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Tiger I Mid Production

Robert Lu

sPzAbt 505 early Mid Tiger I

The early Mid Tiger I was in production from July 1943, when the new type of commander cupola was added to the vehicles.
Except for the new cupola, there were not many differences between the late Early type and this vehicle.
This Tiger I represents a vehicle deployed by sPzAbt 505 in Spring , 1944.

The basic kit is a Italeri Tiger I Support Vehicle.(Sd.Kfz 185). A kit-bash was done from Academy, Tamiya and DML.
Some scratchbuilt parts were made from brass, styrene sheet and rods. I used The Show Modeling PE set to improve the details.  Though most early Mid type Tiger Is did not have the Zimmerit, this 22? along with another vehicle from the references I have, were the only 2 which had this feature.
The list below contents the modifications I made to the kit to change it into an early Mid Tiger I.

Lower Hull:
1. The front towing lugs in the kit is late type for vehicles made from January 1944. I added a triangle styrene sheet to backdate it to early type.
2. The early type tracks are from Tamiya kit.
3. A shovel from Tamiya Mid Tiger I kit was added on the nose.
4. The kit is missing details on the rear portion of the final drive housings. It was reshaped and bolts were added.

Upper Hull:
1. Sledgehammer was made from styrene sheets.
2. Axe from DML Panther kit was used.
3. Wire cutter is from the kit offerings with modifications made on.
4. A Bosche headlight from DML Panther kit was added on the LHS. On the RHS, electric cord and base cover were added.
5. 5 "S" mine launchers made from brass and styrene sheet were added.
6. The fire extinguisher from the original kit was used though I added some details from the PE set.
7. A spare aerial case was attached on the rear RHS.
8. A new track cable from a nylon string and its brackets were added.
9. Tow cable brackets from brass and styrene sheet were added on both sides.
10. 2 tow cables were attached to cable ends from the kit.
11. Barrel cleaning rods were made from styrene rods.
12. A Feifel air cleaner duct was built from styrene sheet and attached to the engine cover.
13. The air cleaner hoses brackets were made from styrene sheet and brass wire.

Rear Panel
1. Feifel air cleaners from Academy kit were used. The air pipes are scratchbuilt.
2. A jack from DML was used. Its holders were added.
3. The engine starter mount was modified to mid type.
4. An engine starter shaft was added on the right bottom.
5. Details on the tool box brackets were added
6. Hinges of the rear fender were rebuilt.

1. Mantlet and barrel from Academy kit were used. The gunner's sight was beefed up with styrene sheet.
2. A pistol port was added on LHS
3. The armored block for the loader hatch was built to change it into early type
4. Spare track links are from Tamiya kit.
5. Scratch built periscopes were added
6. A weld on the roof close to the front end was added.

1. Mr. Surfacer 500(gray) from Gunze Sangyo was used for primer.
2. Tamiya acrylic Dark Yellow(XF60) was used for the base color.
3. Acrylic Red Brown(XF56) was used for the wide stripes.
4. Hand painted call numbers were added
5. Thinned acrylic white was used for the white wash by hand painting. Latter, I added some by airbrushed, which was a mistake. It had made the white wash look ugly.
6. An oil, Burnt Umber+Ivory Black, wash was added.
7. Base color was used for dry brush over the whole kit.
8. Tamiya putty was added for representing the mud. Tamiya acrylic Red Brown and Flat Black were used on the mud.
9. Pastel chalk was used to add some shadow.

Recently I had been becoming eager to practice scratchbuliding skills. This is the first kit that I have built which gave me the opportunity to try some of these techniques.  Though the Italeri offerings are not up to today's standard like Tamiya or even DML, they still can turn into very good kits with some add-ons here and there. This kit so far is the one with which I had enjoyed mostly.

Surnm&Drang, No.1 Tiger, Sensha Magazine Co. Ltd.1990 May
Ground Power No.025, Delta Publishing Co. Ltd., 1996 June
Ground Power No.026, Delta Publishing Co. Ltd., 1996 July
Ground Power No.029, Delta Publishing Co. Ltd., 1996 October
Ground Power No.036, Delta Publishing Co. Ltd., 1997 May
Tiger I and Surmtiger in Detail, Ryton Publications, 1999

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