takes up the same footprint as the recent Panther kit, but it about 20% shallower. However, this box is still crammed with plastic to the point where you need to put the parts back in the box in the same order as you got them out, or you’ll struggle to fit everything in again. The box lid has a superb artwork of No.217 (not Otto Carius due to the incorrect tracks) and this is one of three schemes available out of the box. Under a fairly airtight lid, you will find TWENTY-TWO sprues, moulded in either tan or grey styrene, and also a single-piece lower hull, clear box of track links, two frets of PE parts, PE Zimmerit tools, a single decal sheet, and braided copper wire. A few of the latter are packaged into a single clear sleeve, along with a mini-sprue containing just two parts moulded in tan plastic. Whilst not all sprues are bagged individually (identical multiples co-bagged), all parts are in perfect condition. That’s just as well when you consider that this kit has around 1000 parts! Oh, that doesn’t include the multipart track links either. More on that soon. Lastly, a 28-page colour-printed A4 instruction manual is also included. In all, this is quite a weighty package. The intention of this review isn’t to assess the accuracy of this kit, but instead to provide details of the contents and any options that are available to the modeller. As this kit is now over 12 months old, I will supply links at the end which will supply you with further information as to the accuracy and opportunities offered with this kit. Sprue A This tan-coloured sprue has a large hole in it where parts that are presumably from an earlier release, have been snipped out. Parts here are primarily centred on the multipart gun barrel (made from sections instead of the dreaded halves), turret and mantlet parts. There are actually three different mantlets here but only one (A3) is shown for use with this release. Another large and seemingly unused part is the turret lid. Instructions show one sprue Z as for use. So, some important useful parts for your spares box. Also to be found here are the stowage bins for the rear of the turret and the cupola. Sprue B Some large superstructure parts to be found here, including the upper hull with the larger cooling air intakes moulded integrally. Of course, PE screens are included for these. One of the TWO options for the rear hull plate are included here, catering for the different equipment and exhaust layouts. Also found here are pioneer tools, equipment boxes, various braided ducts/hoses for the Feifel air filters, stowage boxes and the ends of the towing cables with their crimps, and the vertical plate with driver’s vision port and MG position. Sprue C (x2) These two sprues contain all of the road wheels. As this wasn’t one of the retrofitted steel wheel machines, the rims on these were rubber. The manufacturer and wheel size can be clearly read on the rims. Detail is superb, with excellent hex bolt details on the hubs. Circumferential seams are non-existent, but of course, the sprue gate attachments will need to be eliminated. I always find this easiest when the wheels are paired together. Sprue D (x2) Here we have the drive and idler wheels, transmission gear housing, torsion bars and swing arms etc. The torsion bars will work if you make a slight adjustment to each one. There is a small plastic tab on these that locks them into a single position, but removal will make the swing arms move. Ideal for those dioramas. Sprue F There are more unused parts on this sprue, such as alternative side hull walls and yet another mantlet, plus the lower side front hull where the transmission gear housing fits. With the latter, refer to unnamed sprue for the parts we will use with this release. What we will be using, however, are the fenders, engine cooler intake doors, front shelf that sits below the driver’s vision port, and also brackets for the spare tracks which will fit to the turret side. These are moulded as a curve, so you can create the assembly properly before it’s fitted to the turret. Very nice design… Sprue H Moulded in a medium grey styrene, this sprue contains parts for the Maybach engine, petrol tanks and other associated rear hull internals. Sprue J Another grey sprue, appearing to mostly if not exclusively, containing parts for the turret internals. Again, some parts are not for use, such as the internal turret ring and the turret floor. The parts to be used are to be found on Sprue U. Sprue K The genius in me has worked out that all interior parts (generally) are moulded in grey, as we now look at a sprue which contains the Tiger’s transmission, driver compartment parts, disc and steering brake units, wireless radio, bulkheads and firewalls etc. One side of my sprue is curved in through stress, but no damage to parts can be seen. Sprue M (x2) Every tank needs ammunition and here you will find the main gun shells and ammunition pouches for the MGs. Sprue N (x4) These for sprues are moulded in dark grey styrene and are all concerned with track construction. Each link it built from 5 pieces, and here you will find the track pins that are moulded in blocks of four. These are designed to stay on their mini-sprues until after you have inserted them to the tracks and added cement. Only then do you clip the sprue from the assembly. The other track parts are the horns (2 per link). These are going to be seriously tedious to assemble, so patience will be required. Each of the Sprue N has a section of jig which will fit together for you to assemble reasonably log runs of track per time. Sprue O Here we have the 22T jack, external pioneer tools, and jerry cans, which actually fit within the turret! It looks like some parts here aren’t for use, such as an alternative rear turret stowage bin. Sprue S This tiger is moulded with a single piece external turret, but the internal turret details such as the viewing ports, will be fastened to a two-part interior shell that fits inside the exterior once the main turret assemblies are completed. Internally, there isn’t any real detail on the walls as internal stowage, if any, was fitted to the inner rim/floor of the turret. Sprue T The only clear sprue in this kit, containing the various periscope parts etc. Clarity is excellent, and everything is beautifully sharp. Sprue U This grey styrene sprue contains more engine parts and the alternative internal turret ring and floor which should be used with this release. Photo Etch P & V Produced as PE are the engine intake cooler screens, internal hull frames, pioneer tool clasps, etc. To properly identify PE parts in the instructions, I wish RFM had inked them in a different colour to differentiate from the styrene parts. PE quality is excellent, with narrow gates to snip through to remove parts. Photo Etch Y These are the Zimmerit tools, and four different ones are provided. The tooth pitch is the same on all of them, but the scraping faces are different lengths. Those verticals will need to be cut separately, of course. Unnamed Sprue This contains only two parts, and is to be found in the bag containing the decals and wire etc. There are parts which form the front of the lower hull sides, where the transmission gear housing fits. Sprue Z Here we have the slab sides of the tank hull, turret lid (the one that will be used), alternative rear hull panel, two cupola options (both can be used), mantlet (not to be used with this release), engine access door and various external detail parts. Lower Hull A superb single-piece moulding with fine internal and external details. Internal ejector pin marks seem to be placed where the various pieces of equipment will be installed, and if you really want to remove them, they are only superficial. Welding seam reproductions are exquisite, and this is a triumph of slide-moulding technology with beautiful, sharp details on all surfaces. One thing I do note is that the external port detail on the underside rear of the hull, don’t match the port details on the inside. This shouldn’t matter though as the Maybach engine will completely obscure the erroneous details. Tracks (x192) These are supplied in a clear plastic box and are moulded in dark grey colour plastic and are attached in strips of 12, with two small connectors between each one. Moulding really is very nice, but you will need to fit the horns yourself, plus those pins, creating 5 parts per track, and with 96 links per side, that equates to 475 parts for the tracks alone! Patience, Padawan! Cable A single length of braided copper wire is included with this release, listed at 45cm in length. Decals Just a single sheet here for all three schemes. Printed by Cartograf, these are beautifully thin, contain minimal carrier film, and are in perfect register. Colours are nice and solid, and the finish is matt. The three schemes in this release are: No.217, February 1944, Eastern Front No.342, Early Spring of 1944, Belgium/Mons No.321, June 1944, Northern France Instructions I’m a real fan of RFM’s instructions format. This manual is A4 in size, has 28-pages and printed in full colour. The first pages provide a parts map, but no shading for unused parts. Unsually, the next pages contain the three schemes. These are usually found at the rear of a manual. The profiles are said to be provided by Mig’s AMMO, as are the paint references. If you use anything other than that brand, you will need to source your own paint reference codes. Next, various internal assemblies are shown in colour for your painting reference, and then a Zimmerit map which shows the various faces which need to have putty added. I do admit that I’d like to have seen a moulded Zimmerit option, but hey ho! The rest of the manual has the Tiger broken down into 37 constructional sequences, but don’t let that fool you as most sequences are broken down further. Colour again features throughout, not only with more colour subassembly illustrations, but also shaded parts which define parts attachment. The last pages show more colour illustrations of the interior of the Tiger. Conclusion I purchased this kit whilst on a weekender in York, in between the various fine real ales and green tea Lattes, but it wasn’t on a whim. It was only a few weeks earlier that I’d reviewed the brand new Panther Ausf.G, sent to me as a sample from Rye Field Model, and the detail hooked me instantly. A decision was made to pick up the slightly older kit if I ever came across it, and so I did. This one cost me £59.99 at Monk Bar Models, and it was the best money I spent that weekend (next to the real ale!). I’m certainly not disappointed. The superbly detailed full interior, intricate external details and superb engineering. I’m still a little daunted by the prospect of adding Zimmerit myself, having never done this before, but I suppose I need to start learning some armour techniques if I’m to diversify a little. I also find the tracks a little daunting too, with the 5 parts required per link, including the pins, but RMF’s trick of adding them whilst on the sprue and then snipping the sprue from them, is genius. In all, a seriously nice package that I’ll need to restrain myself from starting, until at least the Panther is built. Very highly recommended Review kit courtesy of my wallet and the fine folks at Monk Bar Model Shop, York. Tell them you saw the review on Large Scale Modeller!
  3. 1/35 WWII German 200l Fuel Drums by Eureka XXL Eurela XXL make a wide range of armour and diorama accessories, mainly in 1/35 - you can view their full range here. Today I look at two resin / PE update sets for German armour, each containing four 200l fuel drums, the only difference between the two being the services that used them. #E-011 Wehrmacht (2 designs) #E-012 Waffen SS & Kriegsmarine Each set contains parts for four 200l fuel drums. These drums were used variously by the Wehrmacht, Waffen SS and Kriegsmarine - I am not sure if they were used by the Luftwaffe, or indeed the Luftwaffe Field Divisions. I suppose you would most often see them in refuelling / maintenance pictures, although I have seen Tiger tanks with these lashed to the back. Their scope for use in dioramas and vignettes is pretty extensive. There are four resin parts in each pack - and these are identical across the two packs as far as I can tell. The design of the resin drum cylinder is the same, but the castings are subtly different: two are fairly 'clean', whilst two have various dents and bashes in the main plate / drum sides. At first I thought the two prominent rims around the middle of each drum were hopelessly over-scale, but the Germans did in fact make them like that - these were used to roll the drums along the ground without damaging them I imagine. The only problem I can see with the casting is that these prominent rims are completely blemish free, and even if made of finest steel would surely have attracted the odd dink and dig here and there? That being said, this is nothing you couldn't add yourself in a few seconds if desired. The other features in the resin are a delicate single seam line which runs down the side of the drum, and the filler cap and surround which is located between the two middle rims. The seam does, on very close inspection, run over these rims which it should not actually do, but this is a 30 second sanding job. In fact, I am not even sure it would be visible after even a single coat of primer it is that fine. The other part of each set is a fret of PE brass. Each fret contains eight barrel ends, and these are the main pieces which differentiate the sets. E-011 contains two Waffen SS drums, and two Kriegsmarine drums. The latter can be used on your super large Italeri S-100, but I can't help thinking that a set of four solely SS drums would be far more popular? E-012 has two varieties of Wehrmacht drums. The filler caps are completed by three smaller parts of PE. No instructions are provided in the sets, but as is the trend these days, this information is provided on the Eureka website: no explicit guideline to construction, but some nice shots of the completed barrels, compete with painting guide. There are also three pictures taken from Bundesarchiv showing the drums 'in action'. Conclusion Two very simple sets which are difficult to find real fault with. The use of two different media is spot on here - I can't imagine the drum ends and all the lettering working if the whole thing was cast in resin. A set devoted solely to SS fuel drums would probably be a better seller... Highly recommended There is a list of Eureka XXL suppliers worldwide on their website here and a number of shops stock their products on eBay.
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