The road to Damascus. Or possibly Kasserine…

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  • Last reply 4 months, 3 weeks ago
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  • david leigh-smith said 5 months, 1 week ago:

    This in some ways is my problem with the ‘Spanish School’ of modeling. The technical brilliance can look just incredible but the relation to reality is a deal breaker for me. If you want to make a model that looks incredible in detail with every panel accentuated by fantastic artwork then do so; I prefer a realism in the builds I look at. It’s a personal thing, no disrespect to ‘shaders’.

    In the words of Jeff, your mileage my differ.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Just noticed the direct sunshine on the Tiger this morning, so thought I’d just post this to show the beast off in it’s natural environment.

    As an airplane guy, if any tankers have comments or criticisms please share them now as the weekend will be about finessing and fixing. I’d appreciate input, however much work it means.

  • Paul Barber said 5 months ago:

    Looks great in natural light – quite early by the look of it. Your quest for realism is being well served – I’m obviously no expert and there are plenty on here – but it looks well worn and like it has seen some action. The base is looking stunning too! I find I’m treating mine like a garden – messing about a little every day – I think yours is ‘maturing’ nicely!

  • Louis Gardner said 5 months ago:

    The Tiger looks great David !!!

    You’re about to unleash the Beast !!!! I have added a link to a web site by a man you may have met during one of your recent visits at the IWM. His name is David Byrden and he specializes in Tiger tanks.

    The only little thing that catches my eye is the side fender skirts. The way they are molded isn’t how they were if you were to look at one from the end. These were simply flat pieces of metal and they didn’t have a vertical edge on the ends. Here’s a few photos showing what I’m trying to describe,………….. sort of like the “florists wire” thing a while ago………as a degaussing wire for the Big E.

    I noticed the edge of the fender skirt is showing a flat faced edge to it where the missing skirt is in the first photo you posted. If you could somehow remove that little part it would look even more realistic.

    Please don’t take this the wrong way, as this is a masterpiece by itself, and is very impressive. It’s just meant to be a little input as you requested.

    If you really wanted to go full on “Tiger OCD”, you could check out the little things that set the 501st Tigers apart from the others. If not, then only 1 person in about 152 million would possibly know the difference, and that person’s opinion doesn’t matter.

    Either way it looks great. I like how the colors look outside in a natural environment.

    Well done my friend. 🙂

    These early Tigers from S.Pz.Abt.501 had some odd little things about them that were not found on your typical early production Tiger. These were things like how the head lights were mounted, the front and rear fenders may have been a little different, and possibly the tow cables could have been mounted in a different manner. It’s also possible the rear muffler shields / guards could have had a different venting pattern in the metal. I’m not 100 % certain about these things, but David’s web sight should be able to point you in the right direction if you so desire to go down that dark and lonesome road………….

    Experience in the field eventually led to changes on the assembly line. One such example is on the very first Tigers, the headlights were mounted on top of the hull. They were very prone to breakage there, so they moved them to where they were located ahead of the front slope. Some tanks had two headlights, while others had a single light mounted in the middle of the front slope.

    Please check out his web site, and in particular the bit on the 501st, as he even has tank numbers listed that were present in Tunisia.

    I sincerely hope this helps…………….

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Fantastic lead, Louis. Checked the site and it’s a goldmine, the mother lode of Tiger data!

    Regarding the skirts it’s an easy fix, they are photo etch, so a little bending will do the trick. I’m planning to ‘mod’ the accessories a little on the Tiger at the weekend anyway so will add little pieces of personified details. In fact I was aware of the tow line issue and tried to find another pose for it but given the positions the crew will be in it wasn’t an option.

    To be frank I’m delighted the skirt is the only issue outstanding. Loved building this (apart from fixing the skirts before the tracks (argh).

    The photos in natural light make a 100% difference in my mind. Seeing he sun on the Tiger gives a real sense of authenticity and light and shade that make a huge improvement.

    Thanks a million, Louis. As usual.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    The ‘Panzer Elves’ have already been to work today, on loan from Louis’s esteemed Ironworks.

  • Tom Bebout said 5 months ago:

    That could pass as real if it wasn’t for the paint bottles in the background. Nice work.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Appreciate the comment, there’s been a lot of help and advice go into making this; standing on the shoulders of giants, Tom!

  • Michel Verschuere said 5 months ago:

    Excellent progress David! I reckon you got the feel for a new life as a tanker! 🙂

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    And there is one of those giants. Thanks, Michel, appreciate the encouragement.

  • Louis Gardner said 5 months ago:

    Man oh Man !!!!!!!!!!!! Each time I look at the Tiger, it looks better…………… it has a magical touch to it somehow………. almost like what occasionally happened many, many eons ago, when a young damsel would magically look better the closer to 2 AM it was………….. after consuming a few “adult” beverages of course.

    But your Tiger will still be a “10” at “10” instead of a “2”……………….. 🙂 and you won’t be tempted to chew your own arm off to keep from waking the “beast”………..

    The “Elves” are doing their magic……………

  • David A. Thomas said 5 months ago:

    I agree with Louis. The Tiger is looking great, and it proves that modeling skills are modeling skills, and learning curves are relative things. David, this is truly fine work.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Thank you very much, Louis. I’ve mentioned before that I often find it a worry to share my work and it’s something of a leap of faith for me. Posting build threads has really helped that and emphasised for me the importance of the process of a project and my favourite subject; connection. Bernie passing has made this even more important.

    I deeply appreciate your comments as complements from peers are the very best medicine.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    Of course, the biggest learning curve is the one we wake up to every day. Until we don’t.

    Im really enjoying the work on the Tiger and in terms of sharing work, I’m reminded of two things I keep telling students when they say they are afraid of not being ‘good enough’. The first is never compare your insides with some else’s outsides (especially important in these days of social media) – the second is that the only person you need to be better than is the person you were yesterday. As applicable to life as much as modeling. Or modeling as much as life.

    Every day is an opportunity to ‘reboot’ – live with courage and faith.

  • david leigh-smith said 5 months ago:

    We are rolling toward an end on this build, just details mainly and one last piece of construction. I struggled over whether to include the house and in the end I felt better about it after weathering it up and (second photo) adding a little anti-Nazi Arabic vandalism).

    I’ve added some more detail to the Tiger (scratch built a spar across the glacis plate to secure spare track, etc) and she’s doing ok. Not a lot to report but posting helps the mojo and gives me a little positive traction. Amazing day here in London, warm, sunny, and time for a cold refreshment.

    “Kapitan, you are not going to believe this…”

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