Friday, 2 April 2010


Tamiya 1:35 Jagdtiger, reference 35295


The recent release of this Tamiya kit certainly has put the cat amongst the pigeons; I have no doubt that many of our fellow modellers hold relatively strong feelings about which kit represents the Jagdtiger ‘better’, if not such an esoteric opinion, I know that most of us feel that maybe the grey styrene models might have the edge over the sandy yellow ones. Well; this baby might just put a few noses out of joint.

Many of our modelling community don’t do straight out of the box kit nowadays; sure this kit has a bipartite barrel, which is total pants, sure the rubber band tracks hail back to a dark era of ‘make do and mend’ and (horrors!) the OOB link and length tracks seem to have too many sink marks for me to even want to deal with, but given a little TLC, some photo-etch, Friuls and a turned barrel (why not?) there can be few bones of contention with this build.

The Sd.Kfz.186 Jagdtiger (the world’s heaviest and most powerful tank of its time) is a beast; working with this kit makes you feel that you have stepped up a scale – it is monstrously big and was must have scared the B’jeepers out of any opponent when operational. When completed the model is more than 30cm long and very boxy. The lack of a turret and my early decision to bond the wheels to the suspension arms caused no little handling problems for me; I lost count of the times that I twanged one thing or another off due to the delicacy of the detailing, however, when finished I feel the extra detailing gives this Tamiya kit a great deal of style and opportunity for the modeller to show off their skill.


I was fortunate enough to put four aftermarket items to this build:

* A turned aluminium barrel (dare I say it? Yes, I took it from a Dragon kit in my stash for speed of access, oops)
* Friul tracks (ATL16)
* Aber 35228 German Tank Destroyer ‘Jagdtiger’ Sd.Kfz. 186 Vol 1 – Basic Set (Basic? That is an understatement!)
* Aber 35229 Fenders for Jagdtiger (Tamiya model)

Without the after market items construction of this would be a walkover. Even without the after market items there are points of this model that have finesse and are highly impressive, like the highly 3 dimensional appearance of the road wheel faces, the lifting hooks and mesh detailing on the engine bay, the nifty spare track holders and grab handles represented in brown styrene (these are on the same sprue as the link and length tracks that I chose to avoid).

The Aber sets are comprehensive and will give any modeller days of ‘pleasure’. There are only one or two niggles with the sets, but on the whole the outcome is extremely good lending the finished product a great scale appearance with fine detail.


This Jagdtiger is painted in a fantasy scheme; I know of no specific WWII AFV in this livery, but could not resist doing something funky with those large open spaces of the upper hull sides and the huge front glacis plate. I wanted to use a macro-disc camouflage scheme of Dunkelgelb over Rotbraun and decided that I would use the remnants of several Eduard Panzer IV wheel masks to create this (having amassed several of these over the last year or so I knew I had plenty to play with).

The kit was primed with Halford’s Grey Primer and then Tamiya NATO Black. Having used Halford’s Grey Primer for a while I think that I will move away from it now as I feel that it gives the final appearance a grainy texture, which can sometimes detract from the required outcome. In future I think I might experiment with Lifecolor’s white coloured acrylic primer. Following the priming coats had to let the colours settle for a day or so before applying the masks.

Having recently purchased Phil Stutcinskas and Mark Bedford’s ‘Imperial Armour Masterclass Vol 1’ model techniques book I decided to try two new (to me) weathering techniques on this build, the first of which I will describe here. After the final priming colour of NATO Black I got to work with the weathering much earlier than I usually do by applying an all-over thin coat of hairspray. Whilst this water soluble adhesive was still wet I then sprinkled fine sand all over the kit to later represent chipping. I had not tried this method before and seemingly I went to it like a lamb to slaughter; the finish is great, the application is easy, the mask effective, but oh dear! Removing every grain of sand from nooks and crannies with a pair of watchmakers forceps? It took me hours! Anyhow; the goal is to mask off many tiny points to create a chipped/worn effect on the base colour, in fact I repeated the hairspray/sand technique twice as I had to chip the secondary (base) colour as well as the first camouflage colour (Dunkelgelb). In brief you add the sand in a random fashion onto the darker colour, then when the hairspray is fully dry you apply the base colour (then shade and highlight this as usual). Following that coat the sand needs to be removed. After the first go with sand over Dunkelgelb the plastic masks were added to make the disc scheme. When the dark yellow was painted, shaded and highlighted I sprayed hairspray once more over the spotty tank and reapplied the sand, after which the ‘true’ base colour (Rotbraun) was applied.

The Rotbraun was represented by first applying a darkened version of Tamiya Hull Red all over the vehicle, which was later lightened with Lifecolor Rotbraun. I further lightened this base colour with Tamiya Flesh, which is a versatile colour for such a task and is blended extremely well with later filters.

Once the camouflage scheme was complete I removed all of the remaining masks; the plastic discs came off very easily with no fuss, but the sand took a very, very long time and made one helluva mess. Could I recommend this technique again? Probably; there must be an easier way of taking the sand off; I suspect it is better to apply it to areas without any photo-etch detail or even large flat surfaces, so it can be rubbed off with a finger. Lesson learned…

Even after the camouflage scheme had been painted I still had a lot of work to do. This is the sequence of events that I followed:

* I added three more generations of chips and scuffs to the vehicle in the appropriate places using Black and Burnt Umber Gouache and Tamiya Hull Red for exposed areas of hull under the dark yellow paintwork.
* Addition lines of rust to region beneath the Schürzen & spare track affixing points where absent using rusty coloured acrylics.
* Chipping of the edges of the Schürzen with a significantly lightened base colour, then centrally using Lifecolor Burnt Umber.
* I flicked a MIG Pigments Standard Rust & Abteilung Dark Rust oil paint mixture onto the Jagdtiger sides, roof and front and then applied white spirit over that mixture with an airbrush to create a rusted effect (the second tip picked up from Imperial Armour Masterclass Vol 1). I found this technique worked much better on a matt surface, as the colours diffuse more randomly and subtly that way.
* I picked out sprocket wheel teeth in Citadel Chainmail.
* I created a rusty effect to the exhausts with various brown/orange/red acrylic colours (later to be accentuated my use of MIG Pigments).
* To create the wood effect of the tools I used Lifecolor acrylic Flesh for step one, the second step of this processs involved application of Burnt Umber oil paint then removal with an old brush to create a grain effect.
* When fully dry I dry-brushed the whole of the vehicle Humbrol Matt Black enamel 33.
* Overall airbrush a coat of satin varnish when the former step had fully dried (I like to give this 24 hours at least).
* Paint on a thin coat of white spirit and then one heavy Burnt Umber oil wash to the whole vehicle.
* Winsor & Newton Matt Lacquer (this took three coats).
* MIG Pigments.

The decals were borrowed from the Dragon Jagdtiger, not necessarily because they were better, but because I wanted to use the number 1 on this build and felt that the thickness of the decals should be the same all over the kit, requiring the same amount of attention, as I have found recently that decals form different manufacturers require different amounts of Micro Sol, which can spoil a job if you aren’t concentrating (for example Tamiya decals become more brittle and more easily friable after only one application of Micro Sol, whereas Cartograf decals are infinitely more robust).

The weathering of this kit started very early, but continued right up to the final step; MIG Pigments play an important part in this process, but I find are tempered by careful use of not only Thinner for Washes, but also thinned oil paints mixed with pigments; these create interesting diffused patterns and are worthy of experimentation.


I feel very strongly that this Tamiya Jagdtiger is a strong candidate for the 1:35 new model release of 2009; not least for its detail, but also its adaptability and ease of construction. The instructions are simple, uncomplicated and have a visual impact, they contain necessary abstract and colour painting instructions. Now all I have to do is build the Dragon Jagdtiger with Voyager photo-etch to really square the circle. OMG! I could be some time…

Bill Hazard
Build completed in June 2009


  1. Stunning work dude, I just love the pre-painted look, so much love in there!

    Digging the abstract paint job too.


  2. Thanks Stu; this is one huge moggle. The paint-job took me ages to get right - all that mucky sand!

  3. Worth it though. Another trick to your arsenal.

  4. Thanks Stu.

    I quite fancy doing an Octopus scheme again one time. Similar to this, I suppose, but smaller and two-tone base camouflage with discs and uniform circles.

  5. That sounds ace, would like to see that. I am looking forward to doing the Sturmtiger and getting to grips with a three-tone scheme - quite dull by your standards I fear...


  6. Actually I really like that Sturmtiger soft-edge Tritonal camouflage scheme with the really big Ambush spots on - is that the one you have in mind?

  7. Killer Jagdtiger - NICE WORK