Revell 1/72 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf. H Tiger (03262) Build Review – Part 1

Before construction starts, I drill out the bore and muzzle brake on the main gun.

Then I do a dry fit to check fit on the hull and turret parts. Hull fit is generally good, though there are some minor gaps at the rear, and the fit of the turret-top to the sides is good, but not perfect.

With the help of some tape while the glue is setting, the turret gaps disappear and it doesn’t look as though filler will be needed.   

Fitting the gun barrel into the mantlet and recoil reducer is a little tricky. Fit is very loose and I can’t find a way to prop the parts while the glue dries that will keep the barrel straight, so instead I carefully balance everything vertically until the glue is dry.

Next, the mantlet and gun are joined to the turret and the commander’s cupola is added with the addition of a disk of 1mm thick plastic card to raise the periscope slots.

Then the smoke dischargers, ventilator, stowage bin and pistol ports are added and filler is used on the holes for track mounting on the left side and that’s the turret done.

I assemble the hull and I notice that the material of which this kit is constructed seems to be a slightly softer plastic than I am used to. Now, maybe it’s just me but I found that, in some particular cases, it seemed to actually absorb the liquid polystyrene cement I used. Gluing the hull sides to the base, for example, took a couple of tries. The first time, I painted a thin film of glue on the base and took my time lining things up, just as I have done on other model tanks. When I finally pressed the parts together, the glue had vanished and the parts wouldn’t stick. I had to try a second time, with a lot more glue and working faster to get the parts to stick. This made construction a little more difficult and because of this I used superglue for some small parts including the track links.

With the hull lower parts assembled I do a dry assembly of roadwheels, idler and sprocket on one side and use that as a template to join the three upper and three lower track runs on each side with the correct angle between parts.

The result is complete upper and lower tracks runs which I hope are correctly angled to fit over the roadwheels, idlers and sprockets. All that remains are the single links that fit over the idler and sprocket at front and rear but I’ll do those as part of final construction, once painting of the roadwheels and sprockets is done.

Hull construction is straightforward, though a little filler is need to conceal a couple of gaps at the rear. I’m leaving off the front and rear mudguards until later to make construction of the separate track links easier.

Then it’s on to painting. I want to paint the roadwheels before fitting, simply because I find it much easier to paint these while mounting the wheel on a cocktail stick and revolving that while keeping the brush still. Because I won’t be fitting the wheels until after painting, I’ll also be adding the tracks after they have been painted.

First step is a couple of coats of Tamiya XF-49 Khaki, which seems a good match for gelbraun. I also paint the tools and other bits and pieces on the front upper hull.

Then parts that would catch the light are highlighted using a lightened mix of the same colour.

These are then blended with a final, thinned coat of XF-49.

Then camouflage is added using Tamiya XF-52 Flat Earth. The result isn’t too bad – the contrast between these colours is low, which is what I wanted to achieve and when I give the whole thing a coat of matt varnish, that should tone this down even more.

Finally, the decals are added, using Vallejo Decal Fix and Decal Softener. I do notice that the red turret number decals are outlined in white when on the colour scheme they are shown as plain red. I can’t say I’m especially perturbed by this; it just seems odd.

That’s it for this part. Next, I’ll be finishing this model which involves doing a couple of things I’m really not looking forward to; painting tyres on forty-eight roadwheels and attempting to build those tracks…

Related Posts

Revell 1/72 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf. H Tiger (03262) Build Review – Part 2

Revell 1/72 Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf. H Tiger (03262) In-Box Review and History

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s