Home > Reviews > German WWII > Echelon Fine Details Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.E Tiger I, Markings of s.Pz.Abt. 502 & s.Pz.Kp. Meyer (Initial, Early & Mid versions) (AXT351005)

 


Echelon Fine Details Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausf.E Tiger I, Markings of s.Pz.Abt. 502 & s.Pz.Kp. “Meyer” (Initial, Early & Mid versions) (AXT351005)

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?

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.