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Tamiya’s Königstiger in 1:48

March 29, 2015 in Armor

I don’t normally build models of military vehicles, but this was a special case.
Seeing that most modellers of military vehicles are not very interested in ships and that there are usually so few participants in the ships classes at contests I challenged Janne Nilsson, a prominent swedish figure painter and modeller of military vehicles.
He was to build a ship and I was to build a tank. The models were to be exhibited at C4 2011 in Malmö, one of the major modelling events in Sweden. The one of us whose model was awarded the least points, would buy the other one a beer.

Janne turned up with a nicely built and painted CSS Virginia and I entered my Königstiger. None of us bothered to find out about the points awarded to the models, and in consequence none of us bought the other one a beer.

Tamiyas Königstiger in 1:48 is a kit that is so well designed that it’s almost boring to build. Everything fits perfectly, all ejector marks are placed so that they won’t be seen and there are no joints that need filling and sanding.

Part of the bet was, that the model should stand on a base plate. Knowing what angles can do to a model display, I sculpted some styrofoam into a piece of uneven sloping ground, put the model diagonally in one direction and turned the gun barrel diagonally in the other direction.
These are classic rules of composition, dating back to renaissance painting, but they still work. If you want to make a painting or a diorama come to life; go for diagonals and angles.
Then I bought some ready made ground and glued it to my base plate.

As for the painting, masking the three colour camouflage pattern offered a little bit of challenge as did the weathering. Having been present at the inauguration of the swedish armour museum and seen how mud sticks to the tracks of made my own mud from white glue and sawdust, tinted it brown and tried it on my tracks.
It worked well enough.

A friend lent me some Mig-pigments for further weathering, but I couldn’t get the hang of is so the weathering ended up being pretty held back. I merely did some “dusting” with the airbrush.

Surprisingly, I got a bronze medal for the model at C4, but since then she has won no awards, which was only to be expected.
The quality of the models of military vehicles at the contests in Scandinavia is very high and the competition is fierce.

I must say though, that it was fun to build something different and I recommend every modeller to get out of his or her comfort zone now and then.

9 additional images. Click to enlarge

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14 responses to Tamiya’s Königstiger in 1:48

  1. Nice model, Ulf. You’re right about the kit being nice.

    It’s called “the rule of three” – three intersecting angles in the composition.

  2. An excellent rendition of the Tiger in its’ element, Ulf…..great job!

    I assume that close-up of the tracks is the actual tank, correct…?

  3. Nice change of pace, Ulf.

    It’s true of course that unless you build aircraft all the time your modelling preference will be relegated to a lesser realm. I find it the same with dioramas, and figure modelling/painting seems to be something that, to be seen in any depth, has to be organised as a completely separate event.

    I don’t know why ships aren’t more popular, unless because they are arguably more expensive kits and take longer to build. Oh, and they don’t have wings….

    • I wouldn’t agree with ” unless you build aircraft”. On most shows its aircraft or military vehicles that dominate. Some shows are typically aircraft shows, some typically armour.

      Figures seems to be on the decline though. I don’t know why.

      The reason ship models and modellers are far and few between is simple: Most people have no relationship to ships and the sea.

      • I look at it as percentages of modelling subjects by type. Aircraft always dominate – say 80%, and everything else is left to the remainder, all other subjects squeezed into the remaining 20%. Not to denigrate aircraft, just looking at the stats.

      • Ulf got it, I live in a port city, and my Father worked on the waterfront. He took me to see various parts of it, and it’s just there.
        That said, I haven’t built one in years, though I like to watch the tugs when I get a chance. I know folks who worked on them.
        Figures are tough, in my opinion, as a convincing flesh is hard to do, for me, anyhow.
        Like NMF on aircraft.
        Each genre has it specific challenges. Some of us are “naturals”, and some of us struggle.
        But it’s worth it, regardless. My .02, unadjusted for inflation.

  4. Nicely done Ulf, like the tracks.

  5. This is awesome Ulf! I would definitely buy you a beer for that! Being realistic though I’m sure you will make a good job of any category of modelling!
    I don’t really have a comfort zone, but if I was to really step out of it I guess it would be a ship.

  6. Ulf. Really nice. The way you have it sitting there it looks like tons of real steel out in a field. I’m strictly an aircraft builder, but like most modelers I like good models, and this is one of those. Good job.

  7. Ulf,
    Absolutely beautifully done.
    However, I never tire of looking at the ships you build.

  8. Build everything you can, one subject influences your next build of another subject, a well rounded modeler is a skilled modeler. Nice job on the tank.

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