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Creating an Accurate Tiger I Model

by Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle

Having selected a great-looking combat photograph as a basis for your model, how do you determine what parts and equipment belonged on the areas you canít see?  The problem is that there are only a few Tigers that had multiple views photographed, and even these were not photographed from all sides, top, and bottom.  No complete photographic record exists of a single Tiger.

It doesnít help to try basing your model on one of six surviving Tiger I.  All of the Museum Tigers are missing parts and equipment or have had postwar alterations.

Knowing that this was causing a major problem for modelers, Hilary Doyle and I went to great lengths to dig through the original sources to provide an accurate reference.  Hilary drew sets of accurate as-built scale drawings for seven different Tiger I with all the parts and equipment in the correct location. We also created the Tiger I Mod List (copyright Thomas L. Jentz) with most of the significant external changes (over 100!) in chronological order. The 1:35 scale drawings and additional detailed information on the modifications are available in Germanyís Tiger Tanks - D.W. to Tiger I*

Now, you just have to follow a few steps in order to identify the correct parts and equipment that were originally on your Tiger I.

Step 1 : The easiest option is to base your model on one of seven sets of accurate 1:35 scale drawings (including the bottoms) published in Germanyís Tiger Tanks - D.W. to Tiger I.  This book also contains interior details from several different Tigers. Two sets of four-view drawings are available in Panzer Tracts No.6, which also has accurate four-view drawings of other Panzers in the Tiger family.  It is not advisable to use Tiger I drawings from any other publications.

Step 2: If you want to model a different Tiger I, other than one of these covered by Hilaryís scale drawings, you need to find sharp photos where small details can be seen. If the photos are poor quality (as are many published photos and most jpeg photos) and you canít identify small features, you might want to choose photos of another Tiger to model, where you can find clean, sharp images. The more details you can find, the easier it will be to pin down exactly when the Tiger I was completed.

Step 3: Study the photo(s) and check off key features on the Tiger I Mod List (below) to help you identify when your Tiger was completed.

Step 4: You can also use the tactical numbers on the turret to help identify the unit. 

WARNING: Donít blindly follow photo captions - always independently verify the unit (help is available here on the Missing Links site.).  You should look up when Tigers were issued to each unit in the Tiger I Issue Record (Appendix A in Germanyís Tiger Tanks - Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics*).  Using both the identified features from your photo(s), the Tiger I Mod List, and information on when Tigers were issued to each unit, you can usually pin down the month in which your Tiger was completed.

Step 5: Having identified the month produced, go back to the Tiger I Mod List to identify other correct features for the top, sides, rear, and bottom not visible on your photo(s).  Again, use the seven sets of scale drawings in Germanyís Tiger Tanks - D.W. to Tiger I or two in Panzer Tracts No.6 to aid in modeling the correct components and placing them in the correct  location.

Step 6: Obtain the right model parts.  Most important of all, you need an accurate asymmetrical turret (available from Armoured Brigade Models).  Again, help in selecting the best model kits, accessories, and modelling/painting techniques is available here on the Missing Links site.

Step 7: Have fun making a very accurate Tiger I model.

Tiger I Modifications List 

(copyright Thomas L. Jentz 2001)

Modification Intro Date Described in Reference 1 Text Section Shown on Drawing* in Reference 1 Reference Book Accurately Showing Each Modification 
        Ref.1 Ref.2 Ref.3 Ref.4
Bent narrow front track guard May42 3.4.1.3 Pg86-88 X X / /
Drive sprocket ring alignment Aug42 3.4.1.6 Pg86-88 X X /  
Jul42 tools w/5 cleaning rods Aug42 3.4.1.4          
Vent slit in engine hatch Aug42 3.4.1.7          
Hooks to hold rear louvers open Aug42 3.4.1.7 Pg86-88 X X / /
Hinged flapper on exhaust Aug42 3.4.1.5 Pg86-88 X X / /
Pz.III baggage bin (middle) Aug42 3.4.2.3 Pg86-88 X X    
Holes to mount camouflage frame Aug42 3.4.1.8 Pg86-88 X X / /
Smoke candle dischargers Aug42 3.4.2.1 Pg86-88 X X / /
Track cable on hull side Sep42 3.4.1.4 Pg86-88 X X / /
Two hinged toggle bolts Sep42 3.4.1.5 Pg86-88 X X / /
Tarp tabs Sep42 3.4.1.4 Pg86-88 X X    
Full tool set Sep42 3.4.1.4 Pg86-88 X X / /
Delete antenna base on rear Oct42 3.4.1.10 Pg86-88 X X /  
Brackets "Feifel" air filters Oct42 3.4.1.11 Pg86-88 X X / /
Cylindrical convoy tail light Oct42 3.4.1.4 Pg86-88 X X / /
Tow cables reversed Oct42 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X X / /
Shovel on glacis Oct42 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X / / /
Mounted "Feifel" air filters Nov42 3.4.1.11 Pg100-102 X / / /
Track guards on sides Nov42 3.4.1.3   X X / /
Pins on cupola for rain shield Nov42 3.4.2.5 Pg100-102 X X / /
Single piece side track guards Nov42 3.4.1.3 Pg100-102 X X / /
Hinged track guard front & rear Nov42 3.4.1.3 Pg100-102 X X / /
Reinforced gun mantle Nov42 3.4.2.7 Pg120-122 X X / /
Crew compartment heater Dec42 3.4.1.9   X      
Emergency escape hatch Dec42 3.4.2.8 Pg100-102 X X / /
Track tool stowage box Dec42 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X     /
Hull side at front not notched Dec42 3.4.1.4   X /    
Last Pz.III stowage bin (high) Dec42 3.4.2.3          
Extended hull side at front Dec42 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X X / /
Starter plate mounted vertical Dec42 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X X / /
Straight side track guards Dec42 3.4.1.3 Pg100-102 X X / /
Mounts for S-Minen dischargers Dec42 3.4.2.11 Pg100-102 X / / /
Cables and antenna stowage moved Dec42 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X / / /
S-Minen dischargers Jan43 3.4.2.11 Pg120-122 X   / /
Exhaust muffler guard Jan43 3.4.1.14 Pg100-102 X X / /
Triangle ends on side track guards Jan43 3.4.1.3 Pg100-102 X X / /
Gun mantle cut for Tiger P Jan43 3.4.2.7 Pg100-102 X   /  
Tiger baggage bin Jan43 3.4.2.3 Pg100-102 X X / /
6 cleaning rods Feb43 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X X / /
Starter shaft on lower hull rear Feb43 3.4.1.4 Pg100-102 X X / /
Engine compartment vent cover Feb43 3.4.1.7 Pg100-102 X / / /
18 bolts holding roadwheel rim Feb43 3.4.1.15 Pg100-102 /      
Stop K.F.F.2 Feb43 3.4.1.16 Pg100-102 X X / /
Ring retainer for track pins Mar43 3.4.1.12   / / /  
Modified "Feifel" air filters Mar43 3.4.1.11 Pg120-122 X   / /
Triangle cover on rear deck Mar43 3.4.1.7 Pg120-122 X X   /
Loader's periscope Mar43 3.4.2.15 Pg120-122 X X / /
3 spare track holders Apr43 3.4.2.16   /   / /
Same casting for rear louvers Apr43 3.4.1.7 Pg120-122 X X    
12 bolts holding roadwheel rim Apr43 3.4.1.15   /   / /
Drive sprocket hub Apr43 3.4.1.6 Pg120-122 X X / /
Flippy on engine hatch sides Apr43 3.4.1.7 Pg162-164 X X   /
2 spare track holders Apr43 3.4.2.16 Pg120-122 X X / /
Maybach HL230 May43 3.4.1.18 Pg120-122 X X X /
Drop frames rear track guard May43 3.4.1.3 Pg120-122 X X   /
Drop smoke candle dischargers Jun43 3.4.2.1 Pg134-135 X X / /
Shock absorber mounting Jun43 3.4.1.19 Pg134-135 X      
Drop two hinged toggle bolts Jun43 3.4.1.5 Pg134-135 X X / /
New turret w/cast dupola Jul43 3.4.2.20 Pg134-135 X X / /
Pistol port plug & uncut escape Jul43 3.4.2.20 Pg134-135 X   /  
Zimmerit Aug43 App.F   / / / /
Forged cap on combustion air intake Aug43 3.4.1.7 Pg134-135 X X    
Stop Tiger P gun mantle Aug43   Pg134-135 X X   /
New holders for track cable Aug43 3.4.1.4 Pg134-135 X X / /
Single headlight Aug43 3.4.1.21   /      
Wider slit in turret vision ports Aug43 3.4.2.20 Pg134-135 X X   /
Tab on glacis to secure MG plug Aug43 3.4.1.4 Pg134-135 X X   /
Stop submerged fording Sep43 3.4.1.5 Pg134-135 X X   /
Add C-clamps top and rear Sep43 3.4.1.4 Pg140-141 X X / /
Chevrons on track Oct43 3.4.1.12 Pg134-135 X X / /
Headlight centered Oct43 3.4.1.21 Pg134-135 X X   /
Stop S-Minen dischargers Oct43 3.4.2.11 Pg134-135 X X / /
Drop loader's hatch lock disc Oct43 3.4.2.20 Pg134-135 X X   /
Hand crank by antenna base Oct43 3.4.1.4 Pg134-135 X /    
Stop pistol port plug Oct43 3.4.2.20 Pg140-141 X X / /
Stop track tool stowage box Oct43 3.4.1.4 Pg140-141 X X / /
Stop "Feifel" filters Oct43 3.4.1.11 Pg140-141 X X / /
External travel lock Nov43 3.4.2.21 Pg140-141 X   / /
Stop mounts for "Feifel" filters Dec43 3.4.1.11 Pg140-141 X X / /
20 t jack Jan44 3.4.1.4 Pg140-141 X X   /
Stop shovel on glacis Jan44 3.4.1.4 Pg140-141 X X   /
Cut hull side extension front & rear Jan44 3.4.1.4 Pg162-164 X X   /
Cupola w/o 12-hour indicator ring Feb44 3.4.2.20 Pg162-164 X X   /
Steel-tired roadwheels Feb44 3.4.1.24 Pg162-164 X X / /
"Fuchs" engine coolant heater Feb44 3.4.1.9 Pg162-164 X X    
Turret ring guard & move tools Feb44 3.4.2.22 Pg162-164 X X   /
Stop external travel lock Feb44 3.4.2.21 Pg162-164 X X   /
600 mm diameter idler Feb44 3.4.1.25 Pg162-164 X X    
Mounting bolt holes on starter plate Feb44 3.4.1.4 Pg162-164 X X   /
40 mm turret roof Mar44 3.4.2.23 Pg162-164 X X   /
Short hinged loader's hatch Mar44 3.4.2.23 Pg162-164 X X   /
Nahverteidigungswaffe Mar44 3.4.2.24 Pg162-164 X X   /
T.Z.F.9c monocular gun sight Mar44 3.4.2.25 Pg162-164 X X   /
Lighter muzzle brake with insert Apr44 3.4.2.26 Pg162-164 X X    
Wood deck over fuel tanks Apr44 3.4.1.26 Pg162-164 X X    
Dropped seal engine air cap May44 3.4.1.7 Pg162-164 X X    
Trackpin return plate wider/angled  May44 3.4.1.12 Pg162-164 X X    
2-piece 40 mm roof May44 3.4.2.23 Pg162-164 X X    
Drain slits in cupola May44 3.4.2.23 Pg162-164 X X   /
2 bolt escape hatch hinge Jun44   Pg162-164 X X    
Three sockets for jib boom Jun44 3.4.2.27 Pg162-164 X X   /
Poison gas detection panels Jul44 3.4.2.29          

X - denotes clear enough to model at 1:35 scale     / - denotes feature can be seen in a photo* Drawings of Tiger Fgst.Nr.V1 on pages 38-40 of Ref.1 are the basic starting point.

Ref.1 Germany's Tiger Tanks - DW to Tiger I by Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle

Ref.2 Panzer Tracts No.6 schwere Panzerkampfwagen by Thomas L. Jentz and Hilary L. Doyle, Panzer Tracts

Ref.3 Panzer-Kampfwagen Tiger und Seine Abarten by Walter J. Spielberger, Motorbuch Verlag

Ref.4 Tiger I, Heavy Tank 1942-1945 by Tom Jentz and Hilary Doyle, New Vanguard

Like Ref.4, there are many other books published on the Tiger with photographs that can be useful for identifying the unit, unit symbol, and tactical numbers and also reveal features useful for determining when a Tiger was produced. However, these books do not contain the accurate as-built drawings needed to determine the dimensions and locations of parts and equipment on all sides, the top, and bottom.

When you support further research by purchasing Germanyís Tiger Tanks - D.W. to Tiger I and Germanyís Tiger Tanks - Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics directly from the author, Tom Jentz will personally help you identify when the Tiger I you want to model was completed by Henschel and review your selection of the appropriate parts and equipment. Just contact Tom Jentz at Panzer Tracts, P.O.Box 334, Boyds, MD 20841.  Due to the demands of researching, writing, publishing, and distributing; this offer must be limited to a single Tiger I per person.  *Germanyís Tiger Tanks - D.W. to Tiger I and Germanyís Tiger Tanks - Tiger I & II: Combat Tactics are available from the author for only $39.95 each plus shipping when you use coupons from the Panzer Ace Quiz.



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