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1/16 Hobby Boss Tiger 1 (early prod conversion) 508 Abt

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Well it's begun. This is a project I've been waiting an age to start and to acquire all the goodies.

Its the R/C based Hobby Boss 1/16 Tiger 1 - purported to be an October 1943 mid production Tiger, but actually has features from all over the production line early through to late.

This is actually a virtue as with the spare parts available (R/C and Tamiya 1/16 sprues) its a great base to turn into whatever model production you want.

I've chosen a specific tank to model, its called "v. Eschnapur" No .122 from Gruppe Meyer, a small independent group of 8 Tigers that served in Italy and was eventually absorbed into Pz Abt 508. (see my signature for the actual tank)

Here's a profile view (the most accurate I've seen according to photos):

And my base photo for reference:

I've got the Elite Armor decals with all markings provided, plus the full set of Aber PE and additional PE/antenna/MG/grill sets, plus an unknown metal barrel that was kindly donated by a local club member. 

Oh and the R/C white metal parts to convert the mid-production bits back to early and to add some further detail.

First place to start was reorganising the mammoth box into proper subassemblies so I can tackle the project in stages:



Then I started on the turret by cutting out the enclosed cupola bottom so I can put a commander figure in:
Next, as I'm changing from a mid production to early production cupola I had to add a plate, cut out of 1.5mm styrene. Had to cut the inside out of this too. Not sure if this is completely right so might need to revisit this.

Finally I installed the new escape port (with proper bevelled edge) on the right turret side and also cut down and filled the hole where the turret ventilator goes - I have to move it back and to the right for an early model.


3 hours latter and I"m knackered so I'll get back into this later. Next tasks are filling in that ventilator hole properly and installing the new one, then adding the pistol port on the left side and scratchbuilding a lifting lug in the rear stowage bin notch. 

Tell me if this is too boring or long, Ill par back the updates, but this is going to be a super fun construction build!!!

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Doesnt look like a lot, but I feel like i was working on this all day!


Heres the ventilator in place - its three bits, the Taigen/Heng Long white metal replacement, then a 0.2mm card base, with a 0.4mm wide flange over the top. I tried to put a lip around this as per the original drawings, I think its come out okay (1/35 Late Tiger for scale as always):


The thickened cupola base - the white metal bit is actually a little too tall, this all measures up properly.

I drained out the rain holes around the cupola too, just need to attack the handles on the hatch and add some map holder poles on the sides. 

And finally, a new lifting lug - there's no piece for this provided in the kit, I made one from a 1/35 Panzer III (I think?) return roller that I cut down to size and trimmed:


Next up is the pistol port on the left, then the loaders periscope (not included) and then...more!!

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Since this tank is a June 1943 production, i.e the "last" of the early production variants, (the mid production variants started in July 1943 with a new turret design and cupola) it had a loaders periscope introduced in March 1943 (IIRC). This was the same 15mm welded steel cover thats on the drivers and MG operator hatches on the front, but the kit one is for a mid/late which is trapezoid shape for a wider view (and doesn't include a periscope anyway).




So my next job is to modify one of the front hatch covers (just put an angle on the bottom to make it flush with the rising front turret roof) and install a spare periscope. Since Im replacing the front hatches (which are molded in shut) with two moveable white metal hatches with periscopes attached, I can use the spares in the kit.


The cover is a bit thin too, so I'll cover it with putty to thicken it up and then with Mr Surfacer 500/1000.


I had to cut open a slot for the periscope then try the new cover:





Im making up a batch of liquid styrene which ill experiment on to fill those holes.


Next the pistol port on the left back turret side in front of the stowage bin. The HB kit is supposed to approximate a October 1943 mid production vehicle, but its really a hodge podge, and should have included the pistol port (which was changed to a plug in July 1943 and then fully eliminated in March 1944)


Here's the Bovington Tiger as an example:




Problem is the spare track link holders are in the wrong place for a "late" early production model (they need to be moved forward 10mm on the left, 12/13mm on the right), and I wanted to get rid of the holding pin that attaches the middle of the track to the side of the turret, and these are too close to the pistol port, so I filled the holes first using some stretched sprue (didnt have the right tube in stock).


Then calculated the position of the pistol port (from David Bryden's and looking at reference photos) and it just so happened that a reinforcing tab on inside of the turret is in the exact spot! luckily the fit was spot on, no fill required.




Huzzah....phew this is taking forever.


What's next? The gun and mantlet where I'll be modifying the kit as per Coen's method of eliminating the R/C pivot point and using the trunions and filling the gaps around the mantlet.


Thanks for looking, comments and constructive criticism always welcomed.

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Just a quick update today, I need to get some more styrene before finishing the main mods on the turret, so I quickly filled the mantlet gap using 4mm strips, plus a small strip at the top.


Heres the gap up top:




Down below:




Oh and here's some perspective!




And gap filled:





All done. 




So next job is to attach the gun/mantlet...


Thoughts, criticism welcomed, thanks for looking!  

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Metal barrel installed and mantlet together - my trusty 1/35 Late Tiger for scale:




Had to make a plug out of some heavy duty sprue from the kit as the barrel was too short, and also some spacers in the barrel sleeve to align the whole shebang;



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Thanks chaps - indeed the size is making me re-think the size of my stash, which I've built up too quickly! In fact the only place I can store the Tiger is where I keep all my armor kits, so I'll need to thin them out while building it...


I had an attempt at installing the grub screws in the gun sleeve but stuffed it up to be honest (was not concentrating if I'm honest, damn ECB!) will have another go soon, but I'm putting the Tiger down for a week or two to finish a few other projects first to clear the bench before I get started on the lower hull.



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  • 2 months later...

sorry about that , the "week or two" has stretched out a fair way - Ive been doing other builds, including aircraft that have gotten in the way! 


Will get back to the Tiger soon, I have a Tamiya 1/35 Panther I want to finish first. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was with the guys from Armortek in the Tank Story hall on Saturday. I don't have a running Tiger, so took a Sherman BARV instead.

Looking forward to seeing how this 1/16th Tiger comes along :)



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