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Big cats on the prowl

02 Jul
Big cats on the prowl

One of the things that set the Second World War apart from the previous wars was the widespread use of tanks. And the fact that they were not just a slow gun platforms lumbering along with the infantry advancing on foot like they had been in the previous World War, but fast attack forces in their own right that would change the face of warfare. One of the most iconic tanks was the Panzerkampfwagen VI Ausführung B “Tiger II”, also known as Königstiger (a term actually minted by the Allied tankers and taken up by the Germans).

It was a 69,7 ton monster that actually had more similarities in design with the Panther rather than the Tiger. With an armour up to 185mm thick all but a few allied tanks were unable to penetrate its armour. It was armed with a long-barreled version of the already fearsome Acht-Achter (88mm AT gun) which could take out any enemy. But it also had many of the problems of other late war German designs… mechanical unreliability and a fuel consumption that would give any ecologist a heart attack. It was also a large target with the big hull and massive turret. Only 492 were build, almost all with the Henschel turret featured on these models here.

I bought the first model nearly a decade ago. It is a solid resin model by Wartanks. The mantlet was not completely modeled to allow depression and raising of the barrel which looked a bit sad, so I re-sculpted that one using greenstuff. I did not like the paint job anyway so I did not mind repainting it. The tanker is a SS officer from Victory Force Miniatures cut off at the waist.

Königstiger [Wartanks]

Königstiger
[Wartanks re-paint]

A couple of years later Tamiya released their Königstiger models and I bought two more. This one is straight out of the box with only the addition of the crewmen from an aftermarket company (sorry I can not remember the manufacturer anymore). Here is the first in a Hinterhalt (Ambush) pattern camo:

Königstiger [Tamiya]

Königstiger
[Tamiya]

With all the options offered by a plastic kit, I decided to base the second one on a Königstiger from the Battle of Berlin (Unterscharführer Turk from the Schwere SS-Panzer-Abteilung 503). The hull just featured a Sandgelb base with no camouflage pattern applied and the mud-guards removed. The turret featured a simple green pattern over a Sandgelb base, which would indicate, that the turret initially belonged to a different hull and that they were mated in a workshop. Here is the a picture of the original (I have better photo, but this is the best digital version I could find):

Tiger 100 at Potsdamer Bahnhof

Tiger 100 at Potsdamer Bahnhof

And here is my rendition:

Königstiger [Tamiya - Berlin]

Königstiger
[Tamiya]

This was when I decided that I had all the Königstiger (there is no plural “s” in German) I needed. But then Hobby Master released theirs and I really liked its camouflage pattern, so I “had” to buy it as well. This one simply got some airbrush weathering:

Königstiger [Hobbymaster]

Königstiger
[Hobbymaster weathered]

And here is the whole unit, which should also give you a nice idea how the models compare:

Königstiger [front view]

Königstiger
[front view]

Königstiger [top view]

Königstiger
[top view]

Königstiger [rear view]

Königstiger [rear view]

I doubt I will ever need four of them at once, so I will most likely sell off the Wartanks one soon.

 

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6 Comments

Posted by on July 2, 2012 in Vehicles, WWII, WWII: Germans

 

6 responses to “Big cats on the prowl

  1. Allan

    July 2, 2012 at 14:47

    Great post!

    The Tiger II is one of those tanks that once seen, sticks in your memory.

    I bet there are more than a few people who were glad it was unreliable mechanically.

    Happy painting,

    Allan

     
    • Burkhard

      July 2, 2012 at 22:01

      Thanks Allan!

      The funny thing is, when you build one of these kits, you can see how much thought and engineering went into every part. They were a work of art, but if you go to war, you do not want that,but something that is simple and reliable. Thats where they failed.

       
  2. Ray

    July 2, 2012 at 19:03

    Fantastic painting!!!1

     
  3. Monty

    July 2, 2012 at 21:49

    What a fearsome lineup! I love them all!

     
    • Burkhard

      July 2, 2012 at 22:03

      THX Monty… I sure would not have wanted to be on the receiving end of these!

       

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