Details Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.E Tiger I, Markings of s.Pz.Abt. 502
& s.Pz.Kp. “Meyer” (Initial, Early & Mid versions)
by Frank De Sisto
Water-slide decals in 1/35 scale. Price: $14.50 USD, including shipping.
Models of the Tiger I heavy tank have been a popular staple of both builders
and kit manufacturers. In the year 2005, there have been several brand-new
releases in both 1/48 and 1/35 scales; of course there are also some very
good kits (from Tamiya) previously released, for which these markings
are also appropriate.
This sheet provides markings for no less than 26 vehicles; that’s
right, 26! The majority of the markings cover tanks from the first unit
to employ Tigers in combat, Heeres s.Pz.Abt.502. This means that several
sub-types of Tiger (initial-, early- and mid-production) can be modeled
from a single unit. The remaining markings are for two tanks of s.Pz.Kp.
Meyer. Another strong point regarding the “choice” of markings
presented is just that: there is a huge choice of not only vehicle sub-types,
but also color schemes (dunkelgrau with winter white-wash, dunkelgrau
with dunkelgelb overpainted, plain dunkelgelb, dunkelgelb with variations
of the three-tone scheme, and with winter white-wash) and tactical numbers.
For instance, the designer worked from black and white photographs, so
he sensibly provides both red or black Tac numbers, leaving the choice
of which color to use, up to the modeler. In other cases the designer
chose schemes that had a second set of Tac numbers applied over the first,
which adds a fine touch to an otherwise “normal” scheme.
The instructions are a true highlight of this set. They consist of full-color
profiles of every option offered, as well as thumbnails of hulls and turrets
for placement of certain items. This is all on one and one-half sides
of the instruction leaflet. So the drawings are not very large, but certainly
are adequate. The modeler must be wary and study the chosen scheme carefully,
noting the “fine print” which accompanies each one. Also to
be noted are the small numbers used to match the instructions with the
decals as printed on the sheets. Since the decals are very thin and are
printed with minimal carrier film, the designer also provides some tips
for use on the instructions, again showing that considerable thought has
gone into their preparation.
The decals are printed in the US by Microscale, which, as I have come
to learn over the years, is a near-guarantee that the registration and
color saturation will be excellent. This sheet has done nothing to undermine
that concept. It should also be noted that these markings are available
(or soon to be) in 1/16, 1/48 and 1/72 scales. Obviously, Tiger modelers
of every “stripe” will be catered to…
In days gone by, it was a common approach for aircraft modelers to build
a series of models of the same basic plane, but with a variety of markings.
Now that we armor modelers have this outstanding decal sheet as a starting
point, why should they have all of the fun?
Echelon Fine Details are available from retail and mail-order shops.
Or direct through their web-site at: pachome1.pacific.net.sg/kriegsketten/,