Tamiya Tiger I Early
by David Jenkins
Tiger I Early
1/35 scale Tiger I Early Production is available online from
The one thing that always amazes me with model
making is the history you discover when researching a models background.
For the early Tigers the battles around Kursk in July 1943 loom large.
Of the Tigers that fought at Kursk the 'Das Reich' Tigers caught my eye
with their famous Gnome markings and camouflage.
This is the Tamiya 1/35 scale Tiger I Early
Production (kit no. 35216).
I have not built an armour model in more than ten
years so this project was more about learning some basic scratch
building and weathering techniques than building an accurate museum
The kit was built almost strait from the box, with the addition of
Tamiya PE Grills, Jadar-Model metal barrel, brass sheet skirts, brass
picture wire tow cables and lead foil exhausts. As with Tamiya kits
plans and fit were fantastic and no problems were encountered.
I wanted my Tiger to look like it had seen some action. So the side
skirts were replaced with cut to size brass sheet that could be bent out
of shape. Exhausts shrouds were made by burnishing lead foil was over
the kits parts. Brass picture wire was used to replace the kits tow
I had only decided to do a 'Das Reich' Tiger from
S33 seems to be over represented, so I would have
preferred another tank. Try as I did I struggled to find any
comprehensive information on other 'Das Reich' Tigers, let alone find
any other decal sheets with appropriate S.. numbers.
I was still in this confused state when Marcus Nicholls amazing T55
appeared in Issue 97 of Tamiya Model Magazine (Apr/May 03). My Tiger's
fait was sealed. Inspired by Marcus painting and weathering techniques I
decided to follow his step by step guide on this model and see what
The model was given a base coat of lightened Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow.
Camouflage of Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown was then applied. Paint clips were
achieved with Vallejo 995 German Grey and Vallejo 913 Yellow Ochre. I
ran a lead pencil along any worn metal edges to give them a metallic
sheen. Weathering was done with the tried a true Chris Wauchop mix of
heavily thinned black and red brown paint. To really help fine details
stand out the model was given a wash of heavily thinned Model Master
2005 Burnt Umber and 2007 Burnt Sienna oil paints.
and Final Details
Mig Productions Pigments look amazing on Marcus’s
T55, but unfortunately are not available in Australia. So I would now
have to try my hand at using pastels calks instead, something I have
never done before. My local art store had an abundance, everything from
deep mud browns to light Ochre. These were ground into powder and mixed
with Humbrol Enamel Thinners. This thick slurry was liberally applied to
the lower hull and tracks. Several things then occurred! The thinners
seemed quite content dissolving its way through the glue holding a
myriad of small parts which then promptly fell off. The thinners also
dissolved paint and caused the lead foil to separate from its backing
paper. Heart failure was an option, but a bit of glue and dabs of paint
soon rectified things! Once dried the chalk returns to its powder form.
With a stiff brush in hand and thinking of how mud builds up on a real
tank the chalk can be brushed off. The process was repeated several
times with different coloured pastels to add depth.
It may not be the most accurate S33 'Das Reich'
Tiger, but it was a lot of fun to build and I have learnt a lot along
the way. If anyone has references for the other 'Das Reich' Tigers I
would love to see what they looked like.
Many thanks must go to Marcus Nicholls for his inspiring T55 – I would
recommend finding a copy of Issue 97 of Tamiya Model Magazine (Apr/May
03). Marcus step by step guide was an invaluable reference. I would also
like to thank Chris Wauchop for his friendship and for mentoring me on
my many modelling fiascos!
Kit and Accessories:
Tamiya Tiger I - Early Production Kit (No. 35216)
Tamiya Tiger I PE Grills
Jadar-Model (Hi-Tech) Tiger I 88mm KwK36 L/56 Metal Barrel
Model Master 50601 airbrush
Tamiya XF-59 Desert Yellow
Tamiya XF-10 Flat Brown
Tamiya XF-1 Flat Black
Vallejo 995 German Grey
Vallejo 913 Yellow Ochre
Model Master 2005 Burnt Umber
Model Master 2007 Burnt Sienna
Issue 97 of Tamiya Model Magazine (Apr/May 03).
Click on the thumbnails
below to view larger images:
Model, Images and Text Copyright ©
2003 by David Jenkins
Page Created 27 August, 2003
17 March, 2004
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