Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'Sd.Kfz.181'.
So mentioned initially as a bit of a joke me and Andy realised that there was a few of us that were looking to do a Tiger 1 project ...the idea was floated to do GB but realising that the earliest it would happen would be a year or more away we all thought a superthread might be the way to go. This thread will have several builds all under one roof....all Tiger 1's and although a group build it has no time limit and no rules other than it must be a Tiger 1 related build, it was thought instead of opening several threads all dealing with the same subject this might be fun and we get to share some laughs and share info and pics as we build and not clutter the forum with many builds all the same subject. Anybody can join in and all posts go here .......... NOW THEN YOU ORRIBLE LOT ....CARRY ON
Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger I 1:16 Hobby Boss The Tiger Tank (Pz.Kpfw VI, or Sd.Kfz.181 as is its lesser known title) was developed as part of the German Blitzkreig tactics, to combat the opponents' heavy tanks with superior firepower and armour. This it did for the majority of its service, but where it was let down was the drivetrain, which was complex, weak and therefore prone to failure. It was a gas guzzler too, which was a real problem for fuel starved Germany as the war dragged on and they lost access to the previously captured resources as they were over-run by the Allies. In battle, and in the right hands, the Tiger was a formidable opponent, having the excellent 88mm Krupp produced gun, which had a high muzzle velocity and could punch holes in British and American armour before their guns would be brought to bear. The accuracy of shot was assisted by the sight, which gave it unprecedented precision to previously unseen ranges. The balance between armour, armament and mobility was very near to perfection for the time, and Sherman 75mm shot would usually ricochet off the Tiger's frontal and side armour even at relatively close range. Tactics were developed to get around this, putting two Shermans in harm's way while another flanked the Tiger to get to the weaker rear armour. The British managed to capture a Tiger that was abandoned due to a turret ring malfunction after a shot had ricocheted along the barrel and damaged the turret ring, preventing them from turning the turret and training the gun on the enemy. That Tiger is now the only one of its kind in running order, and resides at the Tank Museum at Bovington in the UK. The Tiger was updated throughout its service and can be roughly allotted the title early, mid or late production, although within these breaks, further alterations were made to simplify construction and get more tanks to the front quicker. Sadly for me, I seem to have lost my Tiger bible, and as my memory is industrial grade terrible, I'll not be able to comment too much on that aspect of the kit, other than to say that it seems to be a mixture of early and mid-production detail. If you're a purist, there will be a few aspects to address, but at this scale, that shouldn't be too fiddly. My apologies in advance for the lack of specifics, but I'm sure someone with more info and a better memory than I will be along shortly to comment on the accuracy of the provided kit with the decal options supplied. The Kit There has been quite a lot of buzz in the hobby about this kit due to both the size and the price, which are large and comparatively low, in that order. Comments have been made about the lack of Zimmerit (the anti-magnetic coating to defeat magnetic mines) on the parts, while the boxtop shows a Zimmerited Tiger. The fact is that there are a set of Photo-Etched (PE) Zimmerit tools included in the box, for the intrepid modeller to add their own Zimm to the surface of the parts if they so wish. I'm sure that this was done to reduce the cost of the tooling, and to open up the possibility of different versions without having to re-tool. There are already aftermarket Zimmerit sets available quite cheaply for the Tamiya and Heng Long kits, which fit this one as well as you could expect, and some enterprising soul will be along with a set specifically tailored to this kit. I fully expect the aftermarket industry to leap all over this one if I'm honest. The box is immense, measuring 73cm x 38cm x 12.5cm, and the aforementioned painting of the Dunkelgelb Tiger adorns the front, with a number of the decal options depicted on the sides. A big blue badge on the front tells you it's a 1:16 kit, and that it's suitable for children of 14+. As I'm over 14 by some considerable margin, I think I fit that age-group well. At time of writing I am a child of 45. Opening the large lid reveals a bit of a surprise to your average modeller, who is used to seeing a sea of sprues in bags. Instead there are a sea of light olive green inner boxes, with not a sprue in sight! There are a total of eight boxes, two of which are less box-like than the others, and the least box-like box is basically a cover for a bunch of roadwheels, poly-caps and gears that are used in construction. The boxes contain as follows: Lower hull & barrel halves Upper hull Turret top & bottom Small parts & suspension arms, PE grilles and Zimmerit application tools Road wheels, idler & drive sprockets Track links, track pins & "rubber" tyres for the road wheels Small parts including metal fixtures, bolts, springs etc. Road Wheels, poly-caps, gear wheels for turret and final drive Much of the content is supplied on traditional sprues, except the less box-like tray of captive small styrene and metal parts that are trapped between two layers of clear plastic without any sprues. A card "lid" sits between the two layers giving it a more harmonious look while assisting in identifying and holding the parts in-situ. On the bottom of the box an A3 painting and markings guide is supplied in full colour, an A4 landscape instruction booklet, and of course a large sheet of decals - large, partially due to the size of 1:16 scale anything. Breaking open the boxes reveals the parts, which are bagged individually to protect from chaffing, but leaves you with a large pile of spent bags once they have been removed for battle (or reviewing in this case). Although this kit has been portrayed as a "simplified" kit, there are a sizeable number of parts, which I believe tallies up to almost 600. I can see why the simplified tag has been used though, as there is no interior detail, the hatches are all moulded into the turret and upper hull (although the commander's cupola can be posed open), with the side-skirts also moulded into the upper hull. The track links are also moulded solid, when the guide-horns should have D-shaped holes moulded into them. That said, it can still be built up into a credible and impressively sized replica of the real thing without resorting to aftermarket parts. With models of this size, the usual poly cement is sometimes not sufficient for the task of joining the parts, and is augmented with stronger metal screws, bolts and springs. The drive shafts are also made from metal, the suspension swing-arms are made from a tougher material, and the toothed drive gears are made from tough translucent white ABS from the feel of it. The gears seem to be alluding to a motorisation option, and indeed there is a battery box built into the lower hull, with cover plate and securing button. What will come of that we can only speculate at this time. I'm hopeful that upgrade sets will become available to do whatever you wish with the kit, from static model, motorised remote control, through to lights, smoke and sound, akin to the sets available for the Tamiya and Heng Long kits. We shall see. Why have Hobby Boss produced this kit when two others also exist already? Those other kits don't earn them a penny, so why not? It could help to broaden the market for 1:16 vehicles, which is actually surprisingly well stocked already, with specialist retailers in the UK and overseas catering to the 1:16 armour modeller. It's very tempting, and if you have enough space for a fleet, you could have some fun, while spending a not insignificant sum of money! Construction starts with the road wheels, which is unsurprising for an armour kit. It's nice to see that all the roadwheels have metal shafts for extra strength, and the drive sprocket has a locking cotter-pin that prevents the sprocket rotating around the axle. The two halves of all the wheels are attached using a trio of small screws, giving more strength, especially if you also flood the joints with liquid glue before tightening the screws that last quarter turn. The Tiger was notorious for its high wheel count to spread its 50 tonne bulk, and consequently, you have to build up eight wheelsets for each side, four of which have double inner wheels, four of which have double outer wheels. The sets have nylon bearing bushes to prevent premature wear between the metal axle and the styrene wheel, and the various parts are keyed to marry up only with their correct partners, but care will be needed to prevent any issues while you're building up the sets. Each road wheel has a separate flexible tyre that slips over the rim and locates on a ridge, which is good news for painting, but I suspect the tyres will need to be glued on carefully in order to stay in place. No special instructions are given as to what glue to use, so the assumption is that they're susceptible to the usual liquid glues we all use. With 1:35 Tiger kits, suspension installation usually entails gluing the suspension arms in place and then fitting the wheels. This kit is somewhat different, and given the size, it's a nice feature to have. Working suspension. The lower hull is prepared for installation by the addition of two inserts that are moulded in a tougher black material, which is probably more ABS. Each suspension arm, which is moulded in a dark grey tough plastic (ABS?) is screwed into position through the axle into a rear part, into which a nut is fitted to allow tension to be increased. A set of small metal springs are tensioned against the inside of the black backing plate, and this acts with the inner part to provide the damping and return force when a suspension arm is deflected from its resting point. The idler wheel axle/track tensioning arm are also crewed on, while the stub axles on the drive sprockets are slipped through the final drive housing with nylon bushings either side, which are capped off with a pair of large nylon gear-wheels and held in place with a pair of small washers that are super-glued in place once you are happy with the rotation of the wheels. The redundant battery cover is installed along with its circular retention plate, and the wheelset is installed using friction fittings, which is good news for painting, as they can be added and removed at will. The drive sprockets will have to stay put if you glue them, but that's entirely up to you. The tracks are provided in a large box, which contains at least 192 links, with 96 required for each run. Also in the box are a similar number of track pins, which are metal, with bevelled ends for safety. These slip into the track hinge-points using a friction fit, allowing the tracks to pivot as per the real thing. Each link is provided loose, although there are four very light ejector pin marks on each link, which can be removed or not depending on how annoying you find them, and whether you intend to weather them heavily or not. I suspect that the metal tracks that are available for the Heng Long kits will fit this one, but in case of doubt, just hold fire and someone is bound to release a set for this kit. Having assembled 30cm+ of the track links in a few minutes while watching TV one night, I can assure you that assembly is simple, and the pins seem to stay put, despite being friction-fit. They pivot easily and look quite authentic, until you notice that the track guide horns aren't hollow. Whether this was an oversight, or a practical decision is immaterial, but could prejudice your decision to replace them or not, but I for one don't fancy drilling and shaping almost 400 holes in the tracks, as there are two horns to each link. To the casual observer, and given the eight wheels on each side, there are only a few centimetres of horns on view at any one time anyway, so whether it's worth the effort is entirely up to you. That marks completion of the lower hull, which can be put to one side until it is married up with the upper hull later. Next up is the rear bulkhead to which the exhausts, mud-guards and some pioneer tools are attached. The exhausts are each made from two halves, with a top piece and the stand-off cover, which are then added, with the heavy cast protectors attached to the bottom. These are then covered again with thinner outer guards in a half-cylinder that bolt into the hull on the real thing, and saw a lot of action, both in heat discolouration, and in the inadvertent dents and damage from careless driving and repairs. Check your references for painting ideas for your model when you get round to it. The jack and track tool both locate on the rear bulkhead with pre-drilled holes, although you might like to replace the shackles with something from Aber or another manufacturer for a bit more realism. Fiefel air-filters aren't included in this kit, so if you were planning on putting together an earlier Tiger before October 1943, you'll need to pick some aftermarket items up elsewhere. The top-deck of the Tiger is a huge slab of styrene, with the driver's and machine gunner's hatches moulded in. Their periscopes are added to the inside of the hatch covers with protective guards on the outside, and some more pioneer tools are dotted around nearby, but the main detail is added to the engine deck. The Tiger's four main grilles were covered with mesh to prevent debris and grenades from entering and damaging the important engine components below, all four of which are included on a surprisingly large sheet of PE parts. Grab-handles for the central panel are added, plus fire extinguishers and cleats for the large tow-cables that are fitted on each side of the upper hull, usually flat to the deck, and doubled up with both ends near the front hatches. These parts are supplied as single mouldings for each side, but if you have some braided cables of the correct size, you could always remove the loops and drill out a hole to receive the more realistic braided wire. You would also have to liberate the barrel cleaning rods though, as these are moulded into the cables, sharing the latching points with them as they do. Moving forward again, the front glacis plate is separate insert that has a strengthening bar attached to the inside, as well as the mount for the bow-mounted machine gun. The ball-front of the MG port is attached along with a styrene barrel to complete this, and a single centrally-mounted driving light (applicable from August 1943, the month after Zimmerit was factory applied) is installed between this and the driver's vision block. A large shovel is attached on the horizontal section of the glacis in front of the MG and driver's slit. The huge 88mm main gun is made up of a pair of halves, with a muzzle part sandwiched between the parts inside the muzzle brake, to depict the end of the rifled barrel. The three part mantlet is held together with two screws, and a box shaped representation of the breech is screwed to the back with a stop plate clipping into the end. The barrel slides in from the outside, and is secured in place with a pin. Two screws are also inserted into the ends of the trunnions around which the gun will pivot, in order to give a strong end flange (no sniggering at the back!) to stop the gun moving sideways in the turret. The turret itself is surprisingly complete straight out of the box, with the upper part having the loader's hatch moulded in and a recess where the commander's cupola fits. The stowage bustle is moulded in, and detail is quite nice, having clasps and weld beads depicted on the joints between plates, and a rough torch-cut pattern where the edge of the plates is visible. The loader's hatch has hinges and a bullet-splash guard moulded in, with a hatch handle added from a separate part. A set of spare track-links and their mounting brackets are supplied for each side of the turret, and these were often seen adorning the sides of Tigers, both for repairing damaged tracks, and to add a little extra armour thickness to the sides of the turret. The instructions tell you to remove the protruding pins on the inside of the turret once the glue has dried, presumably to avoid them baulking the lower turret, which has a broad mating surface, more likely for strength than function, as the lower turret part is secured by five screws, the mountings for which take careful lining up to get the parts to sit together correctly. Of course, you'll need to install the mantlet beforehand, and I can imagine the wrangling of these three parts will cause some coarse language during the process, somehow. The commander's cupola and other details are added after the turret is assembled, to ensure they aren't damaged in the process, and the hatch is able to be lifted and rotated, although it isn't captive, so could easily be lost. Unless you are putting a commander figure in there, or at least the top half, the blanking plate will be seen when open, so a closed hatch of a figure are pretty much your only easy choices. The MG34 pintle mounts onto a ring to allow the gun to traverse as well as elevate, and these are supplied as three parts, plus of course the MG itself, which is supplied in halves, with a separate breech cover. You can install this at any point on the rail, but the instructions would have you mount it facing directly forward. The emergency escape hatch on the starboard rear of the turret is curved and hangs off only one pin, so take care to sight it properly before the glue has dried to make sure it is properly aligned. If you intend to backdate it to before December 1942 however, that means you only have to fill on tiny little hole, but you would then need to remove the whole baggage bin and make good! Final construction will involve your cross-head screw driver, as the rear bulkhead is secured by two such screws, the bottom of the bulkhead being retained by the shape of the lower hull. The turret attaches to the upper hull with four screws through the toothed nylon turret ring, and the upper hull is clipped in place at the front, and then secured with a pair of screws on the engine deck, which are then hidden by a pair of inserts, which conveniently have a large cross on their upper surface. After construction, or more likely, during construction, you can apply zimmerit using the supplied tools on the second PE fret. Zimmerit was introduced as a factory applied option in July 1943, so check your references to see whether it is appropriate for your decal choice, and here you can either break out the putty and the supplied zimmeriting tools, or cheat and buy the available flexible zimmerit sets for the other 1:16 Tiger kits. I have been able to try the Taigen set against the review sample, and it fits well enough to be of use, although a few touch-ups might be required around the edges. It doesn't include any parts for the side-skirts, but it would appear that it wasn't applied to these parts anyway, despite the instructions showing it being applied there. Markings You are spoiled for choice, having eight markings to ponder over, all but one of which are different from the rest. No units or time periods are given on the A3 painting guide however, which will make deciding which options require zimmerit application more difficult. From the box, you can model one of the following: Red 321 - Dunkelgelb with olivegrun patchwork camo White 101 Dunkelgelb under winter white distemper Red 311 - Dunkelgelb with olivegrun interlocking camo Red 301 - Dunkelgelb with rottbraun tigerstripe White 233 - Dunkelgelb White 113 - Dunkelgelb with olivegrun and rottbraun disruptive camo White 3 - Dunkelgelb with olivegrun blotchy camo Black 123 - Dunkelgelb with olivegrun and rottbraun disruptive camo The decal sheet is large with good colour density and register, but the glossy carrier film is a little large in places, usually squared off where there are curved corners. A little trimming will remove the excess however, and due to the relatively few decals on each vehicle, it won't take very long. Conclusion It's a very impressive kit based on size alone, but it is also good value if you want a large-scale Tiger 1 in your cabinet. It does have some slightly confusing equipment fittings, but most of those are easily resolved, but if you're a stickler for detail, that might end up costing you a little extra money. I have a sneaking suspicion that at least some of this tooling originated elsewhere, or has been tooled with motorisation in mind, as the battery box, gears on the drive sprockets and turret rings, plus additional screw posts within the hull that aren't currently used attest. Whether it is or not I'll leave for you to decide, but if you fancy a large scale Panzer VI for not a lot of money, this would seem to be the one for you. Recommended. Review sample courtesy of