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King Tiger Part 1

Norton Wood

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King Tiger 104 at Bovington in 2017 during the Tiger Collection Display

 

The King Tiger, Germany's Final major Tank Development, combining the Tiger I and Panther, this combined the very best, using this Tiger's Armour with the Panther's Sloped Armour. This tank made all Allied tanks in the field look like toys and the King Tiger almost In penetrable from the front.

 

These are a few selected Tanks Fielded by the nations fighting the war in France & Belgium)

 

British Forces:

 

Comet - Late 1944 Only - Medium Tank
Cromwell - Medium Tank
Centaur - Medium Tank with Cromwell with Howitzer fitted
Churchill Mk VII - Heavy Tank
Sherman - Medium Tank
Sherman Firefly- Medium Tank fitted with British 17pdr Gun the only gun that could take on German Tanks from range.
Achilles (Wolverine) - Tank Destroyer

 

US Forces:

 

Sherman - Medium Tank
Wolverine - Tank Destroyer
Hellcat - Tank Destroyer & Recon Tank
Jackson - Tank Destroyer
Chaffee - Recon

 

German Forces

 

King Tiger/Tiger II - Heavy Tank
Panther - Medium Tank (Heavy Tank by Allied standards)
Tiger I - Heavy Tank
Panzer IV - Medium Tank
Jagd Panther - Heavy Tank Destroyer/ Assult Gun

 

The Germans out gunned everything even the Firefly...

 

So because of my interest building Tanks from the past and so far I've built 3 WW1 Tanks (Two British 1 German) - 2 Cold War Tanks (Centurion & Chieftain) and the Sherman FURY (American ww2) from the film Fury, I thought I'd build a tank from WW2 from the German side of the conflict:

 

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So at Christmas, I was kindly given this Kit of the German King Tiger Tank by MENG in 1/35 Scale. This kit is nothing short but amazing, the quality of the molding is astounding, the kit has had molded into the plastic as if it was properly cast, showing the pitting and rough edges that metal would gain when going through the casting process. Furthermore, the kit has been gas cut out of the steel and the welding marks where it has been put together by the men in the factories (Yes Men not Women - It was deemed un-womenly if the women went into the factories so German Men built and fought in their tanks).

 

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The Modeling News - Photograph

 

How is it going to look?

 

History for King Tiger 105

 

The Tank I intend to do is the King Tiger No.105 as part of the Kompanie SS - Pz, Abt 501 K-G Peiper which was commanded by Obersturmführer Jürgen Wessel, on the 18th of November 1944 (Two Day's into the Battle of the bulge) A formation of King Tigers were moving towards Stavelot in Belgium roughly 107 Miles from Antwerp (The German's Target of the whole operation) The town at the time was held by the American's. A Wolverine Tank knocked out the lead tank (No. 105) 88mm gun, the commander Wessel moved the column along another road which was parallel to the main road, at which point it is believed something spooked the German commander, forcing the tank to retreat, the tank smashed into a house and the gearbox of the tank was destroyed. Following this Commander Wessel jumped onto the second tank King Tiger No. 132 in the column and directed the Tank to the threat, which is believed was destroyed. The Tank Column moved forwards to Antwerp leaving King Tiger 105. After the battle, the tank was found by the American's when these photos were taken.

 

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These photos have been so reliable I've been able to work out what camouflage pattern & style that Tiger 105 carried, in addition to this I've been able to work out the German RAL Colour Schemes. Thankfully German Tanks in 1944 tended to carry only 3 different colours as part of the Camo they carried and German Tanks Tended to be quite personalized as the Sand Coat was applied in the factory & the crews themselves applied the rest of the camouflage as it depended on the area in which they were fighting. In this case, Tiger 105 was in a form of the German Ambush Camouflage but having white dots, dotted around the tank to act as snow. To aid the camouflaging of the tank when trying to avoid Allied Recon or Ground Attack Aircraft.

 

German Camouflage Numbering Scheme:

 

RAL 7028 - Sand Basecoat
RAL 6003 - Dark Green
RAL 8017 - Red Brown

 

So using the photo's I've managed to come up with these photos for the Camo scheme that the tank will carry, further to that I bought some Decals from Star Military Decals via Hannnetts which they have various types of Tanks which modelers can do. In this case, I had the choice of doing 3 King Tigers 2 with the Zimmerit Armour plating and 1 without this being King Tiger 105 and the reason why the whole journey began.

 

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So after all that in the next part I'm going to cover the Sprews & the beginning of the kit build, so until next time happy modeling.

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I think you will find that the tracks which Meng supply are some of the best too.

 

Enjoy the build.

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I think you will find that the tracks which Meng supply are some of the best too.

 

Enjoy the build.

 

Nice to hear, I like that a Jig for the Nickle and tracks are provided with the kit, will certainly make things smoother, from the reviews I've seen the tracks are pretty easy to put together.

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The paint scheme on 105 was factory applied and variations seem to have depended on the factory the unit was built at. The dots on the KT are actually Dunklegelb too - not white.

 

Numbering was still done by the units, SS 501 seems to have had a bit of variation in this area.

 

Regards,

 

Craig w

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The Tiger Collection Display at Bovingdon was still operating in July 2018, I don't know if it still is?

 

I thought it was a remarkable collection to find in one room, possibly a unique event.

 

Good luck with the kit. I have two unbuilt Meng F102's and they appear to be of excellent quality, yet another raising of the bar by a recent entrant to the plastic kit market.

 

John.

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The Tiger Collection Display at Bovingdon was still operating in July 2018, I don't know if it still is?

 

I thought it was a remarkable collection to find in one room, possibly a unique event.

 

Good luck with the kit. I have two unbuilt Meng F102's and they appear to be of excellent quality, yet another raising of the bar by a recent entrant to the plastic kit market.

 

John.

 

I think it was yes, sadly the German Elefant Tank has gone back to America, it was a shame that the Tank Museum couldn't get Sturm Tiger from the Panzer Museum. 

 

But it certainly was a unique event to go, I went on my birthday, really enjoyed going. Need to think about going to Tiger Day or Tankfest. 

 

Thank you for the confidence at this stage of the kit, I've built the hull and I'm going to use a bit of artistic license when adding the German 501 Panzer Battalion flashes on the front and back of the Tank. 

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The paint scheme on 105 was factory applied and variations seem to have depended on the factory the unit was built at. The dots on the KT are actually Dunklegelb too - not white.

 

Numbering was still done by the units, SS 501 seems to have had a bit of variation in this area.

 

Regards,

 

Craig w

Interesting...so other information I've read, could also be incorrect? I'm wanting to get this as accurate as possible so this being very helpful :)

 

So the Dots are not in white? - Quite the contrast to what is shown in the image from the painting instructions? - It's quite hard to tell using black & white images, but to me, it looks white.

 

From what I've read the number 105 would be similar to those used in Normandy so looking at Bovington's KT they have the white outline with Green on the inside, and as this Tank didn't have any Wehmact Crosses, I think I'll with white and Green. 

 

As for the comment about the personalized tanks, I did get that information from a video which the Tank Museum produced with David Willy which talked about how tanks were painted. But if 105 was painted in the factory I assume that was because the paint was getting short and crews didn't have the time to paint them in the field? 

 

Thank you for the information you've been very helpful, feel free to follow the project I could do with more tips as I go forwards 

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FWIW, I seem to remember one source quoting that the "dots" in such a camouflage scheme could also be pale blue. 

 

As you will know, this scheme only came in at the end of the war, for defensive positions, with tanks sometimes concealed behind trees and bushes. So in some circumstances the pale blue probably looked like sky, as seen when looking through foliage.

 

Further to the earlier post, my wife and I visited the Museum last July whilst on holiday for our 30th, like you I came home thinking about going to one of the operating days!

 

John.

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FWIW, I seem to remember one source quoting that the "dots" in such a camouflage scheme could also be pale blue. 

 

As you will know, this scheme only came in at the end of the war, for defensive positions, with tanks sometimes concealed behind trees and bushes. So in some circumstances the pale blue probably looked like sky, as seen when looking through foliage.

 

Further to the earlier post, my wife and I visited the Museum last July whilst on holiday for our 30th, like you I came home thinking about going to one of the operating days!

 

John.

 

Very interesting, I didn't know about the blue! But it would make sense, I'm stuck between a rock & a hard place, with the dots, either following the normal German Ambush camouflage or follow the painting instructions in which it shows the white.

 

Sadly there is a lot of that knowledge about this that is lost to time, it could entirely depend on what the crews had pain wise as of December 1944. As it was during the Battle of the bulge, Winter 1944, so I'm probably going with the white dots but with the same number scheme as per what the King Tigers Carried in Normandy - Which the Bovington 104 carries.

 

Thank you for your comment

 

Tom

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I have this same kit. It might surprise you to know that I plan to paint and decal it as s.Pz.Abt. 505 No. 124 ^_^

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I used to model AFVs and had many of the reference works on camouflage and markings available in the 70s and 80s, all now sold with my unmade kit stock.  I don't remember any reference to white dots on the ambush scheme.  However,  a close look at your first photo shows that there are tonal differences between the dots on 105.  There are dots that match the dark yellow areas, and others that are noticeably lighter in tone, and could be interpreted as white.

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9 minutes ago, petethemole said:

I used to model AFVs and had many of the reference works on camouflage and markings available in the 70s and 80s, all now sold with my unmade kit stock.  I don't remember any reference to white dots on the ambush scheme.  However,  a close look at your first photo shows that there are tonal differences between the dots on 105.  There are dots that match the dark yellow areas, and others that are noticeably lighter in tone, and could be interpreted as white.

 

Yeah, since finishing the build/paint job, I went with a prototypical ambush camouflage. But never-mind.  

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