Saturday, 10 April 2010

Tiger 1, Initial (sPzAbt 502)

The base kit;

The PE set;

The resin upgrade;

The AM barrel;

Tiger 1, Initial (sPzAbt 502)

As stated this build will incorporate mainly items from Dragon 6252, Tiger 1 Initial Production, Leningrad 1943. The actual AFV it depicts is posibly a composite, but will represent one of the very first production versions (Fgst 250001 to 250010) as it has ‘mirrored’ left & right handed tracks, exhaust flappers and a special sPxAbt 502 tool configuration. The build will be a facsimile of the second Tiger in MMiR’s ‘The Modeller’s Guide to the Tiger Tank’ with one or two differences; the tank will have battle tracks, rather than transport tracks (I will deploy transport tracks on a later build in the series, Tiger 1 Early, sPzAbt 503, tactical number 323).

This build will use the following items;

* PzKpfwVI Ausf E SdKfz 181, Tiger 1 Initial Production, ref 6252
* Masterclub Tiger 1 Initial tracks, ref MC135007W
* Voyager Model Tiger 1 Initial Type PE set, ref 35055
* Voyager Model Cleaning Rod for Tiger 1, ref ME-A054
* RB Models 8.8cm KwK 36 L/56 Tiger I (early model), ref 35B01
* Aber MG 34 machine gun tips barrel for turret mount, ref 35L83
* Aber Barrel for German Tank MG 34 machine guns, ref 35L63
* RB Models turned brass antenna, ref 35A02
* MIG Early Tiger 1 Battle Damaged set, ref MP35264 (which includes damaged road wheels, battle scarred mantlet & driver’s front plate)

The final finish of the kit will include base-colour tactical number (101) with white outlines on left and right aspects of the turret and the large sPzAbt 502 mammoth on the rear of the turret (a smaller mammoth on the front right of the bow plate). The will be no turret bin on this build as I want to make sure I get more than one Tiger 1 of the run without a turret bin as I like that look so much (the Fehrmann will also be without a turret bin). This Tiger was produced in late summer 1942 (August) and was one of the very first of the production run, the features that identify this are:

* Early, atypical tool configuration (five cleaning rods, two long crow bars, tool stowage on the rear plate, which will be a modification of the kit)
* Hull mounted twin Bosch light mounts (the glacis plate mounted versions to be use on the upcoming DAK build)
* I am undecided about the the engine hatch - unlike the MMiR build this Tiger may have the engine hatch vent rectangle (I recently finished Otto Carius’ ‘Tigers in the Mud’, which recounts a story of battle-weary Landsers being overcome with fumes on the rear of his Tiger, which belched carbon monoxide from this aperture; they were not able to resuscitate them at journey’s end)
* KGS 63/725/120 mirror tracks
* Very early style mantlet with binocular sights, but without reinforcing rib or shield
* The final drive area still had a cut-out for the Vorpanzer, however, the pivot aperture was welded shut as the additional glacis plate armour was now defunct
* Relatively featureless external starter guide plate, mounted diagonally
* Lack of jack & block (there will be some mounting for the block on the rear plate only)
* Lack of exhaust shrouds
* Antenna mount on the right upper rear plate
* Lack of side-skirt mudguards and rare appearance of the locking fillets on the hull sides, front and back
* No track changing cable
* Early simple bent metal track front mudguards & rear (fixed removable fender secured by six bolts to a base plate)
* Early-style fume extractor (without cap, which was dispensed with whilst in combat to assist clearing toxic cordite fumes from the crew compartment after firing the gun)
* Exhaust hinged flappers (note the angle of mounting)
* Presence of toggle bolts to attach wading guard to the bow MG port
* KFF2 periscopic sights for the driver above the driver’s visor
* Factory installed smoke grenade launchers on the turret
* Initial style welded loaders hatch on the turret
* The commanders cupola was a drum version and had rain shield mounting rods
* Two asymmetrical armoured pistol ports in the rear of the turret (I will have to modify the kit in this instance)
* Both outer front road wheels will be removed to reduce the risk of fouling due to the extreme terrain during time of deployment on the Leningrad front

Note on the kit; I understand that there is one omission in the instructions relating to the underside of the tank. The early Tigers had two circular bolted engine access plates, one of which is moulded into the lower hull, the other (part F19) needs to be added, however, is not mentioned in the instructions. I also note that the bolt alignment is suspect and I will need to check my references (or leave it as a minor unresolved issue if I can’t face such minutiae – this and bolt alignment of the sprocket wheels, however, I may give that a miss). In comparison to late versions marketed by Dragon this kit has relatively few spares. The OVM tools are offered with or without moulded brackets (which is useful for the two long crowbars), however, there is not much ‘fat’ in the kit, such as unused Feifel or hollow guide horn composite spare trackage, unlike later versions (including the Fehrmann version). One bonus, however, is that this kit offers early-style sprocket wheels and a full set of rubber-tyred road wheels, which can be deployed or swopped with an alternative set for a hybrid version or mid-version simultaneously with an off-the-shelf Tiger such as the Kurzmaul Tiger 1, late. I intend to use the second 6252 to maximum benefit in this way; donating the whole running gear to the second Fehrmann to make the ‘Classic Early’ running gear, furthermore, depending on hull configuration of that kit I may have to use the 6252 as a basis for the early Tiger 1 and use the Fehrmann hull for the junk-hybrid, but that (as they say) is another story.

Here goes…

Bill Hazard


  1. Wow Bill! I am impressed, great list of intent and features laid out plain and simple... Some really good detail features you have highlighted within that thar Tiger mission statement.
    looking forwards to the build Bill. Sounds s'awful nice!

    Cheers... Phil.

  2. S'urely is...or summat, Guv.

    Wish me luck!

  3. Good luck from me too mate. As Phil said, some impressive detail you're planning. Looking forward to the show :D


  4. Следите за хорошую работу, Билл. В моей стране мы хотели моделей.

  5. Too right Jurgington - I have been clearing the decks & am ready to roll, like, tomorriow, man!

  6. Большое спасибо моему другу, как тебя зовут и где ты пришел?

    Приветствовать в Tанков B Mасштабе!