Miniature Ordnance Review looks at the world of historical and fantasy miniatures wargaming and model building. From 15mm Flames of War, to Warhammer 40K, to 1/35th scale tanks, with some potential surprises on the horizon - you'll find them here!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

502 Schwere Panzerabteilung - Early Tiger I Progress

In addition to the initial production Tiger I tanks fielded by 502. Schwere Panzerabteilung, there were also a few of the more standard early production vehicles.  The Battlefront miniature represents this type well, and fixing them for the specific vehicles of this unit is generally easier.  Well, sort of.

The first change was the removal of the shovel from the front top hull.  The other change is the unit's tanks lacked the characteristic side-skirts seen with the Tiger I.  The challenge for me was to find an easy way to replicate the hanging studs for the side-skirts (which were present - unlike on the initial Tiger I).

Ultimately I found a source that worked flawlessly.  Archer Fine Transfers has a line of surface details.  These surface details are resin on very thin, high-quality decal film.  Their catalog can be downloaded and has true size scans of the various details.  I found a set of rivets that looked to have the right spacing for the studs - granted they're round, not square, but at this scale it is going to be hard to tell the difference. 

I drew lines with a straightedge to guide placement of the decal rivets.  I ended up using set AR88083 which seemed to have the right spacing for the side skirts. 

I cut out the rivets in groups of four cutting the decal with a very sharp hobby knife near the top and bottom of the rivets.  I also didn't leave much space at the ends.

Placing the individual rivet decals was a bit challenging, but it went fairly quickly using the normal techniques you'd use for high-quality decals.  I did use a little diluted Solvaset to make the film snug down properly.


Before priming the studs looked a bit large, but after a prime coat they look pretty good.  The beauty of the Archer system is it is literally designed to be primed and painted over. 


I'm sure they scale out a bit large, but even up close they have the distinctive 4 sets of 4 studs look of the actual Tiger I.  They should paint up and weather nicely.  I'm still hoping to field this army in late October, and have a LOT of work yet to do... as always!

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