- Manufacturer – Tamiya
- Scale – 1:35
- Vehicle – Pz.Kpfw. VI Ausf. E Tiger I
- Markings – German Wehrmacht
- Paint – Mr. Color, Tamiya
- Aftermarket – n/a
The Tamiya Tiger I, late version, came out in 1989 and though it’s a bit aged, it is still a very nice kit straight out of the box. Unlike most Tamiya armor kits, this one came with individual track links that look much better than their usual rubber band style. The individual links add a bit more work but the end result is worth it.
A bit of a disclaimer, I don’t build armor as often as I like (and that may change after doing this build) and it shows in my finish. It’s not a historically accurate tank. It’s a late model Tiger with steel wheels and no zimmerit. It’s also been painted in a gray similar to panzer gray and white washed where this style of tank wasn’t painted like this.
But onto the build itself.
Everything builds up very easily with this kit. The road wheels and sprockets go together without a hitch and the sections of the hull that need to be glued together fit well. There was a small gap at the front of the tank where the upper and lower sections of the hull meet, but it’s easily fixable. The main sections of the turret also fit together just fine. It’s such a simple kit that most of the construction can be done in just a few days, which allowed me to jump into my favorite part of building.
As I already mentioned, the model isn’t painted accurately. I built the kit as a gift for a friend of mine who wanted a Tiger I in a winter scheme. Not knowing a whole lot about German armor, I picked up this late war kit. After getting through the build phase, I realized that the tank wouldn’t be correct but I was going to go with the panzer gray/whitewash scheme anyway. And that’s what I did.
After a coat of primer (Mr. Surfacer 1500 Black) I sprayed Mr. Color’s Tire Black. It’s a dark gray color that looked close enough to me to work as panzer gray, and under the whitewash, it wouldn’t be very visible anyway. Once the gray was down, I sprayed the surfaces to be washed with Ammo heavy chipping fluid followed by Tamiya flat white. I gave the surface just a few minutes to sit before working the surface with a brush, dampened with water. After the whole thing was dry, I secured the paint with a coat of Testors Dullcoat.
I weathered the build with a combination of oils, pastel chalks, and weathering products from Ammo. I also added some snow by woodland scenics and attached it with pigment fixer.
Overall, it’s a very simple kit to build, minus the individual track links, that would be a good kit for builders of most skill levels. Beginners may be overwhelmed by the tracks, but they go together well and are a relatively simple shape without much sag or other things to worry about.
More photos with better resolution at SmugMug