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

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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