Home > Reviews > Germany WWII > Bison Decals Tiger I in Afrika, s.Pz.Abt. 501 & 504 (BD 35020)


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.