Home > Reviews > Germany WWII > Echelon Fine Details Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.E Tiger I, Markings of s.Pz.Abt. 506 & Gruppe “Fehrmann” (Mid, Late & Hybrid versions) (AXT351008)


Echelon Fine Details Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.E Tiger I, Markings of s.Pz.Abt. 506 & Gruppe “Fehrmann” (Mid, Late & Hybrid versions) (AXT351008)

by Frank De Sisto

Water-slide decals in 1/35th-scale. Price: $14.50 USD, including shipping.

German Tiger units, being essentially elite formations, contained some of the most colorfully marked tanks ever seen in battle. S.Pz.Abt. 506 was certainly one of the most colorful, particularly regarding the unit’s crest of a Tiger (actually, there were two different styles, both of which are included here) astride a large “W”, holding a red shield surmounted by a white cross. Since it is thought that each company within the battalion had different colored “W”s (red, white, yellow, and black or green, depending on how the period photographs are interpreted) and matching colored turret Tac numbers, it can readily be seen that these markings are anything but blasé. Likewise, the second part of this decal sheet, which offers markings for “Gruppe Fehrmann”, is rather unique for the “hybrid” nature of the way in which these particular tanks were configured (typically, an early turret with drum cupola, and hull with later tracks and all-steel road-wheels).

So, the decal sheet gives color profiles of two specific ‘506 Tigers: “Red 11” and “Yellow 5”, plus two more specific Tigers from “Gruppe Fehrmann”, “Yellow F13” and “Red F01”. There are also enough generic markings (black, white, red \, yellow and green turret Tac numbers) to depict nearly any Tiger from ‘506, with suggestions for five of them: “White 3”, “White 7”, “White 13”, “Red 6” and “Yellow 13”. Some of these are outlined in black, which is supplied as a separate overlay, so that a modeler has the option to mark a specific vehicle from available references. The Tigers of ‘506 have a basic scheme of dunklegelb with rotbraun camouflage patterns of various styles. Two of them (those with “specific” markings) have a winter white-wash applied over the base colors. Several of these have Zimmerit, as do the Fehrmann Tigers. The latter are in a more-or-less standard three-tone scheme, with patches of dunkelgrau (or primer red), in some areas devoid of Zimmerit. In keeping with the concept of this sheet, all Tigers have a “personality” derived from their camouflage and markings. To add the last touch to the sheet, there are 16 black/white “Balkankreuz” national insignia, all of the same size.

The instructions contain profile drawings of all nine Tigers, which include notes as well as numbered call-outs, matched to the individual design on the decal sheets. There is a separate section regarding colors of the “W” on the unit insignia, as well as on the turret numbers. References are provided (15 of them), and the ones that I own, check out quite well against this decal sheet. The printing is by Microscale in the US, which has done an outstanding job with registration as well as color saturation. The decals have extremely crisp edges and are on a very thin and delicate carrier film. Modelers need to take care during handling of these items. Some items are in two parts, in particular, the Gruppe Fehrmann turret Tac numbers. In addition there are separate, very thin black outlines for the ‘506 turret Tac numbers, for use where references may indicate. Finally, these decals are, or soon will be, available in 1/16, 1/48 and 1/72 scales.

For Tiger fans, this should prove to be a winner.

Highly recommended.

Echelon Fine Details are available from retail and mail-order shops. Or direct through their web-site at: pachome1.pacific.net.sg/kriegsketten/, e-mail: kreigsketten@pacific.net.sg.