Bison Decals Tiger I in Afrika,
s.Pz.Abt. 501 & 504 (BD 35020)
by Frank De Sisto
1/35-scale water-slide decals for five tanks. Price: $9.00 USD.
This item is part of a series of decal sheets from this manufacturer,
designed to mark the ever-popular German Pz.Kpfw.VI Tiger I heavy tank.
It includes markings for three “initial-production“ tanks
from H.s.Pz.Abt.501 and two “mid-production“ tanks; one from
501, the other from H.s.Pz.Abt.504. They are:
• White outline 132, from 501.
• White outline 241, from 501.
• Red/white 724 from 501.
• Red/white 813 from 501.
• Solid red 142 from 504.
These are all basically well-known schemes with photos readily available
in the references that the manufacturer lists on the instruction sheet.
A pair of these tanks include the Stalking Tiger unit insignia of 501,
as well as the Panzer rhomboid tactical sign. The 504 vehicle also has
a red/white Panzer Rhomboid for the hull side.The instructions not only
give excellent placement data using fairly detailed drawings, but also
show detail and stowage differences on each tank. The color information
given is a bit conjectural, but that is more than likely due to confusion
within the hobby community regarding the precise colors that may have
actually been used on these tanks. The very latest information from Jentz
and Doyle still seems to be widely ignored both by modelers and kit manufacturers.
To paraphrase: The following colors were developed to paint vehicles
destined for “tropical” deployments, in this case, North Africa.
Beginning in March of 1941, vehicles and equipment destined for that theater
were to be finished in a two-tone scheme with a base color of gelbbraun
RAL 8000, with patches of graugruen RAL 7008 covering 1/3 of the item.
One year later (prior to the time Tigers were deployed) these colors were
ordered replaced with braun RAL 8020 as the base with patches of grau
RAL 7027 covering 1/3 of the item. In both cases the colors were similar
in tone and therefore it is difficult to determine any patterns by viewing
contemporary photographs. So, when using these decals, the modeler may
wish to consider this, and may confirm what I have shown by hot-linking
to the Panzer Tracts site, from Missing Links.
Otherwise, the decals, printed by Microscale in the US are in perfect
register, have sharp edges and excellent color saturation. The carrier
film is quite thin so must be handled carefully. Using a gloss coat, then
Micro-Set and –Sol, then a flat overcoat will, properly handled,
result in a painted-on appearance to these markings.
Overall, this is a fine and economical product which will allow those
who like African Tigers to have some fun.
Bison products are available at retail and mail order shops and directly
from the manufacturer at: www.angelfire.com/pro/bison.
Visit their website for images of reviewed items.