Wittmann’s Tiger. Academy 1/35
In order to make a gift to a German relative, a great lover of World War II history, I quickly build, more or less out of the box, (hard to believe it), the Tiger supposedly used by Michel Wittmann, German tanker ace, commander of the 2nd company, 101st heavy tanks SS battalion, in the famous Battle of Villers Bocage, June 13, 1944.
I choose the Academy model, because it allowed me to build the right tank, just with minor modification, apart from the Zimmerit and welding on the tower’s roof to be delete, together with other tank of 101st.
The assembly proceeded quickly and, in about two weeks, during the summer holidays was finished.
Initially I want to place it on a railroad tracks, misaligning the road wheels, in order the track to follow to the rails profile. Bad idea: too difficult to achieve this result with the kit vinyl track. Therefore, I revert to the original plan: the monster positioned on flat terrain. This led me to have the upper hul and turerret already assembled, without the rolling train, which has complicated a little bit the execution of "stitching", performed with a fishing line, in order to have the track adherent to the road wheels.
No particular technics or trick has been use for the assembly; the only curiosity is how I made the Zimmerit.
Build by means of a thin sheet of artist wax. It is sold in A5-A4 sheets, the one I bought was about 1mm thick.
It is very easy to handle, it stick on the tank surface just by pressing it, no glue needed (better to exert a certain pressure in order to reduce thickness to 0,4-0,5 mm). Can be applied in small pieces, junction disappear with the simple pressure of your fingers, that can be used also to trim the wax at the right dimension, directly against the model’s corners.To create the typical zimmerit surface I used a special set of wheels, dedicated to this purpose, unfortunately I do not remember the brand. Of course, once the zimmerit surfaces have been created, better not to grab the cat from this area. Years ago I build another Tigers, and the zimmerit resist for a decade, surviving the hot Italian summer, there was no need at all, to preserve it in my refrigerator. I can’t guarantee it will do so at lower latitude.
Did you notice the “summer” background?
Front armor spare track link, coming from the spares box.
Turret spare track links drilled and shaft added.
In the above pics you can see the fishing line stiches used to give the track the proper sag. Once the external road wheel will be install, the stiches will be completely hide. The third gray bad guy, was a new entry, not planned from the beginning.
First hand sprayed with my own mix of Tamiya, 60% of XF60 and 40% of XF59 well thinned with the same brand Lacquer Thinner ( Yellow cap)
Green was a Tamiya mix, unfortunately, I don’t remember the composition, the Red Brown is Tamiya XF64, desaturated with the Yellow base color. I sprayed the camouflage with very thinned colors: 1 part color + 4 to 5 part Lacquer thinner. Pressure very low: below 0,5 atm. Once the green-brown camouflage vas finished, the yellow areas between blotches, appear a bit darkened. I therefore spray again yellow base where appropriate.
101st Heavy SS tank battalion receive his new Tigers in Spring 1944, and, looking at the photo, it appear they enter in action in very good conditions. I therefore decide not to insist too much with battle damage and weathering.
Few scratches at the zimmerit, made with e sharp blade, and paint scratches by brush, using Valleio acrilics.
A soft dry brush have been apply, using Humbrol Enamels. Light Stone on the yellow corner and zimmerit, Slate gray on the green area, Flesh for the red brown ones.
The track were painted by brush with a Valleio dark brown. Washed with thinned artist oil color Burnt Sienna, the dusted aspect has been created with pigments powder. Job ended with a slight Humbrol Alluminum dry brush where appropriate.
Spare track link suffer the same process, but I gave them a more rusty aspect, and no Alluminum dry brush.
On several tank look like cross and tactical number where very crude, hand painted with no stencil, I therefore decide not to use decals, but paint them free hand by brush.
Painting ended with a light overall Terra di Cassel thinned oil color wash, and once dry, lights rust streak in few spot made with oil color Burnt Sienna.
Tankers on the turret are slightly modified Tamiya, Driver is an Academy with resin head. Shoulder strap, medals and various jewelry come from a Photo etched set. I wasn’t really satisfied of the result, then I ask to a friend who’s mainly painting figures, to give me some lessons, on the next diorama will se if I have learn something.
As you have seen, the base was pretty simple, just a frame for the main subject, I will wrote about it soon, since I have prepared a small dedicated tutorial, useful for beginners, not necessarily Panzer Maker.
4 additional images. Click to enlarge.