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Tiger II - Battle of the Bulge

Tamiya, 1/35 scale

by Chris Wauchop


The full range of MIG Pigments is available online from Mission Models


Here is Chris Wauchop's 1/35 scale Tamiya King Tiger, kit number 35164.

The model was built to represent a vehicle shown in Jean-Paul Pallud's book, "Battle of the Bulge, Then and Now".



Chris liked the contrasty black and white photo of this vehicle in the book.


The Tamiya kit was supplemented with many after-market items and scratchbuilt details. The main additions were:

  • Aber photo-etched detailed set 35040 - King Tiger

  • Aber turned aluminium 88mm barrel for King Tigers and Jagdpanther, item no. 35L-15

  • WWII Productions resin tracks for Tiger II and Jagdtiger

  • Echelon Decal set number AXT 351001

Scratchbuilt details included the following:

Tow cables were cut from 6 strand picture hanging wire

The track changing cable is fine electrical cable with the plastic insulating cover removed. One end of the bare wire strands was clamped in a pin vise, while the other end was twisted until the desired effect was achieved.



The headlight cable was replicated using fine solder.

All hatch handles were replaced with copper wire. The Commander's hatch pivot guard was added from plastic card.

The kit spare track links were used, with holes drilled through the interlocking teeth. Several were pinned with brass wire for variety.

The wire joining the six bolts at the end of the Saukopf gun mantlet is stretched sprue cut into six appropriate lengths and carefully glued into place.

The crank handle guide ring hanging from the bottom of the right exhaust cover was fabricated from drilled plastic rod.



The radio antenna is shaped brass wire. Gun cleaning rods are .035" Evergreen plastic rod.

The edges of all the side skirts have been thinned to scale using a motor tool.

Painting, Markings and Weathering

All camouflage colours were applied with the Testor Aztek A470 airbrush.

Tamiya paints were used:

  • XF-64 Red Brown

  • XF-59 Desert Yellow mixed with XF-2 Flat White mixed 50:50

  • Equal parts XF-13 JA Green, XF-65 Field Grey and Gunze-Sangyo H312 Green

The wooden handles of the tools were painted XF-59 Desert Yellow. 



The entire model was sprayed with Tamiya acrylic X-22 Clear Gloss. When dry, a thin wash of Tamiya enamel X-18 Semi Gloss Black 60% to XF-64 Red Brown 40% was applied.



Mud was added using Faber-Castell Pastel Chalk (9286-179), powdered and mixed with Mineral Turpentine. The resulting slurry was painted onto the tracks and the wheels.


Photographs were taken in Missing-Lynx's office, workshop and image studio (well, my basement actually) using a Nikon Coolpix 5700 camera set to Aperture Priority Automatic at minimum aperture (maximum f. stop) under two incandescent lights - one 1,000 watt and one 500 watt.

The composite title image came about when Chris asked if I could duplicate the contrast of the photo in the "Battle of the Bulge - Then and Now" book.

I did not have a similar background photo, so I used what I had instead. The model was excised from the background using the magic wand and lasso tools in Photoshop CS, then pasted onto the muddy background. The mud was brought up to the level of the tracks using the Clone Stamp tool, and a few details were tweaked (for example, a few overly sharp edges toned down) to blend in more convincingly with the background.

Once the basic composition was completed and the image was flattened, I applied a filter called "Old Movie", which delivers an antique appearance. This software, from Van Der Leer, has setting parameters which include fat, hair, dust, lines, corners and more. Chris provided art direction from over my shoulder - "More contrast. Less hairs. Even more contrast..."

The final image was the result of about a half an hour of work. I think I will try a few more of these "antiqued" armour images in the future!


  • Achtung Panzer No.6 - Tiger

  • "Battle of the Bulge, Then and Now". Jean-Paul Pallud


Click the thumbnails below to view additional images:

Model by Chris Wauchop
Text by Chris Wauchop and Brett Green
Images by Brett Green
Page Created 19 June, 2006
Page Last Updated 19 June, 2006